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Can Bubble Coral Eat Fish in a Saltwater Reef Tank?

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Aquarium lovers everywhere are always thinking about the best way to improve their tanks. Coral reefs are an excellent addition to a tank as long as you have the knowledge to care for it and know which kind fits best in your tank. So, will bubble coral eat your fish or be a good fit?

Bubble corals can eat fish in a saltwater reef tank if the fish are small enough. Bubble corals are carnivores, and they use their tentacles to grab prey and eat them. While bubble corals are not known to eat larger, healthy fish in the tank, they could get eaten if they swim into it.

The rest of this article will discuss what bubble corals usually eat, how to take steps to ensure your fish stay safe around bubble coral, which fish make the best tankmates, and how to care for bubble coral properly.

What Do Bubble Corals Eat?

One of the most important things you need to know about bubble coral is what they eat, how to feed them, and how often to feed them. Feeding them incorrectly or insufficiently could cause more aggression toward other members of the tank. While it’s not common for bubble coral to go after other creatures in the tank, it is possible.

Bubble coral mostly eats small mysis or mysid shrimp and other small seafood. While bubble corals are zooxanthellae, meaning they get some nutrition from their tissues, they also need occasional feedings. Depending on the size, it’s recommended to feed bubble coral a couple of times a week.

Directly feeding bubble coral will allow it to thrive. You’ll notice your bubble coral reaching out with its tentacles searching for food. This is a good indicator that your bubble coral is hungry. However, always take precautions when feeding bubble coral.

Can Bubble Corals Sting You?

Bubble corals can sting you if you get too close. Therefore, when manually feeding, it’s best to use an instrument such as a turkey baster or eyedropper to feed them. If you happen to get stung, you most likely won’t show signs until the next day. 

If you want something other than a turkey baster, we recommend the IceCap Coral Feeder from This coral feeder is 19 inches (48.26 cm) long, making it easier to feed your coral without possibly stinging yourself or getting your hand wet.

However, if you are stung by a bubble coral, it would be best to call your doctor, especially if you’re experiencing severe symptoms.

How To Make Sure Your Bubble Coral Doesn’t Eat Your Fish

It can be frustrating if you notice your fish going missing and your bubble coral is the culprit. While you might want to get rid of the bubble coral, there are other steps you can try to take before doing so.

First, you want to make sure your tank is big enough to house all of your aquatic creatures. Too small of a tank could encourage fishes to swim into the bubble coral and get stuck and therefore get eaten.

You’ll also want to ensure your bubble coral is correctly placed in your tank. However, I’ll get more into that later.

Having bigger fish in the tank with bubble coral would also discourage the coral from eating them.

What Aquatic Creatures Can I Put With Bubble Coral?

Bubble corals are the recommended corals for beginners. They’re recommended because they typically get along with almost any fish and are relatively easy to care for.

Bubble corals typically get along with any fish as long as the fish are reef-safe and won’t cause damage to your bubble coral. Therefore, clownfish, surgeonfish, damselfish, and many more are safe options. It’s best to stay away from anything with sharp teeth, like triggerfish.

Usually, you won’t have anything to worry about when it comes to tankmates for your bubble coral. However, if you’re worried that your bubble coral and other fish in your tank aren’t getting along, it would be best to find a remedy for the situation that best fits your and your aquatic creatures’ needs.

Will a Clownfish Host a Bubble Coral?

While bubble corals look similar to anemones, they’re not the same. Clownfish are known for being aggressive and often host anemones, but there can be exceptions.

A clownfish can host a bubble coral. However, it’s not very common. As clownfish are very aggressive, one hosting a bubble coral can lead to some problems in the tank and cause harm to both the clownfish and the bubble coral. It’s essential to watch how they adjust to ensure there’s no aggression.

How Do You Take Care of a Bubble Coral Plant?

While bubble corals are relatively easy to care for, there are still many things you should know about how to adequately care for them so they can thrive in their environment.

To take care of a bubble coral plant, you want to make sure the bubble coral has adequate light, the correct amount of water movement is accurately placed, and is given food routinely. 


Bubble coral adapts well to various lighting. However, when switching lighting levels, it’s essential to acclimate the coral slowly. Drastically changing lighting levels can cause harm. Moderate lighting levels are typically recommended, but adapting to low or high light levels is possible if done correctly.

Water Movement

When it comes to water movement, it’s essential that your bubble coral have low, gentle water movement. Powerful currents in the water can harm the bubble coral’s tissues, which can stunt its growth and cause problems. However, it’s essential for there to be some water movement, as nothing should build upon the bubble coral’s exterior.


Bubble corals do best when placed at the bottom of the tank, as putting the coral higher can cause it to become unstable, especially as it expands. Bubble coral also produces long tentacles to look for food, so placing it at the bottom of the tank is best in terms of spacing and safety.


As I already mentioned, feeding bubble corals is essential even though it doesn’t have to be done too often. As bubble corals receive nutrition from their tissues, they only need to be fed every so often. However, the amount that you need to provide the coral can also depend on its size.

Final Thoughts

While bubble coral can eat fish in a saltwater reef tank, it’s not very common, depending on many factors. If the bubble coral is big enough, fish can swim their way into the coral. However, bubble coral isn’t known for feeding on or harming other fish in tanks or aquariums.

Despite this, taking necessary steps to ensure your bubble coral is thriving in its environment could decrease the chances of the fish in the tank being harmed or eaten.