Why Is My Elegance Coral Not Opening? (Explained)

Your Elegance coral is not opening, it looks unhappy, and you think it’s dying? You don’t need to worry because you came to the right place. In this post, you will learn all the reasons causing elegance coral to close. In addition, you will get several tips on how to take care of this beautiful coral.

Elegance Coral Not Opening

The elegance coral is one of the most incredible-looking corals in the reefing hobby. It’s also one of the most temperamental corals.

People often have problems with elegance corals not opening. I wouldn’t recommend these corals to beginners, even though some hobbyists consider them easy to keep.

In the 1980s and the 1990s, the elegance coral was one of the easiest corals to keep in a saltwater aquarium. It was known as a bulletproof coral. 

However, in the early 2000s, hobbyists encountered problems with the elegance corals from Indonesia. The so-called bulletproof coral started to die easily. 

There were a lot of assumptions about why these corals suddenly became difficult to keep in aquariums.

Luckily, Australia started exporting corals, and with that, the Australian elegance coral entered the market. 

The Australian elegance coral is the more resilient of the two. Before you proceed with the article, first make yourself familiar with the type of elegance coral you have in your reef tank.


Why is my elegance coral not opening?

Elegance corals might not open right away when they are introduced to a new environment. They also might close due to inadequate placement, inappropriate lighting, and poor water parameters.

New tank

All corals need time to adjust to new environments and tank conditions. The elegance coral is no exception. It will usually take a couple of days to a week for your elegance coral to fully open.

Assuming the water parameters are on point, you should not worry about your elegance coral not opening immediately.

Water conditions

Elegance corals are susceptible to infections, so keeping your water pristine is crucial to having healthy and thriving specimens. In addition, you should keep your water parameters stable as much as possible.

Alkalinity swings may impact the health of your corals, and you should avoid them at any cost.


Elegance corals prefer moderate flow and moderate lighting. They don’t like high-intensity lighting and may struggle and even bleach when they are exposed to it. 

The best placement for these corals is on the sandbed, where the PAR is between 50 to 100.

Elegance coral syndrome

The elegance coral syndrome is a term coined by Eric Borneman to describe the infectious disease of the elegance coral. 

According to his research, this disease is contagious, and once the elegance coral gets it, there is no coming back.

The Indonesian elegance coral is more susceptible to this infection, and with that, very difficult to be kept in captivity.

How long does it take elegance coral to open?

It can take a couple of days for an elegance coral to adjust to new tank conditions. 

If your water parameters are on point, the placement is appropriate, and you have detectable nutrients, your elegance will eventually open. 

It’s very important to buy healthy specimens if you want to increase your chances of keeping these corals alive.

Is my elegance coral dying?

Unfortunately, these corals are susceptible to infections and don’t last long in captivity. You might have better luck with the Australian elegance, but in my opinion, it doesn’t worth the trouble.

Once your elegance starts receding and losing tissue, it is very difficult, and almost impossible to save it.

Final Thoughts

The elegance coral was and will always be one of the most iconic corals in the saltwater aquarium hobby. 

Unfortunately, it’s not as hardy as it used to be. If you want to keep an elegance coral in your reef tank, try your luck with the Australian type.

I wouldn’t even bother with the Indonesian type because there is a slim chance of success. How do I know which one is the Indonesian and which one is the Australian type, you might ask?

It is challenging to distinguish these corals from another, but most of the elegance corals sold in local fish stores are Australian. For better assurance, ask the owner to confirm the origin of the coral.

Leave a Comment