Corals Corals Corals Corals Corals Corals Corals Corals Corals Corals Corals Corals Corals Corals

 

  • Information
  • Care & Feeding
  • Cautions

Live corals are the most important contributors to the structure of a saltwater reef in nature as well as in reef aquariums. The appearance of some species of corals varies dramatically depending upon the environment. Raising corals in aquariums takes a little more care and understanding than most marine fishes. You will need to be more cognizant of the physical, chemical and biological requirements of corals if you expect to achieve success.

Lighting, water chemistry, water motion, and temperature are the primary factors of concern in maintaining living corals. Biological factors, e.g., coral aggression, corallivory, disease and competition from algae, are also important.

Corals are very unique animals that will make a great addition to most saltwater tanks if cared for properly. Most corals are photosynthetic, which means they produce most of their food from the light. All photosynthetic corals require proper lighting in able to be housed in the home aquarium. Most common lighting fixtures used for corals are fluorescent light tubes or halide bulbs, though some aquarists use led’s. when using lighting for photosynthetic corals they need certain standards.

The import aspects of water chemistry involve maintaining alkalinity, pH and calcium levels approximating those on coral reefs. These three parameters determine the calcium carbonate saturation state, which has been shown to be a control calcification.

Water motion is important for corals. A variety of submersible pumps, dump buckets, automatic siphons, and other surge generating devices are in use on both large and small aquariums with living aquarium coral.

Unlike the natural reef environment, where there is an immense reservoir of the foundation elements, the reef aquarium is an artificial environment that is constantly affected by chemical changes. Therefore, the reef foundation elements must be monitored and replenished constantly. Research has also shown that the optimal levels of these elements should be maintained according to the variety and maturity of the specific coral population. In order to accurately select the optimal level for your reef aquarium system, it is best to use the values for the most demanding coral species in your marine aquarium. (Courtsey Red Sea)


Optimal levels of salinity, KH, Ca & Mg according to type of aquarium:

Aquarium Type      Salinity (ppt)      Alkalinity (dkh/meq/L)      Ca (mg/L)      Mg (mg/L)
Soft Corals   33   8.2 / 2.9   430   1280
LPS Corals   33   12.1 / 4.3   440   1310
SPS Corals, Frags/Calms-Accelerated growth   35   12.6 / 4.5   465   1390
SPS Corals, Mature/Low nutrient/Enhanced coloration   35   8.2 / 2.9   430   1310

Corals are very fragile and will often die when touched. They require pristine water conditions in order to thrive. Care must also be used when selecting fish for a reef tank that contains corals as many fish species will eat corals and polyps.

 
Atlantis Coral
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