General Care Requirements For Aquarium Coral
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.
Corals, or more correctly their zooxanthellae, require light of the right intensity, spectrum and
duration. Metal halide lamps and very-high-output (VHO) fluorescent lamps are popular either as the sole source of light or in combination, and are often used in conjunction with blue actinic fluorescent lamps. The lamps most used by experienced aquarists have a color temperature of 5,500-20,000°K, although some higher temperature bulbs are also in use. For additional information go to “Coral Lighting.”
For low light needing corals it is adequate to provide about 1 to 2 watts of light per gallon of water, or for a reef tank with many varieties of corals it is best to place these types at the bottom of the aquarium.
For moderate light needing corals it is adequate to provide anywhere from 2 to 4 watts of light per gallon of water, and usually it is best to place these corals in the middle of the aquarium.
And for high light needing corals it is best to provide anywhere form 5 to 7 watts of light per gallon of water, preferably these species should be illuminated by halides or powerful compact fluorescents and should also be placed near the top of the aquarium.
Care Requirements For Corals in General
Basic Facts About Corals
- Relatively high inorganic nutrients do not appear to limit the growth of corals in aquariums.
- Small coral colonies acclimate more successfully to aquariums than do larger colonies.
Corals appear to be highly sensitive to changes in lighting. What may appear to the human eye to be a subtle change in lighting, e.g., changing a lamp, may result in bleaching.
- Most corals can tolerate exposure to air for 18-24 hours provided they remain damp.
Bacterial infections are common in captive corals but can often be cured with antibiotics such as chloramphenicol.
Rapid tissue necrosis is common among captive corals usually starting at the base of the coral and working its way to the tips of branches.
The addition of plankton is not required to maintain zooxanthellate corals in most Aquariums.
Corals that ordinarily live in turbid and virtually stagnant lagoons, e.g., Plerogyra sinuosa, will coexist in the same aquarium with corals obtained from wave-swept fore-reef environments, e.g., Acropora grandis.
Corals from the Caribbean and the Pacific will coexist in the same aquarium.Corals do not require the presence of any other animals in the aquarium to survive, with the exception of herbivores to control algal growth.
Spawning among corals in aquariums has been reported but is rare, although asexual planulation is not uncommon in corals such as Pocillopora damicornis and Tubastrea spp.
Brightly colored corals often lose these pigments within a week after being imported, although they may simply be masked by zooxanthellae.