A good reef tank mimics the real deal. Coral both large and small provides that finishing touch to bring the reef tank to life. These marine invertebrates form colonies and a rigid structure suitable for fish to live in. Maintaining coral within the aquarium is vital for the comfort of its occupants.
Create a Healthy Environment for the Coral
Coral is a very sensitive organism in terms of its relationship to water quality and lighting. The water in a reef aquarium must be low in ammonia and nitrite. These elements contribute to the acidity of the tank’s water. An ideal and coral-friendly pH level is between 8.3 and 8.4. It is easy to maintain this level by testing the water regularly and keeping an eye on the nitrogen cycle within the tank. Nitrate is one of the end results of this cycle. Ensure that the water is between 72-78° Fahrenheit. The water should also have good current.
Lighting in a reef tank is also a delicate balance. The majority of coral is zooxanthellate. They get their nutrients from organisms called zooxanthellae. Zooxanthellae perform photosynthesis to keep the coral healthy. These organisms require specific lighting to get the job done. Some hobbyists use lighting systems designed for aquariums. Metal halide bulbs provide a bright and intense spectrum that supports the photosynthesis process. Be aware that these bulbs can get very hot so it may be necessary to add ventilation and a larger ballast. Change the bulbs regularly. The zooxanthellae have better access to lighting when the water is clearer.
Not all corals are created equal. Each subspecies deserves a unique pride-of-place within the aquarium based on its physical qualities. Stores that offer coral for sale can provide additional guidance on what species of coral may be a good fit …Read More