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The interesting life of corals

Corals are an excellent group of elements that you could use to start up your reef aquarium. They are easy to care for, they have a flowy and bendy texture and they have an interesting appearance. Corals prefer a fair amount of light so if you do not have such strong lights, we would suggest that you put your corals more to the top of the tank. Corals will basically eat your tank clean if you have a medium flow, because the current brings the bacteria to them. New tanks have much more nutrients than an existing tank does, which is one of the reasons why corals are such beginner corals, but be cautious, because they tend to grow very quickly in this type of environment and can easily turn into a pest.

When adding new corals to your tank, firstly you have to let them float in your aquarium (still in the plastic bags that the shop assistant put them in, so that they can adjust to the temperature change. The next step is to get them to adapt to the water in your system and this is how you can achieve it:

  • Put them into a larger, empty container (with the water that they had in the plastic bag)
  • Add your system’s water through an IV (drip) and let it drip for about 40 minutes.

Finally, you have to use coral dip in order to prevent unwanted hitchhikers from entering your tank. Now you can be entertained by the interesting appearance that corals have in the water.

Did you know that corals don’t have a definite colour? They can change their colour depending on the parameters that you use in your tank. Zooxanthellae are bacteria that live inside of corals, when they receive too much nutrients, they multiply like crazy. They have a brown pigment and when they multiply inside of the coral, it gives the coral a brown colour. There are a few ways to prevent this from happening.

  • Firstly, you can intensify the light so that the corals can eliminate the bacteria and restore their photosynthesis process.
  • You can also reduce the amount of nutrients that you use in your tank, which will result in longer lasting colour.
  • You can also give your corals more food so that they can use that as a source of energy instead of using the zooxanthellae and this will also help your corals keep their natural colour. Giving them more food will also enhance their pigment synthesis.

According to a recent study, corals can also declare war with each other. They use their stinging cells to hurt one another. Toxin was found within the corals’ nematocysts and it is centred at the tips of the branches rather than in the middle of it. The toxicity is known to be more in the middle of the coral and not as much on the outside branches. This could either be a form of hunting for prey or it could plain and simply just be aggression.

Corals are known to retract their polyps when under stress. One of the most common questions concerning corals is: “Why are my corals not extending their polyps?”

There are many answers to this question. Corals tend to extend their polyps only when the sun sets, because at this time, they are seizing the plankton in the water to use as a source of energy. If the case may be that you haven’t seen your corals’ polyps for over 24 hours, then that means that there is a problem somewhere.

Be on the lookout for the following problems when your corals don’t extend their polyps:

  • There is too much or too little light or water flow.
  • Your corals get too much protein and algae beings to build up on them
  • The levels of phosphate in your tank is too high, the corals don’t get enough food, so they are famished and don’t have enough energy to be able to extend their polyps.
  • They also tend to retract their polyps when they feel unsafe in their environment.

For any further uncertainties, please visit the following website that we found helpful: http://saltwateraquariumadvice.com/2017/03/increas-polyp-extension-in-your-corals/


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