Too often do I hear of people who go to an aquarium shop, see a coral, think to themselves ‘that would fit great in x position’, purchase it, take it home and put it straight into position.
To me this is wrong.
Corals when collected, propagated or aqua-cultured come from areas where they have been accustomed to different lighting levels to that of your aquarium. In the wild they may be collected from areas of different depths or even from under overhangs etc. In the propagated aspect they may have been grown out in an aquarium which is under weaker/stronger lighting than your aquarium. In the aqua-cultured aspect the corals may have been grown out in the ocean at a depth again where the light in your aquarium is either weaker or stronger than they have become accustomed to.
So what should you do?
Simply really – accustom them to the lighting slowly.
This is actually really simple to do yet it does require patience – doesn’t everything in this hobby?
When you purchase the coral be this at your local shop or via an online store you will of course researched it first – wont you? You then need to slowly acclimitise it to your water conditions. Once this has been performed and you are ready to add the coral to your aquarium do not simply place it in the area where you have planned for it place it at the bottom of the aquarium.
Leave it in this position for a few days whilst it becomes accustomed to the light it is receiving in this area. After a couple of days move is slightly higher towards its final position for again a couple of days.
A few days later do the same again and every few days move it slowly higher towards its final position.
Taking your time accustoming the coral to its new home will allow the coral to get used to the lighting slowly rather than being subject to too much lighting at once. This will also be beneficial to the symbiotic algae contained within the coral (dependent upon the coral of course).
Doing this does not mean that your coral will grow faster or be more colourful than other corals in your aquarium it simply means that you have given the coral enough time to adjust.
Let’s face it the corals cannot speak, they cannot tell you when they feel discomfort. For all you know the coral could slowly be getting burnt by lighting which is too powerful for it, the symbiotic algae may be expelled or worse the coral could perish.