Coral reefs are fascinating places with a massive diversity of life. These reefs are the foundation of an aquarist’s interest, it is the reefs that supplies most of the livestock, and from which all of it originated.
Some aquarists maintain a mixed reef, probably the most prevalent of aquarium systems. There also those who wish to keep their captive reef so pristine with absolutely perfect corals, or perhaps very difficult to keep corals, that fish have no place in them at all – these are coral only systems. Others keep fish only aquariums with the advantage that fish can be kept which are not reef friendly, such as many butterfly fish which would be likely to make a meal of corals. Yet others keep seahorses that need to be on their own as they cannot compete with fish for available food. Some keep shrimps only, perhaps Mantis that are not welcome in a ‘standard’ system, or groups of cleaner shrimps and similar.
Whatever system is kept the aquarist usually has a general fascination with the wild reefs. Some are very fortunate and visit them, many snorkeling over them with the occasional short dive a few feet down. Others are trained divers using scuba equipment; they can get much deeper and see the reefs in more detail.
Even if not divers ourselves, we can take advantage of some scuba divers skills with photography. Scuba divers visit many reefs in many parts of the world and so there are records available of the varied reefs.
No matter what the aquarist’s interest is there are usually photographs available with fish, big or small, and corals of many types.
Try the link and tour a few of these reefs. There are wreck pictures too though these are not as interesting to aquarists. The link opens the Red Sea page. Click on a photo to enlarge it.