Posts Tagged aquarium-coral

Shaping To Circumstance?

The beauty and diversity of a wild reef is well known. Fish and corals have adjusted to their niche. What about the captive reef? The aquarist does his/her best to meet the needs of the corals (and fish) to try and ensure their health and longevity. The

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Coral Problems

Anyone sitting down with a good gardening book can be taken aback by the number of problems that could be met by any particular plant. Some are hardier and more resistant to disease than others. This is of course true for all life forms.

The marine hobby world, be it a fish only aquarium or reef aquarium, is no exception. The fish can fall to disease, and so can corals.

This is not intended to be a cover-all for aquarium coral problems. The subject would be far too large. However, an attempt will be made to consider perhaps the more likely troubles.

To avoid as far as possible any problems arising in the first place, there are four areas that need attention.

Before selecting a coral for possible purchase, fully research it using the internet or a good book. What are the requirements for success? Is it suitable for the aquarium? Is it one of those that cause trouble even to an advanced aquarist?

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Good Starter Corals For The Beginner

When starting a new reef tank, especially if you are a beginner to the hobby as I am sure you may by now appreciate there is at times quite a lot to learn.

Starting a reef aquarium is only as hard as you allow it to be. Why learn all about advanced water chemistry for example at the very beginning – learn the basics first, get your aquarium running and then carry on reading, studying and learning.

Why make starting an aquarium harder by including corals in your aquarium where you have to learn a lot about how to care for and maintain them. There are some corals which are exceptionally hard to care for so why not keep some of the easier to keep corals whilst you are learning the basics and as you learn more and your aquarium ages then you can add more.

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Soft Coral Fast Recovery

My soft coral reef (I love the way soft corals sway in the current and the subdued pastel colours mix together) is growing very well. As Peter has taken on a rather sad aquarium that he has in the process of recovery (see ‘An Aquarium System in Trouble – A Slow Recovery’), I decided to cut some corals and pass the cuttings on.

Now cutting a coral is a worrying thing for most aquarists including me. There they are on the reef healthy and expanded. Then along comes John with a very sharp pair of scissors! First of all what to cut? Decided. Where to cut – what impact on the reef appearance? OK. What about the health of the coral, is the cutting method correct? OK. Hesitation, do I really want to do this? Yes, go ahead. Corals cut, cuttings shrink to a hard small lump that looks as though it will never live again. The coral from where the cutting was taken closes and looks thoroughly miserable.

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Aquarium Additives and Soft Corals

Keeping a seawater aquarium nowadays is a generally straightforward affair. Provided the design and setting up is satisfactory and the aquarist does the necessary periodic maintenance properly, the aquarium will give pleasure for a long period.

Commercial seawater mixes are good overall. The mix will provide adequate levels of elements in the seawater, but checks should still be made, particularly when the aquarium is matured and settling and onwards, to ensure that important parameters are as they should be.

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How To Acclimitise New Corals And Fish Correctly

It always amazes me how many people I see or talk to who purchase a marine animal, take it home, open the bag and pour it into their aquarium. I can never understand why some people do not acclimitise their purchases properly, it could be laziness, lack of knowledge, impatience etc but one thing is for certain life is on the line here so it must be done correctly.

The purpose of acclimatisation is simple – the water that the animal is packaged in may have a different temperature, pH and salinity than that of your aquarium. Aquatic life (especially corals and invertebrates) are very sensitive to minor changes in water parameters therefore acclimatisation is a definate requirement for success.

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Coral Propagation

Any aquarist worth there ‘salt’ has a desire to see the reefs in nature continue to thrive. Fortunately a lot of the illegal harvesting has ceased and the natural reefs are starting to become more understood and admired.

Unfortunately however, mankind is making it hard for these reefs to survive and many are in decline. This makes me very sad and I am sure a lot of others as well. As saltwater aquarists we all have a passion and love for these beautiful animals even if we stop keeping an aquarium for a while that passion does not dwindle.

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Should You Purchase Online?

Once the aquarist has finished setting up his/her salt water aquarium as far as equipment and getting salt water in, the next big question is livestock.

Most aquarists know what they want generally, be it a fish only or reef aquarium. Many of us have a local store that can be visited for livestock purchases. Before livestock is purchased, the store is assessed as to how good the aquarium conditions are, how knowledgeable the store man is, and of course the prices being asked.

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