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Aquarium Coral and Living Rock

Aquarium enthusiasts often use living rock and live coral to create the desired ambiance in their saltwater tanks. Corals and living rock make a beautiful addition to any saltwater aquarium. In addition to making the tank look more attractive, they also help maintain the health of your aquarium.

What is live coral?

Coral are marine invertebrates that typically survive by forming groups or colonies. These colonies are what make up reefs. Stony or hard species produce an exoskeleton made of calcium carbonate. Soft, or SPS, corals have no skeleton whatsoever and appear in a variety of vibrant colors.

What is a living rock?

Living rock is a piece of a reef that has separated from the main structure. In order for that piece to become living, it needs to wash into shallower waters, where it is colonized by other marine life such as invertebrates, corals, or sponges. Bacteria then forms, which allows the organisms to become a fully functioning, living environment.

What species should you have in your reef tank?

With the many different species of live coral available for your aquarium, it can be intimidating to know what is right for your tank. Some coral will thrive in any environment while there are those that are more finicky about their environment. Until you become confident and knowledgeable about your saltwater tank, it is recommended that beginners stick to those that are easier to maintain.

  • Mushroom or leather coral: These are very hard corals that will adapt to most conditions and lighting.
  • Button polyps: These reproduce at a very fast rate, which can become overwhelming. They prefer bright light but can adapt to any level.
  • Brain coral: Brain coral is one of the easiest to keep though they can be intolerant of the soft corals.
What are some good reef fish for an aquarium?

Fish that live along the reef are beautiful and varied. When creating a new system, it is important to be aware of which ones are able to live in the type of coral reef you are attempting to recreate. Beginners are more successful with fish that can adapt to many different environments.

  • Clown fish are probably the easiest saltwater fish to care for when building a reef aquarium. They don't require a lot of space and are fun to watch.
  • Lawnmower blenny are algae eaters, which is a good addition to any aquarium.
  • Butterfly fish are highly adaptable to a non-aggressive tank as long as they are given a variety of hiding places.
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