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Aquatic Fantasy Blog

Coral Care Myths and Facts

Posted on May 25, 2015

Aquatic Fantasy has tons of different corals to choose from plus expert coral care advice.

DSC12331The many different types of corals are fascinating to collect and cultivate. Most are actually not all that difficult to care for, provided you don’t let common coral care myths lead you astray! Get the real facts here and feel free to ask one of our helpful staff members if you have any other questions about coral.

Myth: A Bleached Coral is a Dead Coral.

Fact: Just because a coral has turned white doesn’t automatically mean it has given up the ghost. It may actually recover if the conditions that caused the bleaching are remedied. For soft corals, check to see if there is any flesh alive on the coral, as this indicates that some part of the coral has survived. For stony corals, check to see if the bleached portions have turned gray or been colonized by algae. If so, it is probably beyond saving. But if not, it could still recover. Give your bleached corals a week or so to try to recover before declaring them a lost cause.

Myth: Corals Need to be Acclimated at the Top of the Tank.

Fact: This myth is quite illogical, being based on the idea that corals are too delicate to withstand the pressure of a 1 to 2 foot tall column of water inside an aquarium. In reality corals thrive in much greater depths in the wild, and they retain their natural ability to withstand pressures found at 18 feet deep or more even when bred through aquaculture. New corals should always be placed in their permanent positions in your aquarium. They should never be too close to the top of the tank as this could expose them to damage from excessive light or heat.

Myth: Mushroom Corals can be Killed by Cutting Off Their Tops.

Fact: If you leave even the tiniest bit of a mushroom coral’s base behind, the coral can and will regrow. The best way to get rid of a mushroom coral you don’t want is to remove the entire piece of rock it is attached to. If this is not possible, the next best thing is to cut the top off and cover the base completely with epoxy to prevent regrowth.

Myth: All Gorgonians Need Feeding.

Fact: Only some gorgonians (aka sea whips or sea fans) need to be fed a diet of phytoplankton. There are plenty of photosynthetic gorgonians that can survive on light alone thanks to the abilities of the tiny polyps that dwell within their flattened, branching structures.

Myth: 3 Days with No Light Will Kill Your Coral.

Fact: Coral can certainly survive 3 days of darkness. After all, even tropical seas have occasional stormy, dark days. You might wonder why you would ever want to leave your coral in the dark for this long, considering that many types of coral need light in order to live. Well, this myth comes up in connection with a popular algae control method. Algae needs light much more badly than coral, so 3 days with no light can be a very effective way of killing off nuisance algae. However, it is important to note that this is a temporary fix at best. If you have not corrected the problem that allowed the algae to flourish in the first place, it will just come right back after your 3 days of darkness.



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