Over the last decades, the husbandry of aquarium corals has risen to a high level. Although captive corals currently exhibit high survival and fast growth, sexual reproduction remains a major hurdle. Closing the life cycle of corals is an important next step in coral husbandry and aquaculture. Below, I will discuss the reproductive biology of scleractinian corals, the challenges associated with sexual reproduction, and future perspectives of coral aquaculture.
Black corals, formally known as Antipatharia, are members of a unique order within the Anthozoa class. These hexacorals are regularly found in the aquarium trade, and are often misidentified as gorgonians. In this article, we discuss the biology of black corals, and offer some suggestions for aquarium husbandry.
Are reefkeepers striving for the right levels of pH, alkalinity, and calcium? Using PAM fluorometry, Christie D. Raji studies the effects of high and low levels of each of these parameters on hermatypic corals in a captive environment.
When aquarist think about reef animals, cerianthids usually don't come to mind. However, tube anemones are some of the most beautiful, hardy, and long-lived organisms for captive aquariums, and they're not as dangerous to tankmates as many believe.
Amino acids are a popular ingredient in aquarium additives nowadays, with many advertised beneficial effects on corals. In this article, I will provide some basic information about amino acids, and discuss their documented roles in coral biology. This will help the aquarist to make an informed decision about using concentrated amino acid as supplements for the marine aquarium.
Dana delves into the the science behind coral coloration by examining the fluorescent proteins in Clade D corals including Echinophyllia, Favia, Favites, Galaxea, Lobophyllia, Montastraea, Plesiastrea, Ricordea, Scolymia, Trachyphyllia, and others.
Overall toadstools are attractive, hardy, and easy to propagate, making it easy to see why they are a long-time hobby favorite.
It is common knowledge that many coral species depend on their symbiotic zooxanthellae to survive. Their alliance with these dinoflagellates has allowed corals to build vast underwater structures known as coral reefs, in an environment that seems almost devoid of nutrients. Research has shown that, in addition to energy gained from photosynthesis, plankton constitutes an important source of nutrients for corals. Although zooplankton supplementation may significantly enhance their growth, new findings suggest that corals are best fed when the aquarium lights are on.
We will look at colors of some of the most popular reef aquarium corals - Acropora species (Family Acroporidae). There is a considerable amount of relatively new information presented in this article.
Flatworms are well-known in the aquarium hobby and research community. Both in the wild and in captivity, they hide between the tentacles of many corals. Despite their common appearance in aquaria, the nature of the symbiosis between corals and flatworms has long been unclear. New evidence strongly suggests that epizoic acoelomorph flatworms are parasitic. Next to suffocating coral tissue and feeding on coral mucus, flatworms have now been found to impair coral feeding.
James describes the many species of one our hobby's most iconic and popular coral genus, Euphyllia, and discusses their merits, pitfalls, and husbandry requirements.
Often overlooked and underappreciated, the Atlantic biotopes are amazing aquariums. Sustainable inhabitants are here in our own backyards and ready for hobbyists to create new and interesting aquariums. Much can be learned about these animals from captive systems and hobbyists have a remarkable opportunity in front of them to participate in the process and progress.
Aquarium Invertebrates: Phestilla Nudibranchs: Cryptic Enemies of Porites, Goniopora, Tubastrea and Dendrophyllia Corals and an Identification of 'Montipora-eating Nudibranchs'
Dana takes us on an in-depth look at the Phestilla and Embletonia nudibranchs that can wreak havoc on an unsuspecting coral in your tank.
Aiptasia are tropical sea anemones which are commonly found in marine aquaria. Usually introduced as hitchhikers on live rock, they rapidly colonize the aquarium due to their prolific growth. Although Aiptasia may settle on any available substrate, chemical signals may attract them to specific microhabitats. In this article I report on the settlement preference of Aiptasia for cyanobacterial mats, a finding which suggests a three-way symbiosis between sea anemones, dinoflagellate algae and bacteria.
(Alaska Pacific University) While the aquaculture of corals has greatly improved with recent technological advances in water parameter regulation, flow control, and lighting, a lag persists in physiological examination of the health of coral specimens. A cost-friendly, pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometer (Junior- or JR-PAM) was used to examine photosynthetic activity of corals within recommended aqua-culturing temperature ranges. A total of 24 coral fragments were used, representing four species: Acropora sp., Montipora digitata, Pavona decussatus, and Seriatopora hystrix. Exposure to typical, aqua-culturing temperature treatments (22, 24, 26, and 28°C) for three week periods revealed significant restrictions of photosynthesis at lower- and higher-end temperatures. Both maximum quantum yield (FV/FM) and maximum, relative electron transport rate (rETR) were significantly different across the four-interval temperature range. The efficacy of the JR-PAM for in situ coral research was also examined, and usefulness for determining coral productivity was assessed.
There are numerous species of azooxanthellate stony corals out there, but more than likely the only ones you'll ever come across in the hobby are known as the sun corals, some of which are called orange cup corals. This umbrella of a common name is used for several species of the genera Tubstraea and Dendrophyllia, and these are the subject from here on out.
New research by marine biologists from Wageningen University has shown that extracoelenteric feeding on zooplankton can far exceed internal feeding in terms of prey captured and nutrients acquired. The take home message from this research is that corals are voracious predators, perfectly adapted to capturing unsuspecting prey from the water column with their cnidocyte-bearing tentacles.
Corals keep mystifying and challenging us, whether we are aquarists, divers or scientists. Our understanding of corals and their symbiotic organisms has been a long road, and knowledge of their biology is ever increasing. Even today, marine biologists are working hard to unravel the complex physiology of these amazing animals. The question however is: how do they do that?
A few years ago when I was working on my book about giant clams, I was lucky enough to get a tour of the CV Dinar coral and giant clam aquaculture facility in Indonesia. I'm sure a lot of hobbyists have heard of the "farms" in the Pacific, but I figured I'd give you something of a virtual tour of the place and show you a bit about how things are done there. It was quite interesting to say the least.
'Breeding Berghia Nudibranches' is a new book by Dene Banger that explains how to set up and maintain a system for breeding Aiptasia devouring Berghia nudibranchs, sell them for fun and profit, and scale the system based on demand.