Starting a coral farm is the ultimate dream for many aquarium enthusiasts. Many hobbyists are willing to pay hefty prices for the suitable coral to add to their tanks.
Gone are the days when a small coral fragment would cost hundreds of dollars. With more people getting into the hobby, now you can get beautiful coral animals at a great price.
Learning how to grow your own coral domestically can be the beginning of a beautiful coral farm and the continuation of the coral garden that you can cultivate right in your home.
Before growing coral in our homes, we must understand what coral is and how it grows. Coral is in fact an animal and as any hobbyist would know they exist in many different forms. Here in this post, we will be presenting you with a brief introduction on how to grow your own coral.
An Introduction For How To Grow Your Own Coral
There Are 3 Main Types Of Coral:
1. What Are Soft Corals?
Soft corals, like sea fingers and sea whips, are soft and bendable and often resemble plants or trees. These corals do not have stony skeletons and are non-reef-building corals—instead, they grow wood-like cores and fleshy rinds for protection. Like hard corals, they tend to live in colonies.
2. What Is A LPS Coral?
LPS stands for Large Polyp Stony and SPS stands for Small Polyp Stony. Large Polyp Stony corals tend to have very large, fleshy bodies which inflate with water and hide the skeleton underneath. Examples include Hammer, Torch and Frogspawn corals, Scolymia, Acanthastrea, Duncan's corals and Bubble corals.
3. What Are SPS Corals?
Small Polyp Stony corals, also known as SPS corals, are a favorite among experienced and novice coral hobbyists. Although these corals do require certain conditions in order to thrive, they are typically easier to care for than Acropora corals. SPS corals are among the most rewarding corals to grow and observe.
Types Of Coral You Can Farm At Home
The most popular kind of coral is soft coral. It is available in a variety of vibrant shades that aquarium owners enjoy.
The process of coral farming is referred to as fragging within the community as people often exchange and sell fragments of coral between one another.
Soft coral consists of soft tissues. That makes them one of the fastest-growing flower animals as they lack skeletal structure.
Some great soft corals you can add to your tank include:
- Kenya tree coral
- Green star polyp
- Toadstool coral
- Mushroom coral
Most coral does well in your normal tank water. However, people who choose to grow coral are doing it for the thrill of a blossoming coral tank.
If you want to follow suit, it is essential to think about your tank water and how to make it more conducive to hasten growth.
It helps if you change a few things and keep them consistent to promote the growth of your coral. Here are some factors you can look into to ensure your coral is thriving.
- Water flow- no coral likes stagnant water.
- Strength of light- most soft corals don't need excessive light to thrive.
- Salinity- with the right salinity-, your coral will thrive.
- Temperature- don't forget to keep it regulated year-round.
- Phosphates and Calcium content- these can be a game-changer for your coral.
Propagation of coral at home is known as fragging – as mentioned earlier. Fragging is where you take a fragment of coral and transfer it to your tank.
Coral will naturally grow and multiply from the fragment you started with in your tank. Soft coral can sometimes get into chemical war, so be sure to do your research to understand which corals don't like each other.
Additionally, coral enthusiasts run the risk of poisoning by palytoxins. Palytoxins are highly toxic, so it is vital to handle coral with care, especially Zoanthids and Palythoas.
You also need to beware of the different types of coral you are handling and get appropriate tools. Some coral can sting, and some don't react to touch.
Getting the right toolkit is unavoidable, especially if you want to keep different kinds of coral down the line.
Corals are not plants, and that means they need to eat. Coral can usually thrive by eating the tiny microorganisms in the water but feeding Coral increases the chances of growing.
You can use brine Shrimp to feed your coral. When coral is well-fed, it expands and splits to get more food.
Keep in mind, not all coral feed in the same way. Knowing which coral hunts well and which one doesn't can help you identify the best way to feed those that are a little less aggressive.
Taking Care Of Coral
Beware of the different animals that can compete for the food supply in your tank. The use of a wrasse can help keep shrimp at bay when your coral is eating. This can also prevent them from picking at your coral.
Avoid putting unknown substances into your coral tank, as the coral will use chemicals to protect themselves. This can’t go well with your health as the toxins they produce are dangerous.
One family in Àdeleide in Australia rushed to the ER after scrubbing their coral tank and going to bed. They woke up struggling to catch their breath in a few hours, and the ER team traced it back to the scrubbed coral tank.
This is precisely why reefers need to take safety into significant consideration when working with coral.
Corals are beautiful. Long-time reefers know the potential of well-taken care of coral farms. People will go to the extremes of designing their homes to accommodate their thriving coral.
Getting started can be tricky, but once you get it right, the sky's the limit. You can create an underwater paradise in your home when you understand how to grow your own coral.
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