Corals are one of the most popular, reef compatible organisms for Marine Aquariums. Belonging to the Class Anthozoa, Corals exist in colonies consisting of a large group of individual organisms, called Polyps. Their unique branched body structure and vibrant colors add immense visual appeal to an aquarium. DreamAquatic, one of the best online markets for aquarium products, offers several interesting types of Corals. However, prior to moving on to them, let us have a fundamental idea about the key features of Corals.
Compatibility. The compatibility of Corals with the other tank mates varies with their types.
Habit & Habitat. Corals exist in the shallow waters of Tropical Seas & Oceans in all parts of the world, and inhabit Coral Reefs. Corals are key contributor to the hard structure of Coral Reefs as they secrete the required base of Calcium Carbonate.
Morphology. Corals are moderately hardy creatures, which are extremely beautiful due to their beautiful body and striking colors. Corals consist of a Coral Head, which is a group of several independent Polyps. The Head grows when a Polyp undergoes Asexual Reproduction. Each Polyp has some Tentacles, laced with stinging cells called Nematocysts. These Tentacles are used to catch Prey or as a weapon of defense. Each Polyp has a Central cavity, which acts both as a mouth to ingest food as well as an anus to expel it. The Tentacles surround this opening.
Ideal Marine Aquarium Environment. Corals grow well in an aquarium with a temperature range of 72-78°F; Specific Gravity of 1.020-1.025; and pH level of water within 8.1-8.4. The water movement in the aquarium varies according to the Coral types. Corals require strong light for the Zooxanthellae within them to manufacture food.
Aquarium Feeding. Corals are Carnivorous and feed upon Plankton. The primary source of nutrition however, is the food manufactured by Zooxanthellae, the Acellular Photosynthetic Alga living inside Coral Polyps.
Aquarium Breeding. Corals breed both sexually as well as asexually. When individual Polyps grow out to form Coral head, its Asexual Reproduction. However, Corals spawn sexually among the same species, releasing both the gametes together.
Care. The difficulty level of Coral maintenance varies according to their type.
Now let us browse through the different type of Corals available on DreamAquatic.
Soft Corals. Belonging to the Class Anthozoa and Order Alcyonacea, Soft Corals have unique branched & fleshy body structure. Peaceful in disposition, Soft Corals are extremely beautiful due to their beautiful fleshy body and striking colors. Soft Corals are difficult to maintain and should be handled by an expert aquarist only.
Samples. Red / Orange Carnation Coral (Dendronephthya species); Colt Coral (Cladiella species); Medusa Soft Coral (Sphaerella species); and Young Soft Coral (Cladiella species).
Mushrooms & Polyps. Belonging to the Class Anthozoa, Mushrooms & Polyps exist in colonies consisting of a large group of individual organisms. These creatures are semi-aggressive that exist in the shallow waters of Tropical Seas & Oceans in all parts of the world, and grow on rocks, Reef Slopes, Lagoons. Mushrooms & Polyps are Hard Corals of Polyp types and resemble a Mushroom in appearance with a short stem and a nearly round Cap. Mushrooms & Polyps are easy to maintain.
Sample. Anthelia Polyp (Glove Anthelia Polyp); Blue / Green Metallic / Hairy / Assorted / Red / Spotted Mushrooms (Actinodiscus species); Bullseye Mushrooms (Discosoma species); Button Polyp – Green/Brown (Epizoanthus species); Clove Polyps (Clavularia species); Star Polyps - Green Assorted (Clavularia species); Elephant's Ear Mushrooms (Rhodactis mussoides); Giant Cup Mushrooms (Rhodactis indosinensis); Blue-Green / Green / Red-Pink Ricordea Mushrooms (Ricordea yuma); Tree Stick Polyps (Acrozoanthus species); Yellow Polyp (Parazoanthus species); and Zoanthid Mushroom - Assorted Color Button Polyp (Zoanthus species).
Leather Corals. Belonging to the Class Anthozoa and Order Alcyonacea, Leather Corals have unique & fleshy body structure and vibrant colors. Leather Corals are Semi-aggressive in nature. They exist in the shallow waters of Tropical Seas & Oceans in all parts of the world, and inhabit Reef Slopes and Lagoons. Leather Corals often act as a host to Clowns, in case the later do not get a Sea Anemone for the purpose. There comes a phase when Corals shrink their Polyps, and secrete a layer of mucus on their body, to be sloughed off later. The mucus coat prevents any algal growth on Leather Corals. Leather Corals are moderately hardy creatures, which make interesting addition to an aquarium due to their unique fleshy body and colors, especially Browns and Grays. Leather Corals do not have an exoskeleton and their skin has a tough, leathery touch.
Sample. Cabbage Leather (Sinularia dura); Chili Coral (Alcyonium species); Finger Leather (Soft) (Lobophytum species); Hairy Leather (Hard) (Paralemnalia species); Spaghetti Leather (Metallic) (Sinularia flexiblis); Toadstool Leather (Sarcophyton species); and Yellow Fiji Leather (Sarcophyton species).
Large Polyp Coral. Belonging to the Class Anthozoa, Large Polyp Corals are Semi-aggressive to Aggressive in nature. They exist in the shallow waters of Tropical Seas & Oceans in all parts of the world, and inhabit Coral Reefs & Lagoons. Moderately hardy creatures, Large Polyp Corals are slightly difficult to maintain and should be handled by experienced Reef Aquarists.
Sample. Alveopora Coral (Alveopora species); Flower Pot Coral (Goniopora lobata); Anchor Coral (Euphyllia ancora); Frogspawn Assorted / Green Branching (Euphyllia divisa); Torch Coral (Euphyllia glabrescens); Brain Metallic Coral (Wellsophyllia species); Elegance Coral (Catalaphyllia species); Fox Coral (Nemanzophyllia turbida); Lobophyllia Brain Coral – Assorted / Red Color (Lobophyllia species); Open Brain Coral Green / Red (Trachyphyllia geoffroyi); Tongue Coral (Polyphillia species); Assorted Plate Coral (Long Tentacle) (Heliofungia actiniformis); Brain Coral (Favites species); Brain Platygyra Coral (Platygyra species); Bubble Pearl Coral / Pearl Coral Green (Physogyra species); Brain Star Goniastrea Coral (Goniastrea species); Candy Coral (Caulestrea furcata); Sun Coral – Black / Orange (Tubastraea species); Cat's Eye Cynarina Coral (Cynarina lacrymalis); Galaxy Coral (Galaxea species); Green Eyed Cup Coral (Mycedium species); Moonstone - Green Favia Brain (Favia species); Turbinaria Coral (Turbinaria species); Blue Ridge Coral (Heliopora coerulea); Pipe Organ (Green) Coral (Tubipora musica); Plate Coral (Fungia species); and Scolymia Brain Coral (Scolymia species).
Small Polyp Corals. Small Polyp Corals are Peaceful to Semi-aggressive in nature. They exist in the shallow waters of Tropical Seas & Oceans in all parts of the world, and inhabit front and back Coral Reefs and Lagoons. Small Polyp Corals are key contributor to the hard structure of Coral Reefs as they secrete the required base of Calcium Carbonate. Small Polyp Corals are moderately hardy and usually breed asexually in aquarium by the means of Fission. Small Polyp Corals are difficult to maintain and should be handled only by experienced Reef Aquarists.
Samples. Acropora Coral - Color Tip / Neon Color (Acropora species); Velvet Coral - Assorted Color / Green / Orange (Montipora species); Bird's Nest Coral (Seriatopora hystrix); Cat's Paw Coral – Pink (Stylophora species); Pocillopora Coral (Pocillopora species); Disticophora Assorted Coral (Distichopora species); Hydnophora Coral (Hydnophora species); Merulina Coral (Merulina species); and Porites Coral (Porites species).
Gorgonia. Gorgonia are a type of Hard Corals. Belonging to the Class Anthozoa, Gorgonia exist in colonies and have distinguishing horny and branched Axial Skeleton. Gorgonia are Peaceful to Semi-aggressive in nature and exist in the shallow waters of Tropical Seas & Oceans in Indo-Pacific region, and inhabit Coral Reefs and Lagoons. Gorgonia are moderately difficult to maintain and should be handled by an experienced Reef Aquarist. In addition, Gorgonia is quite vulnerable to the algal and Cyanobacteria growth on its body, which may damage the tissues.
Samples. Green Lace Gorgonia; Purple / Yellow Brush Gorgonia; Purple Ribbon Gorgonia; Red / Yellow Finger Gorgonia; and Sea Stalk Gorgonia.