Coral Reef Aquarium

In a coral reef aquarium, the emphasis is on keeping a display of corals with a few small, compatible reef-safe fish and non-predatory, motile invertebrates such as shrimp, snails and hermit crabs.

LPS Coral Reef Aquarium

Coral Reef Aquarium With LPS Corals

Most of the animals found in the marine hobby are collected from different types of coral reef, so it makes sense to research where your fish have come from and then house a selection of animals with the same requirements in terms of water movement, levels of lighting, and substrate.

A geographically themed coral reef aquarium would be dedicated to fish, corals and invertebrates collected from one particular region, for example, the Caribbean, the Red Sea, or Hawaii.

Chemical Warfare In The Coral Reef Aquarium

While there are many different species of corals available to us in the hobby, it is important to note that some species would not be found less than 10 feet from each other in the wild. In the close proximity of our enclosed systems, chemical warfare between incompatible coral species results in corals dying.

It is no wonder that so many aquarists consistently lose corals despite their best efforts to maintain high water quality!

And even despite our careful planning, some form of chemical warfare is always ongoing in the closed confines of the coral reef aquarium and should never be under-estimated.

To put it bluntly, if you are going to have any kind of long-term success with your coral reef aquarium, it is vital that you research the compatibility of the animals you want to keep.

LPS Or SPS For Your Coral Reef Aquarium?

If you decide that large-polyp stony corals (LPS) will be the focus of your aquarium, the reef biotope will be quite different from one that would suit small-polyped stony (SPS) corals such as Acropora species. This, in turn, will dictate your aquascaping, lighting requirements, water flow requirements, as well your choice of fish and invertebrate species.

It is my opinion that you lessen your chances of long-term success when you mix LPS and SPS corals in the same aquarium, unless you are dealing with a system that is at least a 150 gallons or larger.

Responsible Coral Reef Aquarium-Keeping

A successful coral reef aquarium is one where coral and fish mortality is kept to an absolute minimum over the long-term.

Replacing dead and dying corals every few months is bad and irresponsible aquarium husbandry and I dread to think of the number of hobbyists out there who are doing just that!

One of the reasons why I started was to try to build awareness and help prevent beginners from making the typical beginner’s mistakes. Hopefully, more than a few aquatic lives will be saved in the process. And believe me, beginner’s mistakes are sometimes made by even experienced aquarists!

More About Setting Up A Coral Reef Aquarium:

Are You Ready For A Coral Reef Aquarium?

Saltwater Aquarium Setup | A Step-By-Step Guide

Ideal Water Parameters For A Reef Aquarium

Marine Aquarium Lighting

Live Rock

Aquarium Sump


Algae Control

Reef Clean Up Crew

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