Home Corals - Soft Corals (Octocorallians)

Warning: strtotime() [function.strtotime]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Chicago' for 'CDT/-5.0/DST' instead in /home/corals10/public_html/libraries/joomla/utilities/date.php on line 56

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Chicago' for 'CDT/-5.0/DST' instead in /home/corals10/public_html/libraries/joomla/utilities/date.php on line 198

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Chicago' for 'CDT/-5.0/DST' instead in /home/corals10/public_html/libraries/joomla/utilities/date.php on line 198
Corals - Soft Corals (Octocorallians) PDF Print E-mail

Soft Corals

Soft corals are very different from hard corals. Soft corals are typically the first type of coral that beginners are successful with, because they are much easier to keep.

Often times starting out with marine fish and ends putting in some soft corals and then lay Ron often much later on. Often times a year or two later on US stony corals and as a know we don't yet recommend adding stony corals in the form of SPS until the tank is a least-year-old, but

Soft corals are much easier to keep because there requirements seem to be a much less specific than stony corals. Soft corals have eight tentacles on the polyps instead of sixa, and that's what differentiates as you look at them.

They do not have a stony skeleton like SPS. So that when they die, you often end up with a soft pile of mush as opposed to a stony coral skeleton. However, within that pile of mush there are calcium carbonate called spicules. Spicules help to maintain their structure when the softs are "inflated". But they allow flexibility of the coral body to deflate.

Because of the spicules, you you do need to maintain some calcium and some alkalinity in your tank, althought they don't require such high levels as an SPS system does.

Nutrient Load

Soft corals tend to live in water that has a much higher nutrient load, ie more polluted. Many of them PREFER much more polluted water. The challenge is keeping a higher nutrient load without starting up the algae monster.

At our farm we feed the fish in the soft coral tanks VERY heavily and I am always amazed that there is not a spot of hair algae. We don't recommend that you feed quite so heavily, but of course we are going for maximum growth. These softs are sucking up the nutrients before hair algae has a chance to start. And we do keep various grazers and other fish that are great for algae control, in the soft systems.


Skimming Soft Coral Tanks?

We also skim the soft coral tanks continuously, mainly to remove some of the nasty warfare chemicals that soft corals put off to compete with their neighbors. Our skimmers produce a HUGE amount of foam on a daily basis.

Many people don't skim their soft coral tanks and they quite well. We do it mainly because as a commercial facility, our coral densities are far greater than anything you would see in a hobbyists tank.

Food for Filter Feeding

aWe don't use a lot of dead food for filter feeders, since most of it is wasted and never used by corals, but our soft corals live in a very nutrient rich environment due to our heavy feeding of the fish, and they do very very well. In fact, we had very clean systems early on that he had very little dissolved nutrients and in the soft corals in many cases do not do well at all.

We do use live rotifers packed with Nanochloropsis (a single celled green algae) to feed certain softs. You can buy rotifers already hatched or grow them yourself (which can be quite time consuming!)

In general, the rate of soft corals is much faster than SPS corals. They are much hardier and easier to keep, and I personally like them better than the static SPS corals. There are some beautiful colors available.

 
 

Polls

What's your all time Favorite Coral ?
 

Random Image of Our Corals We Farmed