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Coral Dipping: Can It Really Help?

Date Published - 29th June 2015 - Published by - iQuatics Ltd

Coral dipping is a widely known but rarely employed technique that is supposed to help prevent troublesome pests infesting your aquarium tank; its effectiveness, however, is quite often debated throughout the online reefer community, begging the question of whether or it it’s really worth your time and money. The following blog looks at coral dipping in depth, assimilating contrasting pieces of advice from various forums around the web to deliver a definitive verdict.

So – what is coral dipping?
To better understand the necessity of coral dipping, you’ve first got to comprehend the risk that introducing new corals into your tank could pose. Remember that before they reach your carefully honed aquarium, your newly purchased corals have been on a long journey (and we’re not just talking about down the road, from the shop). In fact they’ve probably been sourced from a natural, oceanic ecosystem, meaning that they’ve been exposed to (and are possibly carrying) any number of pests, bacteria and general substances that could seriously destabilise your tank.
Now, it should be common practice that the corals are washed before they reach those shiny, alluring tanks at your local outlet, but in reality there’s no way to actually verify this. So how can you prevent all these nefarious bugs and bacteria from reaching your precariously balanced aquarium? (Hint: the answer is coral dipping).
In short, dipping your corals is an extremely straightforward process that involves, well, dipping your corals in a purpose-developed solution in order to rid them of various pests, from the irritating red bugs to the much more harmful types of Nudibranch. The general consensus online is that employing this technique (which shouldn’t take more than half an hour) is an effective method of preventing these pests from spreading throughout your entire aquarium.
Is coral dipping worth my time and money?
Given that the process only takes about 30 minutes all-in-all, dipping your corals before you introduce them to your full aquarium is definitely worth your time. The actual act of dipping itself should only take about ten minutes, but we’d always advise taking extra care to inspect each coral carefully for any residual pests before introducing them to the tank. Any remaining bugs can usually easily be removed using a sharp object, but obviously, take care not to be too forceful.
Ascertaining whether or not coral dipping is worth your money, however, is a wholly different story. Corals are commonly dipped in a pre-made iodine solution that you can mix with fresh water in a small container or bucket. The catch is that, as with every aspect of the crowded aquarium keeping industry, the market is positively saturated with various different products that claim to be the most effective. Each brand of iodine solution for corals will contain various chemical substances combined in slightly differing proportions, but ultimately it’s going to come down to personal preference – our advice would be to hit the forums for yourself to get a working knowledge of each product from genuine aquarium keepers.
Prevention is better than the cure
It’s a clichéd (and perhaps trademarked) slogan, but in this case it’s very much true. Coral dipping is a straightforward process that can help to protect your tank against a multitude of pests and bacteria. Whilst the initial outlay for some coral iodine dip might seem steep (100ml is usually about £10), it must be weighed against the expense and effort of replacing a full aquarium’s worth of damaged coral in the long run.
As always, the avid aquarium keepers here at iQuatics are always happy to have our brains picked, or hear your thoughts, over at our website and social media pages.

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