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The Importance of Acclimating Corals

Date Published - 25th June 2015 - Published by - iQuatics Ltd

As much as your aquarium lighting strives to resemble natural light as closely as possible, the fact of the matter is that your tank will always be an artificial environment, so taking time to properly acclimatise corals to their new habitat is always heavily recommended. Think of it like your corals are just about to start at a new school (very loose fish-based pun there); give them a few days to properly adjust and you’ll soon start to see a healthier, more vivid reef overall.

Settling In…
As you will probably know already, lighting is one of the defining factors on the growth and development of your corals, so it’s integral to get this right as you introduce them to your aquarium. Over the course of the journey from their original habitat to your aquarium, your corals will have been exposed to all manner of natural and artificial lighting, which, if nothing else, is highly inconsistent. This is why it’s integral to introduce them to their new environment with care and attention, taking time to carefully monitor and slowly increase the amount of light they’re regularly exposed to. Even cultured coral will have experienced different environments during it’s lifetime so it’s important to take things slowly.
Lighting the Way
Whilst a lot of people opt to just drop the corals into their reef soon after purchase, we find that acclimating corals to their new lighting over time makes for a much more diverse, colourful reef overall. When you first introduce your corals to your aquarium, it is best to place them in a darker area for a few days, one that is relatively concealed and shaded from the glare of your aquarium lighting. Over the course of approximately a week, we would then recommend gradually moving the corals into areas that are more heavily saturated with near UV light, encouraging a more stable rate of chlorophyll and pigment production.
By slowly integrating the corals into their new environment, you allow the corals time to stabilise the rate at which they produce zooxanthellae cells, not only affording them more ecological consistency, but also encouraging deep, rich pigmentation.
Knowing how to acclimatise corals is an important aspect of reef keeping, and the aquarium specialists here at iQuatics would never recommend simply dunking them haphazardly into your tank. We’ve published a range of other blogs regarding coral maintenance, including the importance of dipping your corals, and the effect of near UV lighting can have on your reef, which we wholeheartedly advise you to check out. Should you still have any issues, we’re always happy to throw our 2 cents in using our live chat feature.

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