The concern shown by most hobbyists for the environment is an admirable thing and of course, anyone who admires the beauty of our ocean’s inhabitants will surely give them the respect and protection which they deserve and need if they are to continue providing future generations with pleasure. This is why it is so vital that when faced with the choice of wild-caught or cultured coral, people make the right decisions.
The knowledge and skill bases of those involved in Aquaculture (corals bred and raised in aquariums) and Mariculture (corals bred and raised in ocean lagoons) have grown exponentially in recent years; much like the speedy progress made in the past with captiWORDve fish breeding; there are now so many wonderful cultured corals available that buying wild-caught coral seems almost inhumane. The benefits of using cultured coral in your aquarium are multiple although it should be accepted that Aquacultured corals will cost more than Maricultured…this is partly to do with the power and other resources which are necessary to farm coral in an unnatural environment but it should also be remembered that corals grown in tanks are extremely hardy and will adjust very quickly to their new habitat once purchased and they also have the added benefit of never having been exposed to the diseases and infestations which many wild corals have been.
Mariculture is a particularly good way to support not only our planet but also the communities which have previously made their living from harvesting wild corals. There are a number of coral farms worldwide which are providing regular employment to locals in their endeavours to provide hobbyists with excellent corals.
Some hobbyists have concerns over the possibility of introducing pests or diseases into their aquariums via the introduction of Maricultured corals but farms have traditionally kept a very close eye upon their stocks in order to reduce this risk as much as possible.
The methods used to keep pests down within coral colonies are simple…often nets and hungry invertebrates will do the job just perfectly and your corals should come to your tank in a pest and disease-free state. This is even more controllable with Aquacultured corals as it stands to reason the environment in which they are farmed is completely controlled by the farmer and a large tank is simple to keep a tight rein on!
Whatever your choice, you have the world at your feet…quite literally! Corals are provided from all over the globe to suppliers both online and on the high street and if you do choose to purchase your corals online, a good supplier will clearly state what methods have been used in the culture of the corals on sale and remember that those stores operating a what you see is what you get policy will be generally the best choice all round.
Because the understanding of our oceans and in particular our coral reefs has grown so much, the more sophisticated coral farming techniques are now directly benefitting reefs all over the world as conservationists seek to protect and promote the health of the reefs by encouraging and directly managing coral growth for farming as well as for the preservation of the various species which rely upon it for their continued survival…and for anyone who loves their aquarium, this is of vital importance.
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