Coral in the aquarium

Coral reefs are endangered all over the world due to pollution, over fishing and destructive fishing, coral quarrying and global warming. Within aquaria, on the other hand, the opposite is occurring.
Thanks to modern techniques, increasing knowledge and skills the quality of live coral reef displays and coral survival is increasingly improved.
Corals have been kept in aquariums for hundreds of years. It is however only in the last few decades that coral husbandry has really developed as a science, and technological developments have made it possible for aquarists to install and maintain environmental parameters indispensable for keeping corals in closed systems alive, and even thriving. An important part in this development has been played by aquarium hobbyists. They share with scientists and public aquarium managers and aquarists an awareness of the importance to learn as much as possible about corals and apply this to the conservation of natural coral reefs.

From 16th and 21st April 2007 the first International Symposium of Coral Husbandry in Public Aquaria was organized by Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem, The Netherlands. The objective of this symposium was to bring aquarium specialists and coral scientists from all over the world together in order to discuss the current knowledge of the most important aspects of coral husbandry. The contributions to this symposium have been bundled in a book (see our book review further down).

Well-designed displays that show the wonderful diversity of coral reefs can enhance public awareness of the need to conserve this unique habitat. The development of healthy coral reef displays in public aquaria helps to demonstrate the beauty of corals and coral reefs, and to make the public aware of the importance of, and the threats to, natural coral reefs.
Knowledge about coral husbandry and culture can be used for the conservation of natural coral reefs, but also for the restoration of damaged reefs to their original beauty and strength.