Coral reefs - basic knowledge
by, 08-29-2012 at 01:41 PM (1820 Views)
There's a small chance that upon arriving at this site, you've realized it's actually about a subject you are unfamiliar with, because you thought you were looking for Christmas decorations or something. This site is actually about coral reefs. Or rather it's about growing and letting them thrive in a tank environment.
Admittedly not as many people do this as you'd think, considering how gorgeous reefs are (picture below). It's difficult for anyone to grow and maintain a home reef and imagine why other people don't do the same. After all they keep gold and tropical fish, so it makes sense that you'd grow some of their natural habitat too. It's worth the time and effort for the background view, when you're relaxing on the sofa with some partypoker during the evening.
If you're still a little lost, coral reefs are underwater structures made from the calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Basically a coral reef is a colony of tiny living marine animals. Generally you'll find the majority of reefs are created from stony corals, because they seem to cluster into groups more so than any others. They consist of polyps, which are kind of like tiny sea anemones. You'll notice that coral reefs such as those at The Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia grow in warm, clear, sunny and shallow waters.
The annual global economic value of coral reefs has been estimated not too long ago at $375 billion (source: http://www.hepca.com/research/projec...survey-project), because they deliver services such as tourism to their areas, shoreline protection and fisheries. Oh yes, they are big business, and in desperate need of protection in the wild. They're sensitive to changes in temperature. And what with global warming heating up the seas over time, it's no wonder many of us have taken to growing them in our own homes.
At least in our homes we can control the temperatures.