How To Stock Your Saltwater Reef


Do you know what a reef aquarium is? It’s an aquarium that emulates an underwater coral reef ecosystem, containing live corals and other sea animals that thrive in a coral reef environment.

A reef aquarium contains an amazing diversity of color and texture. These animals are sometimes called live rocks. They bring the mystery and spectacle of an undersea garden to homes, offices and shopping centers all over the world.

It’s Not About The Fish
With a reef aquarium system, it’s not about the fish. Instead, the focus of a reef aquarium is the lifestyle of the live corals and other invertebrates that inhabit the reef tank. A reef Danner Manufacturing aquarium at first looks like any other aquarium, and then you notice that there are no fish swimming around. Invertebrates take a little longer to notice.

These living creatures make up 97% of all the animals on the planet. The sea invertebrates that you may choose to invite into your aquarium tank include the Bryozoa. This tiny sea animal builds skeletons of calcium, like coral. They are also known as sea mats or moss animals. Bryozoa are found in blades of kelp, wood, rocks, shells and other hard substrates. The species is mostly immobile, but some colonies can creep around a bit.

Barnacles, crabs, and lobsters are all members of the crustacean family. More than 10,000,000 tons of crustaceans were produced and eaten by humans in 2005. Reef aquarium owners prize crustaceans for the appeal they add to a reef aquarium, not for their flavor or protein.

Snails are the most common members of the Mollusk family. They are members of the class Gastropoda and in their adult stage, they grow coiled shells. Snails live quite happily in a reef aquarium, and they add a lot of personality to a tank.

The ingredients you need to set up your reef aquarium can be found at any aquarium supply store. A good way to get started is to get a mix of seeded live rock, base rock, some mixed snails and some hermit crabs. Seeded rock will have two or more invertebrates growing on it, such as mushrooms or soft corals.

The best reef aquarium will have a great variety of colors on one rock. Aim for a combination of leather corals, green stars, brown stars, finger coral, zoanthids and mushrooms. In the right environment, these living rocks are easy to propagate, and the beginner can grow a spectacular underground garden, even in a small reef aquarium.