Mark Martin on Acclimating Coral
Mark is the Director of Marine Animal Research at Blue Zoo
At Blue Zoo, we recommend that all new coral specimens be temperature acclimated and then quarantined in a quarantine tank for a period of two weeks. During this time, look for any signs of visible parasites like red bugs, fungus, bacteria and protozoans. In the event that you observe any of these things, or if there is a lack of polyp extension after several days, then you will want to treat the coral with a dip.
My dip of choice is Lugols, and I like to use it in conjunction with peroxide (4-percent dilution, which is the common dilution you find in stores). The peroxide is great for breaking down the slime coating the corals produce, and it makes the iodine dip much more effective. Otherwise, the iodine may not penetrate the slime. After quarantine, the coral should be moved to the display aquarium.
All new coral should also be light acclimated. To do this, either begin by placing the coral low in the tank and gradually move it up to its final position, or affix the coral in its final position and use layers of plastic screening between the coral and the light to gradually light acclimate the animal. For more detail, see my article on light acclimating coral.
Have a question for Mark? Please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published 13 Feb 2009. © Blue Zoo Aquatics