From above, corals look like rocks… but they are really very fragile and beautiful animals. Yes, they are alive! Corals do not make their own food like plants. They have tiny tentacle-like arms that they use to capture their food from the water and sweep into their mouths. Most reef-building corals contain photosynthetic algae, called zooxanthellae, that live in their tissues. The corals and algae have a symbiotic relationship. The coral provides the algae with a home, and in return, the algae help feed the coral
Healthy coral reefs are one of the most valuable ecosystems on Earth. However, coral ecosystems face serious threats, mainly from the effects of global climate change, unsustainable fishing and land-based pollution.
By propagating our own corals here at the aquarium, we avoid harvesting these precious creatures from the ocean. The conditions of our exhibits, water chemistry, and lighting, promote coral growth and keep them vibrant, healthy, and beautiful!