anemones (Ceriantharia), corallimorphs (Corallimor-
pharia), zoanthids (Zoanthidea), sea pens (Pennatula-
cea), stolon corals (Stolonifera) and blue corals (He-
lioporacea). Although describing their feeding habits is
beyond the scope of this article, their diet resembles that
of the coral taxa described. In the end, the main conclu-
sion we can draw from all of this is that fed corals truly
are happy corals! If you keep these amazing creatures in
your home aquarium, think of their needs and supply
them with a rich variety of feeds and sufficient lighting.
As a direct result from feeding, dissolved molecules such
as ammonia, nitrate, phosphate and amino acids gener-
ally are present in aquaria in adequate concentrations.
Make sure water quality remains high by keeping these
concentrations in check. When all of these criteria are
met, corals will reward you with proper growth and
on occasion, offspring.
Tim Wijgerde is the founder of Coral Science.org in Belgium. His
first installment in this series appeared in CORAL, September/
October 2010. Visit: http://www.coralscience.org
Coma, R., Gili, J.-M., Zabala, M. & Riera, T. Feeding and prey
capture cycles in the aposymbiontic gorgonian
Paramuricea clavata. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 115,
Houlbrèque, F., C. Ferrier-Pagès, 2009.
Heterotrophy in tropical scleractinian corals,
Biological Reviews 84: 1-17 and references
Gori, A., Linares, C., Rossi, S., Coma, R. & Gili,
J.-M. Spatial variability in reproductive cycle
of the gorgonians Paramuricea clavata and
Eunicella singularis (Anthozoa, Octocorallia) in
the western Mediterranean Sea. Mar. Biol. 151,
Grover, R., J.F. Maguer, 2002. Uptake of
ammonium by the scleractinian coral
Stylophora pistillata: Effect of feeding, light and
ammonium concentrations. Limnol. Oceanogr.
Furla, P., I. Galgani, I. Durand and D. Allemand,
2000. Sources and mechanisms of inorganic
carbon transport for coral calcification and
photosynthesis, Journal of Experimental
Lavorano, S., C. Gili, C. Muti, D. Corsino, M.
Taruffi and G. Gnone. The CORALZOO project
- preliminary results of the evaluation of
different types and concentration of food
on the growth of Pocillopora damicornis
comparing diurnal and nocturnal feeding.
Chapter 3 in: Leewis, R.J. and M. Janse (editors)
2008. Advances in Coral Husbandry in Public
Aquariums. Public Aquarium Husbandry
Series, Volume 2. Burgers’ Zoo, Arnhem, The
Osinga, R., T. Wijgerde, F. Charko, J. Verreth, D.
Grymonpré and S. Lavorano, 2008. Feeding
corals in captivity; the role of prey type and
prey concentration, 11th International Coral
Reef Symposium, Fort Lauderdale, USA.
Ribes, M., Coma, R. & Gili, J.-M. Heterogenous
feeding in benthic suspension feeders: the
natural diet and grazing rate of the temperate
gorgonian Paramuricea clavata (Cnidaria:
Octocorallia) over a year cycle. Mar. Ecol. Prog.
Ser. 183, 125-137 (1999).
Ribes, M., Coma, R. & Gili, J. M. Heterotrophic
feeding by gorgonian corals with symbiotic
zooxanthellae. Limnol. Oceanogr. 43, 1170-
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