This article will explain “what do corals eat” and it will also give you an idea of how to care for corals in an aquarium.
What does coral eat in their natural habitat?
We all know that corals are widely dependent on the light to survive. However, there are various foods that corals also feed themselves into so that they can provide the nutrients that their body needs. Here are the most common foods that corals consume in their natural habitat.
Water-borne plants or algae. Most of the coral consume water-borne plants such as algae, phytoplankton, invertebrate larvae, floating plankton, and detritus. These water-borne plants provide the nutrients that the corals need to survive.
Bacterioplankton, which consists of free-living bacteria is also one of the primary sources of food for corals. Pseudoplankton, on the other hand, is made out of floating eggs, detritus, and other materials.
Smaller fishes. You may be surprised, but there are some coral-eating fish out there. These corals are huge that obviously have larger polyps as well. The best examples of these kinds of corals are Catalaphyllia and Cynarina.
Most corals will depend on the size of the food that they are going to eat rather than the composition of nutrients that they can get. Now that you know what do corals eat, let’s talk about the predators that eat corals.
What animals feed on corals?
These are the following that you should not put inside of your tank as it poses a dangerous threat to your coral reefs.
Coral-eating worm. Unfortunately, parasitic worms such as Amakusaplana Acropora can damage coral reefs. In fact, these worms can quickly wipe out the coral reefs in your tank in a limited period only.
What’s alarming is that you cannot notice it immediately especially if it sits on the staghorn coral Acropora because it can easily blend in with its surroundings.
If you see green fluorescent protein pigments glowing in your coral reefs, it could be a dangerous sign that the worms are consuming your coral reefs.
Coral-eating nudibranch. Another one is the nudibranch. Coral-eating nudibranch such as Phestilla can wipe out up to 10 square inches in just a single day.
You will know if there is nudibranch existence in your tank because of the poor coral polyp expansion and discoloration of the reefs as well. Always keep in mind that corals that had been attacked by the nudibranchs will only last for a couple of days before it will completely die.
Therefore, if you notice some bare skeletons in the patches, you might want to scrutinize it because there could be nudibranch existing that you do not even know and the females will soon start invading your tank by spreading hundreds of eggs in just a single day.
This guide can help you choose the foods that coral reef eat. It is beneficial for those who have live coral reefs in their aquariums. Corals are wonderful sight underwater, so if you’ve decided that you are going to take care of a few together with some fishes, you should make sure that both the fish and the corals are healthy for a more exciting and fun experience.
No one ever wanted to wake up and find their coral reefs dying inside the tank because of carelessness.