When it comes to aquascaping a reef aquarium with beautiful corals, Gorgonians are the most ignored ones even though they are an important part of the ecosystem. Also, the Gorgonians not only filter the water they live in, but they also offer sanctuary for your aquarium fish. Not to mention that they enhance the beauty of your tank quite intensively.
If I try to dig into the reasons, people find it really hard to keep these Gorgonians, and most of the time they don’t understand how to take care of them. Honestly, it’s okay to get confused about this matter since you can’t find anything relatable on the internet.
So, in this article, I am going to discuss all the possible things you need to know about the Gorgonian coral care.
How To Select Gorgonian Coral?
Different species of these corals need different types of care. While you will get to see many attractive non-photosynthetic corals, the photosynthetic ones are the cheapest.
Anyway, whatever kind of Gorgonians you are going to get, make sure to get it from a reputable seller. Gorgonians aren’t very common in fish stores. So, you can find them only in big stores or from other hobbyists.
While selecting a gorgonian, always pick the ones with a good color along with polyp extension and that certainly doesn’t look grey. Grey or crumbly Gorgonians have dead or missing tissue in them. So, the first step to take good care of the Gorgonian corals is to select a healthy one that’s not already half-dead.
But what it’s worth, Gorgonians are very easy to maintain as they are already protected to a plug. Most Gorgonians get covered into frag plugs very quickly making it easy for you to place them in your aquarium.
How to Take Care Of Gorgonian Coral?
Now, there are a few things you will have to maintain in order to keep the Gorgonians healthy. Most of these tasks are really easy to do but some of them will require a little bit of your attention.
Each of the Gorgonian species has a certain natural habitat where they usually grow and come from. For example, the place photosynthetic Gorgonians come from is a shallow area in the Caribbean seas with strong tidal currents.
The first thing to do in order to keep these corals healthy and growing is giving them the same environment as their natural habitat. While recreating everything is not possible, you should at least try to manage the habitual water.
Good water flow is very important for these corals if you want to be successful with the whole Gorgonian care. There are some Gorgonians that let away a thin membrane layer to get rid of the algae or other irritants from their tissue.
So, sufficient water flow will help you to get rid of that mucus membrane while keeping a healthy environment in your aquarium. However, make sure that the water flow doesn’t get too much. That can be harmful to your corals too. So, try to keep the flow somewhere in the middle. Here are some reviews of great wave makers for reef tank.
One important fact you should know about the Gorgonians is that they can get seriously harmed if you place them leaning against a glass wall or any other kind of hard surface. This position hampers the flow in their tissue, causing them to get damaged.
You should always try to place them in an upright, self-supporting position that lets them be securely attached to a rock. Moreover, if you are getting photosynthetic Gorgonians, these prefer to be in contact with sufficient light.
Also, these Gorgonian corals can sometimes sting or damage their tissue if placed close to each other. It mostly happens because these corals are somewhat territorial and they can start a war with chemicals quite easily. So, it’s better if you place them distantly to avoid direct contact.
Selecting the Right Species:
You should know that there are a great number of species out there and not all of them can be taken care of by you. While there are Briareum, a kind that can grow in almost any kind of environment, Muriceopsis can be a great choice too.
Each of these species has some certain needs and preferred environment that you need to consider if you want them to be healthy. For example, the Briareum needs to be positioned upright while avoiding contact with the main rocks. Contacting with the main rocks might cause them to encrust onto them and become a little aggressive.
So, if you are getting these kinds of Gorgonians, you will have to keep these things in mind and try your best to place them in a comfortable position.
Lastly, comes a healthy diet for these corals. Generally, Gorgonian corals prefer to take food diets like Can O’ Cyclops which can give them a nice additional boosting. However, since they need constant feeding, you can get them a pod phyto combination.
Generally, the Gorgonians open up and spread their tentacles to hold small zooplankters mostly at night.
So, these are some of the ways you can follow for your Gorgonian coral care. Always remember to choose the Gorgonian coral that you can handle and take care of personally.