Wild vs captive coral growth

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by deadmeat2016, 7 Mar 2013.

  1. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    Hi all,

    Is it safe to say that corals grow quicker in a captive environment(in our tanks) than in the wild?

    Or do they grow quicker in the wild?
     
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  3. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I would go with faster in captivity, no predators, rough seas etc
     
  4. Perky Pets

    Perky Pets Sponsor

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    Ide say in the ocean - perfect water conditions and predators are part of the ecosystem...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 7 Mar 2013
  5. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Thread Starter Wouter

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    don't u mean predators?
    and the lighting.....how does the sun compare to our artificial light?
     
  6. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Our lights dont even come close!!!
    Sps corals can grow up to a depth of around 30ish meters under sun power...
    A 150w mh cant even penetrate enough into 1m of water to grow sps...
    Major difference!!!
     
  7. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Thread Starter Wouter

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    Ok, fair enough, but the question still stands, do they grow faster in the wild?
     
  8. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    I would personally say faster in the ocean if you take the same coral at the same depth in the tank & ocean...
    The second thing is stability of all ocean parameters!
    Definitely faster in the ocean!
     
  9. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    ;-)
     
    Last edited: 7 Mar 2013
  10. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Thread Starter Wouter

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    ok, have come to the conclusion, when one thinks of a coral in the wild, its usually huge compared to tank specimens, ok
    Think of an acro the size of a table, to provide constant calcium conc and stability in a closed system, one would require intense calcium dosing, light and foods, in the ocean this is not a problem but in a closed system growth would be limited by a limiting factor, so to conclude, it depends on the size of the colony.....
    In a captive system, a small colony will be better looked after than in the ocean but will be limited in size, does this make sense?
    Still comming to more conclusions as i don't think its a simple yes or no.....
     
  11. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Yes, it makes sense to a certain extent.
    The only thing that we can do better in a tank than the ocean is that we can increase calcium, alkalinity, magnesium & strontium (growing factors in stony corals) to higher levels than the ocean which would have some effect on growth rate, but their main growing factor remains light.
    Which is the one thing weare still limited on in my opinion! (Unless you can have a full blown sunlit reeftank like adee!)
     
  12. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Thread Starter Wouter

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    hehehe adee is cheating :) I'm just jealous ;)
    but yes i hope that makes sense, even though we can add those chemicals, there is always the funny things we don't add like rubidium, tantalum, silver and even gold, these however arent really limiting factors.
    I hope I'm at least getting u to scratch ur heads a bit :)
     
  13. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Lol, come with me on my next diving trip to the red sea & you will be the one scrarching your head.
    I have dived all over... But the red sea amazes me beyond belief!
    Every single coral is MASSIVE!! & extremely happy!!!
    The most amazing underwater place i have seen is close to ras mohammad in the RS. There is a magnifica anemone colony of approx 150m x 100m with a couple thousand anemones & probably a couple million clownfish. Lol
     
    Last edited: 7 Mar 2013
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  14. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Thread Starter Wouter

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    Yes! yes! :) thats exactly what i was picturing, have been there and saw minibus sized corals! 'ras mohammed' and 'anemone valley' but they simply cannot get that big in a captive system in one lifetime, when they reach a certain size, one cannot supply the chemicals fast enough to keep growth constant at that size.
    Whereas if a little piece broke off, it would survive better in captivity than in the wild due to environmental factors.

    Geologically the red sea is rather unique, being part of a triple junction rift of tectonic plates, the influx of chemicals is tremendous, especially magnesium and calcium from the bi-modal volcanism generated under rift conditions. There is simply no man made chemical reactor large or diverse enough to supply all the chemicals required in a closed system to cause such growth on that large a scale.

    Soooooo, while we can get smaller coral colonies to grow rapidly in our tanks, when they reach a certain size, we simply cannot keep up, thereby size being the limiting factor mainly. What else though?
     
  15. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Dude.... Everything in the ocean is a better factor for growth!!!
    Ocean has:
    Best wavemaker
    Best calcium reactor
    Best light unit
    Best constant supply of all planctons
    Best clean up crew
    Best skimmer
    Best denitrator
    Best algae scrubber
    Best mechanical filter
    Best DSB
    Best chemical addatives
    Best liverock
    Best everything!!!
    What more need i say!
     
    Last edited: 8 Mar 2013
  16. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    Tagging
     
  17. JS

    JS

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    The wild....perfect water conditions and it stays stable! :) I was fortunate enough to see a small coral propagation garden on a dive trip, and exactly 6 months later the same spot.....and the growth was out of this world....have never seen growth like that in a tank.
     
  18. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Why does everyone assume that the seawater parameters are stable? true, they might not swing as much as those in a small tank, but the parameters do fluctuate.
     
  19. JS

    JS

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    I am not assuming anything....;) I cant speak for all the reefs in the oceans, but have seen data from were my cousin is doing his research in Aus...and while there is fluctuation.....its not nearly as much as what we see in tanks.

    Plotting data on X Bar & R chart it almost never moves out of control limits. :)

    Also, what was interesting to see, as what everyone always states as "optimal water parameters" was not close to the params they observe. That said the spot stays "stable" on the params they observed...and the corals are thriving.


    LOL, just my 2c....I try to keep my tank as stable as possible...and it seems to work...and when something does change (like a couple of nights ago, my top up got stuck again) one can imidiatly see the corals sulk...so hence again...something deviated in their "stable" home...causing them to sulk?

    I might be completly wrong....but I think stability is key....
     
  20. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Yes they do @459b. Nobody said it didnt fluctuate, but compared to what we have in our tanks, it is magnitudes more than the ocean.
    The only thing that i can personally say is more stable in our tanks is the temperature.
    I have been on dives where the temperature varied from 20 - 25 degrees in a 50min timespan (logged on my dive computer).
    & there is definitely places where salinity is also lower & higher, but that stays constant in the area!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  21. Gesiggie

    Gesiggie Challenge accepted

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    Did this not go hand in hand with depth? I have never found temp changes on a dive at same depth, although you can find that fluctuation between 10m and 30m. But then again, at those different depths, you would probably find different types of organisms.
     
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