Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Are Coral Reef Aquariums Difficult to Keep?

by Handy Mag
Published: Updated:

by Duncan Lister, Yorkshire Reefs

One of the most common concerns I hear from people interested in starting their own coral reef aquariums is that they will be difficult to maintain. While this most certainly was true when I started working with them 20 years ago, it is no longer the case. The main goal for any reef-keeper is to mimic the conditions of a natural coral reef; intense tropical sunlight, chaotic water movement, and pristine water quality. Advancements in technology, as well as a much deeper understanding of coral husbandry over the last 25 years has not only made this achievable, but relatively straightforward even for newcomers to the hobby.


One of the most important advancements in recent years is the development of low wattage, high output LED lighting. These can now mimic the exact intensity and colour spectrum of sunlight as it filters though clear saltwater, giving corals the light they need straight out of the box.


Specialised pumps known as “wavemakers” can replicate how water moves on a reef. These pumps speed up and slow down throughout the day, creating the same unpredictable flow patterns found in nature. They can even be programmed to mimic different reef environments, such as high energy reef crests or calmer lagoons – all controlled from your phone!

Water Quality

Reproducing the water quality found on a coral reef can be one of the biggest challenges in keeping reef aquariums. However, advancements in filtration equipment , along with the availability of filtered reverse-osmosis water have simplified the process and made high quality water easy to achieve.


It is now possible to fully automate almost all aspects of a reef aquarium. Smart Testers can automatically test and adjust your water parameters, taking away much of the guess work and leaving you with more time to enjoy your aquarium. We can even manage your aquarium’s water remotely.

Here at Yorkshire Reefs, we want to help you make your reef aquarium as amazing as possible. We offer installations, maintenance and consultations, and are always on hand to answer any questions or solve any problems. If you are interested in seeing how a reef aquarium works, please visit us at our Malton showroom, where you will always receive a warm welcome.

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