The process of using low voltage electrical current to enhance the deposition of calcium carbonate is known as Mineral Accretion Technology (MAT). The technology has been used extensively on an experimental scale throughout the world but at least one reef in Bali has seen a significant amount of coral growth accelerated by the application of electrical current to it’s steel supporting structure. The MAT project in the North West of Bali dubbed Biorock is the brainchild of coral reef ecology scientist Thomas Goreau. Once nearly devestated by coral bleaching and dynamite fishing, the corals growing on the Biorock reef deposit calcium at nearly 3-5 times faster than corals which are unaided by electricity. As far as we know MAT has not yet been applied to the culture of corals for aquarium use but with legions of DIYers in the marine aquarium hobby, we imagine it’s only a matter of time before we read about it in Advanced Aquarist magazine. Photo of the Biorock reef by Corinne Bourbeillon.
Jake Adams has been an avid marine aquarist since the mid 90s and has worked in the retail side of the marine aquarium trade for more than ten years. He has a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and has been the managing editor of ReefBuilders.com since 2008. Jake is interested in every facet of the marine aquarium hobby from the concepts to the technology, rare fish to exotic corals, and his interests are well documented through a very prolific career of speaking to reef clubs and marine aquarium events, and writing articles for aquarium publications across the globe. His primary interest is in corals which Jake pursues in the aquarium hobby as well as diving the coral reefs of the world.