False Coral decorations can really brighten up the background of any FOWLR (fish only with live rock) aquarium or quarantine system. Whether your pets like to eat your corals or you do not want the extra maintenance of a reef tank, artificial decorations add scenery to your tank without the problems that can come up with corals.
There are three common types of decorations available in the hobby: dead coral, single decorations, and coral inserts. The single coral decorations such as false coral, castles, skulls, etc. are usually found at larger pet corporations such as Petco. The dead coral can be easily obtained from your local fish store or craigslist; the coral inserts, since they are usually custom made, will most likely have to be ordered from your local fish store.
Dead coral shows the beautiful intricate skeletons of the once living animal. They make great homes for small fish and you are not limited to just corals, you can use just about anything with a calcium carbonate skeleton including clam shells and barnacles. But we strongly encourage you to use replica or artificial coral reproductions whenever possible,
The skeleton can be rinsed if it appears to have loose particles in the crevices but there is no need for any soaking or meticulous cleaning. Some shells that are not porous, such as barnacle shells, may create dead spots since the water current cannot move through them.
Single coral decorations add color to your tank and they are easy to maintain. Unlike coral inserts, you can easily take them out of your tank to soak once they are covered with algae. Be sure that they are painted with ingredients that are safe for your tank.
Coral inserts are a great way to imitate a natural-looking reef; the corals and rock are mounted together as if the corals were growing together. They usually are custom fit around overflows and other areas of the tank; this is a common look for many business.
Artificial decorations provide homes for fish and invertebrates and can create a picturesque aquascape. They bring your aquarium to life without the risk of delicate corals.