Around four months ago we reported on a batch of Caribbean Stony corals which were rescued from the advancement of a terrible disease, and entrusted to a Denver area institution called the Butterfly Pavilion. When we first saw these corals for ourselves they were fresh out of quarantine, skinny and pale, and had been in their exhibit for less than 24 hours, but seemed to begin settling into their new home display.
Boy has the world changed since that initial video and despite fur-lows, shutdowns and all around general uncertainty, lead aquarist Sara Stevens has transformed these refugee corals into stunningly healthy aquarium specimens. Within moments of revisiting the dozen and half colonies of Caribbean corals we were floored by how the various species responded to being in an aquarium in Colorado, thousands of miles from their original home.
The unique three tiered aquarium these corals are in offers an interesting opportunity to place these corals at different depths and flow regimes, and is a practical solution to managing the environmental gradient of this tank. We’re still planning to participate in a future revamp of the aquarium equipment in a ‘pimp my reef tank’ style video, but there’s no question that the current equipment is satisfying the basic light, flow, and filtration needs of this aquarium.
Sara Stevens has been an active member of the local marine and reef aquarium community for many years so we’ve had nothing but faith in her abilities to rehabilitate these precious Caribbean corals. By providing these Montastrea, Eusmilia, Mycetophyllia and Orbicella corals with a good foundation of aquarium care, nothing extraordinary except her attention to detail and copious spot feedings, these once ‘bony’ corals from the Florida Reef Tract Rescue Project are now the poster children for how these corals can thrive in captive care.