Giving the gift of coral is an idea that is sure to bring a big smile to your loved one's face. It's an idea that you can totally pull off! Here are some tips to help your gifting of live coral be a success.
1) Do spend what you can afford but remember that these animals are often coming from all over the world to your home aquarium and it can absolutely be pricy. Look up the shipping costs too and consider that when choosing your budget.
2) Don't Ever. Ever ever ever ...put the corals in someone else's tank without their knowledge or absolute trust. Corals should always be cleaned and inspected before being added to your reef. Adding a bad hitchhiker could lead to ...let's say unhappiness, and placement of corals is more complicated as well. You might want to let the recipient of the gift coral handle these choices. Trust us on this one. They will probably insist on adding the corals themselves.
3) Do: If you ordered corals for someone as a gift we highly recommend opening the box immediately upon arrival and inspecting the corals to see that they have all arrived alive. Keep the corals in their bags and look for cloudiness of the water or other signs of problems. Refer to the business on what their "dead on arrival" policies are and know their policy before the package arrives.
4) Don't: Leave corals outdoors, on a heater or in direct sunlight. Corals are sensitive to temperature and will do best as close to 74-80 degrees as possible. If they get too hot (above 84F?) the could die. If they get too cold (below 60F?) they could die.
5) Do: Before you order look at their reef tank and compare what is available online with photos of what your gift recipient already has. Try to order different types and colors that they don't have a lot of. If you find it hard to choose you could consider a gift card!
Have other ideas to help with our list of Do's and Don'ts? Please comment below!
Brian Hale has enjoyed 25+ years of dedicated involvement in the reefing community. His commitment to research and extensive hands-on experience makes him an invaluable source of expertise within the reefing hobby.