Gorgonians and Sea Fan Requirements
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Q. I have a saltwater reef aquarium and I'm interested in adding a few gorgonians and sea fans to the system. What special requirements do these corals require?
 
A. The sea fans and gorgonians are an excellent addition to any reef aquarium. They are available in many different colors and shapes, making them useful in adding diversity to the reef aquarium.

Because all of the gorgonians and sea fans are filter feeders, they require either constant or intermittent strong, direct water current in order to receive the necessary nutrition from the water. Place them in an area of the aquarium that features a high water flow. If a suitable position isn't available, the use of a small power head within the aquarium can meet these needs. Supplementary feeding should be offered to these corals a few times per week. Use a quality invertebrate food such as MarineSnow or Phyto Plan. Other suitable foods include Phytoplex Phytoplankton, Chromaplex Phytoplankton, Plancto, Micro-Vert, and Selcon. When feeding, introduce the food into the current just above where the gorgonian or sea fan is located. This will maximize the amount of food that the coral receives.

Many of these corals are also photosynthetic and require different intensities of light to thrive. Research the needs of the specific coral that you plan to incorporate into the system and use that information to determine the placement in the aquarium.

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