A marine organism, corals exist as small sea anemone and are part of the anthozoa class. Corals, like any other organisms, require food for survival and tolerate only certain environments and conditions. If specific conditions are not met, they can falter and die. For instance, corals tolerate a temperature range of only 25 to 29 degrees Celsius.
Corals do not photosynthesis but rely on a symbiotic relationship with the organisms called zooxanthellae (microscopic algae) which live inside the tissue of many corals, and whose photosynthesizing capability give the corals their colour pigment. Corals are very sensitive to their environment and once subjected to pressure and stress, they tend to expel zooxanthelle out of their tissue. Once this happens, the corals whitish skeleton is exposed and they are no longer able to benefit from their symbiotic relationship and can, as a result, die.
Any actions or behaviour that can subject corals to stress must be avoided. Otherwise your corals may become extinct in your saltwater aquarium. This is a bit off the subject but very important! Do you know the main reason why many corals are dying in their natural environments? It is due to the continuing increase in global temperatures. Temperature changes subject corals to great stress and is the leading cause of coral bleaching. As nature lovers, we need to prevent the death of corals by preventing this problem. Any activities that cause global warming must be greatly reduced or stopped! Air pollution caused by certain industries and the disposal of improperly treated or untreated industrial waste into our oceans must be strictly monitored and restricted at all costs.
Drastic changes in water chemical composition can also lead to great stress of corals. Such water chemical imbalances are caused mainly by the disposal of toxins (including oil) into the water, some of which reduce the oxygen content and disturb the water pH by increasing or reducing ammonia, nitrates or phosphates to levels which are intolerable to corals.
People must also avoid overfishing the seas and lakes as this leads to a decline in zooplankton and eventually to starvation of corals.
If corals are kept in an aquarium, the aquarium environment must be closely monitored and controlled to avoid dying corals. Stress igniting conditions such as temperature changes must be monitored and measures must be taken to keep temperatures within acceptable levels in the aquarium.
Aquarists must also avoid overstocking their aquariums with corals, as they can sting each other and die. Overstocking aquariums also perpetuates pressure on corals and can promote coral bleaching. In order to avoid dying corals, pH levels must be controlled and monitored regularly in your aquarium tanks. If people are dedicated to creating and maintain an environment conducive for the corals, then dying corals can be avoided, and thriving corals can be promoted.