Maricultured vs Aquacultured vs Wild Collected: Which do you prefer?

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Maricultured vs Aquacultured vs Wild Collected Corals: Which do you prefer?

  • Maricultured

    Votes: 55 11.3%
  • Aquacultured

    Votes: 416 85.6%
  • Wild Collected

    Votes: 15 3.1%

  • Total voters
    486

igord

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Aquacultured corals are my favorite by far, those are hardy, arguably bring a smaller chance to get pests, and are less likely to undergo a total color change after they are introduced to the tank.
 

Dolphins18

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From a survivability stand point, aquaculture corals are far easier to take care of, with maricultured ultimately also being easier than wild collected. With aquaculture, you know exactly what you are getting, how it will color up in most tanks, and how easy it is to care for.
I personally love getting that wild collected acro that could start out brown and end up even more brown, or that one that starts out brown and colors up like a WD. You never really know how different wild collected corals (acros in particular) will color up in our tanks, and I enjoy watching that. The downside is that wild ones are much harder to acclimate, and often take a bit longer to begin growing.

Great topic :)

EDIT: From a sustainability standpoint, aquaculture is hands down the most sustainable with ocean collected coming in last. With that being said, Ocean collected pieces wont be a thing forever, in my mind the more varieties we can remove from the ocean and care for in a closed environment the better. If climate does kill many of the corals in the ocean, wouldn't it be better to have more species in aquaculture?
 
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Afagard77

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Aquaculture for home tanks. We need to stop taking directly from the ocean. I love the idea of maricultured, we should be doing more of it to try and repopulate the corals that have already been harvested from the ocean as well as destroyed from pollution and rising water temps.
 

ScottB

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I really only buy acropora anymore so that is the context.

I don't really have the space to experiment with wild or maricultured acropora. Lets be honest, most aren't going to color up like the PROVEN aquacultured pieces. I prefer to know:

a) The piece is proven to survive in captivity
b) I know what the colony is going to look like in terms of shape and color

Yes, I pay a large premium to an aquaculturalist, but I know what I am getting. I am also less likely to introduce pests (or pest eggs) that way too.
 

Drendo

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I understand that in order to have aquaculture corals, there has to be wild caught or mariculture to start with. Personally, no coral will go into my tank that is not aquacultured for so many reasons, from ethics, to success rate to decreased pest risk.
 

bnord

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For the future of our hobby, and the industries that support it, we MUST continue to move toward aquacultured - for the obvious reasons including the colonies are so much more resilient when added to a new tank.

Mariculture surely has its place and from an impact on the environment has the advantage of supporting a local base that becomes attuned to the needs of the local environment/water quality etc (unless someone with more observational knowledge can refute that). Also from the tank’s perspective it can be like adding a little piece of live rock (after you go through quarantine (grimace emoji)

Live collected is the “wild card” and although i have not yet added any flashy scolys to my tank, its something i am willing to give up in place of not knowing from where it was collected, how it was collected and what impact it will have on the local habitat. We have all seen the studies conducted on the Hawaiian fisheries and I for one have become convinced this is a sustainable harvest and hope i can again see an affordable Potter’s. Would need to know this same level of scrutiny had been applied to other regions/habitats before i can add a wild collected piece to my tank.

Of course that’s just my opinion and i could be wrong
 
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bnord

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From a survivability stand point, aquaculture corals are far easier to take care of, with maricultured ultimately also being easier than wild collected. With aquaculture, you know exactly what you are getting, how it will color up in most tanks, and how easy it is to care for.
I personally love getting that wild collected acro that could start out brown and end up even more brown, or that one that starts out brown and colors up like a WD. You never really know how different wild collected corals (acros in particular) will color up in our tanks, and I enjoy watching that. The downside is that wild ones are much harder to acclimate, and often take a bit longer to begin growing.

Great topic :)

EDIT: From a sustainability standpoint, aquaculture is hands down the most sustainable with ocean collected coming in last. With that being said, Ocean collected pieces wont be a thing forever, in my mind the more varieties we can remove from the ocean and care for in a closed environment the better. If climate does kill many of the corals in the ocean, wouldn't it be better to have more species in aquaculture?
To your last point, certainly there is a sense of a “wild life Ark” impact of environmental strains on the environment. I for one try to donate to Florida University programs targeting coral recovery, propagation and repopulating. - just as a way to give back to the environment we all try to emulate with our builds. And by the way, have a few pieces of blue ridge flourishing in my tank.
But to say, (and i know that’s not what you are saying) “hurry up and collect it to save it before it’s gone“ is wrong, and we need to ensure that we support the experts in this regard too.
 
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nicksreefs

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Well aquacultured - these are the hardiest and most likely to thrive in the home aquarium. That said all 3 have their place…

1. Wild collected (let’s face it this is where new corals come from)- fine if ethically sourced and used to feed a local… (see point 2)

2. mariculture- as long as grown local to the indigenous area the wild specimen is collected from and unsold specimens are used to reseed dead areas (caused by mankind) great… grow reproduce the sell to point 3 NOT to you and me at home! (Yet)

3. aquaculture - should be a mix of propagating known hardy, aquarium safe colonies for you and me. Aquaculturists should also be the ones who take in new colonies that have been maricultured and when established introduce these to the lfs… and thus into our tanks

best if the above order was followed strictly, then wild catch would drop but still exist allowing for local fishing communities to continue to exist. At the same time reducing pressure on the reefs… allowing for more natural growth, leading to more diversity ( or sexy new corals eventually) and as they’ve been passed through Mari then Aqua these corals would most likely thrive when they get to you and me

Just a thought….
 

Glenner’sreef

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So, I got into it with a fellow hobbyist, don’t get me wrong we were both on the same page. But my point was with the financial leverage that the United States has around the world, we could “easily” clean up the oceans and coastlines everywhere. Every country with a coast would receive some financial assistance in ways of their choice if they would help monitor these fragile areas. Stop polluting, stop dumping, stop over harvesting etc. etc. Money talks. It talks to everyone. And like everything else, it just needs to be made a priority. Until then, we are privileged to hopefully go on discussing these 3 options.
1. aquaculture.
 

wolfthefallen

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Maricultured vs Aquaculterd.. I would go with either. They both have their benefits and downsides, eitherway we need to grow more coral for sale in both ways. It is better then harvesting mainly wild caught corals. In addition with the loss of a lot of reefs over the past few years, having enough companies focusing on growing out coral in the sea and in tanks it provides us a chance of always trying to bring the reefs back.
 

Seascapes

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Thanks to @Dolphins18 for the QOTD idea!

When it comes to corals there are three terms we use to label them. Maricultured, Aquacultured, and Wild Collected. The following definitions will vary somewhat but this is in my terms!

Maricultured - Corals that are grown from frags of wild colonies but are grown within the ocean in a controlled environment.
Aquacultured - Corals that have been grown out in captivity for an extended amount of time and have adapted to captivity.
Wild Collected - Corals collected straight from the ocean and then shipped to suppliers.

So let's talk about it!

1. Maricultured vs Aquacultured vs Wild Collected: Which do you prefer and why?

2. How do you take the proper steps to ensure your getting the type of coral you prefer?

3. What are some advantages and disadvantages of these three types of coral?


dsc00108-980x735.jpg

Coral mariculture at the Eilat’s mid-water floating nursery (10 m depth): new colonies are generated from small fragments (left in the photo) and reared until developed to large colonies ready for transplantation (right). Photo © Y. Horoszowski-Fridman
So far I've tried all three and have not had the stability to keep SPS successfully. My recent SPS was wild caught and its doing terribly. I think I'm going to stick with Aquacultured so I have some idea what it's going to look like and I can somewhat mirror the parameters it came from. With wild caught and maricultured it's a crap shoot if it will live or what colors they will maintain in the reef aquarium.
 

mdb_talon

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Where can one even buy wild colonies? Outside of the Florida keys softies I would imagine it’s hard to come past wild colonies in the hobby.

There is still a huge industry for collecting wild colonies. Some types of coral are almost all "wild" because it is too hard or too costly to aquaculture/mariculture them. Even with the stuff that can be aquacultured/maricultured there is still a lot of wild collection.
 

hart24601

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I prefer aquacultured for sps - for the many reason listed. You know they do well and know what they will look like (generally).

Mari for sps tend to be hit and miss if they will color up in aquariums and historically the bases have been havens for pests. Slightly tougher than wild but it varies.

However this conversation is quite different with lps. Many grow so slow it’s very hard to find many lps aqauacultured. Some do exist but most are still wild. How many aquacultured elegance coral are sold for example? Even maricultured lps are hard to find. I hope it changes in the future but we will see.
 

ReefEco

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Aquacultured, for the already mentioned reasons of hardiness, likely fewer pests (though can vary), and in general they are proven and selected for aquarium life. And of course they are sustainable and don't impact wild reefs. I'm very surprised by the vote tally thus far, given the overwhleming preference for aquacultured. That would lead me to believe that many people think they are buying aquacultured when they are really buying chop-shopped wild colonies that they think because they are on a frag disk, they are aquacultured. I basically grill any vendor I buy from and only buy a minimum of 3rd generation aquacultured frags - you would be surprised how may of the large vendors can't commit to even this minimum specification. And many "aquaculture" facilities and "coral farms" who brand themselves as such still import wild and chop up wild colonies to meet demand. Hopefully if people simply ask, and we get more transparency from vendors, we'll be able to actually rely on something labeled as aquacultured...
 

mdb_talon

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I'm very surprised by the vote tally thus far, given the overwhleming preference for aquacultured. That would lead me to believe that many people think they are buying aquacultured when they are really buying chop-shopped wild colonies that they think because they are on a frag disk, they are aquacultured.

You may be right, but imagine a lot of it is also about money and effort invovled. I mean if you ask me what car I prefer I may tell you the one that is $200k and I am going to have to do some research and look around a lot to find it. I may just buy the easily accessible one for $50k less that is easily available.... even though not the one I prefer.
 
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