Marine living corals are the Reef’s backbone. They provide habitats for fish, invertebrates and other sea life. On the other hand, intervertebral corals are the foundation of reefs. They are spongy, slimy and flexible and are found in shallow water layers. There are two basic types of coral reefs: soft and hard. Soft corals act as organic building blocks for the Reef as they form when reef colonies grow together as large lumps of calcium carbonate called exoskeletons. The hard coral reefs are composed of numerous small groups of coral bones or exoskeletons which are not connected to each other. These hard coral reefs are most commonly found in tropical waters around shores. These types of coral reefs are less productive than the soft coral reefs and need more care and attention.
Some of the best known hardy corals are the Acropora, Blue-green algae (which includes filamentous forms like plankton), the Anemone, Black sponge, Blowflyfish, Chlorophyllum, Common Goldfish, Cockscomb, Corals like the Elkhorn coral, the Moonflower, the Iris coral, the Moon Pearl, the Rose of Sharon, Sponges, Squama, Trachyphyllia, and the Watermarks. The Acropora is considered to be one of the world’s strongest reefs. In the Great Barrier Reef, the Acropora is ranked as the fourth strongest reef system. The Acropora is the largest single species of its genus.
The Anemone is a small, roundish, shallow-green organism that grows in freshwaters. It is a symbiotic parasite of marine anemones. Some species of this table coral are so crowded together that the tentacles of a Staghorn coral cannot reach out to feed them. If you have an Anemone aquarium, be sure to remove any unnecessary fish. The tentacles of a Staghorn coral can wrap around your finger and get trapped if there are too many fishes in the tank.
There are several other types of corals in the sea that are not very well known. Some of these types are the Blue-green algae, Black sponge, Blowflyfish, Corals like the Elkhorn coral, the Anemone, Common goldfish, Cockscomb, Corals like the Moon flower, the Iris coral, and the Watermarks. Some of these corals live in groups called “asterisks”. Some of these types are only available in aquariums where there are other reef organisms. This makes it important for reef owners to know what types of corals they should include in their marine aquarium. Many people who go on cruises and vacation packages know nothing about the marine life they will see when they visit different types of reefs. One type of coral that is common in most seas around the world is the Anemone. They do not grow very large and do not reach a size of more than two inches. Some varieties have a white face while others have a gray or black face. They usually look like small jellyfish.
There are different types of Anemones such as the Passiflora, Diagenetic Anemone, Picea, Sponda, Rutilanthe, Chlorophyllum and the Passiflora alboreta.
Another very common type of corals are the soft corals. These types of corals do not grow very large and can reach a length of about one inch. These types of coral are part of the plankton community. Soft corals usually contain a symbiotic algae called Plankton which are actually plants that live in the ocean. There are different types of soft corals such as the SPS and Colchicola.
In addition to the types of corals mentioned above there are many other types of coral that make up a great deal of the marine life in coastal areas. These types of coral are called hard corals and consist of the common coral polyps that provide protection from ships. Some types of hard corals include the Helix Aspersa, GoldenSeal, Brain coral elkhorn coral great star coral and the Tiger Clade.