I visited the New York City aquarium last weekend while out in Coney Island. It’s a really small aquarium for such a large city. Despite the small size, their “Hall of Conservation” was well done. Notably, the exhibit on coral was interesting.
I learned coral grows very slowly. Apparently the large reefs only grow .2 – 1 inch per year. This is why human damage to reefs can be so harmful to the ecological balance of an area because the coral takes so long to regenerate. The team at the aquarium was artificially growing dozens of different coral specifies in a large grid, pictured. Like any growing process they need the proper delicate balance of light, nutrients and, in the case of coral, water temperature, turbulence and salinity, to grow properly. Coral also depends on the indigenous fish population to feed off the algae that forms on the coral to keep the plant free from obstruction so the sunlight can reach it properly.
Another necessary symbiotic relationship creating balance in the universe!