The Aqualab's Newest Tank Makes Room for Big Corals

The newest part of the aquaculture lab's coral propagation system is designed for bigger corals than ever before.

The Aqualab's Newest Tank Makes Room for Big Corals
The new coral tank's added depth allows coral to grow bigger than previously possible. Photography by Kaiden Chandler.

By Nathaniel Oulton

Science Writer. Class of 2024

Recently, the MSMHS aqualab added a new coral tank to its system. The Current first reported on this new development in February, and now the new tank is fully integrated into the system. This new coral tank differs from the rest of the system quite a bit. The old tanks all have coral packed closely together on the bottom, which does not allow much room for large growth. This new tank implements a new method of growing coral on pedestals, which aquaculture teacher Mr. Guyot explained “is good for 360° flow.”

The new tank’s increased distance between the corals doesn't allow room for as many corals as the other tanks — and this is by design. The new tank’s purpose is quite different from the other tanks. Mr. Guyot says “It's not necessarily more output; it allows the coral to grow bigger for fragmentation,” the process of splitting corals into smaller pieces to create separate colonies.

In February, the tank was being prepared for integration into the larger system. Photography by Kaiden Chandler.

This is reflected in the tank’s design. The new coral tank looks very different from the old ones — it isn’t quite as long, but it is much deeper. The depth allows all the coral to grow in all directions, up and down. These design choices fit with the tank’s main purposes, which Mr. Guyot says are allowing for both “larger colony size and more viewable coral.”

The Current