Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs about Faux Corals

Related Articles: Marine Aquascaping, Live Rock, Placement, Marine Substrates

Related FAQs: Marine SubstratesFaux Rock

"Ain't nothin' like the real thing baby..."

Re: coral; skel., clng.     2/4/15
OK thanks Bob!!
<Yeah Rivka; the light bleaching overnight will not discolor or dissolve the specimens (appreciably). Cheers, BobF>

Artificial Corals  12/17/10
Dear Crew,
Thanks in advance for the additional help.
I recently removed my artificial corals and replaced them with live rocks.
When I started to remove the artificial corals and looked at them under the light I saw tons of worms, pods, baby turbo snail and other organisms thriving on them. Instead of throwing them out and allowing the critters to die I placed all the fake corals in my refugium.
<Good move>
My question is should I just remove the fake corals from the refugium, replace them with live rocks and remove as much of the living organisms allowing them to fall off into the refugium or since they appear to be live artificial corals now will they suffice in my refugium.
Best regards,
<If there's room... I'd leave all there. Bob Fenner>

How to dye a dead coral head   8/6/09
I went to west Caribbean cruise this summer and bought a dead coral head in Roatan Honduras. The seller told me to put the coral in pure bleach for a few hours to treat it. I am not so sure if it is what should be done.
Would you please pass on some information what should I do with it? My purpose is to treat it and then display it.
Thank you so much for responding.
Yili Zhuang, A reader
<Mmm, well chlorine bleach (do outside) diluted with water to degrees will remove the biological material (potential stink), but may well remove all color... Sometimes such skeletons can be recolorized, minimally with vegetable dyes... sometimes to advantage with epoxy paints. Bob Fenner>
re: How to dye a dead coral head
Thanks so much for the quick reply. I am really impressed.
I'll try to bleach it first and then recolor it with vegetable dye. Thanks again.
<Welcome Yili. BobF>

Artificial Coral purchasing at 247 Pet 4/11/09
<Hey Brad.>
Does anyone know if 247PETSHOP.com is out of business.
<It does not appear so.>
I have been trying to purchase some coral there and their shopping cart keeps erroring out for the past week. Can't find any info on the internet about them closing.
Why is website still up? Do you have a phone # for them?
<I have no phone contact...the shopping cart seems to be working for me right now. Give it another try, if it does not work you may want to try a different browser or shoot them an email from the "Customer Comments" link.>
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Artificial Coral Paint Suggestions - 02/17/09 I bought several very expensive artificial corals. <<Mmm, indeed…prices on these often exceed that of the live animal>> One of the coral is solid white. I would love to paint this piece but I don't know what kind of paint to use. Do you have any suggestion on what paints to use? <<You'll need to make sure it is fully cured (about seven days), but Krylon's "Fusion" paint will probably work best…especially if the artificial coral is a plastic or resin composition>> I have a 175gl saltwater tank, fish only obviously. Thanks for your help, and love your site. <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Living Color Faux Coral Inserts - Swap Out Live Rock 2/1/08 Hello - as always, FANTASTIC site. <Hello Jeff, glad to hear you like the site.> Here's my dilemma. I have a 150XH tank (48x24x30) with a All Glass Model 4 sump. I have about 175# of live rock in the tank and bio balls and a skimmer in the wet dry. I have a FOWLR with a yellow tang, squirrel, starcki damsel, Blueface angel, niger trigger and tomato clown. <This will be crowded as the fish grow.> I absolutely LOVE the look of the Living Color faux corals and inserts and would love to get the live rock out of the display tank and have the LC stuff (one of their bases with faux corals and a faux coral overflow cover. I can put some of the rock into the sump (or perhaps even buy a bigger sump - such as a 40G tank and fill it with live rock). <OK> If I remove the rock and just use the bio balls (wet dry) in the sump filter, I'll obviously be hurting my biological filtration. <Yes, as well as losing the other benefits of live rock.> Will this be an issue? I'm worried about the loss of filtration in a FO system. Or would the new sump full of live rock (no bio balls) be a better solution? <I would lose the bioballs and fit the largest sump/refugium you can with as much of your rock as possible.> Thanks Jeff Franzen <Welcome, good luck, Scott V.>

My never ending money pit..... Poss. issues with synthetic marine decor   1/31/06 Hello, <Hi there> My name is Matthew and first off let me say I love your book when I purchased all my aquarium supplies it was one of the first things the store clerk had me put in my cart, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist. Every time I buy something for my tank I always thumb through the pages to see what your opinion is. Anyway here is my dilemma.... I have a 75 gallon bow front tank. At this time I have 1 Hippo Tang (2 to 3 inches very healthy) 1 Niger Trigger ( 3 inches) newly acquired seems very healthy likes to hide in the live rock and eats all the time. 1 Clarki Clown ( 2 inches) seems healthy Numerous hermit crabs ( a mix of red legs and zebra a little of everything) Snails ( a mix of everything algae eating I could find) 1 small queen conch and 1 chocolate chip starfish. <I do hope your trigger leaves these invertebrates alone...> I have about 35 - 40 lbs of live rock, 2 inches of sand and crushed coral, 2 power heads (300 gph) 1 Rena canister filter ( 375 gph) and a CPR Bak pak protein skimmer with the built in bio filter. About 4 weeks ago I purchased a faux anemone, I read the package to read any care instructions to find out that you have to wash it very good to make sure there is no residue that may affect your protein skimmer. I rinsed it for about 1 hour and then put it in my tank . Later that night my protein skimmer overflowed with water, I turned it off rinsed it out and put it back on my tank. For two weeks straight I ran this skimmer at the setting which it had been out the entire time I owned it. It always ran fine collecting waste. For two weeks I ran the skimmer no waste. I opened the water intake more for two more weeks no waste. the whole time doing my Monday water changes and readings. 8.2 ph, 0 nitrite, 10- 20 nitrate, 0 ammonia and 1.022 - 1.024 salinity. All this skimmer wanted to do was dump millions of are bubbles into my tank. Looking on the internet a lot of people had a lot of different opinions about un dissolved micro bubbles in your tank and the affect it may have on the oxygen exchange. Thinking there was some sort of weird chemical in my tank, from the faux anemone, <I would remove this... see if this curtails the excess bubbling> I have been running Kent Marine Carbon in my canister for almost two days. Also for those two days I have been running my newly acquired CPR Bak Pak (no waste yet just micro bubble in my tank) the skimmer seems to be working fine the entire chamber is filled with micro bubbles but no waste. I don't know what to do algae is overtaking my tank red slime and green algae. I have 384 watts of power compact lights 2 96 watt white 2 96 watt blues. What is your opinion what should I do? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Matthew McGlynn <I have heard some disturbing input re some of the material, manufacture of synthetic decor... I hope you will not have real trouble... but I would remove this and see. Bob Fenner> Coral Skeleton Hi crew!!  <Hi Ryan, MacL here with you today.>  It's me again. I've just got a couple of questions. A friend of mine knew that I was maintaining a reef aquarium and gave me an Acropora coral!! Its really great. But it's dead (its only the skeleton). Well, I would not have been able to take care of it since I only have 3 6500k and 3 Marine Glo blue NO fluorescent lamp over a 80 g and only have some zoanthids and low light LPS corals. I've been doing some reading on WWM FAQs and saw that epoxy paint and some water based latex can be used.  <They can indeed be used but before you consider putting it into your tank do you know the past history of this coral? Often coral skeletons are simply not safe. I know of circumstances where they have been sprayed with chemicals like bug sprays or perfumes and the new owner was unaware of this until they started having a problem. I'm very cautious about using coral skeletons unless you know the history of the coral.>  I would like to know if I can use Acrylic paint (water based or not) for the coral skeleton and put it in my aquarium?  Thank you.

Large Artificial Reef Structure Hi, I own an aquarium maintenance business in Central Arkansas and have a large project that I'm needing some advice on. I'm installing several aquariums in a new restaurant here that includes two 17' L X 12"W X 30"H tanks, an 11'L X 12"W X 30"H tank, two 44"D X 44"H Cylinder tanks, and a 6000 gallon walk through tunnel aquarium. I'm going to build artificial coral reefs in these and have a question on the tunnel tank. As you're standing in the tunnel, each side wall will be an 8' L X 8' H X 3' D artificial reef. I'm trying to figure out what I can use for the base structure of the artificial reef. I know that I can't really use concrete blocks because of pH issues, but was wondering if plain ol' Acme brick can be used without altering water conditions?  <Good question. I think any mortar based product is going to cause you issues if used directly. You can use concrete block but it needs weeks of pre-treatment to be useful. Can soak in a vinegar solution for several days, followed by several days of soaking in freshwater... must rinse and repeat several times. In about three weeks to a month it should be ready to use. Is documented in the Fosse/Nilsen Modern Coral Reef Aquarium v1 book.> I would like to stack the brick ( or whatever I can use) up the wall creating little "tables" that I can set the artificial corals on. Once I get the corals set in place, I will use plastic mesh between them on top of the brick then cover it with Zoo-poxy - covering the base of the corals and securing them in place. The Zoo-poxy will be stamped and painted to look like rock, then it and the corals will be sealed with clear epoxy. I'm just having a hard time figuring out what to use as the base structure?  <I think the concrete block is going to be your best bet, you just need to start now curing it.>  Any ideas? Thanks, Larry Aquatic Designs <Cheers, J -- > 

- Large Artificial Reef Structure, Follow-up - Thanks for the info. <My pleasure.> What % solution do you suggest & would Muriatic acid speed up the process? <All I could find in the books was the word "weak" and no percentage. Muriatic acid would work as well, but you still want to dilute it pretty heavily, you wouldn't want the concrete block to turn to dust.> Thanks, Larry <Cheers, J -- > <<I would dilute a stock solution (from the green bottle) that is 3 molar by about ten times... remember: "do as you ought ta, add acid to water..." to prevent "splashing"... wear gloves, eye-protection... outdoors nonetheless... and use about a cup of this solution per twenty gallons or so to soak the block. RMF>>

Artificial Corals Source Does anyone have any suggestions for a supplier of high quality/commercial quality artificial plants for freshwater aquariums? <Sorry, I get mine at PetCo> Was also reading your FAQ's where someone was asking about artificial corals. Another source for those with larger tanks is our company.  Web site is www.rockandwaterscape.com <Ahh! The real reason for the email! Will sent it along to the Powers That Be.> Thanks for any information you might be able to send regarding the artificial freshwater plants. <Sorry I couldn't help. Don> Sam Bennington Rock & Waterscape Systems, Inc. 4434 Parkway Commerce Blvd Orlando, FL 32808 407-294-0860 (phone) 407-294-0768 (fax) Sbennington@rockandwaterscape.com www.rockandwaterscape.com

What type of dye to dye coral skeletons 1/21/04 Hi, It's Trevor again,  I wanted to dye some white, dead coral I have.  Do I need a special type?  I wanted to know if I could use Rit Dye, but didn't know if that would effect anything.  Thanks <I would strongly advise against Rit Dye.  Many dyes and colorings use heavy metals as part of the dye.  If you seek out a dye that is "Food Safe", it would probably be Ok.  Best Regards.  Adam> Rubber corals, what? I like Jeff Turner, great guy. Todd <Agreed... a fine person, and asset to the trade. And yes, the faux corals we saw in Walt Smith's booth ayer. Pricey, but fabulous reproductions, and very useful for public aquariums... easily taken out, substituted with "clean" ones... and cleaned. Bob Fenner>

Synthetic Coral Manufacturers Bryan again. I have a 75 gal FO. I have been searching the links for makers/sellers of either synthetic corals or coral skeletons only place one is sort of what I'm looking for (Acme Reef). Any suggestions. Thanks Bryan. <The company Coralife/Energy Savers makes some fairly inexpensive synthetic corals that should be widely available at various pet stores nationwide. Look here http://www.esuweb.com/new_site/ -Steven Pro>

Artificial coral - 3/6/03 Kelly, Check out www.clamsdirect.com. More directly here: http://www.clamsdirect.homestead.com/files/livestockindex.html I talked to Barry (proprietor) and he related to me that this product is Walt and Deb's product. Email him here: Barry@clamsdirect.com. Let him know I talked to you (for reference as we do not accept kickbacks here. Our job is to help) as I just talked to him about the product and mentioned you were looking for the artificial corals from Walt Smith. I hope this helps! Paul Artificial coral - 3/6/03 Also, is there anyone who sells artificial corals and anemones, if not, do you think there would be a market for it...heh.. <<There must be a market for it because there are several manufacturers, probably the most notable is Walt Smith's, Nature's Image.>> Thanks so much, Chris <<Cheers, J -- >> I saw this on your website, and would like to know where I can find nature's image. My pet store used to carry it, but has stopped. I searched the web with no luck, and would love to pick some up. <Hi Kelly. Thanks for the email. I, too, no longer see this as a product available from Walt Smith International. Have you tried emailing them? Here is the link to his website (a great one too): http://www.waltsmith.com/ Also do a search on your favorite web search engine and use the keyword "artificial coral". Should be a few hits for you to peruse. Hope this helps! Paul> thanks- Kelly  

Looking for Nature's Image products Also, is there anyone who sells artificial corals and anemones, if not, do you think there would be a market for it...heh.. <<There must be a market for it because there are several manufacturers, probably the most notable is Walt Smith's, Nature's Image.>> Thanks so much, Chris <<Cheers, J -- >> I saw this on your website, and would like to know where I can find nature's image. My pet store used to carry it, but has stopped. I searched the web with no luck, and would love to pick some up. thanks- Kelly <Mmm, this company is owned and run by Walt and Deb Smith through their Pacific Aqua Farms (their logo/link is on the top of all the marine pages on WetWebMedia), who you can contact re a dealer near you. Bob Fenner>

Still having trouble finding Back to Nature.... You gave me an address to look up in my search for Back to Nature background suppliers in the US, but I didn't have any luck getting a response from them. Do you know of any other sources here in America? <As far as I know Pacific Aqua Farms/Nature's Image is the sole distributor in the U.S. Have you tried calling them? Number here: http://www.pacificaquafarms.com/contact-us.htm Bob Fenner>

Faux coral - 9/2/03 Hello, Crew... This past summer I started my first saltwater aquarium. <Great> I currently have a 37 gallon tank with Eclipse 3 hood and about 30-35lbs of live rock.  I have 4 fish including a maroon clown, Fiji damsel, saddled filefish and yellow clown goby (I especially LOVE the filefish!). <Beauties>  All seem to be getting along and doing great. <great to hear>  I have intentionally set up a FOWLR tank before attempting the complexities and details of a reef tank. <OK>  However, I do have the desire to add some color to the aquascaping. <Understand>  I saw an earlier post to this board where you referenced Nature's Image faux corals. <Yep. One of a few companies out there that supply these...>  I have checked them out and thought they looked pretty cool. <Yeah, but it's one thing to see them online and another to see them in person right?>  However, I have a "beginners eye". What are your thoughts on such synthetic corals - both in terms of appearance and how livestock might interact with them? <Well, I like the idea of a fish only aquarium using faux coral if the animals might do harm to live coral. I also think it is a great idea if there is limited funds and time to maintain a true reef tank (complexities such as lighting requirements, plumbing, stocking compatibility etc) and it is a great eco friendly alternative. As far as animal interaction goes, well I think that depends on what your expectation of interaction is. Send an email to the prospective companies you will buy from and ask about animal behaviors they have seen with their products in place>  I think I might like them if I knew they didn't look "cheesy" and if the livestock interacted with them somewhat. <I understand. some do look a little cheesy. It would be ideal to see if you can't check various forums for reviews, ask about the prospective companies return policies (in case you don't like them), and see if you can't find someone or somewhere locally that has some for you to look at. Get some references form the company as well>  I know...beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but... <indeed!> Thanks for all your great input. <Our pleasure>  I have become a daily reader of your site! <Thank you!> Bob

-Where to find fake coral?- Hello, I have been looking for these coral replicas all over, but still can't find any online for sale. Please can you tell me of a web site I could buy them. <Sure thing! Walt Smith has a fantastic line of faux corals called "Natures Image". Dr. Mac sells them (http://www.drmaccorals.com/). If you want a big spectacular custom fake reef built to your specifications check out Living Color's website www.livingcolor.com. I hope this helps! -Kevin> Thank you, Teena

-Source for artificial coral- where can you buy high quality (museum quality) synthetic coral? Marine depot is out and does not know when they will have available again. <www.drmaccorals.com carries Walt Smith's line of faux coral. Also, check out www.livingcolor.com, as they make incredible custom fabricated artificial reefs. Hope this helps! -Kevin> Thank You,
Jerry Gillman

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: