Reefworks was started in 2003, the plan behind the company is to provide hobbyists with a healthy, reliable source of corals cultured here in the UK. With strong conservational interests we provide a constant supply of propagated corals without the need to remove corals from the wild, the focus is on growing corals in a sustainable manner reducing the impact of collection from the worlds ever diminishing natural reefs. We do not simply take corals from the wild, frag them up and then sell them, if a species of coral cannot be farmed in a sustainable manner then they will not use that species.
In 2006 we underwent a large erxpansion. The new facility consists of three main systems, one for the cultivation of sps corals, one for lps corals and the other for soft corals. Combined the systems give over 70 square feet of coral growing space and can hold up to 3,000 corals and frags. There are currently over 2,000 corals in stock with over 140 different species! This makes Reefworks the largest dedicated coral farming facility in the UK.
The variety of corals that are farmed is impressive and there are some stunning species available such as Montipora stellata, pink and green Stylophora pistillata, pink Seriatoporas and Pocilloporas to name a few. We constantly look for new species of coral to farm and are currently working on new species of LPS coral such as Leptastrea, Archelia as well as high coloured Zooanthids.
The species of coral that are available to buy are rotated so that stock levels are able to recover and there is always something new available to hobbyists, so it is worth keeping an eye on their website as new species become available.
There are a number of different techniques used to produce the corals depending on the species. With some corals frags are produced and then grown to a size where they can be split in two, one frag is then grown on to sell and the other kept to produce the next generation. With some other species, particularly the plating corals, large colonies are grown and regularly pruned to produce frags which are then grown on. With most of the branching sps species parent racks are produced. A number of frags of the same species are placed in a rack and left to completely encrust over the rack and produce numerous new branches. These branches are then regularly pruned to produce new frags which are grown on to sell.
All of the coral systems utilise the Berlin filtration method and incorporate a heavy feeding regime including live phytoplankton, copepods and rotifers as well Reef Nutrition products. Some of the water parameters such as calcium, dKH and magnesium are maintained slightly higher than natural sea water levels to ensure maximum growth rates whilst levels of nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates are maintained below detectable levels on standard test kits.
Although Reefworks is a mail order company many of our customers come to see the coral farm and choose their corals themselves. We are open for collection of corals throughout the week and there are often many more species available that are not always on the website.
One of the advantages of buying aquacultured corals over maricultured or wild harvested corals is that the corals are already adapted to life in aquaria, even though we try to maintain our aquariums as close to natural sea water conditions as possible there is still a vast difference between aquarium and natural environments, this puts a stress on the coral as it tries to adapt to the new aquarium environment. Some of the corals available through Reefworks have already been in captivity for over 10 years and are as much adapted to aquarium life as they can be.