The Coral Reef Research Unit, Essex

As I’ve mentioned before my old housemate Sarah is a great marine biologist and this year she’s finally got her wish to work with corals, starting a PhD at the University of Essex.  This is also good news for me, as they’ve got lots of tropical seaweed growing in their coral tanks.  So today I took a trip down to Colchester to visit the nice people in the Coral Research Unit and bring some seaweed back to UEA.

Sarah’s pride and joy is their new coral tanks and despite the fact they’ve had this set up for less than a year they’re tanks are already well established and looking impressive.  To keep the system stable they’ve got a mixed system, not only corals but ‘live’ rock from Fiji that bough seaweed spores and a few other flora and fauna into the mix as well as some pretty fish.  The seaweed is all part of the balanced system they’re creating, but they have to keep it in check so it doesn’t overtake the corals.

Firstly, I had a guided tour of the tanks and picked up some inspiration for starting my own mini tank (not that I plan to do anything on this scale, but I do have a fish tank I plan to keep some seaweed in at some point). Then Sarah and I got picking and I packed up lots of seaweed to take back to Norwich.

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