ULTRA CORAL AUSTRALIA RESEARCH

Investing in the future of our industry ...

Closing the life cycle to open new horizons...

UCA believes in minimising the impact we have on the natural environment that sustains our industry and which brings great joy to aquarists worldwide. To do this we established, followed and promoted best practice in sustainable harvest of wild stock we source under license in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. We established a research division dedicated to closing the life cycle of our most popular aquarium species and working towards replacing wild harvest with aquaculture.

This long term commitment requires developing a detailed understanding of the biology of Australia’s premium aquarium coral species, ‘closing their life cycle’ in captivity, and propagating them to saleable size. This investment will benefit everyone! It reduces pressure on wild stocks, allows us to select, research and understand what drives the unique colour morphs that makes Australian LPS / SPS corals so popular while providing superior, tank hardened, sustainably sourced stock for the coral loving public.

Sex, Corals & Aquaria

Compared with the surface of the land our understanding of the seafloor is closer to that of the moon! One of the wonderful aspects of the aquarium hobby is the opportunity to observe marine life close up for extended periods of time. At Ultra Coral Australia we are looking very closely at the sex life of corals! Read on...

(a) in cross section showing...
(b) the same packets rolled...
(c) the planula larva that...
(d) the settled larvae on...
(e) the developing juvenile coral...
(f) with the skeleton established...

Diving into the mystery of corals

Aussie LPS and SPS corals are recognised the world over for their vibrant and sometimes bizarre colour patterns. A major objective of our research division is understand how to spawn and grow the best of the best Aussie Premium corals and bring them to market in all their tank hardened glory!

CASE STUDY:

Golden Torch (Euphyllia glabrescens)

Here we see the lifecycle of the classic Aussie inshore coral Golden Torch (Euphyllia glabrescens). Our broodstock provide us with new recruits to grow out every summer [in our] dedicated facility. We believe captive-bred corals are the future of our industry - better for the reef, and better for aquarists.

A wild sourced classic Aussie...
Reproduction in corals can be...
Once in the water column...
The planula larva then metamorphoses...
One month later the juvenile...
At 6 months the classic...

Nicholas Briggs,
Student Intern from University of Colorado-Boulder, USA

"I had the opportunity to spend a month in Mackay working with Ultra Coral Australia on independent research for my academic program. At UCA, I had the opportunity of a lifetime to study Micromussa lordhowensis, a species vital to the Queensland coral fishery. The focus of the study was to identify settlement rates, measure the growth of larvae, and identify substrate preferences of this species, while also attempting to raise the larvae in an aquaculture setting. During my time in Mackay I was treated by the staff at UCA with kindness and professionalism and allowed to pursue my stated research goal with freedom, with much-appreciated assistance and guidance from Dr. Ciemon Caballes, the Principal Research Scientist of their Research Department. The staff at UCA were passionate about coral and the state of the Great Barrier Reef and were eager to assist our project whenever they could step away from their own work. Many hours were spent at the facility waiting for the possibility of a coral spawning event, which would facilitate our work, and though one might assume spending a week waiting beside tanks would be boring, the atmosphere remained light-hearted and fun. Though my time was brief at UCA I gained so much in the form of knowledge, applicable skills, and friends. In the end our experiment showed much about the early life stages of Micromussa lordhowensis, and I hope to continue to use the skills I learned to research coral reef ecology in the future."