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Ohioreefer7
02/15/2014, 03:18 AM
I went to Bali for a vacation recently and I noticed that it seemed the corals were healthier and much more colorful than anywhere I have been diving before. I have scuba dived in the Caribbean many times but I have never seen coral as nice there. I wonder if this is because of pollution or maybe differences in water temperature?

ace_92101
02/15/2014, 07:07 AM
The indo/Pacific has a lot more reef building coral species. I believe there're approximately 70 in the Caribbean. There're 1400 in the Indo/pacific. With in the Indo/Pacific, Indonesia sits in the Golden Triangle which contains the world's greatest tropical marine diversity.

Ohioreefer7
02/16/2014, 08:18 AM
Wow that a big difference in the numbers of different species of coral. What happened to the corals in the Caribbean? Why are the few there? Does the water have different types of salt or is it toxic for corals there?

ace_92101
02/16/2014, 09:09 AM
I don't know why there're so few species in the Caribbean. But you're right. The difference in coral and fish life is striking.

billsreef
02/17/2014, 05:06 AM
Wow that a big difference in the numbers of different species of coral. What happened to the corals in the Caribbean? Why are the few there? Does the water have different types of salt or is it toxic for corals there?

As far as the numbers of species, nothing happened in the Caribbean. There have always been fewer species of corals, also fewer species of fish as well.

As for health of the reefs, depends on which islands in both oceans you visit. There are reefs in both that have declined greatly in the past couple of decades :(

snorvich
02/17/2014, 08:41 AM
As far as the numbers of species, nothing happened in the Caribbean. There have always been fewer species of corals, also fewer species of fish as well.

As for health of the reefs, depends on which islands in both oceans you visit. There are reefs in both that have declined greatly in the past couple of decades :(

Yes, unfortunately that is true. However, the most pristine areas where I have dived are those that are rarely dived. The more difficult they are to get to, the fewer people go there.

Ohioreefer7
02/17/2014, 09:12 AM
There was some coral that looked like little trees that were bright pink and red that were really beautiful. I've never seen them when I dove before. It was the first time I ever saw a clown fish too.

snorvich
02/17/2014, 09:47 AM
There was some coral that looked like little trees that were bright pink and red that were really beautiful. I've never seen them when I dove before. It was the first time I ever saw a clown fish too.

Those soft corals(if I can intuit the ones you saw) are not photosynthetic (carnation corals) and occur in areas of current (best I have seen were in Fiji) as they are filtering their food from the water column. Some aquarists on this board keep them but it is a specialized technique. The most biodiversity of species is around Indonesia up towards the Philippines and many folks go into those areas for that exact purpose.

Ohioreefer7
02/17/2014, 10:27 AM
Those soft corals(if I can intuit the ones you saw) are not photosynthetic (carnation corals) and occur in areas of current (best I have seen were in Fiji) as they are filtering their food from the water column. Some aquarists on this board keep them but it is a specialized technique. The most biodiversity of species is around Indonesia up towards the Philippines and many folks go into those areas for that exact purpose.

Is there any place in the Caribbean that has strong currents where these corals live? If so I would love to know because I could scuba dive there because the the flight to Indonesia is too long and expensive compared to going to the Caribbean.

ace_92101
02/17/2014, 12:26 PM
Is there any place in the Caribbean that has strong currents where these corals live? If so I would love to know because I could scuba dive there because the the flight to Indonesia is too long and expensive compared to going to the Caribbean.

There are soft corals in the Caribbean, but nothing like the Pacific. Mostly gorgorians. Snorvich is right about Fiji. The Red Sea has some very nice soft coral as well. While the flights are long to the Pacific, accommodation and food in many places is so cheap that it balances out.

snorvich
02/17/2014, 02:36 PM
There are soft corals in the Caribbean, but nothing like the Pacific. Mostly gorgorians. Snorvich is right about Fiji. The Red Sea has some very nice soft coral as well. While the flights are long to the Pacific, accommodation and food in many places is so cheap that it balances out.

Exactly. As an example. In Batangas, I had a private room (although very basic), three meals a day, rented a private dive boat (although very basic) with a private guide, all tank refills, for less than $150 per day. (Even paid with credit card) And the food was do die for. The places I saw the particular kind of coral you were describing was Indonesia, Philippines, Northern and Southern Papua New Guinea, and the solomon Islands. Once you have spent time in the South Pacific, it is difficult to go back and dive the Caribbean.

billsreef
02/17/2014, 06:29 PM
Yes, unfortunately that is true. However, the most pristine areas where I have dived are those that are rarely dived. The more difficult they are to get to, the fewer people go there.

I've also noticed a strong correlation between remoteness from "civilization" and the health of reefs. Not just in relation to how many divers, but land runoff, industrial use, etc.

Is there any place in the Caribbean that has strong currents where these corals live? If so I would love to know because I could scuba dive there because the the flight to Indonesia is too long and expensive compared to going to the Caribbean.

The walls of the Cayman Islands are quite nice, particularly Cayman Brac and Little Cayman which are somewhat remote.

snorvich
02/18/2014, 09:58 AM
I love the walls of Grand Cayman and area. I am not big on the dive rules there, however.