Design, development, and implementation of recirculating aquaria for maintenance and experimentation of deep-sea corals and associated fauna

Jay J. Lunden, Jeffrey M. Turner, Conall G. McNicholl, Chloe K. Glynn, Erik E. Cordes

Limnol. Oceanogr. Methods 12:363-372 (2014) | DOI: 10.4319/lom.2014.12.363

ABSTRACT: Here, the development and construction of recirculating aquaria for the long-term maintenance and study of deep-water corals in the laboratory is described. This system may be applied to the maintenance and experimentation on marine organisms in the absence of a natural seawater supply. Since 2009, numerous colonies of Lophelia pertusa as well as several species of associated invertebrates from the Gulf of Mexico have been maintained in the described systems. The behavior of some of these species, including L. pertusa, the corallivorous snail Coralliophila sp., the polychaete Eunice sp., and the galetheoid crab Eumunida picta in the laboratory is described. Additionally, these systems were used for the manipulation of pH and dissolved oxygen for shortterm experiments using L. pertusa. The detailed manipulation of carbonate chemistry in artificial seawater is described for use in ocean acidification experiments.