Soft corals and tropical fish share paradise. “On the summit of East Diamante (170 m, 558 ft depth), all signs of hydrothermal venting have disappeared. Soft corals (~10-15 cm or 4-6 in tall) and tropical fish share the paradise we named “Aquarium.”
Soft corals contain minute, spiny skeletal elements called sclerites, useful in species identification. Sclerites give these corals some degree of support and give their flesh a spiky, grainy texture that deters predators.
However, most will readily eat any free floating food, such as zooplankton, out of the water column. They are integral members of the reef ecosystem and provide habitat for fish, snails, algae and a diversity of other marine species.