Why Amino Acids?

Why are amino acids important for reef aquariums? Amino acids are an excellent way to increase the growth, color and polyp extension of your corals. Here is a quick primer.

What Are Amino Acids? – Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Proteins are the components of a cell that do the work. They grow, maintain and regulate the functions of a cell. Corals need amino acids to build proteins so they can grow, maintain, and regulate their bodies. This results in corals that have plumper and meatier bodies, with longer and more extended polyps, and often a deeper richer color.

How to Provide Amino Acids? – In nature amino acids come from the foods that corals eat. However, food is an inefficient way of providing amino acids because there are so many other components to food besides amino acids. Because of this many aquarists choose to add a concentrated amino acid supplement. Giving your corals a regular dose of amino acids is similar to taking a vitamin supplement regularly. You should get vitamins in your diet, but taking the supplement ensures your body is overflowing with the vitamins you need.

Adding an amino acid supplement is easy. Simply pour the prescribed amount of liquid into your aquarium when your light is turned on. Some aquarists turn their protein skimmer off for about an hour after dosing amino acids because the skimmer can remove some of the amino acids before the corals can absorb them.

Which Amino Acids are Best? – There are many manufacturers that make amino acid supplements, and all of them have a unique formula. Here are a few of our favorites.

Prodibio Reef Booster – Reef Booster is part of Prodibio’s complete reef care system. Reef Booster contains amino acids as well as vitamins and fatty acids. It does not need to be added as often as other amino acid supplements. Aquarists who want to try the complete Prodibio system for an amazing aquarium with reduced algae, excellent coral growth and magnificent coral color should consider the Prodibio Bio Kit Reef.

Two Little Fishies AcroPower – AcroPower is a newer amino acid supplement that took the market by storm a couple years ago because it is cheap, easy to use, and effective. Aquarists referred to it as “cheating” because it made it so much easier to get those big polyped fleshy corals everyone wanted. AcroPower comes in several sizes and is most effective when added on a daily basis.