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Archer USA Instant Reef Coral Reef Insert Review

The Archer USA Instant Reef Coral Reef Insert can allow you to keep real-looking artificial corals without removing animals from wild reefs.

By David Lass | May 3, 2012

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The Instant Reef Coral Reef Insert is a very realistic artificial coral reef that is safe for use in both freshwater and marine aquariums. It is especially good for fish only with live rock (FOWLR) aquariums. It is manufactured in many different sizes and coral simulations. In addition, the company can also manufacture special designs and sizes on a completely customized basis.

Archer Instant Reef

The Claims
Archer USA claims that the Instant Reef Coral Reef Insert, which is manufactured from high-quality resin, is safe for all aquarium situations. They say that the product looks realistic and that it is accepted immediately by all saltwater fish as if it were a natural part of their environment.

The Test
In order to test the Instant Reef Coral Reef Insert, I set up a new 50-gallon marine aquarium. I used some substrate from an established aquarium, some old and some new live rock, and a large Instant Reef Coral Reef Insert that filled more than half of the 50-gallon aquarium. The Instant Reef Coral Reef Insert was on the right side of the aquarium, and all of the live rock on the left.

I also treated the new aquarium with a live bacteria starter to get the nitrogen cycle going and ran a 36-inch T5 fluorescent lighting fixture for 10 hours a day. For the marine fish, I used the false percula clowns and the orchid dottyback that have been the inhabitants of a number of tests I have done on marine products for this column. 

For filtration, all I ran were two protein skimmers. One was a small skimmer that I am also testing in a number of applications for a future column. I also had a propeller pump set up to provide constant good water flow in the aquarium.

The Results
I ran the aquarium for a six-week period, and other than the normal minor battle with algae that everyone has on any newly established marine aquarium, the aquarium ran beautifully. The fish actually took to the Instant Reef Coral Reef Insert immediately, and they actually seemed to prefer it to the pile of natural live rock. The Instant Reef Coral Reef Insert is designed and produced with great care and craft, and there are many places for fish to hide and swim in and out of. The colors look natural, and the complete Instant Reef Coral Reef Insert is bright and vibrant without being at
all gaudy.

Conclusions
My experience with the Instant Reef Coral Reef Insert was excellent. The product did everything that the manufacturer claimed, and it is a very attractive and functional part of the decor of a FOWLR aquarium.

Also, as the Instant Reef Coral Reef Insert folks point out on their website (instantreef.com), there are some serious problems with corals being removed from the wild. The Instant Reef Coral Reef Insert allows the marine hobbyist to have the look and feel of a live reef without taking anything from the wild without having to worry about keeping delicate corals alive and well.

Archer USA
Instant Reef Coral Reef Insert
InstantReef.com

 

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