The Lee Read Aquarium is a living ecosystem, complete with live coral and invertebrates such as starfish and brittle stars. Almost everything you see in the aquarium is alive.
Coral is actually an animal, not a plant. Coral gives the algae in the tank a place to live in the coral tissue, and the algae share their food and feed the coral. There are two basic types of coral in the aquarium: hard coral and soft coral. Hard coral forms skeletons of coral, which forms the physical coral reef. Soft coral does not form a skeleton, but rather waves in the current of the water.
The coral in the Lee Read Aquarium has been grown by propagation. Propagation is the reproduction of coral so as to conserve and not damage the mother colonies from other aquariums. Propagation dramatically reduces harvesting live coral from the ocean.