Our coral garden is so beautiful you may think that Alan Titchmarsh himself had donned his best scuba gear to create it. There is a wide range of colourful and interesting corals and anemones that grow together to produce an amazingly vibrant backdrop. These intelligent plants can’t live alone and need a diverse eco-system to survive and prosper. Our Coral Garden is full of fish and crustaceans that work with the coral to help each other. The fish eat the algae and dirt from the corals for sustenance and the coral in that process is having harmful bacteria cleaned from it. The key difference between corals and anemones is that corals are in fact living animals whereas anemones are flowering plants.

Coral reefs are very delicate which has led to most species ending up on the endangered or critically endangered. They are very sensitive to the smallest changes in temperature and natural changes in environment such as tropical storms that can break up the corals. This is why global warming can be so harmful for these creatures as the increased temperature cause the corals to expel zooxanthellae living in their tissues which makes the coral lose all colour and turn white. They don’t necessarily die from this but it can hurt their ability to grow. Although vital to the ocean coral reefs are also important to us as humans as we get food, protection of the shoreline and even medicine from these animals. Some of our corals have peculiar and unusual names that represent the way that they look such as the Knobbly Toadstool Coral and the Green Fuzzy Mushroom Coral which may help you identify them amongst the huge varied collection.

Current Water Temp

23°C / 73.4°F

Water Type

Salt Water

Climate / Biome

Tropical Reef

In This Exhibit

10 inverts, 7 fish

Where are we?


As this tank is filled with some many individual corals, plants, fish and crustaceans it is easy to miss some if you don’t look closely. The Garden Eels for example may be mistaken for a strand of anemone but if you look closer you will see it’s vibrant yellow eyes. You will also find a cleaner shrimp which became famous as Jacques from Finding Nemo. Not only does this shrimp help to clean the corals and anemones but will also help keep other invertebrates and fish. One of the strangest inhabitants are the Chocolate Chip Starfish which looks similar to a meringue that has spent too much time in the oven and can easily see them as they attach themselves to the glass.

Get Tynemouth Aquarium news and offers right to your inbox!