Mini Reef Facts
Each Mini Reef supports thousands of animals representing over 160 different marine species. Mini Reef owners have reported spotting and catching sport fish like Mangrove Snapper, Red, Gag and Black Groupers, Jack Crevalle and even Barracuda. Large schools of bait fish living in and around the Mini Reef attract larger fish to the area. The ecosystem that develops on and around a Mini Reef brings the area around it to life.
Filter feeding animals such as oysters, mussels, tube worms and sea squirts begin to live on the Mini Reef as soon as it is installed. Some of these animals take years to grow to full size, but others only take a few months. A fully developed Mini Reef will clean 30,000 gallons of water every day as these filter feeders go about their day eating all the algae that floats by. Their waste products are the food source for very small animals that are in turn food for small young shrimp, fish and crabs. The food chain that develops on the Mini Reef is what keeps the fish around the unit all year long.
A Mini Reef is capable of growing 65 Stone Crab each year. A single female Stone Crab can produce up to one million eggs each year. So, having a few growing up under your dock can lead to many, many more.
Here are a couple of fun facts about stone crabs:
- Most of them are right handed, so only take the left claw to give them a better chance of survival (Stone Crab are not killed, only one claw is allowed to be harvested).
- 98% of Stone Crab claws sold in the USA are caught in Florida.
- A stone crab’s claw can clamp down with a force of 19,000 psi. An alligator can bite with a force of 3,400 psi and a great white shark can only muster 1,000 psi. Wow! Watch those fingers and pass the mustard sauce.
…and a Mini Reef can produce 52 Spiny Lobsters annually. Spiny lobsters reproduce in the late spring and summer for about 9 weeks. Females release up to a million eggs every year and those baby lobsters spend weeks floating freely in the currents. The baby lobsters that arrive in Florida travel from as far as the Caribbean Sea. These Spiny Lobster larvae, that look like a small, clear spider at this time, are looking for a safe place to call home as well as a food source. Our Mini Reefs provide the perfect home!