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A successful reef aquarium, in addition to providing great satisfaction to its owner, lends rare beauty, life and ZEN environment to the space in which it is inserted.  

But, as we say in Portugal, life is not only roses. Maintenance work, the noise, the water on the floor, the visits from friends after hours, etc., and the limited space for a possible expansion of the system, are some of the cons and limitations of the hobby when it is lived in the living room of the our home. 

Machado de Sousa began by taking the first steps in the hobby in 1990. During subsequent 16 years he kept saltwater aquariums in the corner of the living room, housing fish and invertebrates. 

Along 2006 Machado de Sousa decided to dismantle all his home aquariums and sought a place where he could give vent to his dedication to the hobby. He ended up renting a garage 25 km apart from his residence, in Belas, close to Lisbon. He installed there some tanks and a basic life support system to receive the animals transferred from his home, and baptized the facilities with the name: Coral Maternity. Coral Maternity became his "home tank".

Machado de Sousa has dedicated a significant portion of his time and own resources developing the Coral Maternity in Portugal. All of his work has been done without any kind of support or sponsorship is it public, private, individual, or collective. Inside his facilities have being produced generations and generations of corals for more than six years.

A large majority of corals existing in the Coral Maternity were “born” from small fragments of corals or single polyps collected from mother-colonies brought from his home, or from frags acquired abroad. Actually there are thousands of SPS frags in there, overcrowding the existing 8,000 liters (2,300 gal) saltwater tanks, corresponding to the maximum volume possible to install in that place.


The corals in Coral Maternity continue to grow and pile up in the tanks (this is the term!) and the facilities have no more space available for mounting more tanks. This situation endangers life of the animals due to lack of space between them. The absence of a free space around the corals is a serious problem, because: 
  • Prevents access from fishes to the corals to develop their cleanup work, allowing  the development of algae and other pests on corals; 
  • Favors the creation of dead zones, allowing the accumulation of organic matter and the consequent development of dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria; 
  • Restricts the water flow around the corals, restraining them from obtaining the nutrients they need to survive and impeding the release of their metabolic wastes;
  •  Begin to be significant the the damages to corals due to contact with each other.

Due to excessive number of corals and lack of space in his faciliies tanks, Coral Maternity is going to put some surplus corals (read excelent corals) on the market. This option allows solving the problem of lack of space between the animals, with the following benefits: 
  1. Contribute to the preservation of the wild corals. The number of hobbyists worldwide increases from year to year and the pressure on coral reefs tends to increase too with each passing year. If facilities such as Coral Maternity produce corals and do not have a proactive attitude such as put their corals on the market, they will not contribute at all to the preservation of coral reefs; 
  3. Give a help in the maintaining costs of the Coral Maternity itself. Who has a reef tank in his house, though a small reef tank, extrapolating costs may have an idea how expensive the installation and operation of a reef system such as the Coral Maternity is which has 8.000 liters (2,300 gal) populated solely with SPS corals; 
  5. Allow to obtain some profits to be channeled to the fund created to ensure the construction of new venture: Coral Maternity II.

Surplus corals of the Coral Maternity can be acquired these ways:
  • Through this online store (by now corals will be sent only to Portugal and Spain); 
  • In the Coral Maternity facilities, after scheduling a visit with Machado de Sousa (phone: +351964023240).



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