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FAQs about "Coral" Reproduction/Propagation 3

Related Articles: Captive Coral and Marine Invert Sexual Reproduction by Sara Mavinkurve, Growing Reef Corals For Profit by Anthony Calfo, Coral Propagation, LPS Corals, True or Stony Corals, Order Scleractinia, Propagation for Marine Aquarium Use, Trachyphyllia Reproduction Event

Related FAQs: Coral Propagation 1, Coral Propagation 2, Coral Propagation 4,  & FAQs on Coral: Coral Prop Livestock Selection, Frag Sources (Info., Livestock, Supplies), Frag Tanks/Systems, Frag Methods, Frag Tools, Frag Feeding, Frag Health, Propagation Economics, Frag Troubles, Fraggle Rock (just kidding),  & FAQs Files on: "Frag Momma Frag, Whatcha Gonna Do? " by Group: Cnidarian Reproduction, Caryophyllid Propagation/Reproduction, Soft Coral Propagation, Growing Reef CoralsLivestock BusinessStony Coral IdentificationStony Coral Behavior,

Coral Grow-Out System...Bare-Bottom Or Sand-Bottom?  8/2/07 Hello Eric, <<Hello Faisal>> Hope you are doing fine. <<I am, thank you>> Unlike here in Kuwait, it is 50 degrees C (122 degrees F) but fortunately electricity here is almost for free to cool down the house (& the tank). <<Mmm, the perks of living in an energy rich country, eh...but still, 122F degrees!...youch! Guess I won't moan about the 95F degree weather here in South Carolina>> I have a question about fragment grow-out tank. <<Okay>> What is the difference between a bare-bottom grow-out tank & a fragment grow-out tank with live sand? I have seen both but which one is more preferable & why? <<Can be mostly a matter of personal preference/your sense of aesthetics... A shallow sand bed may harbor more fauna beneficial to feeding the corals than a bare-bottom tank, but the latter is easier to siphon clean of accumulated detritus if need be...and both may be mute points if a large in-line refugium is employed with the grow-out system>> All I know is that with sand you can get more light reflections. <<A good point...and may well be reason enough on its own>> Thank you & regards, Faisal Abbas <<Be chatting. Eric Russell>>

Frag Placement/Securing - 04/04/06 Just got a nice frag from a friend.  I was wondering how I can stick it to a rock.  I know the superglue trick. <<Works well>> I have it placed between some rock now.  Is that good or should I adhere it to something.  Please let me know. Thanks, Jeromy <<If it is stable/won't get knocked around, it will adhere to the rock on its own.  Otherwise, use the superglue to secure in place.  Regards, EricR>>

Fragging A Montipora (digitata?) - 03/03/06 I currently have a larger piece of Montipora and would like to frag this.  Any suggestions? <<Well, if we're speaking about Montipora digitata this is very easy to do.  It's likely you won't even need tools as the skeleton of this coral specie is usually quite soft/brittle.  To frag, carefully snap (or cut with bone scissors/side-cutting pliers, if you wish) a small piece from the branch tips (about 1" long is ideal) and attach these to your choice of mount with a cyanoacrylate adhesive.  M. digitata is quite hardy and takes to fragging well so there is no need to be overly concerned about damaging the coral.>> By the way your site is great... <<Thank you...a collective effort.>> Eric Godin <<Regards, EricR>>

Coral farming stock   2/13/06 Hi My name is Gerardo Ramos I  started a business called Marine Reef Habitat, We specialize in the maintenance of coral reef tank's and just started the operation of a all glass Green house for the growth of coral's. <An adventure, for sure> I am on the process of installing the culture tank's and I need help finding healthy experiment <? Specimens?> to propagate,  since the local store prices are astronomically in the stars <Stores?> and in poor health conditions I need a expert supplier, Please if you can help me with any guidance or connection's to a dealer of good parent coral's  at whole sale prices. It would be grateful.  Thank you. Gerardo Ramos www.marinereefhabitat.com< http://www.marinereefhabitat.com/> <I'd contact the folks at Pacific Aquafarms and Sea Dwelling Creatures re good-sized specimens of health to frag. They can be found on the Net, buyer's guides in the trade... Bob Fenner>

Frag tank set up question  12/15/05 Hi guys, hope all is well and you are having a good holiday season. <Yes... and the same wish for you and yours> I am starting to set up a frag tank to grow stock for my own tank as well as trade with my local clubs.   <A nice/good project> I am going to stick with high-end meaning rare SPS corals and a few super colored Zoo's.  I am going to have a three-tier shelf unit that would look something like this _____          [_____         [______         [ ________________[ Underneath and along the bottom I will have PVC caps that are flat and filled with small bits of live rock that the Zoo's can grow and spread to. <Sounds good> I currently have a 40 gallon breeder drilled and the stand is big enough to allow me to place two smaller tanks say a 20 gallon for a fuge with DSB and Macro) and a 30 gallon for a sump underneath both of which will have a standard fluorescent light above it.   The plumbing is already set and the return t's off and some of the return water goes to the fuge.  From there it flows into the sump then from the sump returns to the main tank via a Mag 7. The return comes into the main tank and forms a Y that goes to each of the sides and then each side points towards the middle.  This was done to help increase the flow.  In the sump I will also be running a skimmer along with a good amount of live rock rubble. If I  need more flow I will probably add a Seio I will have to see what the Mag 7 does. <Okay> Lighting I was planning on going with either two 250 watt 6500K or one 400 watt 6500K. <I'd start with/run the lower wattage unit> The light will be in pendant form and the sump will be in the basement so heat will not be a problem as the basement is very cool even in the summer months.  I am not sure about any livestock in the frag tank.  I was thinking of a six-line wrasse and a few snails and a velvet Nudibranch in case any flatworms come into the system on new frags.  I will still treat all incoming frags but one can never be to safe. <Agreed. I would quarantine all, suspended on a section of PVC pipe with a notch cut n the bottom... for a month... before mixing/placing in this facility> As far as dosing I am not going to be able to run a reactor (calc) and will have to dose via the hang above type, until I can sell some of the corals and recoup the costs to offset the reactor.  No big deal, all good things to those who wait. <Sometimes, cases> My questions are about the light which would you go with the two 250's or the 1 400? <The former> What about the 6500 K? <Fine> What about the livestock (six-line & snails and a velvet Nudibranch) in the frag tank? <I would start with none...> Flow do you think the Mag 7 would be enough or would it be better to wait and see? <Wait> Sorry for the long post Thanks in advance - you guys are great. Bruce <Thank you for sharing, writing. Bob Fenner>

Greetings from Ottawa Canada, Shrooms fragging, hilarity  11/24/05 WWM crew: <Howzit?> I don't have a question at the moment but have enjoyed reading the many posts and answers that you have provided.   <Ah, good> Hope you will enjoy the turkey season and the related seasonal twist of the following which I posted at our local club site here in Canada ( http://ovas.ca/). <Oooh! Yes, saw/heard this.> __ With recent focus on Einstein I couldn't resist a bit of fun :)  . I responded to a PM question about mushroom fragging this AM and decided that with a bit of editing and being in a jovial mood after listening to a turkey sing, it would be suitable for a public posting. Here goes.  How to earn your Experienced Expert Mushroom Coral Carver/Copier (E2MC2) credentials. ___

Mushroom coral carving/fragging:  11/24/05 It's like cooking really. Cut off the tops with a sharp knife, leave the stem on the rock. Place the top in a plastic container in the bottom of the tank with some bits of coral or shells or bits of substrate and preferably with a bit of netting over the container. The netting will keep the crabs out, the coral rubble will give the mushroom something to attach to and presto about three days later your mushroom will hopefully have attached to some of the shell fragments or the rubble and you can take it out and glue the rubble bits to a piece of rock with cyanoacrylate glue - a.k.a. crazy Glue). The stem will grow back another mushroom eventually and presto you have doubled your mushroom population. Method number two: Use fishing line or elastic band to attach the head to a piece of rock (same method as for the leather coral except that the mushrooms are very soft and slimy so I prefer the first method). Method number three: Cut off head. Cut the head into a bunch of little pieces (like chopping onions or mushrooms for dinner). Place the bits in a container as in method # 1 or just throw the bits back into your tank. Either way, you will end up with the original mushroom stem growing back its head and you should end up with more mushrooms in total. With the scatter-in-the-tank method you just have less control over where they end up and you may have a slightly lower overall success rate. The chop-them-up method will get you lots of little mushrooms which will eventually grow to full sized mushrooms but not the fastest way but eventually you should get lots of quantity. Believe me. Your first attempt is an experiment. If it works for you, you instantly reach EXPERIENCED EXPERT MUSHROOM CORAL COPIER/CARVER status and can send out e-mails like this one. Enjoy your turkey. Ron (a.k.a. Rockgarden) <Thanks much Ron. Happy holidays to you and yours. Bob Fenner>

Am I Crazy or is this the same Glue? - 10/13/05 Hello again, <<Hello, TravisM here with you.>> Sorry for all these questions in one day. <<Not a problem.>> The glue (Zap Gel ) at my LFS that looks and smell like a "Crazy/Super Glue" , is that the same as the "Crazy / Super Glue" that you can find at the hardware stores ?(diff brand)  <<Yes>> It contains " Cyanoacrylate" on both glues but according to my LFS the one that they sell (Zap Gel) contains no harmful chem that will affect my tanks water chemistry, I don't know if this is true or they just want to make money since their price is almost triple than the one of the hardware store.  <<Super glue will not affect your water chemistry.>> They told me that the this glue their selling is made for Aquariums, but again it looks and smell like a regular "Crazy/Super Glue". <<Because it is the same stuff.>> Please enlighten me and the rest of my kind, this hobby is expensive enough to purchase such item that's triple in price but of the same effect or use than of the cheaper one. <<I personally use and suggest the cheapo super glue gel you can find at your local Wal-Mart.>> Thanks so much. <<Glad to help and happy fragging.>> Nemo1 <<TravisM>> 

Filtration For Propagation Tanks? - 10/08/05 Hello Crew, <<Howdy>> I am planning to set up (8) 8ft x 4 ft x 12 in tall propagation tanks in a greenhouse. <<neat>> I will have a protein skimmer in each. <<ok>> I am trying to avoid a sump for each tank if I can help it (simpler set up). For biological filtration, would you advise 1) 3" oolitic sand, 2) 200 lb live rock, or 3) some sort of sponge material. The sponge material would be cheaper, I believe, but I'm concerned about stuff that it would give off into the water. The sand would consume 3" of depth, leaving only 7-8" of water. The live rock would allow 'pods to develop. Pros and cons to each? Just looking for your advice. <<Well Jerry, my advice is this...I don't think any of these are very good ideas. The sand bed is too shallow and really needs to be employed WITH some live rock...the live rock, well, see my remarks about the sand bed...and the sponge material is just too inefficient/prone to trapping detritus.  Don't set yourself up to fail by taking shortcuts...you won't be doing yourself or your livestock any favors. My advice is to build your tanks a bit deeper and utilize a 5"-6" sugar-fine aragonite DSB. I also suggest you employ a container (unlit) with live rock (e.g. - 100 gallon Rubbermaid). You will have the benefit of nitrate reduction from the sand bed...biological filtration of the live rock...and the (different) plankton production provided by both. If you elevate your tanks and place the Rubbermaid container underneath, plumbing to pump up to the tank which then overflows back to the Rubbermaid container is quite simple. Regards, EricR>> Regards, Jerry 

SPS/Frags/Mother Colonies/Captive Generations…  10/6/05 Greetings Oh Great Fish God's, <Are you sure? I swear I caught my Sailfin mouthing off the other day…> Kudos for the exemplary work you guys and gals do on this site to provide the vast knowledge base that you do and for sharing your experiences with the rest of us wanabe reefers. It truly must be a thankless task. <It's not so bad.> Question: Is a frag a frag and will it always be a frag? <Not if it grows up, but I suppose there is a lot of gray area in there.> I now have 2, 80gal tanks that are brimming with assorted SPS corals and frags. I had initially purchased mother colonies and after some time I began to frag them. I am now at the point where I am fragging the frags into frags. <Awesome.> Although all of the frags and the frags of the frags are doing great but as they mature and grow they never seem to look like the mother colony in density, color, or number of appendages/bushiness.  <Well unless they are placed in the exact same conditions (noticed I said conditions not tank) a Frag will never grow up to look exactly like its mother.  There are so many factors playing into this, nutrients, water flow, light, relation to light, temperature of light among many others.>  What constitutes a mother colony? <In my opinion a colony large enough to be fragged itself.> Size, age, it's density? <Probably all of the above.> Or, must a mother colony come from the wild where it has been naturally reproduced.  <Not in my opinion. I have a large Sinularia that I consider to be a mother colony. It was purchased over 5 years ago as a captive propagated frag and is now a monstrous size. I now make frags from it, so I consider it to be a mother colony. Honestly though this can be relative, I suppose some say a true "mother" colony must come from the wild.> Can a frag or a fragged frag or a frag from a fragged frag ever become a mother colony or is it doomed to a life of being just a simple frag?  <Jeez say that last sentence 5 times fast. Like I said in my opinion if a frag has multiplied its original size significantly and has thrived for a decent amount of time. If it is now large enough to make frags without significantly reducing the colony, then I consider it to be a mother colony.  Of course I will say that most of these questions seem to be relative or up to opinion.> As mother colonies are fragged, and then the frags fragged, is there anything lost in the genetics from the mother colony as to the number of times it is fragged and re-fragged? <For the most part frags are exact duplicates. Remember an Acropora species of different color/shape/density can be the same species. That's why some of them are so hard to identify.> Or would this ultimately lead to healthier tank/captive raised specimen? <Yes consecutive generations of captive propagated corals generally adapt a lot easier to changes and captive life in general in comparison to their wild counterparts. I would much rather purchase a captive propagated coral over a wild specimen any day of the week.> Tanks in advance, <No trouble, try not to over think or put labels on your specimens, the fact that they are thriving and producing children should be good enough. Have fun with it. Remember that most of these labels we use including LPS and SPS are not scientific, they are hobby generated.> Gary <Adam Jackson.> The Great White North    <The Great Southwest?>

National Frag Swap  10/2/05  An idea that came up as a potential event is a National Frag Swap.  A way that was suggested to make this happen and somewhat simple for the attendees was to have each person be responsible for their own corals.  If they couldn't arrange something locally or with one of the vendors, they could bring a small container with their own tank water, bubble and small PC light to keep the corals alive and somewhat content.  Then on Sunday, all who want to trade or sell can meet in the designated room at the end of the meeting.  People can arrange to swap ahead of time, like on RC or other sites, and then do the exchange then.  They can see what they get and even work out other deals and such.   We think it will be more of a local hit for all who drive, but I am sure there might be some wanting to take advantage of the chance to get something from across the country without paying shipping.  Thoughts? Re: National Frag Swap This has come up in the past more then a few times in the past IMAC/MACNAs For anything more than the one-day conferences... it is at best a logistical challenge, and more often (worst) significantly increases rates of morbidity/mortality of the frags. Just awful. Too many frags from too many places in too crowded tanks held for too many days going home to too many aquarists with too few QT tanks. The possibility of sharing pests and diseases is quite daunting even beyond the frag mortality issues. I'd personally want no part in it and frankly have no practical (inexpensive) solution for y'all on how to make it work. My strong advice is to not do it. Frag swaps work best (better at least) with one-day regional events where transit time is short and all bags/frags are isolated. Anthony

Re: National Frag Swap Kim,  I know in the beginning planning stages of hosting a MACNA, one wants to do as many things & have as many speakers as possible.....but after hosting 3 MACNAs I'm here to tell you....Keep it simple!  When you try to do as many things as possible & have as many speakers, workshops as possible, you end up spreading yourself & the volunteers thin, things get missed or overlooked & in the end, it is no fun.  Stretching the budget to have more speakers, workshops, etc will also cause excessive worrying, lost sleep, and potential loss for the club. 
 As far as the frag swap, I would say NO.  Not only will it be unsafe for the frags, but what about the potential water spillage & potential electrical issues as the hobbyists try to set up tanks in their rooms for 3 - 4 days.  It is not wise for MARSH to take responsibility for the frag swap - ethically, financial nor incur the potential liability issues for hotel damage.  There are always a few group of hobbyists that do exchange frags amongst themselves at MACNA.....let them do it themselves & save yourself (& MARSH) the hassles &  headaches......don't add that "to your plate".
 Just my 2 cents,
 Kelly  That is what I was thinking you guys would say.  I guess I will now know what to tell the rest of the members who requested it.

Farming Atlantic corals? 8.25.06 Hey all.. <Cheers, Anthony Calfo in your service.> I am currently in the first stages of an idea to start a business propagating Caribbean corals. I have done some research on the subject and found Eric's article about the coral farm in Dominica most interesting. <All fascinating indeed.> My experience is mostly on the hobbyist level, but I am working on a degree in Biology, and various entrepreneurial  ventures (none related to coral propagation) are not new to me. The location I was contemplating is Panama central America, specifically the Bocas Del Toro area. I am planning on looking at property there in the next 3 months. It seems that Panamas access to major international airports, tax advantages to new businesses, cheap raw land on the ocean, and very favorable infrastructure make this a very favorable area to look at. <Hmmm... or whom would be your market? How do you reckon importing them into the American market or any CITES nation? Not only do I think the US is out of the question, but I am certain most of Europe will be (Italy, Germany, UK). Is this for research and accredited zoological institutions... or for ornamental sale? Of the later, you need to visit/read/explore the CITES.org website for starters> I'm still in the dreaming stages but I've had the idea of moving to a tropical climate and getting out of the rat race for many years now. <A nice dream... be sure you have a very thorough business plan to insure you succeed.> The problem is making a living in a third world country, support a family etc. <The challenges/problems I suspect run far deeper than that. I'm just happy to get an unused bar of soap at some hotels <G>> But I think! this idea could be feasible, long term of course. <I do not, my friend... at least not in the short term (definitely not 1-3... likely not even 3-5 year plan. Your energy and money would be safe and better spent elsewhere. Like a coral farm for legal Pacific species situated in a temperate climate with cheap standards of living such as the Carolinas, Southern Virginia, for example.> Do you know of anyone embarking on such a project anywhere in central America? <I have consulted two folks looking to do the same in Belize. One fell through... one is still trying top make headway with the government/officials.> Thanks. AJ Ginther <Consider joining us at one of the regional or national hobby conferences like MACNA where we can sit down and chat at length about the possibilities. Best of luck/life to you. Anthony>

Lighting hardware 8.14.05 Hello Crew, <Howdy> What do you all think about PFO Lighting metal halide products?  Dependable and reliable?  I'm considering purchasing many units for coral farming and want to avoid known problems.   <Hmmm... the bigger issue here is why you are using artificial lighting for coral farming if you intend to make any decent profits?> Also, PFO offers parallel and perpendicular reflectors.  Sanjay Joshi's article indicates that the parallel reflectors are somewhat better than the perpendicular ones.   <Sanjay is very reliable> These are going to go over 8ft x 2ft grow out troughs.  Any advice? <Use skylights, light tubes, windows or a greenhouse if possible if you have any hope of actually making a profit> Thanks for your dedication to this industry! Regards, Jerry <Please take the advice to heart, my friend... not issued lighting here. Artificial lighting gobbles profits in coral farming. It's a charity ;) Anthony>

Coral farming: natural vs. artificial light 8.15.05 Thanks, Anthony.  I've considered quite heavily going the greenhouse route, even to the point of putting a bid on land, etc.  However, I've concluded that I will go with artificial lighting because of the cheaper overall cost compared to purchasing land, greenhouse, and associated cooling/maintenance required. I can run 3x175w MH lighting over 24 8x2ft tanks for $100 per week. I'll spend roughly $6k on lighting, and can put all the tanks in my garage. <Is it possible to install skylights, windows and/or light tubes in this garage roof? If so... be sure to specifically find glazed products that admit maximum UV (contrary to the way most are sold/mfg). The good news is that such glass/products are cheaper. More importantly... they are better/necessary for corals. We'll filter UV as needed... not wholesale blocking by the panes on entry.> I'll spend far less this way than having to purchase land and building, plus the hassle of greenhouse maintenance (and the worry of a violent storm tearing the building down). <An insignificant concern... truly. Unfounded fear.> Am I missing something? Yes... huge here: you are presuming that you can get the same or good enough growth of corals under artificial light to absorb that additional expense. This could not be farther from the truth. Once you have grown corals under sunlight... you will see my friend. And, if you choose to go artificial, you will also learn some hard lessons. I talk to more than a dozen or so folks going this route year after year. Considering the scope of your project here... why not invest a small amount in a model to test. One tank in the garage under a single skylight/large window?> Regards, Jerry
<Best of luck/life, Anthony>

Just Braggin' 8/7/05 Hey guys, <George/Niki> Just wanted to say thanks for all your help on all the questions I've asked, and to show you the pictures of our new greenhouse here at the shop. :) <Welcome> When our chiller comes in we are going to take off all the panels in the ceiling. Hopefully we can start growing more of our own corals instead of pulling them of the reef.   <Real good> thanks again,
<Bob Fenner>

Coral farm questions: UK 7/30/05 Hi all, My name is Russ; I own a company in the U.K. called Atlantis Aquatics along with my business partner Glyn. We are moving to a garden centre over the next few months and I will be building my second coral farm. <Fabulous to hear!> My first attempt is in my garage and lit by M/H and filtered with L/R and a large skimmer. <Yikes... very(!) difficult to do profitably. I presume you have crunched your numbers and realize this by now my friend?> There is currently about 500 U.K. Galls in the system. I have a few questions aimed at Anthony, but any help would be gratefully received. My method of lighting will be natural; <It has to be... otherwise the project will be closer to a charity than a profitable business <G>> I've got various ways of cooling, filtering etc but am confused about the material used for a Polly tunnel. I've read Anthony's book and did have 2 copies but alas they are now on my missing list. (lent out and not returned). I remember that a certain type of plastic was used to filter U.V. in naturally lit systems but I'm not sure what thickness or material was used? <most GH plastics and human habitat (atrium, skylights, etc.) do filter out a majority of UV which we do not(!) want done for corals. Instead we want to admit most all and filter as needed over specific tanks> Our intention is to open the facility to the general public once complete as there are none in the U.K. that I'm aware for people to gain knowledge. Also, I've visited various garden centres in the winter and found these tunnels to be very cold. <They are ... in fact, not hard to keep warm in large part because the standing pools of saltwater act as heat sinks. Any cheap household heating options (look to what the FW folks use in their free-standing Fishwise) will be enough my friend. You'll be amazed at how much heat the tanks of water hold at night> Is there a way to insulate the tanks used other than the usual methods? To heat the room itself will be very expensive to setup and run in this country, along with the fact that our winters are very long. <I am on similar lat with you in England (Pennsylvania) and have seen/consulted other folks north in Canada, Nova Scotia, Ireland with rough winters too. This is not so great a problem, rest assured. We should take some time to chat if you like. I'll be in Spain the first week of Oct 2005 for SIZOO.com If you can make the (cheap?) flight to Barcelona, I'll be sure to make the time to sit down and discuss your plans at length and help any way that I can, mate.> Thanks for your time in advance, Regards, Russ www.atlantisaquatics.co.uk <Best of luck/life. Anthony> Propagating Trachyphyllia and Indiana Marine Club 7/30/05 questions 7/30/05 Hello!......re my Trachyphyllia.....I really don't think it is going to make it.  Could you point me in the direction where I can find out how I could (if I could) frag the coral to possibly save some of it...if that's possible.    <You can literally cut this coral on a band saw... or better: a wet saw for tile or ceramic. Other tools will work fine of course. You might use a tile cutting bit on a Dremel, e.g.. But the gist of it is saw at least 1/2" into the good tissue (away from the infected part) and make the cut fast and clean. The saved portion does not need to have a mouth on the polyp. But you do need to expose the cut edge to decent water flow for faster healing> Sorry about the ignorant questions. Have you heard anything about "miracle mud"...what are your opinions concerning it. <Compositionally... it can be useful like other terrestrial substrates for plants and algae> Do you know of any marine fish organizations in Indiana.....I would like to get in touch with some people who are connected with the same hobby as myself (that way I don't have to bug the hell out of you guys when I want to talk about fish :) Thanks so much!!!! Codie <I do indeed know of a good Indiana club: http://www.indmas.org/ and the forum they frequent on: www.reeffrontriers.com and a fave shop: www.inlandaqautics.com best regards, Anthony>

Fragging Non-Branching Hammer Coral - 07/06/05 I know you can use a Dremel to cut the coral.  But I have a hammer coral that isn't the branching kind.  I want to frag this coral but how would I use the Dremel to cut along the top fleshy part of the coral. <<I have a friend who does this.  His method is to stretch a rubber band around the coral crossing the polyps where he wants to make the cut.  In a week or so, the polyps will recede from this point leaving open skeleton for you to make the cut without fear of damaging the polyps and risking infection.>> Thanks, S. Montgomery <<Regards, Eric R.>>

Zinc in epoxy 7/5/05 Hi WWM Crew, First I would like to thank you for your help. I recently bought and read (in about 2 days) Bob Fenner's book and am really enjoying the learning process. I got excited about aquascaping after reading that part of the book went out to the local hardware store and bought epoxy putty. I ended up with two kinds. One is Ace brand plumbers epoxy which I think will be safe, as I found reference to it being used successfully by others on the web. I ended up liking this one better and bought more of it. It is the majority of what I used. (About 5 10' sticks.) The second is PC marine epoxy. This one I am worried about because it lists zinc sulfide on the materials (5-10% of the composition). I only used one 5' stick of this. I unfortunately already used both of them to build a fairly large rock structure for my 55 gal fish and invert tank. My question to you is: Do you think that the PC epoxy will be harmful? <The Zinc is to be avoided... but over some time it should be of little to no consequence. I would place a pad of PolyFilter in your filter flow path for now... to remove this metal as it comes into solution from the Epoxy> What if I cover the exposed areas of PC epoxy with the other Ace brand epoxy? <A worthwhile suggestion, yes> And finally, if it should not go in the tank do you think that breaking down and reusing the rocks (coral skeleton) that were exposed to it would be OK? Possibly with new and extra carbon in the system? <I do think you are right here> I presently have 2 large hang on filters, a UV filter, new (3 days old) Aqua C remora pro skimmer, and an undergravel filter. I change 10% of the water twice a week using Waikiki aquarium filtered water. <Ah, "the gathering place", O'ahu> I tried calling the company and am waiting for a call back, although not sure they will be able to answer my questions. I did search this site extensively and although I found reference to a link regarding epoxy, I could not locate the link. Thank you so much. Looking forward to seeing what you have to say. Elizabeth <I would not be overly concerned here... with the size, type system, availability of good source water, use of chemical filtrants... the Zinc should be a small concern soon. Bob Fenner>

Re: zinc in epoxy 7/6/05 Hi again, In reference to the attached email regarding epoxy putty. I received a call from PC marine. They assured me that the product, once cured, was harmless in a saltwater fish tank. The said that once cured that it will not allow any water entry or react with anything. They also said that they had given this advice to others and had them use it successfully. I am still a little hesitant and would love your opinion. Thanks! Elizabeth <You did get my email from this morning? I am in agreement with the statements above. This putty should be safe once cured. Bob Fenner>

Re: zinc in epoxy 7/6/05 Hi Bob, <Elizabeth> Thank you so much for your response. I was thinking that I would have to break down my big rock structure that I spent so long on. For some reason I did not receive your response to my first email, but I went to WWM and found it. <Bizarre... the Net...> I will buy some poly filters and put my masterpiece in! <Ah, good... get some help lifting!> Thank you very much for what you have done for this hobby. I recommend your book/site to every person I see in the pet store buying unsuitable livestock. Aloha, Elizabeth <Ahh, thank you for your kind, encouraging words, good works. Bob Fenner> Pectinia paeonia propagation 6/29/05 Mr. Fenner: I love your website, it is a tremendous resource. I was hoping to get either Anthony Calfo, or Eric Borneman's opinion on the possibilities of fragging Pectinia Paeonia. <Anthony here with bells on... earring too... a tight lil purple dress. Its a good day.> I have read your page on the Pectiniids, and realize that there is little demand, and a slow growth rate for these corals. But is it possible to propagate these the same way as SPS  fragmentation?? i.e., breaking into smaller pieces and supergluing them to "plugs"? <Yes... similar> Or does this coral require an LPS method where the skeleton must be cut, and the tissue allowed to grow apart? <Not at all... the latter being too slow/conservative> My concern arises with the mouth shaped orifice located deep within the flutes of the coral... Thank you. Ben Ward <Pectinia can simply be sawn without care or caution to include a mouth with every frag. Use a masonry saw blade... preferably a wet saw (cooling the blade... less tissue damage). Cheap DIY tile cutting saws work fine here. Just rip into fast clean sections. We just did a fab demonstration of this at IMAC. Go to theimac.org and you will see DVDs of it for sale in a few weeks (cheap too). Maintain good water flow on the divisions... and be sure to make lateral or lower moves, but not higher, when returning the frags to the tank. Best of luck! Anthony> Oz coral and fish farming 6/29/05 G'day Bob! <Cheers, mate... Anthony Calfo in his stead> I was hoping you could help me out.  I live in Queensland, Australia and have been propagating corals for a year or so now on the side as a hobby.  I live near the ocean so its quite easy.  I've tried mostly Acropora, Sarcophyton, bubble coral, and elegance coral.  Also "trying" to breed mandarin fish with mixed success!  I've decided that I may start a small business raising awareness on coral propagation and hints and tips to people in Australia on how do to it. <Fabulous to hear... please let me know if/how I can help with this. I have run a small coral farm of my own for more than a few years... have a look of it, "Book of Coral Propagation" and have traveled to see. consult coral farms and public aquariums on the matter. I do hope to see/help you succeed if I can> Basically my question is do you happen to know any good Indonesian, Fijian, Solomon islands or even Australian coral/fish wholesalers that you could recommend? <There are indeed some fab places... but what is the legality of you importing them into Oz? > I've been scouring the internet for ages and come up with nothing ( which seems silly seeing as we have the barrier reef just north of us!!).   <Indeed. But I do believe that Australia has a very conservative protection of its resources... nothing in or out. As aquarists do you not only have access to Oz species?> Any contacts you could give me I would be very grateful.  It seems the whole aquaculture/reef aquarium industry in Australia is very new and not as large as the USA.   <Agreed> Every online coral and fish mail order company seems to operate out of the states but yet there's maybe one or two online retailers here in oz. <Yes... reasons for this> Any info you could give would be awesome - I'll shout ya a beer.  None of that weak American beer though :P <Heehee... a German friend of mine says that we do not have beer in America, only yellow mountain spring water <G>. We actually do have some fabulous microbreweries> Cheers big ears, Steve  - Sunshine Coast, Australia <I'm wondering if you would not do best regardless to focus on unique Australian species. You have some of the most amazing and sought after reef creatures in the world in your seas. Do consider, mate. But regarding contacts... you may want/need to get out once or twice per year for a proper investment in your business education to see some conferences like AQUARAMA (Singapore) or InterZoo (spring 2006 Germany). At such world trade shows, you will see all of the biggest dealers of livestock, drygoods, etc all in one place. Very easy networking. kindly, Anthony>

Oz coral and fish farming II 6/29/05 G'day Anthony! <cheers, mate> Thanks for your advice and help.  I think you're right about me concentrating on Australian species instead of trying to propagate corals from the other side of the world.  Seeing as I have the Great Barrier Reef on my backyard I think that it could use a helping hand so it survives many years into the future. <Yes, indeed my friend. It is good business, good for the hobby and good karma IMO> I've actually ordered your Book of Coral Propagation as you can never have too much advice, and you seem to be the pro in that area :) <Ah... thanks kindly!> Is this the best email to contact you on or do you have your own so every now and then I can ask you propagation related questions? Thanks for all your help! <I spend most of my time here on such message boards. My personal e-mail is badly neglected often so... so that we can keep up with the flow of mail from folks in need> Cheers big ears, Steve Wilson <Rock on... Anth-> - Two Part Epoxy in Bulk - Hey crew.. Does anyone know of a good aquarium safe 2 part epoxy putty, that I can buy in bulk? <Have not seen the aquarium-safe varieties available in bulk but obviously they are to someone... I just don't know the source.> the 2oz pet store tubes  are just way to expensive. I'm not convinced there is anything special about them besides the color. they look just like the roll of two part found at my local hardware "which i have used with success," I was looking at the POR-15 and Milliput brand epoxies, which can be bought by the pound...Is there any way to tell if they are aquarium safe? I have contacted both dealers and they both said they are not designed for aquarium use although they will cure under water and bond to most anything... not much help. Thanks for any info.. A.J. <Perhaps someone reading our dailies will know where you might source this stuff. For certain it is available somewhere. Cheers, J -- ><<Go to Home Depot, Lowe's... look for name, address of manufacturer's... Not made by "fishy" folks, just re-labeled. BobF>>

Coral Farmer Wannabe's Tank Conversion 4/14/05 Crew, <Cheers, Erik> First of all, WOW! Words (at least those in my vocabulary) simply cannot describe the overwhelming abundant wealth of knowledge I've obtained from your extraordinary site. I can't thank you guys (and gals) enough for the time you have invested in this endeavor and for sharing your experience and knowledge with those of us that surely can't be deemed worthy. <It is a labor of love :)> Secondly, WOW! I finally got my copy of the Book of Coral Propagation Volume 1 in the mail today and I have barely been able to tear myself away from it long enough to type this inquiry and get to work on my business plan.  <Ahh, thanks kindly!> After a couple of years of reef keeping I got a superb deal on a very colorful, densely populated mushroom colony from a LFS. I thought to myself that I could successfully propagate these particular polyps equipped with what I have learned from the crew at WWM and easily turn a profit.  <Yes - Corallimorphs are excellent candidates to start off with> Viola, the coral farmer inside me was awakened. For 4 months I've been pursuing this endeavor very slowly, not wanting to get in over my head and/or fail miserably. Things are going well thus far. Now that I'm armed with Mr. Calfo's excellent text combined with the WWM archives, patience, and uncommon business sense, I don't see how failure could even be within the realm of possibility. <There is money to be made here, indeed. And even more happiness/satisfaction in the work to be had> Finally, I'll get to my question. I have a heavily planted 55 gallon freshwater tank which, while a beauty in itself, will soon be converted to a coral farm tank. This tank already has a fine grain 3" sand bed (yes, I successfully grew beautiful, healthy freshwater plants in a sand substrate) leftover from the tank's previous saltwater fish-only existence. Is it feasible for me to maintain this sand bed and accentuate it with fresh live sand for the new coral farm tank or should I simply scrap it and start from scratch? <If the sand is free of any significant amount of solid detritus/sediments... then it will be fine after a good rinse. No worries> Thanks for your wonderful site and any advice you may have on this topic. Erik <Best of luck and life, Anthony> 

Coral Fragging Question 4/12/05 Hi gang, I'm hoping you could help me out. I've got a nice frag of M. palawanensis, and I am very fond of the coral. I've got someone that will trade me one of the wildest looking Acanthastrea lordhowensis frags I've ever seen for a small, dime sized piece of the palawanensis. I've never fragged a coral before, and the prospect makes me a little nervous. What is the best way to frag this one? It's so thick I'm not sure how to best break it. Thanks, Brandon  <I am fond of using a rotary tool (Dremel type) with a composite cutting wheel (and safety glasses!). If you don't own one of these, heavy scissors or diagonal pliers work fine too, but with far less control. You will likely end up with multiple pieces, but these can be easily mounted for future trades. Superglue gel will work well to mount them to pieces of rubble. Best Regards. AdamC.>

Aqua Mend, or Aquamend, epoxy for aquarium use Hello all! Bob I purchased you book, I think it is well written and very enjoyable. I really like that you never "hawk" the book on your website. <Am opposed to such blatant self-promotion... likely a cultural artifact of growing up in the Far East... not cool to "blow one's own horn"> Anyways a quick question, I have a reef tank and would like to know if you have ever heard of a product by the name of "Aqua Mend" it is a underwater bonding putty looks like the same as the bonding putty they sell at fish stores but it is much cheaper. It is made by "Polymeric Systems, inc." I bought it at "the Home Depot". Thanks for all you for our great hobby. Dan Taylor <Mmm, this is likely a very similar formulation that others have re-labeled and sold for aquarium use... we have a statement re as well as others if you want to put the string: using Aquamend in aquariums" in your search tools... And, of all coincidences, I have a friend also named Dan/ny Taylor, in the HHH, now residing in Houston. Bob Fenner> 

A Budding Coral Farmer Hello Mr. Scott. <Scott here, Captain! (I couldn't resist that one!> I would like to start my own little coral frag colony in my nano tank!!! How do I start doing that? Do I break some pieces off my corals I have now and glue them on a some live rock? Or is there some other way? Thanks for your time <You're entering one of the most enjoyable (and responsible) parts of the hobby- captive propagation of corals! Depending upon the species that you are working with, it may be as easy as slicing off a section of coral and letting it settle out on rock rubble (as in the case of soft coral), or using a dissecting shear to cut some branches off of an established colony and supergluing them to pieces of rock for grow out. To be honest with you, it's too difficult to generalize. Lots of ways to accomplish this! I'd start by arming myself with Anthony Calfo's "Book of Coral Propagation", which is packed full of information and ideas for the intrepid coral farmer. Check it out! Good luck on your adventure! Regards, Scott F.>

Coral Farming questions 1/4/05 I perused what I believe to be most of the FAQs on the WWM site, and didn't find too much not of the retail/service side of the business.  I was specifically looking for more information about Mr. Calfo's previous business. If I am just another schmuck who did not find the site for all the answers to my questions, I am sorry for stupid questions.  Else could you please point me in the right direction? <no worries... here in your service> Such things as why'd he quit? <many reasons, not the least of which was a desire to travel, write books and spend more time photographing.> How much was he making at his peak? <working only four days per week (wanting to always spend more time with family, versus 5 or 6 day work weeks), I netted over 100K annually with a profit margin that peaked around 52%> How many employees did he have if any? <a one man band only> How many square feet? <1000> How long did it take to make ANY profit (I read in the FAQs a couple years, but I'm just curious)? <exactly that> How many gallons were his systems? <8,000 on the high end> Greenhouse construction (I've been reading, but most books focus only on plants)? <do check out the references in the back of the "Coral Propagation"  book... it's what they are there for my friend: where I bought sand, salt, greenhouse supplies, etc. For starters, you can try XS Smith for GH structures.../ and places like atlasgreenhouse.com> I am soon to be finishing my undergrad and will probably shoot for earning an Ms in Mariculture.   <you'd be better off getting a business degree, mate (seriously). But at any rate, please do take some business courses and be sure to complete a thorough business plan before making any fiscal move. There is great software out there to help you like Business Plan Pro> As of now a coral farm/import business is my dream, and has been growing for around 4 years now. <forget about importing as a long term option... you cannot rely on a living from it in the 10 year plan if even the 5 year plan. Focus on farming corals wholly... better profits, better for the environment, and more control over your project/income> Thank you very much for your time. Adam Beem <best of luck and life to you, Adam. Please feel welcome to share your completed business plan with me for a shared opinion. Anthony>

Brain reproduction? Greetings Crew! <Happy Holidays Ray, MacL here with you> Hope you are in a warmer climate than I am right now (10F with wind-chill of -15).  Makes me want to climb into my reef tank where it is nice and warm!  <Its not quite that cold where I am, and Bob is in Hawaii.> OK, done a quick search and can't find the answer to my question.  I have an open brain coral in my reef tank Wellsophyllia/Trachyphyllia).  Anyway, been in there for about 8 months and has nearly tripled in size, grown 2 new "mouths" and developed several new folds. Lately I have noticed that two folds are growing towards each other so that if they keep going, they will divide the entire coral in two equal parts with several "mouths" on each side.   So my question is:  how do they reproduce?  By fragmentation/division or by sexual reproduction? <It's asexual reproduction, usually by budding just like what you are seeing.> Everything else in the tank is doing great so I am sure it is not an environmental thing. <No its a good thing, you should be proud.> The only oddity is that after a year, my yellow-tailed damsel has chosen a new rock to claim as his own on the opposite side of the tank......and all the other fish inhabitants (mostly my yellow tang and coral beauty) still ignore his little fits to defend his territory (small guy in the tank). Thanks again for all your help in the past! <Ray, congratulations you are obviously doing great.> -Ray

Coral Farming in Phoenix 11/30/04 Anthony, I have left the email below so that you may remember me from our previous dialogue, although considering the volume of emails that you process, that is doubtful. :)  The 300 gal tank is doing very well...perfect water quality...corals are growing and rotifers are being cultured.  I've attached a few pictures. <excellent... and all good to hear/see. I am making plans to begin coral farming in Phoenix.  My company is called New Reef, LLC.   <wow! kudos to you> After reading your book (and others) and doing some market research, I believe this to be a viable opportunity on a large scale.   <agreed> My research shows that roughly $23M worth of coral is purchased each year in the US alone, which I believe equates to about 500,000 pieces annually.  Of that, 98% comes out of the ocean.  Do you agree with those numbers? <yes... largely. At least, with the best we have/can do from CITES info and the like.> Technology is improving consistently, making it easier for hobbyists and businesses to maintain reef tanks successfully.  Prices are coming down as competition heats up.  The economy is improving (albeit slowly).  These factors seem to point to the fact that the reef hobby will experience growth over the next decade.  Thoughts? <the aquarium hobby has historically fared well through economic times dating back to even the great depression (there are market stats this far back!). People will give up many of their hobbies in lean times, but they will not compromise the comforts of keeping cats, dogs, birds, fish, etc. Overpriced coffee, yes... pets no :p> Briefly, my background is managing manufacturing production, and over the last decade has been in e-business architecture for a very large corporation.  I recently completed an MBA at Arizona State.  It seems to me that a coral farming business would do well selling wholesale to retail LFS's and online stores (like Drs Foster&Smith and Marine Depot Live).   <agreed... I favor this myself and recommend it. Direct retail is miserable and not your best bet>. Channels of distribution (retailers) are well established. They exist for this purpose. You are a grower. They are two separate things.> If the farmer can get the coral propagation grow-out rate synchronized with forecasted demand, then a very good business could be maintained.  The magic of FedEx means that LFS's  can procure cultured corals overnight from "my ocean" rather than a week or two out from the real ocean.   <please do reconsider putting the fate of your business in the hands of such overnight carriers and reread my explanation why in the shipping and receiving chapter of my coral prop book. FedEx is fab for non-perishables, but not designed (temp/climate control) for livestock. The commercial airlines are... and they are faster too (really - do read the chapter and then do the math on coast to coast flights, versus 7PM drop offs and 10AM-3PM next day deliveries from unheated/un-air-conditioned plains and trucks (overnight folks)> The increased quality/survivability, coloration, etc., will encourage hobbyists to purchase even more corals.  And of course, this will reduce the burden on the natural ocean from coral harvesting. <OK> Phoenix gets over 300 days a year of sun.  The average temperature is in the 70s.  There are strategies for keeping things cool in the summer.   Hmmmm.  Is there a more optimal outdoor propagation condition? :) <yes... sunny and milder temps (like the Carolinas) :) You do have the dry air and better evap cooling going for you though. Heat is an issue though for sure.> I have more questions, but don't want to write an email book, so I'll stop for now.  I would really appreciate your thoughts and feedback. Regards, Jerry <I'm visiting the local AZ reef club DMS in January... be delighted to talk to you more that weekend if you like in person. Best regards! Anthony>
Re: Coral Farming in Phoenix: Anthony
<Antoine is out till 12/12...> Thanks for the quick response.  It is encouraging to have confirmation of my initial thoughts.  As far as transportation, I have looked into commercial airline freight, and agree that it is better.  My only challenge is figuring out how to get the product to the LFS from the airport. <There ARE freight-forwarding services... and you might even (oh, see you mention below)... otherwise, most large orders, the stores go and pick up themselves> That was the main thought behind using FedEx.  But I'll ask around and figure that out, unless you have an easy explanation. <Even some big companies (like Petco in several locations) use FedEx, UPS, DHL to make their deliveries... and if the orders are small (let's say the equivalent of "one box" or so) this is very likely your and their best route (as I hope you are charging freight, packaging to the recipients)... Barry Neigut of ClamsDirect and others have very successfully used these services... can be negotiated, discounts asked for volume...> For plugs and other propagation medium, I've been exposed to the GARF's Dixie cup shaped plugs. <Do consider making "miniature ice-cube tray plugs with dimples"... by attaching "plugs" to the bottom of the cube's bottoms> Also, there are the flower holder plastic tubes, floor tile pieces, etc.  Do you have an opinion on the best kind that would be accepted by the hobbyist community?  The Dixie cups look a little too "flower pot"-ish, but looking at them in my tank, they aren't all that bad. <Oh... something that is consistent in appearance, either chemically inert or of benefit (we used Portland cement and sharp sand... and soaked the plugs in freshwater with a little hydrochloric acid (Muriatic) to neutralize much of the easy hardness> It appears that Xenia/Anthelia, Acropora, and Seriatiopora hystrix bring the greatest value, followed by Pocillopora, Montipora, Pavona, Hydnophora, Turbinaria, and Sinularia.  Clavularia, Sarcophyton, Lobophytum, and Cladiella also seem to make sense.  Do you agree? <Mmm, yes... would be looking (always) for new varieties, color forms... for instance, Oculinids (Galaxea spp.), Atlantic and Pacific Ricordeas... though slow-growing, can help distinguish you, your business...> It seems kind of hit and miss to figure out growth rates for each species. <Mmm, not so... this data is available... and able to be manipulated... at a cost (electrical for heat and lighting... CO2 boosting...) and increased risk of trouble to disaster.> Given excellent growing conditions, is there a known chart for this? <Not a chart (as far as I'm aware)... but individual articles, scientific works... even good "word of mouth" from folks in the trade. Do you know Dick Perrin (Tropicorium)? He might just tell you> Many sources state "fast growth" or "slow growth", but that's hard to translate into weeks/months. :)  Also, when a parent coral is propagated, how long until it is ready again? <A few to several months> I'm thinking of an initial configuration using short 13 gallon plastic tubs with 40w fluorescent lights.  The depth of water would be only 8 in, with 3in of sand.  The tubs would be placed on shelves and plumbed together to create an entire raceway (similar in concept to displays in a LFS).  The tubs can be disconnected and moved in order to facilitate many operational efficiencies. <Mmm, do some re-thinking here... there are major advantages in having much larger grow-out containers (hundreds of gallons)... and very shallow water (an inch or so above the final selling size)... more stable chemically, physically, better use of light, more color...> For pricing, it seems that tank-raised corals bring higher retail revenue.  I plan to get wholesale price lists from coral importers to compare what the LFS is currently paying, but is it true that tank-raised should command a higher price? <Yes, definitely, in terms of mass per dollar... but do keep in mind that a minimum mark-up at retail is often keystoning the net landed cost (freight, boxing, specimen...), even tripling... so your sales cost may be a third of retail> Thanks again!  I will definitely plan to meet you at the Phoenix DMS meeting! Jerry <Hope Anthony does so. Bob Fenner>

Re: Coral Farming in Phoenix Very good.  Thank you, Bob.  I've got and read your book, too.  Very useful!  In light of this business initiative, are there particular books that you would recommend besides the normal Sprung/Borneman/Moe books? <Definitely Anthony's Book of Coral Propagation which am sure you have... and attending venues where you can meet other folks in the trade, learn what you can... visit competitors... "chat" on the Net (BBs especially) re trends, pricing...> I'll take your advice on the grow-out tanks.  For clarification, given the short water depth, is it likely that 40w tubes (was thinking 4 tubes per 15" wide x 48" long tank) would give appropriate lighting?  Obviously, VHO/PC/MH are more expensive, create more heat, and multiples may be needed to create the desired Kelvin spectrum. <Worth looking into the boosted fluorescent systems, even MH for some types, applications... UNLESS you have the slow boat to China mentality, plan for growing out lower light intensity species> In your opinion, what would prevent tens/hundreds of thousands of corals to be sold wholesale per year? <Mmm, decidedly "the" economy first of all... if folks don't have money, the higher-end marine trade is going to suffer... other troubles intervene... the publics distaste for saltwater keeping due to media disparagement... A large factor (and one whose gradient we constantly fight) is outright ignorance leading to apathy then loss... of aquarists (they themselves cycle out more than 100% each year) not getting timely, useful, accurate help/instruction/inspiration from... LFS, books, magazines, other aquarists, clubs, BBs... I strongly encourage you to invest long-term in developing, maintaining your own website (yes, I WOULD sell to the end-user... at least initially... the first few years) in this regard>   Assuming that price is right, order fulfillment is satisfactory, and delivered product is good quality...normal business stuff.  Are there industry dynamics that would come into play to limit potential? <All sorts... most prominently the influences of national restriction (government) and air-freight costs... Consider if Fiji disallows the collection, shipment of cnidarians, or costs of shipping double from there... Bob Fenner> Thank you, Jerry

Re: Coral Farming in Phoenix Thanks, Bob.  You and Anthony have given me great information to go on.  Your willingness to share your knowledge is very cool...hopefully rewarding.  Hopefully, I will have knowledge to share soon, as well. <You will my friend> I see that there is a "Wet Pets" store in Flagstaff, AZ.  Is that your place? Jerry <Ah, not that one... our "Wet Pets" stores are all gone... were in S. Cal. Bob Fenner>

Coral farm business plan 11/5/04 Hello, I am writing to simply find out were to find some numbers and trade/trend facts to and to my plan. <start by doing keyword searches of this and similar phrases in the business links/pages of our archives. Many mentions of this and related topics with info to help you. References to PIJAC our industry lobbyist that will supply with such information on industry sales, trends... and also look for industry trade journals (get subscriptions) for Pet Business, Pet Supplies Marketing, Pet Age, etc> This is going to be a part time endeavor for at least a year through appointment only walk-ins and internet sales. I have built the structure to completion and the plus is that it is paid for, unfortunately I am in need of skimmers, heaters, blowers, pumps, vats, livestock, well you get the picture. <yikes, yes... and I'm terrified for you since you have done all of this without completing a thorough business plan first. You have no idea if this space can even help you reach your personal and financial goals> I am estimating about 6000 gallons of salt water and the should allow my to rival any stock for many many miles. <ahhh... OK> all licenses are in place and codes and permits. Any info or suggestions would be great. this is a hobby gone crazy. thank you, Steve Schultz <the imac.org sells (no profit to me) a video/DVD of my lecture from this years conference. The topic was coral farming for profit. It may interest you to see it. I will be happy to help you in any way I can after(!) you finish a thorough business plan and can speak with insight on it. Best of luck/life in your endeavors! Anthony>

Coral propagation business 11/5/04 Hi... my names Tyler I'm 19....I've been keeping a healthy 80gal reef tank for a few years now and I'm seriously contemplating starting a coral propagation (possibly clams as well) business. <cheers, mate... and kudos on your ambition. I wish you the best here! But I should say too that you may have the same idea that too many other upstarts do: thinking you can earn money on SPS corals, Zoanthids and clams. This is not the case. Although easy to understand by the pulse you get on these items when viewing the message boards. Yet know that the Web is dominated by the outspoken and experiences minority of the hobby/industry. Yet, most of the money to be made is in the largest segment of the market: beginners products and services. If you want to make real money, grow colorful, hardy and cheap soft corals for this (enormous) part of the market. Else, I am nearly certain that you will not succeed 5 years if even 2 by reselling clams and SPS in a small, tight market> selling coral to retail stores first in my state (Washington) then hopefully expand far past that <realistic approach... very good!> my question to you is even if a business like this has a chance to be profitable. <as per above... but regarding your geographic region, its got great potential. The PNW is huge (populous and hobby participants)> since the business would be limited to the amount of corals I could propagate how would I be able to compete against the variety of corals that are collected from reefs around the world. <easy with soft corals.. not so with hard corals> would it be wise so specialize in propagating a certain group of coral like hard corals or mushrooms. <awful on stonies... excellent on mushrooms> I know there are a lot of other aspects of running a successful business but is there a large enough market for this type of business or is in dominated by large companies that a smaller business would be unable to compete against. <usually so... but in our hobby, there is great cottage industry> Thanks a lot for your time you guys really helped me out when I first set my tank up and I hope you can help me again. Tyler <Tyler... do continue your research my friend by starting on a formal business plan early. Get some software like Business Plan Pro to make this easier. I will be in WA state three times next year (schedule at readingtrees.com) and will be delighted top chat with you if you can make it to any of the reef club meetings or social times afterwards. I also have a video of my presentation (I make no money on it) from this this year's IMAC conference that you can buy at the imac.org: the topic of the lecture was how to make money coral farming! Best of luck/life. Anthony>

Superglue gel Dear crew of WWM, I've been an avid reader of your marine articles and FAQs and would like to extend my gratitude towards such a wonderful public service. I live in Singapore, and the marine aquarium trade here is run on a lot of myths and misconceptions with regards coral and fish care so you've been a great help. I found out about cyanoacrylate super glue gel from you guys, and went shopping for some, and coming up only with this product called Quicktite, by Loctite, and its labeled super glue gel, with the behind instructions indicating warnings against eye or skin contact as it contains cyanoacrylate ester. I bought a tube of this though I haven't tried it out for fear of endangering my fishes. Pls tell me if you're able to if this product is acceptable for reef use. << I think that sounds like a perfect glue to use for coral frags.  I would use it. >> thank you very much. << Good luck. >> Ian <<  Blundell  >>

So Cal Frag Swap - Sunday Nov 14 Bob, <Howdy!> Sunday Nov 14th, I am hosting a big So Cal Frag Swap again. You are welcome to come attend. There will probably be over 300 people in attendance. <Wow, that's a big do> I promise to not call the cops on any of the cool people. Dave B <Man, your site opens S L O W! Hope to see you there, then. Bob F, who will post on WWM>   < http://www.o2manyfish.com/> o2manyfish.com - Frags From Under the Sun --

Greenhouse aquaculture 9/20/04 Hi Anthony, it was a real pleasure to get your reply.  Your propagation book has been an inspiration to me. <ah, thanks kindly... very good to hear it> I am really looking forward to a greenhouse.  I'm in the early planning stages- I'm going to take you up on your kind offer and will submit plans at some point for your thoughts, after the tour of Tropicorium and others- <I will help any/every way I can> One question- why would you want to heat the room rather than the water?   <good question... always the air. You'll never see a productive/profitable fish room/GH run by heating the water... waaaay too expensive. Heat the air, and the tanks/water act like heat sinks. Very stable> It isn't that electricity is more expensive than natural gas?   <depends on where you live... varies wildly all over the country. I have seen electricity from 4 cents to over 30 cents per kwh hour> I would think that heating a large volume to bring the water up to temp would be very inefficient-I suppose the cost of 10k watt water heaters for each 240 gallon sized receptacle would be prohibitive compared to inexpensive warehouse-type heaters? <it is most always best to simply use a hanging furnace to heat the room/air. You see these everywhere in industrial applications. There's a reason for it <G>> Thanks for your help, Anthony- Charles<always welcome.. best of luck/Life. Anthony>

Favites brain coral frag Hello All, <<  Blundell here. >> Love your website. I have an 85 gallon flat back hex tank. It will be a reef tank. << Difficult to light. >> I currently have about 50 lbs of live rock and a 4" DSB. A Remora Pro protein skimmer. I only intend to keep LPS corals and some Zoanthids. The lighting is a single 175 watt MH with two 32 watt PC actinic bulbs for supplement. The light is hanging 6 inches above the tank. The rocks are situated in a mound under the light. The tank was cycled for four months before any fish were added. The current occupants are two Saddleback Clowns and two Neon Gobies. I only intend to add a couple more fish. Last Friday I was able to win a Favites - Abide and a button polyp in an auction from the Brooklyn Aquarium Society. << Hey, I almost came to speak there... I wonder what ever happened. >> It seems to be doing well about 12 inches from the top of the tank. Last night for the first time I was able to see it's sweeper tentacles.  The Button Polyp opened right away and is the size of a half dollar and there seem to be four more polyps at its base. I have few questions, should the Favites be placed on the sand bed instead of on the rock. I know that open brain corrals should be placed on the sand, but does the same rule apply to the Favites. << In this case, I'd say up on the rocks so it is closer to the light. >> Should each green center be fed or does the whole colony benefit from an individual mouth being fed.  << The whole colony benefits from a feeding, but I like to rotate feeding each mouth. >> Also, the Favites frag had a small half inch piece fall on the sand. It seems to have part of the brown wall and some of the neon green center. I also saw it extend very small, what I think are sweeper tentacles. And there is another piece that is about a quarter inch in size that has some neon  and some brown wall. Can both these pieces survive? << Yep. >> I believe that both pieces were frags that were loose on the 3" frag that I won. Should I leave them on the sand or should I mount them on the rocks. << I'd probably mount them. >> Thank you very much in advance for all your help. Dan <<  Blundell  >>

Fragging Fungiids 8/11/04 Hi Mr. Calfo <cheers, my friend> I read today that people can frag a Fungia coral. <this is true... quite easy too by a number of different ways/means> I have one that is 9" across and it would be cool if I could frag  it. I've only frags Zoanthids and xenia and also my colt coral. Can you tell me how I can do this to my Fungia please. Thanks you, JJ <you can simply saw this animal in half (or in more pieces by pie shaped wedges following the ridges of the septa) with a Dremel. With good water flow, the pieces will heal in days to weeks, and growth to complete the "circle" will occur in mere months. These are hardy and wonderful corals to keep/work with. Please do take pictures if you do this and share them with us. Kindly, Anthony>

Galaxea Coral Hi <Hi Gaurav> I have a question regarding a tooth coral, Galaxea coral. I have one that is more than 12 inches in diameter. it is getting too big for my aquarium so I am thinking about fragging it. but I have never fragged a LPS hard coral before so I need some suggestions on how to do it. <I think fragging your coral is a wonderful idea. I'd like to suggest you use Anthony Calfo's "Book of Coral Propagation" as a reference and there are some wonderful websites that deal specifically with coral fragmentation.  WWW.fragexchange.com is one that immediately comes to mind> or do you have any better idea of what I should do about it. I have included a few pictures of it for reference. thanks for any suggestions you can give me. <If I may quote Anthony, "Galaxeas are fused colonies of individual, tubular corallites. Each cylinder crowned with a polyp can theoretically live on its own when separated. Coral farmers take colonies of Galaxea and rip paths between the corallites with an electric saw. Wire saw blades work well for this approach.. . . Propagated divisions laid on their side or against hard surfaces will quickly encrust and continue to grow.>  <I also know people who use a Dremel and do it on a lesser level. Good luck, Gaurav, I do encourage you to document what you do and post it on one of the websites. MacL> Gaurav

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