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FAQs about Coral Reproduction/Propagation 2

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 3, 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,

Some corals, like Euphyllia ancora here are easy to propagate... by breaking off a branched colony.

Goniopora stokesii Reproduction Hello, <Hi Jim, MacL here with you tonight> I have a question I can not seem to find an answer for. I have a lime green Goni that is a little over 2 years old (in my tank). It has done well. <Very rare and congratulations> 3 weeks ago while observing the tank I noticed two small (BB size) growths on the substrate, after getting the magnifying glass out I saw what looked like exact clones of the Goni. <BABIES!!!!>  Today they are the size of a large pea, about half the size of a marble. They have for stalk's each and are more discernible now. My question is how do I protect them? and should I try and attach them to something. If so How? I currently have a small piece of egg crate over them so I do not lose them while cleaning. <That sounds like a great idea. You could attach them but I think its best to let them get a bit larger.> I was told they are bud's, but I can not seem to find out any more info. Did these come off the large one? <Yes!> I am extremely excited about these, but, also very worried as to how to care for them. Any help or info you may be able to provide will be deeply appreciated. <Take care of them just like the big ones. You obviously are doing great and congratulations!> Respectfully, Jim

Greenhouse covering for coral farming 6/16/04 I have your "Book of Coral Propagation" and can't seem to find out exactly what I would like to know about a covering. I am looking for sheet to raise stony and soft corals both. <because of the very different lighting needs for so many corals (rather extreme in cases like deep water Zoanthids and Corallimorphs versus shallow water Acroporids), you will need to opt for the "highest common denominator" - essentially, get a covering that allows the most light AND the most UV into the greenhouse for your most demanding species, and then selectively shade over various grow out tanks with less demanding species as needed> I have contacted Stuppy's in Kansas city and  atlasgreenhouse.com. both told me to contact their respective manufacturers. atlas.com and klerksusa.com. at said the best they had was a par light transmission of 91% and this was typical. <not bad... agreed> can you help me find a covering or tell me what I need. <they steered you right, my friend. With growers having such vastly different needs (tomatoes, poinsettias, orchids, mushrooms, corals, etc.)... you are responsible for researching your own needs and then examining the specs of mfgs to pick from them. As mentioned in the coral prop book, seek plastic that allows maximum light and maximum UV in. The latter is the hardest to find as most plastics and glazing try to block (!) as much UV as possible. Still... don't be surprised that the plastic you find is going to be one of the least expensive (yay!). The advantage to max UV admission is a disadvantage to plastic longevity/stability. No worries... changing the GH covering every few years is simply par for the course> I am aware that i will need shade cloth. <yes... several different grades. And a light meter to judge which to use when) I just what some plastic. most people have no idea of what i am talking about when i mention coral farming. <understood... hence my recommendation (again in BOCP 1 <G>) that prospective coral farmers need to advise their GH suppliers that their needs in hardware (fans, plastic coverings, heaters, shade cloths, etc.) are very similar to orchid growers. Take this advise my friend> please help me. thank you <best of luck! And do consider going to the MACNA conference in Boston this September where you can get a priceless education from industry folks like myself eager and waiting to chat with folks/friends like you all weekend long. There is info on the conference on the home page of reefcentral.com Anthony>

Easy way to get sun coral (Tubastrea) spawning 4/10/04  Hello, Dr. Bob,  <Anthony Calfo in his stead>  Five to six months ago I wrote to you about sun corals spawning in my tank, two months ago there was power failure for about 2hrs. Or so, and I noticed my sun corals spawning again, I thought it was just a routine as they do tend to spawn every month. A week later I was drilling hole into the tank to connect it to the sump and I turned the filtration off and lowered the water level then I noticed the sun corals spawning. Then I decided to go forward with the experiment of turning off filtration and observing whether the sun coral spawn or not, and after caring out this experiment three to four times at the interval of 10 to 15 days I reached the conclusion that when the water movement is absent the sun corals do tend to spawn.  <very interesting!>  As I can collect the sun corals from the near by sea shore only on the days of full moon or no moon when there is no water movement as the water level drops, I guess they must be spawning every 15th day. Since I don't have any other hard coral in my tank, I would be more than happy if you carry out this experiment and let me know whether this technique works or not on other hard corals. AMEYA  <fascinating information my friend... thank you so much for sharing. Please do follow up with more when you can. With kind regards, Anthony>

When can I remove cable tie from Acropora? 4/7/04 I have an admittedly ugly solution to place a green slimer, see attached. <yes... painful to even look at <G>. Do consider simply using clean monofilament fishing line if no other means of securing appeal to you (epoxy, Cyanoacrylate glue, rods)> How long do you think it would take this coral to anchor itself and allow me to remove tie-down? <of greater short term concern is the stifling of tissue and risk of a necrotic infection beginning. Do remove this tie promptly please> Should I consider other methods? <as per above my friend. And there are many websites dedicated to teaching ways for fragging and securing corals. I wrote a book on it myself :) "Book of Coral Propagation" (Calfo 2001)> (Coral was doing well with lots of new growth until I placed it in a quarantine tank while I rearranged rocks.) Thanks, George. <kind regards, Anthony>

Fragging corals 4/4/04 Hello all, I was reading Calfo's Propagation book and was confused about propagating Caulastrea (Trumpet/Candycane) coral. Do I just break off one of the branches and glue to a piece of rubble? <it can be that simple, yes> Will new polyps sprout? <yes... and arguably faster than if they were left in the crowded colony. Once fragged away, they have better access to water flow and light/food. As such, the polyps will divide/grow faster> Second question: Would it be possible to saturate a gallon of RO water with Kalk (calcium hydroxide) and then add baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), or vice versa, <Aieeeeee! no mixing here please - forms insoluble calcium carbonate (useless essentially for coral)> allow the precipitate to settle out of solution, then use the solidified  precipitate in my tank for buffer or slow release of calcium into the system? <nope> Or would the tank water's pH need to be really low in order to release the Ca and Bicarb ions?   <dangerously> Or would it work at all? <the latter in practical applications. Not recommended for any reason I can think of> Thanks. -RY Randy M. Yniguez, MA, LMHC <Best regards! Anthony>

Goniopora daughter satellites/buds 4/5/04  Hi All, I have kept my Goni for over a year. Recently it budded of a baby and has about 20 more on parent.  <excellent to hear!>  Any ideas on what to do next, thanks a lot Simon.  <I have cultured many of these myself (a few hundred at least) from a colony of G. stokesii I kept in my greenhouse. There is a picture of one of the active parents on my Book of Coral Propagation. For the buds, do not cut or collect them prematurely. Leave them to mature and drop off on their own. They are free-living at that point and need no different care than the donor. Best of luck, Anthony>

Fraggin' Fungia! 4/1/04 (the action, not the expletive)  hello,  <howdy>  I have a fairly hardy Fungia sp. specimen and I would like to know if it is possible to frag these creatures?  <well documented yes in the popular hobby literature (magazines, message boards threads, books like my Book of Coral Propagation, etc)>  If so, what is the best way to do so and are they hardy enough to withstand fragmenting?  <yes, easily so. And many techniques for it... A Dremel with a stainless steel cutoff wheel following the septa to make pie shaped wedges works best/very well>  thanks for you help  <best of luck! Anthony>

Fragging at IMAC 4/1/04 This message concerns all of you, so please take a moment to read this.  At the IMAC conference this year has been planned a frag swap. IMAC's theme for this year is, "Aquaculture, Responsible Collecting and Captive Breeding: The Right Way to Go!" <RMF would wager most anything that the destruction to the environment to make, transport all goods... generate electricity... is FAR more destructive than simple wild-collection and transport of natural stocks...>  They want to promote this as the biggest frag swap, and also promote conservation, in captive breeding, or in this case, fragging.  The original plan was for attendees to double bag their frags, bring them to the conference, place them in a heated tank, have the chance for one water change on Saturday, trade on Sunday, and go home with their frags.  This presents many problems, but I will list a short few of them here. First, you bag a frag on Thursday, and come home with a new one on Monday, at best a 4 day time span. Second, a single water change, with new dissimilar water. Third, already sensitive frags, purging and sliming inside the bags, contaminating themselves, and possibly others in a water change. Then, temperature variations, lighting, stress, new fragile frags, leaking bags, and the list goes on...  FRAG was asked to step in and "host" or oversee the swap. I thought this might be an opportunity to educate people on the right was to frag and trade, but the conditions made me very nervous.  So, we devised 2 plans for those who are attending. One, they could purchase a Minibow aquarium and heater, and keep the frags with them in their rooms until Sunday's swap (water provided). This would allow them to have more control of their frags, less worry of someone else keeping track of them, and the ability to have (albeit weak) lighting, filtration and water movement. Two, those who do not wish to purchase a Minibow, could put their bags in heated and lit aquariums, would sign them in, and would have the ability to do a water change each day.  Both of these solutions still have much room for catastrophe, BUT I felt both were a great step closer to the survival of frags than the initial plan. However, after speaking with a wise and savvy veteran in the propagating field, his feeling is that these both are still much too risky.  So, I am now asking for opinions, ideas, or some brainstorming from the rest of you, if you feel you could give me some valuable input. If your input is, this is doomed, I still need to know that.  I believe that the latest greatest idea is that we use some large aquariums with heavy water movement, ozonation and a ton of carbon. (I believe I added the idea of strong protein skimming, though I am not sure if it would help in this case.)  I appreciate Everyone's time! And I hope that we can come up with something, as I would like to avoid the death of dozens or hundreds of frags... John McCann  FRAGexchange.com

Coral frag broke off how to save it? Hi,  We have a 75 gallon, 110 pound live rock, CPRs Bak-Pak, Rio 1100 with a Eheim canister filter( we have since learned we do not need but the UV sterilizer is plugged into it so we have to figure out how to use the UV sterilizer without the Eheim then plan to pull out the canister filter). <You probably don't need the UV either.  They aren't really very beneficial unless they are kept immaculately clean. We have our mandarin fish, a damsel, a short spine sea urchin, red footed moon snail( I have found out he is a temperate fellow and may transfer him to a smaller tank that I keep at 72-24 degrees.) bumble bee snails, red and blue footed hermits, 5 emerald crabs. We are now starting corals, we have 2 mushroom rocks at the bottom, one mushroom has already attached to a rock in the tank, we plan to harvest these like farming and start to a rock so they do not take over the tank, a thin tipped xenia which was a frag we started on our own, and just added a frogspawn and a leather green. We have been having to move the leather several times as it is not sitting well on the rock and tips. Now I think it is anchored where the stick cannot roll or be moved by the crabs. However, last night I noted that a tiny, only 2 finger like parts came off and was sitting in the opening of a live rock. I put that and a piece of live rock into a small container at the bottom of the tank hoping it would just attach, that is how we did the xenia. However, the frag is so tiny it rolls off the rock. I know that you can use an epoxy putty for aquariums but I am wondering if crazy glue or cyanoacrylic type glue will work to hold it to the rock. The Frag is not even 1/2 inch in length but this coral is so pretty that if this tiny piece would grow it would be a nice piece to give to someone who wants coral. What are your thoughts on this? <Kudos on wanting to take the effort to save the frag!  It will make a nice trade and mean one less coral from the wild.> And, can you use the glue to glue these down to the starter rock, would this work on those mushrooms as well? <Super glue gel works very well, but it may be difficult to not smother such a tiny frag.  Just try to work neatly.  Mushrooms probably won't do well with superglue.  They will do much better if allowed to grow onto a small rock or if you cut them, to place the cuttings in a container of rubble for them to attach to.> We are new to this hobby our tank is only 5-6 months old but I have purchased several copepod cultures to seed this tank well as well as we have 2 tanks that are 5 gallons each just growing copepods in case of emergency need for our mandarin who is a rescue fish. There are so many mandarin at our Pet World Pet Store, they will not listen to us when we tell then that these fish will die--they are not selling and in coppered fish only tanks. <Too many stores sell too many mandarins, either unaware of their special needs or not caring.  Buying difficult animals to "rescue" them only encourages the retailer to buy more.> Someday I plan to start up a farmed sea horse tank--and try to raise the little seahorses and I was wondering what size tank, how much live rock, do I need a filter like the Eheim or will this also work with live rock and aragonite sand, If the tank is small would I still be able to rescue another mandarin if I supplemented the tank with live copepods that I grow? <Keeping seahorses is truly a challenging specialty in this hobby, and should not be taken lightly.  Please see www.seahorse.org for a lot of discussion on keeping them.  There is certainly way more to tell than I can type here!> Thanks so very much for your input, I truly love this site and have to tell you that you are filling such an important roll providing the knowledge base to amateur hobbyists. This can only benefit the coral reefs in the long run. I would love to support this organization--so far I have just purchased the books recommended on the site and inform others that have the hobby that these books are very important as a part of research needed to have the correct tanks. I even see the LFS store in the area try to educate people in proper systems, compatibility, care for the animals, and try to encourage farm raised vs. wild caught animals. But, so very many people refuse to listen to the recommendations, thinking that they know better and the animals suffer. How can we reach the people who refuse to research this interesting hobby. It is very easy once the knowledge and understanding is obtained.  As with amateur astronomers assisting the professional astronomer I hope the amateur marine hobbyist can assist the marine biologists.  Sue <Thanks for the kind words and for living and spreading the message!  We all do this out of love and respect for the animals in our care and the environment they were taken from.  Best Regards.  Adam>

Coral Propagation Lighting 2/27/04 Last week in Seattle I attended a lecture by Anthony Calfo on coral propagation/farming. Thanks Anthony, I found the discussion very interesting. I enjoyed your articulate and humorous delivery. It's obvious from listening to you that you have a real love for marine life and the reefs. <thanks kindly my friend... I truly had a fun time! :)> In your discussion about your experience of propagation in Pennsylvania you mentioned that you used a green house and natural lighting. <yes... natural lighting almost exclusively> I am preparing for starting a propagation program myself but had planned to use artificial lighting (T-5) . <yikes! Well... I think its great you can afford to establish a charity <G>> Do you feel that an artificially lit aquiculture facility would not be able to be profitable due to cost of lighting? <I am certain of it. Personal experience, the shared wisdom of others... and above all: the numbers/statistics. Calc your rates of growth at present and salability of corals against what it costs you to buy and operate lights... plus replace those fluorescent lamps every 6 months just to try to maintain growth. You can indeed grow corals under lamps... but very little profit to be made. If you need/want to make money... you need to harness natural sunlight, my friend. Anthony>

Baby Plate corals - anthocauli in Fungiids 2/17/04 [The "baby" corals of which you speak are anthocauli (buds) on Fungiid corals. It is a common misconception that many Fungia never recover after they seem to have died (become denuded of tissue). Most in fact will begin to decalcify and issue these daughter satellites after just a few months. Leave those skeletons in the tank! When the clones grow big enough in the ocean, wave action/erosion and boring organisms dissolve the stem under the new bud and it breaks away to become free-living like its parent. The parent then continues to produce new buds. We have an article on this subject here at wetwebmedia.com at: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trachyreproart.htm best regards, Anthony Calfo> From Travis: Hi Alison, that sounds like you got a nice surprise after what must have been disappointing to see happen to your plate. From what I've heard, the babies will grow their own skeletons and detach on their own. If they're anything like their close cousins the Euphylliids, they will recognize each other as the same species and not sting each other. However, I'm going to forward this to the most knowledgeable and helpful group of folks I know, Bob Fenner and company at wetwebmedia.com They should be able to elaborate on this with more information and more expertise than I have to offer. Best of luck with your babies, and keep me posted! They are quite the beautiful corals, I have avoided them up until now because they are so easily damaged in transport, and rarely seem to recover. Travis Joanne Moore writes: > Hi Travis,  I have a question for ya about plate corals.  I have a long tentacled plate coral that recently died; however, it now has about 100 baby plates on it or " daughters."  I know they are it's baby's because they each look like little plates, each having their own mouths and each being about the size of my pinky fingernail now.  My question was, what happens when they get bigger, will they just walk off the parent plate or release into the water and attach somewhere else or what.  I can't get anyone who knows anything about this.  I love plates, but they are so toxic to the other corals if too close, so I worry about what will happen if they attach anywhere.  I was also wondering, if I use a toothpick maybe that would work, because I have some reef friends and family who would like a few if I could get them off.  Thanks for your time.          Sincerely, Alison Moore of lake Stevens, Washington.

Back from the dead! Hammer Coral 2/12/04 Hello all! <howdy> You probably don't remember this with the large volume of emails that you get, but a while back I emailed you about a problem with a hammer coral. The coral was mysteriously losing polyps every few days.  When the last polyp was dying, I noticed that a chunk of it was missing.  It appeared that my coral was being eaten, but I never found the culprit. <OK> Since the coral was gone, I moved the skeleton to the back of the tank to make room for other corals.  That was over a year ago.  This week I was surprised to find a tiny bright green polyp poking up from the back of the tank where the old skeleton was leaning up against the glass.  I turned the skeleton around, and found what appears to be two small polyps that somehow survived all this time.  They must have been microscopic when I put the skeleton back there! <sort of... many LPS corals have living tissues unseen deep within the corallite. Some will even begin to decalcify and feed the growth of new buds (anthocauli) from a seemingly dead parent "skeleton". I wrote an article about this with Steven Pro here on WetWebMedia.com if you care to look back in the archives (under Trachyphyllia)> The larger of the two new polyps is only about the size of a pea.  Should I start feeding them?  If so, what should I feed them?   <enriched baby brine shrimp or better, Cyclop-eeze ASAP> I used to feed my hammer coral very small pieces of meaty food, but I don't think I can chop the food up finely enough for these tiny polyps to eat.  I have lots of copepods, etc. in my tank, which they must have been living off of all this time.  Is that a sufficient source of food until they get bigger? <perhaps but not for long> Another related question for you... My old hammer coral was white with a slight greenish tint.  These new polyps are fluorescent green.  Can polyps from the same colony have different colors?  Or were these new polyps just hitchhikers on the original? <the former is correct... and the recovered polyps are simply responding to the change/difference in light. Some bleached/stressed corals can in fact pick up different strains of zooxanthellae too> Thanks! <kindly, Anthony>

Coral Identity & Tethering - 11/11/03 Anthony: I read in your BOCP on pg 391 on "Tethering".  I want to use the rubber band technique, but I am unclear as to exactly where to wrap the band around.   <rubber bands are generally used for firm Octocorals (soft coral) that have polyp cycles (expanding and contracting significantly ) that make being with inflexible string, thread or line less secure. Its fast and easy... but also not the best method overall (stitching is best most often... a needle and thread and throw one or two stitches into the coral near the base and tie it off to piece of rubble)> It can't be that you wrap it vertically around the rock and frag, can it? <yes... its that simple> Also, I was hoping you could identify these pictures of a coral I am thinking of getting from my uncle's tank.   <it is the Alcyoniid "Lobophytum". Very hardy and durable. Lends to this prop technique well> I have looked through the pages here and cannot find a match.  My uncle says it's a leather coral, but I was hoping for more specifics.   <correct... a Lobophytum "Leather" coral> This one is attached to a rock already, but 2 others are not.  Will the rubber band negatively affect this particular coral?  Thanks, Rich <best regards, Anthony>

Stealth Coral Propagation System Dear expert crew, <"Expert"- I dunno. Scott F. your Crew member tonight.> I'm planning to set up 6-8 coral grow-out and/or holding tanks in an extra apartment bedroom (don't tell the landlord!) and trying to figure out a cost-effective lighting system. <Ahh- let me know when you find one! LOL> I'm thinking of 30-40 gallon breeder tanks set on workbench tables so that they'll all be at a comfortable working height. Possibly two rows of two or three tanks set end to end, with the long ends of the two rows adjacent to each other. <Sounds good so far...> My current thinking is to use deep sandbeds on these tanks to minimize maintenance, which would also raise corals fairly high in a shallow tank. <A nice side benefit...one that is often overlooked> These will be mostly soft and LPS corals, Gorgonia, xenias, leathers, Zo's, mushrooms, etc., with a variety of lighting needs. <Sorted into dedicated tanks for each, I hope..?> Originally, I'd been thinking of ganging up PC, VHO or T-5 lights so that the light would spread over several tanks at once. However, today it occurred to me that I've got two 250 MH lights and ballast that could be used to light this group of tanks, perhaps using a Light Rail system to move the two lights over the tanks. If I use the MH lights that I already own, the only additional expense would be about $175-200 for the Light Rail system (hubby is too busy with other stuff to do a DIY system right now.) <Well, this idea would work nicely, but the intensity from 250 watt halides over very shallow tanks might be too much for some corals...> I also have two 20H tanks already set up, sharing one 48" Coralife PC hood. These two tanks could house lower light requiring corals such as Gorgonia and mushrooms so they wouldn't necessarily have to be under the 250 MH's. <Good thought!> I haven't bought the breeder tanks yet, so I can adjust my ideas about tank sizes, using smaller, taller tanks perhaps, such as the 2 20H tanks already running. I would somehow have to arrange the corals in the tanks so that those with lower light needs would be further away from the lights and those with higher needs closer to the lights. Can you give me any idea how high above the water and how high above the corals would be appropriate for using these bright metal halides on soft corals? Or is this idea even feasible. <Well, the height can vary, depending on the specific species that you're working with. The "conventional wisdom" states that 8 to 16 inches above the water surface is good for halides. Fluorescent and compact fluorescent lights can be mounted as little as  1 to 3 inches above the water surface.> Also, is there any need for actinics on holding/grow-out tanks if aesthetics are not a concern? <I don't feel that there is...> These would be coral-only tanks, with the exception of snails, hermit crabs, and perhaps one hard-working lawnmower blenny per tank. I want to segregate coral species to reduce toxicity problems, so more tanks is better than fewer tanks. <Absolutely!> Thanks for your help, your great web site and especially for Anthony and Bob's two awesome books. Suzanne Hathcock <If you don't have it- do get a copy of Anthony's "Book of Coral Propagation", which will provide you with a tremendous amount of information on coral grow-out systems and configurations...Good luck! I promise not to tip off the landlord, okay? Regards, Scott F>

Was that spawning by sun coral 9/9/03 This is Ameya, I am a regular visitor to the site wetwebmedia.com and it is fantastic. It gives a whole lot of ideas regarding various aspects of marine aquarium. This is my first e- mail to your website. <welcome!> I am new to marine aquariums but do have a 60 Gallon one set up by myself and a friend of mine who is a retailer of marine and freshwater aquariums some six months ago. It has three 2000 L/Hr. capacity power heads, two 900 L/Hr. attached to UG, and another 900 L/Hr. attached to a homemade skimmer, 10 40Watt tube lights (no external filter, no sump, no chiller, no calcium reactor). I maintain sal. 1.021, PH 8.3-8.6, nitrite is nil. <for successful coral keeping, do allow some small amount (<5ppm) of nitrate to linger as a food source> I have three spot damsel, electric blue damsel, yellow damsel, smoke angle each along with them I do have three carpet anemones, a long tentacle, sun corals, and a pulsating coral (sub category unknown) it can be ripped off stone and stick on any thing (it grows on standing glass as well) it has branches, with white tentacles and it grows sending new runners along its mother branch. These two types of corals are collected from a near by sea shore which has very dirty water. <understood... but do be careful about mixing anemone species together and mixing any anemones with corals for long-term success. It is usually difficult if not leading to mortality or disaster from aggression or movement in the tank by the motile species> One day when I came back home I saw the sun coral had a swollen look to it and the usually fluttering tentacle almost invisible after observing for ten to fifteen minutes carefully I saw white clouds being thrown out of their mouths, I suspect spawning must have taken place, but I wonder whether it is possible in such a small aquarium. <yes... it is possible and has been documented. If the even is asexual planulation, larva will almost certainly settle out successfully. Do see the reports from Joe Yaiullo (New York aquarium) on the topic> After approx. three days the tentacles were no where to be seen I thought the coral was dead, it was almost covered by diatom algae but after three to four weeks I was shocked to see tentacles coming out again. For that matter they haven't come out completely yet, I want my coral to survive, I will be thankful please give your expert advice, also expect a proper name for the above mentioned pulsating coral. <Xeniid corals are the only notable group of corals with pulsatory function. You may have a Xenia. As to the sun coral activity... they are weekly aggressive and may very well suffer after some weeks/months to chemical warfare (no touching needed) by the anemones which do not belong in the same aquarium. Best of luck! Anthony>

Fish Breeding 9/10/03 Hey Crew, <howdy> Here is my question, I am looking at setting up a small home based business of fragging & growing out corals, and I would like to diversify- I am already doing the frag thing wt some of my local stores and am getting a friend of mine to design me a website when I get more tanks on line:) <very cool... if you haven't peeped it already, do consider looking at my Book of Coral Propagation - a book written on this very subject: www.readingtrees.com > When I was a kid I used to breed quite a few cichlids, mainly Africans, and did quite a brisk business for a 14 year old!! I am looking to breed freshwater fish in conjunction wt fragging corals for our local market & would like y'alls opinion on what fish to breed? The crux of the problem is rare fish or bread n butter. And what kinds would you recommend of each. <Hmmmmm... the question is very general and tough to answer without knowing how much space you have and how much money you'd like to earn. But, at any rate... beginners and their needs drive our market, and as such... bread-n-butter species are the most reliable profit. For corals, its colorful and hardy soft corals (avoid SPS and delicate softies)... seek hardy leathers and colored button polyps and Corallimorphs. For freshwater... seek angelfish, fancy guppies, African cichlids> I did very well with cichlids, but that was 16 years ago! Tho from what I have read on your most excellent site, it does not appear that things have changed that much. If I were to breed cichlids, African or South American? Or maybe good ol Angel fish? Any help/info/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanking you in advance, Joshua Scialdone <please also read through our business links on the site by navigating from the home page. Much info on starting a fish biz. Best regards, Anthony>

Fish and coral farming 9/10/03 Anthony, Thanks for the response. It's funny that you suggested going with colorful softies, as this has been the bulk of what I have been collecting over the years! <much better money there> To be honest, I have only kept 2 SPS corals in the 12 or so years that I have been keeping reef tanks. As regards to space, I am setting up tanks in a spare bedroom right now, but my wife & I are going to be moving out of the city (Norfolk, A) across the NC border into the country where I am seriously thinking of going with a greenhouse to prop/breed in. <indeed... will make a tremendous difference in your potential. No prayer of a significant income from home-based business with corals at least while paying for artificial light> My only concern is that our summers are VERY hot & humid, and I wonder what will be the best way to keep temps within spec? <no worries... its an issue long since taken care of by hothouse growers. Evaporative cooling, large water pools for stability... and desiccating beads or geothermal cooling if necessary (see recent threads on reefcentral.com and others regarding these topics)> I am going o purchase your book as I always pick it up when I am at my LFS! Thanks for the link to your site. I know that you used a greenhouse setup wt good results. The system I am looking at doing for my inside prop is a stacked shallow tank design as seen in Daniel Knops clam book- basically a 4-5 unit design wt a sump at the bottom wt live rock & shallow(12-14inch) tanks for grow out. <yes... very efficient> I am going to start wt one system, but am thinking about plumbing two or more of these units into a large Rubbermaid sump that will be filled wt LR & a large skimmer in the near future. I have always used VHO lighting in the past, or NO over shallow tanks, but now I am debating on VHO vs. PC. <do look instead to jump to t-5s, a better technology> I would also like your opinion on DSB and/or plenums vs. Berlin style setups (I have always used Berlin style setups in the past) <easy... DSBs have tremendous benefits. Browse through our archives here on this subject (keyword search from home page) and take a peek at the new Reef Invertebrates book (the most current coverage on the topic)> My reason for wanting to breed fish is that I am assuming that it would be a good way to supplement income from the corals. Around here South American Cichlids seem to be more popular than Africans with the general public, plus being egg layers they seem to produce more offspring faster in a given time, but as I stated earlier I have much more experience with Africans. <I trust that you know your local market best> As far as how much money that I want to make, it will be a part time end ever at first, but I would like to go in business for myself one day. I have extensive experience wt sales, retail, wholesale, and direct. I also worked in 2 different LFS as a teenager. I have contacted potential investors for when I plan to put up a greenhouse. I was also a biology major wt an emphasis in fisheries science & education. So I do have some experience in the field. <do be sure to write and revisit a good business plan> I have toyed wt the idea of opening a LFS, but after much thought I have decided that I would rather have a business based at home such as breeding or fragging. <retail is a hard road and needs a lot of capital> In your opinion (or the rest of the crew for that matter!) is this a sensible idea? (fish & corals or corals only) Thank you for your time, and I am looking forward to your response. Thanking you in advance, Joshua Scialdone <frankly, with your limited space... I would suggest you focus on one group rather than spread yourself thin (inventory wise). Your clientele will favor reliability over an unrealistic inventory. Focus now... expand later. Best of luck! Anthony>

Xenia propagation and shameless book plugs 8/4/03 I have been reading the entries on wetwebmedia.com (WWM) regarding Xenia propagation, and I have also been reading GARF's website. <hey... and don't forget my Book of Coral Propagation <G>: http://www.readingtrees.com/books_in_print.htm heehee... shameless... just shameless <G>> I understand that the pH should be relatively high (8.3+) and the temperature low (76F). <correcto... especially so on the pH... but not so critical on temp. Warmer temps can be tolerated easily even if not ideally> I recently added a very nice rock with 4 Xenia stalks on it and I would like to promote the growth of them in my tank. I have a very stable pH of 8.0 (+/- 0.2 day/night) and my tank temperature is 82-81 F (day/night). <the temp is fine... the pH is not going to work. Really very flat for success with most corals> I do not use a fan inside my canopy, but I am considering adding one. I think I can cool the tank by 3-4 degrees just by adding a small fan. In your opinion should I try to adjust the pH and the temperature? <the pH is a much bigger issue here for all. Do relax on the temp> I have attempted to raise my pH before using pickling lime and baking soda, but I only ended up with a very well buffered system (~6 dKH) with high calcium numbers (525 ppm) and my pH was still lower than my goal of 8.0. <have you read through the archives regarding pH and aeration (insulation of modern homes trapping CO2/affecting off-gassin of carbonic acid. Very common in the summer months with closed windows and doors. Do confirm this problem by aerating a glass of aquarium water outside for 6-12 hours vigorously... the pH should not move upwards (else a problem is indicated)> I wonder if high nitrate levels (20-30 ppm) could be the problem? <not a problem for Xenia. They can be found growing on the sewage effluent pipes of coastal hotels... seriously> I am addressing them with 40% water changes each weekend. <still excellent to hear> They are dropping and I will have them under control in about 2 more weekends. Shame on me for not getting a new test kit. <we have all made this mistake... good to hear you on the ball now, my friend> I have added more live rock to my refugium and will also increase the sand bed depth in the refugium from 1-inch to 3-inches. <hey... while I am shamelessly promoting books... see the info on the same link above for our book on "Reef Invertebrates". It has the most extensive coverage of refugiums/live sand, plants and algae in the hobby. See Amazon.com and the big message boards for reviews/perspective of both titles for your consideration :) > Your help is greatly appreciated! Jeff <best regards, Anthony>

BTA split, now is one stuck? 8/1/03 Hi there, <howdy, partner> My BTA recently split into three (split into 2 overnight then over the course of a week, one of them split again). It was about 4-5" wide when fully open before the split and now the anemones are about 1-2" wide. <outstanding... please do take and share pics of it> My problem now is I think one of the anemones is stuck inside my decorative coral rock. I'm not sure exactly what it's called, but the coral rock is kinda shell-like and hollow and has large holes. The anemone has its foot completely inside one of the holes and hasn't moved since the split. <no worries... give it time... and feed it duly in the meantime. Have patience> Overall, the anemone seems to be doing well, and I know that a happy anemone stays put. Can an anemone ever get stuck in a hole like this, not be able to get out, and be in distress? <no> It always displays bubbles (as opposed to the other two which never do) and has been eating fairly well. I'm just a little concerned b/c the hole opening is not that big and could be constricting if the anemone grows much more. Any advice? <no worries my friend... and it can be coaxed out with manipulation of light (half shading) if necessary> Thanks!  ---Stella <best regards, Anthony>

Nano Propagation Tank? If I had a spare 5 1/2 gallon tank, do you think that would make a good propagation tank. I would use the MiniMight as a light, but I would have the frags on a stand so that they would be very close to the light. Thanks-Mike <Well, Mike, it is possible to compensate for lower light levels with more feeding and closer proximity to the available light...I'd go for it, with this in mind. Good luck with your little experiment! Regards, Scott F>

Caulastrea laid an egg? 7/20/03 Hey Crew, I have an interesting pic that I attached of what I believe to be an egg or something being expelled by my candy cane coral. <the picture is not clear enough for me to say for certain what it is. By the large size of it, however, I can say that it isn't an egg (by a scale of many magnitudes). <<Mmmm. RMF>> It could be an air bubble from excessive illumination (new lights, improved water clarity, carbon change, etc that increased light suddenly in the tank). Or is could be the beginnings of polyp ejection fro being stung by another coral.> It started with a weird lump on one of the polyps for a few days. I thought that maybe it was stung by a neighboring Torch Coral. Then I was watching it and  the green flesh in the middle started to give way to what looked kind of like a shiny pearl (egg?) It was quickly swept away in the current and I have no idea where it went. <it could even be the product of digestion from a large meal it caught> Is this in fact a spawning event that took place? <alas, no> If so, I just added a moon light. Maybe that had something to do with it? Thanks Angelo B. <the moonlight is a very nice effect. Best regards, Anthony>

Fragging large colt! (7/9/03) Hello and thanks for taking time to read this. <My pleasure!  Cody here today!> I have a very large colt coral that is on a rock that is way too small. Also on the rock something has been creating large white spider web formations on it. I am slightly afraid that it will hurt the colt as it is covering more and more of the rock surface and even filling in the holes. <Probably a sponge, just keep a close eye on it.> My question is if I cut my colt at the base and reattach it to a larger better rock will it survive?  <I'm kind of doubting it will make or anything else for that matter as these guys are very noxious especially when bothered.> I really like this coral and it is real healthy. My only other option I guess would be to cut off the more then 30 branches and propagate the heck out of it but I don't really want to do this. Any help is appreciated.  <You can try to place another rock firmly against its base and it should eventually start growing on it. If you do decide to frag in many pieces do it slowly and with many water changes.> Also I wanted to say thanks for helping on my last problem. I got back from Korea and my tank was totally fine. <Good to hear we could be helpful!> My thought was and is that one of my coral spawned. I did a water change before I left but you had not responded before I left. I was very happy though when I saw your response ( In the field for the Army in Korea LOL) and you had agreed with my conclusion. Needless to saw I was quite worried as my water was cloudy as heck for a day and I left shortly after. I was real happy when I came home and all was still well after the wife had to care for it for the 2 weeks I was gone. Thanks again and in advance, Shane<Let me know what you decide to do, Cody.>

Question on coral propagation 6/23/03 Hi am gonna propagate some of my mushrooms tonight and I was wondering if they would die if I took the rock with all the mushrooms out of the water? <no worries... they can stay out of water for many minutes if moist (spray lightly with saltwater). More than enough time to work on them> the instructions said take out of water cut with Exacto knife as close to the base of the mushroom the take the head and cut into 4 pieces leaving a piece of stalk/mouth <it can work... but is aggressive. Simply cutting in half is safer at first> should I cut it when there retracted at night or opened during the day <makes no difference> also does this hurt them I don't want to hurt them thanks JM great site and great people <with kind regards, Anthony>

Anthony & Bob's Books 5/31/03 Hi Anthony, <cheers, my friend> Just ordered a few more reef books to add to my collection and was considering your propagation book but wasn't sure what all it includes other than the obvious.   <good question. Indeed, the text actually is quite comprehensive with the first half of the text mostly covering general reef husbandry (feeding, water chemistry, system dynamics, etc). Do check out some of the reviews on Amazon.com or the big message boards like Reefcentral.com for perspective> If you remember our phone conversation of a couple months ago (probably not--I can't remember what happened yesterday so I don't blame you), I informed you I've been aquaculturing soft corals for a number of years now, but the wholesale market for them in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area is almost nil.  You recommended the Chicago area and reducing my prices, and I've been giving that a lot of thought.   <ahhh, yes... do recall> Does your propagation book include that type of information, i.e., sales/wholesalers contact information, or is it strictly propagation info? <hmmm... not sure exactly what info you are looking for. But there is a very specific slant to the text and some dedicated chapters for guiding professional aquarists in the business of the trade (seeking jobbers, protocol for shipping and receiving to an from customers and suppliers, getting set up as a legal entity)> I'm presently a paralegal at the district court level and due to state budget cuts, my position of 18 years may be eliminated, so I'm contemplating my next "living" if you will. <and what a pleasure and privilege it would be to earn a living in our hobby> I know where my passion lies--in propagation and the reef industry, not suits and lawyers--but it must be somewhat profitable. <it is possible to earn a good living in our industry with due diligence and preparation (be sure to make a business plan)> Sorry to blather on here.  Your response on the wholesale contact, etc., and contents of your propagation book would be most appreciated. BTW, I can't believe the amount of time you and Fenner and others at WetWeb spend responding to countless e-mails!  You guys are so very kind to everyone; you are to be commended. Peggy <thanks kindly, my friend. It is our love/life's passion and work> P.S.  I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new "autographed" book authored by you and Fenner! <and soon you shall! Est. release date of mid June from the printer. Yaaaaay! Anthony>

Mini SPS Frag Grow out System...Can It Work? Hello. <Hi there! Scott F. at the keyboard today!> I was wondering-would a ten gallon-size tank be ok to grow out some frags of SPS corals I recently purchased from my LFS? <I have seen/done this a number of times with different coral frags. As long as you're allowing some room for each frag to grow, and if allelopathy ("chemical warfare") is not occurring between specimens (easily avoided by not keeping SPS and softies together in such a system), you could do fine. Of course, you will need to supply high-quality water conditions, including brisk circulation and protein skimming. I'd do frequent small water changes with such as tank- like a gallon every other day- and use activated carbon and/or Poly Filter to really keep water quality high!> What type of lighting would be enough on a ten gallon to grow them ideally? <Well, with such a small tank, you could actually get by with power compacts, in my opinion. As long as you provide a level of light that is roughly equivalent to what the frags can expect in your system (accomplished easily, because of proximity to the light source afforded by such a shallow tank), you should do fine.> The tank has 10 pounds of live rock and 10 pounds of live sand, but is otherwise empty with a small skimmer attached with an Aqua Clear Mini. Thanks. <Sounds like a fun little addition to your hobby! You could possibly go to a more powerful outside power filter, or add an extra power head for more water circulation- but that's about the only other thing that you'd need for good results! Good luck with your efforts! regards, Scott F>

- Coral Propagation Systems - Hi there, thanks for your time. <My pleasure.> I am starting a small coral propagation center in Oregon. I have four 180 gal, two 125 gal, and single 75 gal, none w/ water yet. I am still in the set up part of the project. I have nine 55 gal tanks I plan to stack in three's for frag tanks. Now my question's. I plan to try and keep each tank setup for the types of mother corals in it. I have light rails to go over each tank, do you think a light rail will work for coral or be beneficial? <Not especially so... would be much better to have lighting that is static and consistent.> My 180 gal tank's  are 72x24x24. So what lighting would you use on your bright tank, the tank w/ mostly SPS corals. <400 watt metal halides.> Then what lighting for the LPS corals and species that don't need as much. <You might consider the new T-5 lighting that is finding its way onto the scene. Excellent light quality and very easy on the electrical bill.> Like I said I have four empty 180 tanks  to set up. Each has a 37 gal sump, a 75 gal refugium. I am going to use a 1400 gph CPRs overflow. <I wouldn't recommend this for a production facility... too much can go wrong in the event of a power failure. Much better to have the tanks drilled.> I have Berlin XL skimmers each flows from sump into the refugium, then refugium back to sump. My water return to the tank is 1000 gph from sump. It returns to tank through a Ocean Clear canister filter then a lifeguard 40w u/v ster. I would appreciate any suggestions you may have. <I suggest you pick up Anthony Calfo's book, Coral Propagation - the contents are right up your alley.> I really am kinda new to this. I just sold my charter boat business in Alaska. I now am addicted and in love w/ corals, I have dove into this project ten fold. <Well, as they say, don't put all your eggs in one basket... the fish biz has yet to make anyone extraordinarily wealthy and there is some stiff complementation in the field of your pursuit. A savvy business plan will be your best ally.> Thanks again for your time, take care, Jason <Cheers, J -- >

- Coral Propagation System Follow-up - Hi there thanks so much for the info. <My pleasure.> I was wondering what you meant concerning the CPR overflow's, you said to much can go wrong when the power fails. I will have them each hooked up w/ power heads to draw out the air and restart the siphon. <I have been witness to this system failing and producing an overflow in the tank it was running on.> I suppose if the power head didn't start up when the power came on it would be a problem, maybe I will put a tee in the airline and run two powerheads to the CPR's. <And if the airline behind the two powerheads clogs?> Also I am scared to have them drilled, the glass company wont guarantee the drilling and it voids the warranty on the tanks. <What is it that they won't guarantee?> I wanted to get them drilled from the get but didn't like the no guarantee thing. <I'd say this risk is much smaller than going with external overflow boxes. Especially because you are doing this all for business purposes.> One more thing, when you said I should use 400 metal H. lights, how many per 180 w/ SPS???? <Two, perhaps three.> What K bulbs would you use, and how would you add some actinic. <The temperature of the bulb is highly subjective. I'm a fan of the Aqualine-Buschke 10K, but some people think those are too yellow - this is all personal preference. As for the actinic, I'd use VHO fluorescents.> thanks for your time, J <Cheers, J -- >

Re: Propagation Tank? So if I go with a 2 inch sand bed and as much live rock as I can fit in the 10 gallon that would be ok.<Yes, to the live rock, no to the 2 inch sand bed.  You should use either less then 1" or more then 4".  2" will be more of a problem then anything.> If I go that route would it be better to have some type of lighting on it.<Sure, something small.  Nothing really fancy.  Hope this helps! Phil>

Ricordea propagation Hello Crew,  I have searched high and low and cannot find what I'm looking for. In Anthony's book, he describes in detail Corallimorph propagation. Though he does explain the difference between Discosoma, Rhodactis, and Ricordea, the book does not distinguish between these when speaking of propagation. <There is no difference, my friend... I show pictures in my presentations and lectures of doing this to a $200 rose anemone (E. quadricolor)... you can do it with your Corallimorphs> I have had great success with cutting and "pie shaping" my Discosoma, though everyone I have spoken to has told me I cannot do this with my Ricordea or Rhodactis. <Heehee... "everyone" is mistaken here then <G>. Limited experience/// healthy fear (especially for how expensive some of those Ricordea are <G>). No worries... the only limitation is that Ricordea as higher light lower organismal-feeding animals must be in healthier condition from Go as they cannot be fed easily afterwards and supported if they take the imposed technique hard> Could you elaborate on how I would go about propagating these? Thanks a ton.  Rob <Exactly as you have done for your Discosoma... they are fundamentally the same. Kind regards, Anthony

Special Invitation to Join frags.org - The Internet Frag Network Dear Bob: I am writing to introduce a new website called frags.org -- a community for reefers to buy, sell, and trade propagated coral fragments. The site is completely free and provided as a community service. It is located at http://www.frags.org You are one of the first 10 Members to be invited into the community. I believe we share a common and strong interest -- the need for increased coral propagation in order to save the world's reefs. You clearly understand this need as a well-regarded advocate in the hobby. We need your participation to make this free community a success. Our goal is that you will join frags.org along with your peers by adding your frags. This will enable everyone to take full advantage of this unique service. --------------------------------------------- Why You Should Use frags.org --------------------------------------------- frags.org offers a number of benefits to commercial and individual coral propagators. The three biggest benefits are: (1) increased awareness and distribution for your frags, (2) an easy way to publish and maintain your frag inventory, and (3) free image hosting for your frag pictures. The site acts as a new sales or trading distribution channel for you, in addition to your website or other Internet efforts. We have plans to heavily market the site through the other online reefing communities to create awareness with thousands of qualified hobbyists in coming months. Publishing and maintaining your frag inventory on the Internet is finally simple. With frags.org, you can easily add and modify frag listings. If you choose, you can even link from your website to your frags.org Member Profile and display your available frags to your own website's visitors. Since our publishing tools are web-based, you no longer have to use complex website authoring software to maintain webpages of your inventory. Additionally, frags.org provides free image hosting for your frag pictures. frags.org does not handle any transactions for you. Your email and/or phone information is provided to any Member interested in your frags. Members can also directly access your website from frags.org. We have built a feedback system that ensures the top propagators receive the highest level of visibility at the site. In the near future, we will release capabilities to help you such as waiting lists, featured fragments, and more. More information on our many features can be found at http://www.frags.org -------------------------------------------------------------- Why frags.org's Success Depends on You -------------------------------------------------------------- frags.org's success depends on recognized advocates of coral propagation to add their frag inventories to the community. If you take a moment to browse frags.org, you will see the site is powerful yet easy to use. Once a critical mass of inventory is available, it will it be easy for Members to search and locate their desired frags in various ways -- by coral type, Genus, Species, common name, color, location, feedback rating, and more. Thank you for your time. If you have any questions (or need help adding your frags), please do not hesitate to email me. We truly hope to see your frags on frags.org! Join now at http://www.frags.org Warmest regards, Kris Duggan frags.org Member ReefCentral and reefs.org Username - BerlinMethod.com feedback@frags.org http://www.frags.org <Thank you for the notice. Will post on WWM. Bob Fenner> Re: Special Invitation to Join frags.org - The Internet Frag Network Hi Bob: Great! Here are some graphics if you would like to use them: http://www.frags.org/images/banner1.gif http://www.frags.org/images/button2.jpg http://www.frags.org/images/button2b.jpg Please let me know if you have any feedback on the site! Thanks, Kris frags.org <Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Developing An Attachment For His Corals? Ok.. so I seem to have all these problems ranging from the disintegration of my pulse corals to complications in what should seem to be simple coral fragging/propagation. So, the problem this time is I have a friend who has given me frags off of one of her colt corals and also off of her xenia elongata.  But for some reason (I tried using super glue to attach them) the stems began to rot on the corals and I had to cut them down almost to the point that they don't have trunks anymore.. but I figured this must be done as the necrotic tissue.. <Not a bad thought...but you need to address what caused the necrosis to begin with...> It seems to have been melted by the super glue.. has spread up the stems and I was afraid that it would proceed to the polyps and rot the entire piece of the corals.  I also have a leather coral (Sarcophyton sp.) that seems to be suffering from stem rot.. I received it from a friend and when I got it it was attached to a rock, but shortly after placing it in my tank the stem  begin to deteriorate. <Could be a result of the trauma of handling/superglue, or possibly in the acclimation process. Use more gentle procedure in the future> I guess I'm just curious as to what may possibly be causing this, and if I can stop this stem rot who would I go about reattaching it to a rock... I've tried superglue before on leathers and they just disintegrated within a week or so.. I'm kinda hoping you guys can give me some ideas on how to frag these as another friend of mine has this killer toadstool/possible Lobophytum finger leather that has a yellow/green color (I had a piece of this one before also.. but same disintegration story..)  I'm beginning to think that I was never meant to have leathers.. although the other 3 in my tank don't seem to have any such problems. So.. here's the question.. what is the best way to attach these corals? I even tried stitching the colt corals to rocks.. but the stems just disintegrated to the point that they would fall away from the rocks.. and then of course they end up free floating through my tank and for some messed up reason always end up behind the live rock at the bottom of the tank.. <Well, there are a number of methods to attach these corals. As far as the Xenia are concerned, I would not even think of super glue, myself. If it were me, I'd place the new xenia frags in a sump or other calmer place within the system (like a livebearer breeding trap, over a small layer of live rock rubble. The corals will attach naturally and quickly. For the leather corals, I would use a similar technique, or you could use cable twist ties to secure them to small pieces of rock. Stitching the corals does work, but after the animal has been damaged, and tissue begins to deteriorate, it's probably not a good idea. I like natural methods, myself, like the " passive rubble technique" outlined above.> Both of my tanks have calcium at 430 ppm and 1.023 SG along with 0 ammonia, nitrites, nitrates.. and pH of 8.3-8.5 depending on the time of day. <Sounds fine> My last question is this.. I keep receiving mushroom polyps from people and I need a recommendation for attaching these things to rocks ( I would allow the usual random attachment, but this is my anemone tank and the last thing I need is for my BTA's to randomly decide to sit on the mushrooms) I've tried pretty much everything I can think of and no matter what the mushrooms just pop right off or slime their way out of any situation I put them against. <Well, again, I'd use the "passive rubble technique" outlined above. This really works best, and then you can position the small rubble pieces exactly where you want them. Over time, you'll haunt the LFS looking for little bits of rubble to attach corals...It works, and it is essentially harmless to them> Thanks again. Jonathan <By the way, Jonathan- do yourself a huge favor and buy a copy of Anthony Calfo's "Book of Coral Propagation", which will give you a TON of great information on handling, fragging, and attaching all types of corals. It's really a "must have" text if you are going to propagate any types of corals. Have fun! Regards, Scott F>

Aragocrete?? 3/19/03 Hi, Thank you for all of the valuable information that you are providing! <thanks kindly> My question regarding Aragocrete is as follows:  Does Aragocrete release any chemicals/substances into the aquarium water?   <somewhat caustic when first made... can be leached quickly with a good soak and rinse> Do you foresee me having a problem with frags mounted to Aragocrete?   <not likely> I have a great reef setup and definitely do not want to take any chances! Thanks in advance for your reply. Cheri <somewhat a matter of personal preference. I like to use live rock rubble instead (available from the bottom of LFS live rock shipment boxes weekly and cheap/free/natural). Anthony>

Over propagating? 3/18/03 Hello and thanks for taking the time to answer a quick question. I have several large toadstools, which grow like mad. My question is, Is it possible to over-propagate a coral? <in this case (Sarcophyton), not at all likely so... some tenured aquarists have been doing this for over 15 years to the same colony> I am cutting about every month to keep them in check, and even the frags grow very fast. I guess its a good problem to have. <agreed> I was just wondering if any ill effects would come to the mother corals. Thank you Chad <none at all... simple asexual fragmentation. It happens naturally in the wild (branchlet dropping). Anthony>

Baby Bubble coral? 3/10/03 Hello again,   <cheers> I have never seen this before but will ask for your opinions, Mr. Calfo and Mr. Fenner.  Before I bought this green bubble coral I asked if there was any recession of the tissue or if the coral was stressed at all.  Since it was on the internet that's all I could do.   <indeed... the pitfalls of buying the unseen> I was told there was no recession of the tissue and that the coral wasn't damaged at all so I bought it.  Well go figure, when I got the guy over two months ago lo and behold there was some recession of tissue but no broken skeleton anywhere.   <no biggie... rather common on stonies with such large and exaggerated septa. Probably could have been packed better though (using folded plastic in the bag submerged as bumpers)> I have had the bubble in quarantine since I received it and have been trying to bring it back to health.   <feeding will be key... tiny portions several times weekly here> The tissue has receded more than when I got it buy yesterday noticed and small bud on the side of the skeleton or what I think is a baby bubble coral.   <correct... an asexual bud. It is completely separate from the parent and can be removed in time> Looks like it is anyway, during the day the tentacles have enlarged bubbles and at night the tentacles don't resemble bubbles at all but long skinny tentacles.  It is about the size of a small pea.  I am sending pics for you to go over.  What do you guys think?  Is this a baby bubble or just an anemone?   <it is a bud off the parent coral> How do I go about feeding it?   <just stirring the sand or detritus near it at night will serve you for months until it gets larger> All help is needed so I can care for this guy.  Thanks, Jeff <in time, use a rotary tool to saw it away from the parent and then glue it to a hard surface. Else, it will die in the shadow of the parent assuming the parent recovers and thrives. Kindly, Anthony>

SPS frags  3/8/03 Would it be possible if someone on your end could post for me? I am in desperate NEED of any Acropora/Montipora - SPS frags and no one around here seems to carry them (just entire colonies for $80 or so) and all i really need are a few tiny frags. I'd love to be above to trade but don't have anything to trade yet. I'm looking for anything in the pink, purple, blue family of colors...   1-3" frags would be awesome. I live in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and would be willing to travel 40 min.s or so if anyone is local to me. thanks, Steve <do contact Rocky Herman at Coralfragz.com  He is a coral farmer in the Tampa area and he is connected with three aquarium societies in Florida where there are many members you could network with. Also, there are forums for this sort of trade/post on most of the big message boards for you to get interactive replies to a post you might make. Try reefcentral.com, Reefland.com, reefs.org, thesea.org... and our wetwebfotos.com Any of the previous outlets will likely put you in touch with someone nearby. Best regards, Anthony

Frogspawn Coral Budding 3/5/03 Hello, I hope all is well.  Firstly, I would just like to thank all of the crew for their help both directly to myself and through reading the FAQs.   <and thanks to you for caring and helping yourself/our hobby> I have just one question tonight, I noticed a small bud on the skeleton of a frogspawn I have had for several months.   <wonderful> It is about the diameter of a pencil eraser fully extended.   <in time it will need to be removed or it will die in the shadow of an older "head" polyp. In the wild, these are started for if/when the big polyps get eaten/destroyed> My question is  does the frogspawn translocate nutrients within the colony from feedings, <alas, no... each polyp must be fed> and if so, will this suffice the new polyp given that it is fairly obstructed from the light?    <as per above... needs fed and needs to be removed in time> Thank you again for your never ending assistance to all. Ed in NJ <with kind regards, Anthony>

Super reef gel - 2/15/03 Dear crew, hello again, can you guys let me know if you have ever used reef gel, <yes> i am looking at buying some of the super reef gel from GARF in warm springs, 1 tube at $18.00, have any of the crew used this type of gel or come across it, i can always buy Loctite super glue gel (cyanoacrylate) but i was wondering if the GARF stuff is more reef friendly. <superglue gels are fundamentally the same. I personally don't like using them for much of anything  except stony coral. I have outlined my complaints about using superglue in my book of coral propagation... noticing your UK addy, I believe that several of the larger aquarium clubs in the UK have a copy of the title in their club libraries if you care to peruse it. The chapters on specific propagation and settlement techniques are about 50 pages too long to e-mail <G>> I know its a lot more expensive that normal Loctite and some of the other commercial brands, but i suppose it's more specialized, am i thinking along the right lines or am i falling for the old chestnut (if its expensive its good). <the latter IMO my friend> Any advice fellas would be greatly appreciated. Paul, Manchester <kindly, Anthony>

Coral Propagation Anthony- They're giving me 50% in store credit...and they just got in a large order from Walt Smith.  HMMMMM, I wonder where the store credit went to?   <heehee... you are an addict> At least I had enough left to take the wife out for dim sum.   AND, I did get two nice brood stock pieces.  More Zoanthids (neon orange and lime green) and a really nice Sinularia. <almost the value of Dim Sum <G>> I think I figured out a better way to get Cladiella to attach.  I implant a small (1/8") acrylic rod into the rock piece and leave 1/2-3/4" sticking out of the rock.  This end is sharpened but not REAL sharp.  I then impale the colt onto the rod, and then stitch it normally.  I think this gives me more than one attachment point, and that the colt may be more inclined to grow and attach around the acrylic rod than it is from the base to the rock. <very cool> This is how I've been attaching SPS and getting them into very precarious positions in my show tank.  I got the idea from the chapter in your book where you discuss using acrylic within the tank.   <rock on my brother!> I'm going to test my impaling theory this weekend and see if I get a higher attachment rate. <be mindful of excess mucus production and let us know how it works!> One last thing (at least for today ;-)) when you discussed using Aiptasia as a scrubber, wouldn't this allow them to migrate into the tank?   <nope... well fed, regularly harvested anemones will not readily send buds (development is interrupted). Still... there are better animal filters for reef tanks... like saleable Xenia. As mentioned in my book, they are better for fish tanks and heavily fed tanks. You take the good with the bad... they are better particulate feeders ... but they are also less valuable/more nuisance. Efficient though as an animal filter though with sloppy fishes> Or, should there be something like a UV between the Aiptasia scrubber and the tank? <if you like> Darrell (Unfortunately farming only supports the habit, but when my wife goes back to work I'm thinking about becoming semi-retired and spending more time in the industry.  Now I just need to sale her on the idea!) <Ha! Good luck... and if she agrees... you should marry her again and spring for dim sum weekly. :) Anthony>

SPS Frags Hello folk on plugs, a quick question if I may. My LFS has some nice SPS frags, but always attached to "plugs". <yes...very handy> I would rather have the frags unattached, as they are easier to place with glue onto some of the live rock in my tank. <fine if you prefer... but it really is a dreadful idea unless you have an enormous tank and/or space you corals glued with consideration for very long term growth. Most aquarists make the mistake of placing corals (glued or nor) within 10"of each other which causes problems with aggression in just a year or two. A very short plan/vision. And so... to prevent having sparse looking tank for that year or two... plugs placed in drilled holes in the rock or between the rocks allows for easy extraction later if fast growth demands it between competitive species> What is the best way to remove them - break/cut them, or attempt to file down the plug? <you can simply take a rotary blade tool (Dremel) or hack saw and separate the two if you like> I can't figure out how one could mount frags onto live rock if they are attached to a plug, unless one attempts to put them between rocks, or drills a hole in the rock. Thanks, Steve <best regards, Anthony>

Coral tips Thanks Anthony, I should peg my temp at 82 for SPS etc.? are there any other supplements you recommend for propagating? <there's no one best temp for corals. 76-82 is a comfortable range. I suggested 82 because of heat by pumps and light to make it easier for you to maintain stability. Indeed... stability in a safe range is more important than a specific number. The warmer temp will help growth of corals too but is harder on fishes (less O2). Aerate and skim aggressively. Water changes are the best mineral replacement for growing corals IMO. I use Kalkwasser, bicarb and iodine as well. Calcium reactors once tuned nicely are indispensable and can spare manual buffer doses and some Kalk. Best regards, Anthony>

Asexual Planulation in Fungia Anthony, i thanks for the reply.  About that Fungia coral i was telling you about, well guess what... I found a baby Fungia in my tank just yesterday! <Outstanding!> I'm pretty excited to say the least.  Yes i took plenty pics.  The baby Fungia polyp was actually on top of one of my green open brain corals.   <do see if you can remove it promptly. Attached or no?> I don't know if it was trying to attach there or what, but i got him isolated in one of those hang-on-in-tank deals.   <Aha..> I put a little chunk of rock in there in case he wants to attach, >no need... it is a free-living coral. Some planulated specimens live attached briefly. Yours is already out of the nest so to speak. Do keep it on sand> but i don't know if they are free living as a juvenile or what.  Anything you could recommend to me to keep this guy alive and not become fish food would be great.   <occasional feedings would help a lot. Several times weekly with fresh hatched baby brine shrimp would be great. Frozen if you must (baby brine only... not adult). Even better would be frozen Cyclop-Eeze if you can get your hands on it> I kind of don't know what to do with it , very tiny ya know...thanks , <no worries... it will be fine. Kudos to you for the good husbandry. Please do share some pictures when you can. Hi-res digital or scans if you can.> Steelers did indeed play nobly this weekend. <Thanks kindly for saying so :) It was a fine game to watch. Very sporting. Best regards, Anthony>

Coral Propagation for Commercial Venture What would the best be to construct a green house? I live in west Florida, lots of sun. How could I do it, propagating corals that is? <These questions can not possibly be answered completely in a simple email. Before you begin this venture, please invest in a good book. Anthony Calfo's "Book of Coral Propagation" is explicitly intended for this purpose. You can find it here http://www.readingtrees.com/ along with various other online retailers.> Thanks a lot, Rob <Best of luck to you! -Steven Pro>

Propagation of "Rose Leather" Hello, I will be acquiring a large "rose leather" in the near future and am wondering if they can be propagated as most other leathers can be by cutting off the cap and then sectioning into smaller pieces?   <certainly> How would I go about this with this type of leather being that is has numerous folds and valleys in the cap of the leather?  I love the way they look and would like to propagate it.  Any insight would be much appreciated.  Thanks again for the replies, Jeff <this would be hard to describe in the simple body of an e-mail but with your experience of cutting other leather corals, it is somewhat intuitive from an aesthetic point of view. Be sure to use a very sharp single edged blade like an Ex-acto knife or scalpel. Best regards, Anthony>

Mariculture Career The only experience that I have is the 15 or so years that I have as a hobbyist. I came across a deal about 2 years ago that was too good to pass. I found someone about 45 minutes from my house that was selling 3 tanks that had never been used. These were each about 60 gallons and had dividers in them. They were always meant to be used for breeding. I bought them with the intent of breeding. I know that propagation is where I want to be. <excellent... a good starting point... to know your passion and purpose> Where I am stuck is how to make this my only income. <very possible in the long term (3-5 years minimum)> Researching techniques for culturing species would be great, but I don't see this as being profitable. <many people in our industry easily make 25-60K doing this (aquaculture cottage industry style)> I am seeking the expertise of an individual who has made this into a career. <OK, bud... I see why someone placed your query in my mailbox <G>. I have worked the last decade as a coral farmer. Made a nice income on it... and wrote a book about how to do it (Book of Coral Propagation).> I appreciate your ongoing responses to my emails. Thanks again, Ron Looker <do let me know what specific questions I can help you with, my friend. Anthony Calfo>

Coral Propagation Good morning to the Wet Web Crew!  I had previously fielded a question to Anthony about a small Sarcophyton that was not doing well in my 10g amongst star polyps (Pachyclavella.) and mushrooms (Disco.) that are also in the tank.  (If you get this Anthony, you responded with "Yikes".....btw this term made me research so much more thoroughly to better understand how corals interact chemically, not just what I could see...thanks!) <good to hear of the larger step... interesting stuff too: coral allelopathy> It was unknown at the time whether or not the exact cause for it not opening well was from tissue damage (part of the capitulum wedged itself down a rock crevice while I was on vacation, thus receiving no light) or from the chemical barrage of its neighbors.  I took several plans of action:  larger water changes, started running larger amounts of carbon, and added another 32w PC retro (for a total of 2x32w)....this worked very well and it has all but made a full recovery.   <all good and great to hear> Getting to my point :),  I noticed about a week ago that part of the capitulum, as it healed, had been dividing itself from the rest of cap (hard to tell exactly what was going on, it was on the rear of the coral and I have been missing the daylight cycle lately do to longer work days).  I now have a small bud about the size of a pencil eraser on the stalk right below the cap (cute lil guy, complete with a nice mini cap and polyps).  The part of the cap above it still stays curled in, as though to allow light to reach the bud so my question is.....should I remove the bud and place it on its own rock to allow the main cap to open up fully? <your call... easy to cut/prop if you want a cutting... else it will pinch off on its own in time. I would advise cutting it off with sharp scissors and then running a single stitch of nylon thread through the lower end of the newly cut "stalk" and tie the cutting off to a rock. It will heal in days and you'll have a new piece to trade or keep> The coral has attached itself to all the surrounding rocks, which will make it difficult, if not impossible to remove.....will running extra carbon suffice to remove any toxins released by such a small cutting? <yes... likely easily or water changes even better> And finally, plans have been for the coral, a 46g will be cycling in about a 1-2 weeks (final destination will be a 180g once I settle on a house). As always...thanks much, Ryan A. <best regards, Anthony>

Ocean Water? Hello there, I just found out about your site from the Nov. 2002 TFH magazine.  <welcome, my friend!> I spent over an hour searching around and reading your FAQs and plan on spending more time there (great site!).  <excellent... and do share your wisdom in kind with others> My question is the use of ocean water in polyp/coral production tanks I would like to set up.  <it is very unlikely that I would ever recommend natural seawater for many reasons. The basics however are: very unreliable/seasonally fluctuating composition (pH, calcium, etc), the expense (time, space) of preparing it for safe use (ozone, bleach, filtration), the unlikelihood that you live in a remote coastal region and can draw pristine water from 5 to 10 miles out without effluent from dense coastal populations contaminating it, etc. Even if you get the water for free... it is unlikely to be worth it and almost certainly not as good for growing coral as a quality sea salt and its consistency. I would recommend Tropic Marin or Instant Ocean sea salts>  I would like to propagate for trade with friends and local sales and trades.  <excellent! Do let us know how we can help/advise> My questions are, with sea water available to me (central Cal. coast) how would I treat it for safe use in the system (e.g.. aging, U.V., etc..)?  <bleaching and dechlorinating are inexpensive and fairly easy. Decant the top water and store dark for 2 weeks. Aerating and buffering 2 days before use too. That may be enough... but I still wouldn't bother. And I will say that it will eventually be dangerous (1-2 year picture) if you are taking water from within 3 miles of most any coast> Could I use a flow through type of system as this would be the easiest setup for me?  <by flow through, if you mean raw, untreated... not recommended without massive micron filtration and ozone> If a flow through system is an option, how would heating the water be performed (I have heard of flow through heaters but have not seen them available)?  <very expensive... if the scope of your operation is large enough we may be able to reckon the expense. For most aquarists, synthetic sea salt provides peace of mind, reliability, consistency, etc. Bets regards, Anthony> Thank you in advance for any help you can provide. Dan

Sump/frag tank setup for dummies ? Bob, Anthony, and Steven, <cheers, Jeff... Anthony here> 1st, Melinda and I enjoyed meeting all of you guys at MACNA....We were very impressed with all of you (yes, even you Bob !) and greatly appreciate the time you spent with us discussing some of our ideas, and all of your work....Your openness to discuss these things is very helpful and we thank you. <our business and pleasure. Especially when you bring your charming wife <G>> Anyway, while we still play with potential ideas for a biz startup, we wanted to setup a mini op in our basement.... <a very good idea to start with a small model. Easier to extrapolate expenses from there. Go for it bubba> We have 3 100g Rubbermaid stock tanks available...I was thinking of just setting up 2 right now, with the ability to later add the 3rd.... <OK> Tank 1 would be the "grow out" tank, with about 5-6" sand, then raised acrylic racking above that (similar to the harbor tanks at MACNA)....lighting it, I think, will be a 36" MH/pc combo with 2x175w MH 10000k and 2x55w pc 6700k or 7100k...oh yeah, 2 sea swirls too <all very nice but it would be better to use equipment that will ultimately be used on the larger scale too... to work out the "bugs" so to speak. SeaSwirls are way too expensive to buy and operate in a commercial endeavor. Instead, use airlifts as much as possible and support with cheap recirculating pumps. Power heads are almost never to be recommended in commercial applications. The halides are very fine. The pc's are entirely unnecessary unless you just want them here for aesthetics. All halides have more than enough blue in their spectrum> Tank 2 would be the sump, or maybe, sump/refugium....here's where I need help..... <its not the only place you need help...heehee> I am thinking about an in sump bullet 1 skimmer, driven by the sen900 pump...a Gen x Mak 4 pump for the actual system flow...I'm planning on maybe 100lbs or so of LR in there as well, at the very least, and perhaps additional sand... <OK...cool> My problem is that I really have no idea on how do actually do all of this...I've never done anything like this before and want to do it right.... <no worries... the journey to enlightenment will be great fun here> ?'s are (other than "how do I do this ?!?!? ") can it all be plumbed with 1" line, or do the sump-tank and tank-sump lines need to be sized differently? <all one inch is likely fine... do check skimmer specs> 1 or 2 sump to tank pumps and lines, 1 or 2 returns ? <one pump and one return feeding a teed closed loop manifold. Did we discuss this at MACNA or do you need a crash course? If so... call by phone (number in my book) and we'll chat at length about this> what's the best/easiest way to return water from the sump to main tank (overflow) ? < a single dedicated pump to a manifold as per above. Simplest and most economical> how do I separate the skimmer area in the sump from the LR area....the problem is that the tank is not of uniform dimensions from top to bottom (the bottom footprint is smaller than the top footprint).... < a bucket or small inner vessel for the skimmer to catch raw water first is recommended> Does a refugium in the sump tank make any sense ? if so, how do I incorporate it ? <yes... its fine. Although I like an upstream refugium much better> Obviously, I am completely new to this, so be gentle with me please !!!!! <way too many jokes for that last comment... we'll let that one slide <G>> Again, it was great meeting all of you... Thanks for your time, Jeff Yonover Flossmoor, IL <our pleasure... be chatting soon. Do call if you need to. Anthony>  

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