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FAQs about "Coral" Reproduction/Propagation: Livestock Selection

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 3, Coral Propagation 4, & FAQs on Coral: 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: Polyp Reproduction/Propagation, Sea Fan Reproduction/Propagation, Mushroom Reproduction/PropagationZoanthid Reproduction/Propagation Anemone Reproduction/Propagation, Soft Corals: Soft Coral Propagation FAQs, Xeniid Reproduction/Propagation Alcyoniid Reproduction/Propagation, Nephtheid Reproduction/Propagation, Stony Corals: Caryophyllid Propagation/Reproduction, Elegance Coral Reproduction, Dendrophylliid Reproduction, Faviid Reproduction/Propagation, Fungiid Reproduction, Mussid Reproduction, Trachyphylliid Reproduction, Acroporid Reproduction, Poritid Reproduction/Propagation,

Don't mix incompatible species!

Small scale farming for profit  -08/27/08 Hello crew, thank you for the great site and for answering all the questions you get everyday. <Welcome> I have read though the FAQs on your site, Anthony's book, and searched over the Internet but I still can't find what I'm looking for. I want to setup a small propagation system using a 40 breeder. Before I decide on the lighting, flow, and filtration I want to decide what species I plan to keep so that I can tailor the tank to their needs. <This is the correct order...> I am interested in making as much money as possible off this tank <... is really too small, and just one tank... not a "good bet"...> and I would like to know what corals are the real bread and butter for small scale farmers. <Is more a regional issue... Take a look, census about you... the LFSs, clubs if they're about... What are people looking, paying most for? Acanthastreas (still?), Duncanopsammias? Is there enough "stock" demand for Xeniids, Alcyoniids to warrant dedicating this small system to their culture alone?> My first inclination was to grow rare SPS because each unit has a high price. <Mmm, I wouldn't... too long a "generation time", and too easy, less expensive to simply buy, frag from the wild> However, it might take 6mo to grow a usable frag. On the other hand Xenia doesn't sell for much but grows quickly. From what I can tell revenue comes from sale price times units sold. <About right... then there's costs on your end, opportunity cost...> So what are good corals that are in demand, grow quickly, and have a reasonable sale price. <You tell me... again, this is almost exclusively a "local" issue> Could you also give me an idea of ideal conditions for growing the species you list <Heeeee! Yes... see WWM for a start> I have talked to some people and they seem to think Xenia, Ricordea, <Good genus... but again, slow growing...> and finger leathers would work well. Can all these be kept together? <... no> Can I plumb this prop system in to my already running mixed reef or would these species be bad to keep with SPS? Thanks --Jackson <Read for now Jackson, and keep good notes, dreaming and planning... Bob Fenner>

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?>

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

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>

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

Coral Wholesaler Thanks for the info Bob <Anytime my friend. Your success is mine as well> We plan to start small and slowly work into a larger operation. Right now my partner and I are looking at wholesalers that are working out of Indonesia to see where we could buy from. So far we are looking at 500-1000 dollar min orders. Do you happen to know who is running trustworthy operations in Indonesia? <I would actually not go this route. Look instead to buying from Fiji and fragging, raising the corals from there... much more reliable, consistent supply. Do contact Walt Smith at WSI, Pacific Aquafarms and Scott Cohen at Sea Dwelling Creatures (scottcohen@seadwelling.com,pafarms@earthlink.com) re establishing relations. Well be chatting, Bob Fenner> Thanks again for your time Alex Gawura

Coral ID by Text - 8/20/03 Hi, <cheers> I wondered if you could help me identify this coral, have looked at hundreds of web pages but just cannot find it. <was a pic intended to be attached, my friend ["this coral"]? If so, it did not carry through> At first glance it looks like a fluorescent green coralline algae. It is spread over dead rock much like a coralline would, however it is not hard, it is soft. It also has little patterns in it as if it may be comprised of lots of small organisms. Under lights it is a very bright green and is one of the most beautiful corals I have ever seen. I only have a very small bit of it, and hope to find out what it is to make sure I can grow it more. I know this description may be somewhat unscientific, but if you could give me a name or two of what it might be, I could look them up for further research. Cheers, Alastair <without a pic, we need much more info to help you, bub. Hard coral or soft coral (skeleton underneath?)... size of polyps, etc. Even then it's a best guess. Do send a clear pic and we'll be able to give you a prompt ID mate. Best regards, Anthony>

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