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FAQs about Sea Fan Reproduction, Propagation

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Related FAQs:  Sea Fans 1Sea Fans 2Sea Fan Identification, Sea Fan Behavior, Sea Fan Selection, Sea Fan Compatibility, Sea Fan Systems, Sea Fan Feeding, Sea Fan Disease,

Fragging Blue Gorgonian 4/6/09
Dear Crew,
<Good evening, Adam Jenkins with you today>
A while back I fell in love with a sea fan at my favorite LFS that was described as blue tree gorgonian. Resisted temptation and came home to do some research first
<The actions of a successful aquarist>
mostly thanks to yourselves it was identified as an Acalycigorgia sea fan.
<A lovely animal. I assume because of your research that you realize that these are one of the more difficult of the gorgonians to keep>
Given my love of the non-photosynthetic coral and the fact that I have several thriving in the tank (lots of plankton feeding, lots and lots of water changes, skimming like a demon to keep water quality in check!) I
figured I'd get it, especially as it is actually two fans growing next to each other on the same piece of rock!
My problem is this - it is growing like something possessed. It appears to be enjoying the tank environment so much that it is growing very well and looks amazing, however it is only a matter of time before it will need
pruning. Is it possible to frag this particular coral as for other gorgonians?
<Yes, the same steps will apply>
I frag a lot of my corals and pass them on to other reefers and would love to do with this animal, especially as they don't have a great survival record.
<6 to 12 months if lucky>
Any help or directions as to where to look would be gratefully received!
<As stated above, the same steps will apply. I myself like to keep a copy of Calfo's "Book of Coral Propagation" around for reference. Good Luck!>

Gorgonian Propagation Question  - 2/21/2006 Hello again. I am hoping you will be able to provide a quick answer to my questions. I have what I think is a Eunicea succinea - Candelabrum Gorgonian as it looks like the photos on a few web pages I have explored. I have attached a photo I have taken of my specimen and ask if you can confirm it's type and advise me on taking cuttings for propagation. The specimen has grown to the point that it now floats at the top of my 120G reef/fish tank when I do 15G water changes. I want to take a few cuttings to reduce it's height and propagate to other areas of the reef. It is approx. 7" tall and has three branches off the main trunk. The first is approx. 1.5" from the base, the second at 3.5" and the third at 5" or 2.5" from the top. Can I take cutting from the specimen while it is in the tank as compared to removing it from the tank prior to cutting. The specimen has begun to grow off the plug and onto the base rock and I would rather not disturb it if not necessary. Also can you advise me on the best points to make my cuts. I was intending to make my cuts approx. .5" above each of the two lowest branches and then cut the main trunk just below the third branch. The result would yield three sections to be located in new areas of the reef and leave the base trunk with three stubs at a height of approx. 4". Thank you for your time and assistance. PS. The specimen in question is the tall brown one in the center of the photo. <Mmm, have not done this myself... would like to refer you to Anthony Calfo's "Book of Coral Propagation", and to Fossa and Nilsen V. 2 of MCRA (Modern Coral Reef Aquarium)... as well as the few specialized BB's (Reefs.org, Reef Frontiers...) for more input from folks with first-hand experience. Bob Fenner>

Propagating Gorgonian corals Thanks for your help!  Now to the next issue.  It has been growing at a (recently) phenomenal rate, and I am going to either have to prune it or change tanks. The new tank thing is probably not going to happen soon, so how would you suggest that I cut back  the gorgonian octocoral?   <easy and hardy... read on> Should I cut it at a bifurcation?   <yes, but for aesthetics only. This coral will tolerate cutting most anywhere> After cutting it, should I treat it in any way? <little handling is needed or recommended. Cut clean through a branch with sturdy scissors or chicken scissors (cutting poultry in the kitchen). The parent is to be left in place and will heal over shortly with continued good maintenance and a clean cut. Take the cutting(s) and strip the lower 1/4 to 1/2 inch of tissue off of the woody gorgonin stem. This woody stem can then be epoxied or glued into place on another rock or piece of rubble. If you like, you can simply stick it in a matching sized hole in rock (drill one in rubble if you want). If you feel really frisky about propagating coral, I know of a good book on the subject <G>.> thanks, Tom <best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Re: Propagating Gorgonian you guys are great -- I'll probably give a cutting to my LFS so there will be one less piece of coral plucked from the ocean... thanks again, Tom <and you are a fine aquarist to know my friend. Admirable sensibilities like that have helped you get to where you are with a reef over 10 years old and healthy. Kudos again. Anthony>

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