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FAQs about Coral Reproduction/Propagation 1

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 2, 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: Caryophyllid Propagation/Reproduction, Soft Coral Propagation, Growing Reef CoralsLivestock BusinessStony Coral IdentificationStony Coral Behavior,

How would you propagate this Euphyllia ancora?

DSB info for coral propagation 3/16/05 Hello, I have enjoyed reading many of your informative articles in the past and hope that perhaps you can help shine a light on a number of questions that I have. <glad to do so :)> I am attempting to start a greenhouse grown coral farm. I have a number of personal tanks in which I have used DSBs to assist in environmental filtration. Presently I am setting up a 800 gal system and am investigating other sources for sand to use in these systems. I can purchase aquatic sand from my sources but have been reading a lot of literature that says if you are not buying "live" sand, you are over paying for basically playground sand. <not true... there is no need for so-called "live sand". Its not needed, and frankly... many of the products sold as "live sand" are really a joke. Carbonate sand is carbonate sand... period> I am concerned about this as I am not able to set the system twice but I have no need to spend unnecessary $. Hard enough to get started as a small business. <no worries... clean, dry sand is fine or better: can be inoculated as you wish. More control> If these substrates are indeed avail for proper use in these systems what do you recommend? I have inquired as to available sands and have the opportunity to purchase many types. <calcite or aragonite would be ideal. If you go for silica based sands... you need to compensate for its lack of buffer> I have heard the "play sand " available at many home improvement stores works well. <true... do see the many message boards posts confirming this through the years> I also wondered about something like masonry sand. <eh... rather dirty. Some concern for contaminants (river dredged)> I know that they use this type of sand for playgrounds. It has a sugar sand particulate size. Any recommendations would be appreciated. One further question, I have a great number of snails in my systems that lay eggs , but never does the population increase. <some species have complicated larval cycles that do not succeed in aquaria> Any ideas? <do try for Strombid snails from IPSF.com or Ceriths/Cerithium species from Florida for easy to breed marine snails> Thanks for your time and I look forward to your reply. <best of luck in your endeavors :) Anthony> 

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>

Anthocauli? Simply Budding Hey Anthony - just wanted to send you a shot of the anthocauli on my frogspawn. There are 2, but one is more visible (top left). This shot is obviously at night, but during the day they reach about the size of a quarter now. Ed Marshall, Austin, Texas <absolutely awesome my friend. Thank you so much for sharing. It reminds us to never give up too on injured or damaged animals :) A little schooling too: anthocauli most only refers to Fungiid satellites. In some other Scleractinians (Lobophyllia and Trachyphyllia, e.g.), clones seem to form similarly between the septa (the "ridges" of a large corallite) via decalcification of the parent. In your coral, the fissionary bud is not forming from between the septa and perhaps not even from de-calcification. It seems to simply (and wonderfully) be an event of budding. Ughhh.... sorry for the scholastic/academic bone picking :) But I'd to let it pass my without sharing the information. By any definition... it is great to see! I bet if you wait some months and beak it off, more will follow. Do separate with a Dremel if you do. Best regards and be seeing Texas soon (September), Anthony>

Coral Prop Anthony, where in PA are you located?  <Pittsburgh, my friend> I heard you've propagated corals outside, and I'm interested in how you did it.  <50 foot greenhouse> I haven't read your book yet, but I'm planning on getting it in the next week or so. <thank you kindly! That buys me another beer :)> The reason I ask is a friend and I are starting a prop business. We're trying to spend as little as possible, so we'll be able to have low prices.  <those two things are not mutually inclusive. High volume and low mortality will afford low prices and a lower affordable operating margin> Our prices are going to be at least half that of the LFS (where we just happen to be employees).  <better yes... grow them and sell them to your local stores! More volume and less headaches than selling direct for which you are not set up for. This is the best of both worlds... won't require a lot of money to start-up and you'll have established higher volume resellers of live coral> We kind of have limited funds, since we're both still in high school. <do save as long as necessary to do it right... and do consider joining a local aquarium society if possible. PMASI in Pittsburgh, PARC in Philly, etc Anthony>

Anthony Re: Frag setup Hello Anthony <howdy, partner!> I am so happy to have heard back from you soon I told my husband that you will lend an ear and an eye for our little project. He is now very eager to get started knowing that power tools will be needed soon. He demanded that I send you his drawings for the stand but I think we should talk about what we want to keep first. The drawings will come next if you do not mind. <my pleasure!> For one 20 gallon cube we like very much the idea of keeping Ricordea. Ones that are of rare and shocking colors. You spoke of the African Blue Cespitularia. Could they be kept in the same tank? I wanted to have xenia in each cube partly because we like them but also for nutrient export. <although they are hardly a natural mix... mixing a few species together is reasonably safe> The other 20 gallon cube would be for Montipora. Again with many desired colors. In our tank in the house we have a few Montipora digitations. We must frag them most often and people always seem to want them. We thought the branching and platting verities? <yes... there are so many wonderful and desirable Montipora species. They will be very marketable for a long time too because they are so hardy for beginners as a rule (as SPS go)> The 20 gallon long tank we are not very sure about. I like keeping coral that are heterotrophic where as my husband likes ones that are autotrophic. We will make a culture station so I thought why not put it to good use. Would you have any more suggestion or something we should think about? <the autotrophic animals need a dedicated system of their own. There is no way to practically feed an autotrophic display without ruining water quality for the heterotrophs or going to the poor house for money spent on water changes. A small system with frequent water changes for the autotrophs dedicated please> A few more questions about our setup. Each tank is made from acrylic and a have no holes drilled, they are independent of each other. I would like to keep it this way. It was my thinking that mixing water of different animals would not be good on such a small scale.  <agreed on this point> Also I want to do frequent water changes and use xenia and some Caulerpa and nutrient export.  <ditch the Caulerpa.... it will be a complete nightmare especially in this small system. Caulerpa does far more harm than good in most systems IMO> Using the live cultures and staying on top of water quality would allow us not to use a refugium. We do use one for our tank in the house. I just thought that it would not be as necessary for this setup. <refugiums are so helpful though. If you add any coral that feed more on zooplankton, do add a refugium (fishless). For now, the Montipora and Xenia will not each such prey and you are OK. The Ricordea need target fed anyway. Caulerpa in the display proper by the way (without a refugium) could be fatal for these coral... many reasons in the long run> Also I know you are big on heavy skimming. We have a euro reef in our home and have an extra one we could use for this setup.  <excellent, but not necessary for the Xenia and Ricordea... may even be an impediment. Weekly water changes will be fine instead. Also use regular chemical filtration (carbon/Poly Filter)> Again I wonder how I would use this if each tank is independent of each other. Could we get away with out it if we are 100% on top of the water quality, or is that unrealistic.  <very fine for the species listed... maybe different with a change (will be critical with the autotrophs!)> There would be no fish, at least I see no reason for them. I would use snails and have a DSB filled with animals. Could that be enough? <very fine indeed> I think that is enough for now. I thank you again! Lacy <best regards, Anthony>

A question for Anthony please I hope no one minds my asking a specific question for Anthony alone. I could use other feedback but I hope if Anthony would answer this. <my pleasure> On the message boards my name is Jane Doe you might have seen some of my posts.  <yes... thank you<G>> If not am working on setting up a very small scale frag setup in my garage. I have two 20 gallon cubes and a 20 gallon long tank. Yes very small.  <no worries at all on the size... benefits indeed to the controlled space> I have been keeping reef tanks for years now and have fragged for trade many times. Your book has changed my whole outlook on raising coral for trade or sale. <outstanding! Indeed one of my hopes for the hobby. Organization and efficiency> I know my setup is no where near the size for any profit.  <on the contrary... you can indeed make profit in it... just not a full time living :) Some coral like African blue Cespitularia and rare colored Ricordea could generate a couple of hundred dollars monthly in these small tanks> I don't mind that at all. I want to learn how to work on a very small scale first. Paying out of pocket right now is ok by me because it is so much fun. My question is if you might look over my plans and tell me if you think what I have in mind would work. I have everything I think I would need for setup. <it would be my pleasure!> I hope it was alright to email you here.  <very fine... I check this e-mail daily :)> I was going to email you at ReadingTrees.com but thought that maybe people on this site might like to know what I am doing. <exactly... and thank you for your willingness to share. Such a beautiful attitude will come back to you in kind from others!> Thank you Jane Doe: Lacy <best regards and looking forward to it. Anthony>

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

Glue SPS corals (reason for articles, books...) what kind of glue should be used to glue SPS to small rocks. and how should it be done. Linda Gibson <the short answer is thick gel superglue or underwater epoxy. Corals are to be handled minimally, with latex gloves if possible, patted dry where they are to be adhered. So much more to say...purging mucous, heated prop baths, iodine dips, safe placement in grow out. Too much for a simple e-mail. This may be a perfect place for a plug of my, Book of Coral Propagation. Bob has a review of it here on our WWM site. Some of the advertisers sell it and you can buy it direct as well (signed if you like). Check out www.readingtrees.com for other reviews/samples. Best regards on your information gathering and coral propagation endeavors! Anthony Calfo

RTN in SPS frags I have experienced RTN in a few of my small SPS frags. Where does this come from? It seems to just begin upon the tips of the coral's branches. Should I break off the white parts or just see if it cures itself? Any advise you have would be great. Thanks!! <wow... this is a question that literally cannot be answered in less than pages. RTN is not clearly defined or explained. It is a term applied to several if not many conditions in coral (some pathogenic, some not... rather stress/heat related). Do peruse the WWM archives and beyond for current discussions on this topic. Most of the popular reef authors have written on this topic. Eric Borneman in Reef Corals book is most thorough and current. I discuss it as well in my book on coral propagation. I cannot say much without so much more information (what you call RTN: is it necrotic and rotting tissue or bleaching/expelling zooxanthellae... how old is the coral... did you quarantine it... so much more...?). You best bet is isolation in a QT tank, heavy aeration, ozone would be ideal... but use iodine if no ozone is available. You may also use an antibiotic in the hospital tank as well or in a strong extended bath. Best regards, Anthony>

Coral Propagation W,    Very sorry about the delay getting back to you. I have been quite busy with family obligations this week. I have answered within the body of your message for our convenience. Anthony >  I'm a little confused about starting of propagating corals.  I would like > to set up 2 - 40 gallon tanks which sit on an 8 foot > long bench, each of  the tanks are 3 feet long.  <<They sound like a very nice shallow size. > >  I have added the substrate, Less than 1/2 inch or more than 3" right? sugar fine and about 40 > to 60 pounds of Fiji > live rock. Cured (fully) Excellent, but do look for predators too. In a perfect world for coral farming, the rock would be in a separate in-line vessel (like refugia or sump) to reduce the risk of a predator coming out of the rocks. Small concern though. > > These tanks have a 75 gallon sump which is about 50% > full and runs and > ETS devil skimmer.  I run no bio balls. > >  <All the parameters are acceptable.>  My next step is lighting and stocking,  I buy and sell used tanks and have several tanks set up for breeding "clowns"  see www.oceanaquatics.com, it has been about 3 months and my > success so far has come from Lysmata, none yet from > clowns.  <Excellent... have you reared the shrimps beyond thirty days and what/which species? > >  Anyways, I try everything, but am extremely patient.  So when I purchased a 4 year old existing systems with 50 "corals", etc and > purchased your book I needed to set up a coral > section to my fish room. >  <Very cool, my friend. >  Onto lighting, I am setting up this system with 175 > MH and 2 by 3 foot > blue actinic at 30 watts, and have assumed,  up to > now this is fine. > Confirm ?? >  <Agreed. And do be sure to use Iwasaki 6500K lamps for first choice. Ushio or Aqualine Buschke close seconds. I have another opinion about most other MH lamps... some of which I wouldn't take for free. >  I buy just about anything, and it seems to all > survive, but what's the > best to start with (coral wise) and is there > anything I should stay away > from ?? < If your goal is profitability, resist SPS corals and do pursue colorful sort coral (Xeniids top the list) > > Calcium Reactor ?  Calcium levels are fine now. UV sterilizer ?> <Calcium reactor (two chambers in series) a big yes... UV shouldn't be necessary if you are properly quarantining all new entries, else you will eventually get burned. >  Thanks for any input you may have.  <Very welcome my friend. Anthony Calfo>

Coral propagation Bob, <Hmmmm... perhaps you've got someone as good here. Anthony Calfo in your service (author of the Book of Coral Propagation <wink>)> A few months ago I traded a piece of Xenia for what I was told is purple Nephthea. In two months it has grown from a single branch of 1.5 inches to five branches with the largest 4+ inches. I would like to frag this coral, but my last attempt melted within a day or two.  <because someone mistakenly told you that Nephtheids could be cut, no doubt, my friend> Do you have any suggestions for improving my success. I have been able to get a branch to attach to a new rock, but I am hesitant to make the cut. <more than a few ways to frag this animal asexually. Constriction is the safest but slowest. Use a plastic cable tie (AKA zip tie) to gently constrict a branch. Perhaps several times each week, the tie will have to be slowly tightened ever closer to the point of separation when successful branch drop occurs. The advantage to this technique is that in the process of pinching off, the fragment of soft coral usually attaches to the plastic tie, which serves as a handle for secondary attachment or at least as an impediment to the carriage of the fragment through the display with the currents. This plastic "tail" helps locate a naturally dropped branch for aquarists who cannot or chooses not to cut a constricted coral in the final days before branch drop. The plastic tie is more easily glued or tied to a substrate than sensitive soft living tissue for settlement. Nephtheids and heavily mucosal Alcyoniids (colt corals and colored leathers) are best served by this method and (as you've noticed) commonly suffer from fatal infections if cut instead. Best of luck, fellow coral farmer! Anthony Calfo>

Crustacean Parasite Hi Anthony. <cheers to you, John over in merry old England> I have just used INTERPET Anti-Crustacean formula in 1 of my tanks but the instructions are a little vague on a couple of points. It says to change the water 25% after treatment but not how long the treatment should last before I start this. <often times a single dose, with a reapplication perhaps necessary after the water change. I must admit that I am not intimately aware of the product as we see few Interpet products here in the USA. Please report the active ingredients if listed on the bottle. If not listed, then the color of the liquid (rose-potassium permanganate, blue-copper, etc> Also the suggest a formula of theirs' to lower ammonia as well after treatment - is this essential as well as changing water. How are you going in your attempts to publicize your book - have you had many takers yet? <yes, and thanks for asking! Here in America The Book of Coral Propagation is selling between 100 and 200 copies weekly. Not bad for a cold start just this past November. I have sent several cases to England and Australia as well. In fact, in the UK... PFK magazine will publish a review within weeks (March issue I believe)... wish me luck that our UK brethren appreciate it as much as our American aquarists> I hear it takes a long time to even get a coral tank up and running - I'm not sure I'd have the patience but good luck anyway. <actually quite simple and in many ways less work than freshwater...just a bit strict about timely minimal maintenance. Do ask for help when you are ready to make the salty plunge <smile>> Regards, John Nightingale <kindly, Anthony Calfo>

The Book of Coral Propagation, Volume 1  by Anthony Rosario Calfo Reef Gardening For Aquarists A 450 page(!) Comprehensive guide to Mariculture for reef aquarists...  This new release covers each aspect of reef aquariology and coral farming in detail, including acquisition, care, culture, importing and exporting, and of course... propagation techniques. Unique chapters on dynamic display and farming techniques describe modern applications of reef invertebrate husbandry for aquarists with single displays, as well as industry professionals farming coral for resale or trade. Address of commercial applications includes a lengthy description of coral farming in greenhouse applications as well as general propagating advice in an extensive coral family overview for aquarists participating at all levels of this wonderful cottage industry. Pre-release price of $26.50 includes shipping in the continental USA (through November). Shipping begins first week of November 2001.  For additional information, please e-mail BOCP1@readingtrees.com , visit our web-site at www.readingtrees.com or call 412-795-9461 xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />  Giant Clams spawning at sunset…baby reef fish living to adulthood among the roots of red mangrove trees, Cassiopeia jellyfish growing from larvae under the warm rays of the sun, and corals littering the seafloor with daughter colonies… do these events sound like marvels of the coral reef to you? Indeed… they are some of the wonders that have occurred in the coral propagation facilities of author, Anthony Rosario Calfo. And they are just some of the exciting miracles of nature that have been repeated by aquarists worldwide as described here. This book is being written, for it is actively updated and revised, for the adventurers and admirers of the sea.  Told in comfortable and concise language, this handbook reads more like a story with moments of humor, passages of instruction and dialogues of open wonder at the many unrevealed mysteries of the coral realm. This book is for curious minds interested in discovering some of the exciting techniques of coral propagation. It is tailored for hobbyists looking to safely control coral growing in aquaria, professional aquarists producing invertebrates for sale and trade, and thoughtful retailers interested in inspiring customers and staff to explore the many rewards of keeping coral reef invertebrates.  suggested retail price $ 38.95 www.readingtrees.com U.S.A. Dealer Pricing Available MC VISA AMEX 

Book post Bob, What happened... should I thank you or apologize to you<G>? <Hmm, don't know> I sent my very first e-mail on Thursday to some aquarists announcing the sale of my coral propagation book from a bulk list of "fish friend/fish-nerd" (same thing!) addresses that I had. On Friday I got an order from someone saying that they saw it on WWM! I was floored. Basically, I see that it made it onto your Question and Answers section and I'm wondering if I accidentally e-mailed it to you and you posted it for me or if it was a question posted by an aquarists that had I e-mailed. Either way, don't look a gift (sea)horse in the mouth, I suppose. Still... I'm curious (and a bit shocked?!!) at how fast word travels on the 'net. <Oh, John Dawe sent along the announcement, and I figured you could use the placement> And by the way, unrelated... the November Calendar pic of the school of triggers (from your daily pics last week, I think it was) was absolutely breath-taking! I pictured myself there looking up and marveled at what a moving and awesome sight that must have been. Do you recall where it was taken? <Yes... actually quite frightening... on the way to being whooshed out into the Indian Ocean by an outgoing current in a very large lagoon in the northern Maldives Islands...> I don't know if it was just a warm and fuzzy day for me... but I thought the sheer beauty of that magnificent view looking up at the spiral swarm of thousands of triggers could darn near bring a tear to my eye. Thanks for sharing the sweet daily photos... and let me know what happened with the post (but thanks either way!). Anthony <Oh, do post news of note that I think is pertinent, helpful... from there, folks cut/paste bits... quickly! Oh, Di may want to carry your book/s as well. Will cc her. Bob Fenner>

Book of Coral Propagation Dude, Antoine here again... <Hey there> OK, the Book of Coral Propagation, Reef Gardening For Aquarists, Volume 1... 450 pages... Do you need any more reading material for the lavatory :) ? <Always> Indeed, I know you are a very busy man (self-imposed by any of the many voices in your head, I suppose, but that is neither here nor there). <You are correct> I was wondering if I might send you a copy of the book to look over when you have the time and share your thoughts on it. Especially of the constructively critical persuasion... no kid gloves. I'm about as green as it gets wading into the shark-infested (OK maybe just dogfish infested... or not!) industry waters of distribution and marketing. If it is truly a good and useful book, I certainly don't want to shoot myself in the foot and ruin a good thing because of my inexperience. <Yes, and will pen a review for the hobby 'zines... more exposure will help your efforts> I have only talked to Amazon and Champion so far about distributing, but just today began to e-mail some of the mail order supply companies. <Good idea. Please make it known if I can help here. Mmm, one way might be to direct you to the link of our ad-tracking: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/adtrackdb.htm Many of your potential distributors addresses, names et al. can be found there... And will send your offer around to friends in the trade if you'd like> Please advise me of an address to send you a copy if you like. I'll be getting some printed copies the beginning of next week... <Exciting!> I think. Thanks as always, Anthony Calfo <Thank you my friend. Bob Fenner, 8586 Menkar Rd., San Diego, CA 92126>

Re: Book of Coral Propagation Bob, Super thanks(!) for the ad-tracking link and offer to pen a review. I'm eager to hear it. <You will see it before it's issued> After you have had a chance to look over the book, I'll be very grateful for any advice you might think to share... including your biased personal opinion of how it could be done better (layout, content, whatever...). <Hah! You'll have this as well. Bob Fenner> Thanks as always, Anthony PS- 36 degrees F tonight in Pittsburgh... I don't suppose you wish you were here? :) <Perhaps for a short visit>

Carbon Dioxide Infusion (Marine) Hi Bob, I read some books which strongly recommend the use of carbon dioxide infusion system for reef system so as to provide enough CO2 for coral growth. What is your opinion? <Hmm, a very useful adjunct. We ran such on our coral farm, and have seen other facilities, "serious" hobbyist culture systems with the same around the world... for photosynthetic species. Don't have an article on CO2 for marine use per se on our site (www.WetWebMedia.com), but you can use the Google Search Feature there to find bits, FAQs on the topic. Bob Fenner> Regards, David Chow

Just a Big Thank You (Look for Tony's upcoming Coral Propagation book!) Bob, Anthony Calfo here... I just got the first proof of my book back from the printer and it really turned out nice. There are a few glitches, of course... but nothing too ugly at all. <Great> I just took a moment to kick back and gave a big "wow, I'm really done" sigh. A very familiar feeling to you I'm sure! <Even these moments pass... sigh> Anyway, I was thinking about the time it took to write it and the people that have helped me out, and I guess I was just feeling a little warm and fuzzy ( that is to say, emotionally "fuzzy"... not the "I think its time to shave my back again" fuzzy). <Hah!> Bob, thank you very kindly for your guidance and advice and just being an all around nice guy. Your direct advice and tasty morsels of information that I have gleaned from your presentations over the years as an aquarist have really helped me along. <A pleasure my friend> It's a beautiful fall day here in Western Pennsylvania... I hope you've had a great day too! Thanks, dude <Wish we were somewhere diving where the water is warm and clear. Now, onto sales you laggard! Bob Fenner>

A favor please for Martin Moe Hi Bob, I saw this over on reefcentral and I thought that since the Q&A page is so popular, this would be a good place to post this, thanks for your help! <All right Mike... will post on WWM. Bob Fenner> Martin Moe Needs Your Help! see below for what you can do: little help? ?Ladies and Gentlemen of the captive reef, I need a little help. The Marine Ornamentals 2001 conference, sponsored by Sea Grant, is being held in Orlando, Florida on Nov. 27 to Dec. 1, 2001. The theme of the conference is Collection, Culture, and Conservation. http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/%7Econferweb/MO/ This is an international conference and it is unique in that it targets all facets of the marine life industry, the collectors, the breeders, the wholesalers and retailers, the scientists, the environmentalists, and, of course, the cornerstone of the industry, the hobbyists themselves. Bringing all of these varied interests together produces an extraordinary development of ideas and exchange of information that can only take place in such a cosmopolitan gathering. I am giving the keynote address for the section on Culture, not an easy task. I am trying, through a survey of scientists, commercial breeders, and hobbyists, to characterize and describe the current state of the culture of marine ornamental organisms. And I need a lot of hobbyists to provide information on their culture activities. The freshwater branch of the aquarium hobby has always had a lot of culture, the marine branch was basically without culture up to the late 80's. The eruption of reef tanks into the hobby at that time changed things dramatically. Now marine hobbyists can find culture in single tanks and small systems without establishing a planktonic food chain and spending countless hours culturing larvae. Many of us thrill at the abundant growth of photosynthetic invertebrates and often sell or give away excess organisms, and many have also ventured into fish and mobile invertebrate culture, which is becoming easier to do. I want to be able to report to the industry, the collectors, the environmentalists, equipment manufacturers, the breeders, the scientists, and to your fellow hobbyists, what hobbyists are doing in culture, their successes and failures, and how they think and feel about this aspect of the hobby. This will help greatly in developing a broad understanding of the hobby from the hobbyists point of view. So I have questionnaire that I would very much like for hobbyists engaged in the culture of marine organisms, at any level, to answer for me. It is only 10 questions and won't take much time. (Tell me if you culture as a commercial breeder or scientist and I will sent those questions.) If possible I would like to post the questionnaire on this board and have hobbyists email me the answers, but I don't know if that is allowed, so I would ask you to email me your email address if you would like to participate, and I will quickly email you the questions. (This email thing is really fantastic.) My email address is martin_moe@yahoo.com (Note that there is an underline character between the first and last names and that this is often lost in that blue underline that usually goes under the address. I wish I knew that when I set it up.) Martin A. Moe, Jr. The questionnaire is located here http://www.reefcentral.com/vbulleti...&threadid=34715

Shipping some coral Hi Bob, it's me the 17 yr old who asked about careers. I recently started to propagate some of my soft corals and I was thinking of trying to sell some pieces. <Good project> Well I started to plan this out until I came to the part of what I should ship the corals in. I have Oxygen to prepare the corals for overnight but I can't seem to find a plastic bag to ship them in. Do you know of any company that I could purchase these bags like the ones from FFExpress) or do you have any other suggestions as to what I should ship corals in? <FedEx, UPS... in double bag with a liner of newspaper probably... if you can four mil polyethylene bags... for now, just buy them/trade for them with a local fish store. If you get to where you need hundreds, there are local suppliers (look under "plastic" in the local "Yellow Pages")> I need to make up some of that money I spent on setting up the tank and buying all the equipment and livestock. Thanks, Eric <Good luck my friend. Bob Fenner>

Book Publishing Questions Bob, Anthony Calfo here from Pittsburgh, PA.  <Hey Anthony!> I'm close to having my Book of Coral Propagation ready for final editing and press. <Great. Good news... man, that was fast> I've been saving some questions for you if you have the time and inclination to answer some more newbie author questions. Please take your time if you can answer. Also, thanks again for the demo copies of Adobe Photoshop and PageMaker. I'm having some trouble loading one of them but I'm trying to work it out on my own. <Hmm, maybe I can help on this end...> On installation it says a file is missing and I'm wondering if that is Adobe bootleg protection. I'll check in later if I get to my wits end (as if the end of my wits is very far from its beginning). Bonzaiiiiiiiiiiii: The marine Nazi in me wants to print an in-your-face informative reference like the good old days without many/any photographs (Like Moe's references and the old Thiel/Tullock books). I don't have the skill or desire to fill the book with a lovely pictorial essay. <I'll supply you with whatever images I can... have many> Do you think text-only is suicidal? <Semi... yes... image work sells...> Do you think I need the photos hell or high water? <Hmm, mmm, depends on two related general questions... Who is your market audience and how many/fast do you want to sell this work... If the cracker-jack go-getter reefing types, no images needed... and such work may sell a few hundred copies a year for a few years (sorry about the indefiniteness here... it is accurate though... And, it (the book, sales, distribution) will not be profitable... No way to re-coup just the costs of the latter, let alone your time... Yes, you need the pix to sell the book profitably... think of Playboy Magazine here, just with fiery editorials and cartoons...> My goal, of course, is for many folks to read, learn and think about the book. I fear that a photo-less text will scare some people away but it is what I'm inclined to do...? <Once again... if this is very simply a vanity piece, don't worry... but you will reach many less people than if the work had good images as well as good information> Will I need to produce hardback copies? <No, not necessary for what you have in mind, what the market will bear> My concern about the true bound binding is that the book is harder to read. Do you think the comb-binding like Humann's books are not perceived well by book buyers? It sure is less expensive to produce. <Not at all... Paul's books are fabulously well-produced and received. The quality of paper, printing, images, information is superlative... and the fold-flat binding a winner in terms of practical usefulness... they were/are designed to be used in the field... and are> Do you have an educated guess on high and low numbers of sales that could be expected (tough question) over a given time frame? I'm trying to gauge how many books to produce on first run? I was thinking one thousand for a test run to see how well they sell. <That's a good number to start with... this is a tough question that can be discussed in light of relatively low/high counts and the issues of price-point, coefficients of sale-ability... A few copies will cost too much, be ridiculous to offer to other than friends, folks you might meet through the Net... too many copies (thousands in this case) will absorb your capital and be sat upon for way too long... A thousand's about right... even with color work (you can save a bunch by limiting this to just some in the middle...> Thanks big-time. and Aloha! Antoine <Chat with you soon my friend. Let me know if there's any editing, photo help I can offer. Bob Fenner>

Re: Book Publishing Questions (Coral Propagation) Bob, Thanks for the frighteningly fast reply! <No worries> Your info has been most helpful as usual. <Ah, glad to hear/read> I was really glad to hear your favorable opinion of Paul Humann's books. They are some of my favorites <Mine as well... for both dive and pet-fish use> but I wondered how such a book could be received by less enthusiastic book collectors. They are so totally practical.  <These support both Paul and friends Ned DeLoach and spouse... handsomely> Your opinion with the weight of your industry experience behind it will push me to look seriously at that option. <Very well> Thanks kindly for the offer to help again with photos and editing... I'll be honored to take you up on it! Ciao, Antoine <Look forward to it bello. Bob Fenner>

Frags! Hi Bob, You mention starting out maybe with other hobbyists for frags for trade ins or maybe sell on SPS. My question is how or what source can I find out to meet this people, is there a website if anyone lives around my proximity lets say (San Jose, CA)?  <Very good question... I would try the listservs (like "topica", "reefs.org" (Links through other links posted on the www.WetWebMedia.com Links pages...), the hobby club "Sea-Bay" (link there too... and a big conference coming up in Monterey with lots of frags for sale there... next week if you can make it... Link... you know where> <<To which Zo responds: This sounds like a very good Idea since I can't seem to find a good LFS around my area. The corals they sell is either half dead or nearly dying and cost ridiculously high. I believe that in order to be successful is get the highest quality and best condition as you can, cause it's not worth losing money if it is ready to kick the bucket anyway or even infect the rest of your livestock! Thanks you very much for your wonderful website. RL <And soon... I believe many folks will be setting up... "clearing houses" for trading frags amongst all... I can see this happening. Bob Fenner> <<Bob F sent to Mike.K and Zo re: As in "how hard would/will it be" for us to have such a feature on WWM? Something folks from the outside can post their offerings, images about... for sale/trade with others?.... is this impossible, improbable, impractical... a bad idea? Bob F, troublemaker>> It's a very, very interesting, but complicated idea. Technically, we could do it fairly easily within the framework of WWM2. It's also perhaps possible to setup a CGI-based 'message-board' within WWM1. We'd want to be fairly careful if we setup a 'blessed' trading 'area' of some sort. Legalese here is prevalent on other, similar sites, and apparently rather important. Fact is we'll need at least a little legalese for several of the services we'll be offering in WWM2, already.  Good legalese about usage of all those images, (not the full-resolution, purchased/licensed images, but all the browsable thumbnails), we'll need verbiage about privacy, and indemnification regarding data-loss and/or ownership of posted text, in bulletin boards, other posted comment areas, photos posted to any 'for sale' or 'my aquarium' pages... things like that. Anyway, a simple bulletin board is probably quite safe, and I believe some can accept pictures posted by members, for the sake of your 'trading' site. I haven't really investigated building a bulletin/message board for WWM1 - but it's possible. I'd like to build an LFS registry too. Maybe with a user-contributed rating system, or something... that'd be neat - no thoughts on any ramifications, though, industry-wise. Just occurred to me. The user-reviews are the one good thing Bezos has done, IMHO. -Lorenzo>>

Mr. Sticky's? Underwater Glue Dear Robert, I noticed your website through a search at yahoo and would like to let you know about a new epoxy which is stunning most experts. Mr. Sticky's? Underwater glue has three major breakthroughs: 1. It is very sticky underwater (salt or fresh) 2. It has very strong bonds to Plastic as well as glass, metal, ceramic etc. 3. It is not rigid, so resists bond failure due to shrinkage/expansion/vibration etc. Duke University has tested it in conjunction with Coral and found that it caused no tissue degradation. It is also currently being tested by scientists at the Florida Keys Sanctuary, Mole, Cheju Island in Korea and Eilat in Israel. It has also passed the bioassay for fish safety. You may want to check our website at http://www.underwaterglue.com, we would also be pleased to send you a sample for testing. Most of our customers love the glue because there are so few failures after initial bonding. You can fix very small parts, wet or dry. Kind Regards, Art Quinn, MSI <Okay... will post your note to the WWM site... and you may kindly send along a sample for our anecdotal testing (we have a 4k gallon pilot culture/experimental facility here) to: 10251 Thanksgiving Lane San Diego, CA 92126 Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Trading Coral Cuttings Hello Bob, I really enjoy the site. Tons of info. I'm not sure if this is the proper forum but I'll ask anyway. Do you know of any sites/organizations that enable hobbyists to trade coral cuttings? I am aware that Garf.org sells their propagated plugs. That doesn't cut it (No pun intended.) Any information on this subject would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance. Patrick Hynes <An excellent idea... to have a forum for such exchanging... Do know that individual marine clubs do often have trading sessions at their meetings, and lists of who has what for exchange in their bulletins... I would ask the same question on the listservs... and their URL/sites can be found on the www.WetWebMedia.com Links Pages... perhaps indirectly. Bob Fenner>

Coral propagation  Hello Bob,  I'm an aquarist from England who's just discovered your website 'WetWebMedia'.  I'm heavily involved in new projects in coral propagation and hopefully breeding marines commercially soon.  <Ah, very good. Are you familiar with the company, Tropical Marine Centre in the UK? They could use input from you...> I'm helping to set up a coral propagation working group here in Britain and we're trying to compile scientific reports and suitable papers published on propagation in captivity. However, published work in Europe is quite few and far between (apart from magazine articles), so we are trying to tap into work carried out in the US, Australia and Asia.  <Yes, what little scientific and anecdotal writing is hard to access. Do you have the works of Sven Fossa and Alf Nilsen ("The Modern Coral Reef Aquarium"?), anyone on staff who can read German (as there are many worthwhile works only in this language)?> Could you help me with this atoll?? Do you know of the right person to talk to or an accessible CD-Rom I could search etc..??  <Will send your note, request off to friends/associates in the interest who will refer you further> I've got another question too. In a small article on Genicanthus angels you said something about having a fully established 'Refugium' sump to provide food.....what is this?? <Ah, a refugium is a specialty sort of sump tied in with a main/display system that has as central features some sort of substrate (typically "live rock") lighting, probably live macro-algae and a dearth of predators... to facilitate the growth, reproduction of live food organisms particularly... more about this under the term "refugium" on the www.wetwebmedia.com site> I've never heard the refugium term before, and how does it provide food?  <Mostly by not having eaters of same there> I hope you'll be able to help me on these things, especially in my search  for papers and contacts in the US.  Thanks and the website is fantastic!  Best regards, Dave Nettleton ( London )  <Be chatting further my friend. Bob Fenner>

Coral propagation Bob, Hi. I have had a few responses from people on the propagation front, however, I think I've been a bit vague. When I said propagation, I meant, the reproduction (mainly asexual) of corals in captivity via artificial induction...i.e. cuttings etc... rather than just general culture which I think some may have interpreted this as. What do you think? Does this change the matter? <"The matter..."? Not to my mind... this is exactly what I think of when I consider "propagation" of corals...> Best regards Dave Nettleton <Have you "spoken" through the net, search engines with other commercial culturists in the US, Europe? There are several hundred I'm guessing who regularly peruse hobbyist listservs, chat rooms for input... Bob Fenner>

Re: coral propagation  OK sorry just checking, I'm getting there, thanks for the help!  Its just that I had a few confusing responses from other people.  Kind regards  Dave  <No worries my friend. Do keep "your eyes on the prize"... and keep culturing! Bob Fenner>

Coral propagation and a response from EricB Bob, Many thanks for your quick response. I have been in discussion with Paul West at TMC, and we may be collaborating in forthcoming ventures shortly. <Ahh, very good> I do have the Fossa and Nielson book too, but I hadn't heard of their separate publications.. I shall investigate. <Oh yes... prolific investigators, writers, corresponders...> Thanks for the help Bob, I'll keep you posted on major progress. best wishes for Christmas Dave Nettleton <To you and yours as well my friend. Bob Fenner> Hi David:  I can certainly help with your search for references, but need to know more of what you are looking for...are you looking to see what has been published so as not to overlap, or are you looking to research some aspect of propagation/fragmentation/seeding/etc. for your work? I need to know particulars, because there is so much information that could be of use - and to provide you a list of all possible interest would consume many hours. While your country may lack for lay articles on the subject, I can assure you that your libraries and searchable databases will turn up much material. Where have you looked?  Eric Borneman <Thanks for this help Eric. Be seeing you. Bob Fenner>

Black corals...Culture, laws, business To Mr. Fenner Seeing that you are a professional in the hobby I was hoping if you could share some information. I am looking for black, pink, and gold corals endemic to Hawaii.  <No problem. Go to Hawai'i... All such organisms are strictly forbidden (Hmm, the Maori word Tabu (sensu dictu Ta'pu) comes to mind...) for collection from our fiftieth State... What's more, the simple servants won't even allow the importation or even "touch down" (score!) of Scleractinians, even live rock in/on "their" airport there. So, a visit to the north central Pacific seems to be in your future) I am also looking for fire corals. I am especially looking for the sea wire. I was also hoping you could share some information on propagation of the beautiful carnation coral. Thanks again, Ryan Alexaki <Hmm, much to state here... about the best direction I can/should point you is to get/read volume 2 of "The Modern Coral Reef Aquarium" by Fossa & Nilsen... sold by a bunch of folks, including FFExpress.com... There are/will be several (from the Middle English meaning "many") questions that will arise from our trying to discuss the last paragraph above... Read Alf and Sven's take on the practical husbandry of these cnidarians first, and we'll be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Coral propagation To Bob I have been involved with coral propagation and have many rare corals which are not readily available in the hobby. At the moment I am just selling to LFS and was hoping to expand to a bigger business scale. My question to you is, is it worth to go on the internet and try to expand my business?  <IMO, absolutely... on several fronts, angles... contact at your leisure with customers, exposure to vital, vibrant parts of the interest...> Can the hobby support me?  <Without a doubt, yes. Know of many other people it already does> And most importantly would it, or could it be profitable to a point where it would be worthwhile to attempt. My main concern is not making enough money to support the business. I was hoping to sell my rare corals because they rather difficult to attain. I was hoping to sell 500 hundred corals a month. I was also hoping to sell some respectable products, clams, and Caulerpa. I have 10 different kinds of xenia, many Zoanthids from Fiji, many leathers, tree corals and a ton of different kinds of SPS corals. In your professional opinion do you think I could reach my goals. Yours Truly, Ryan Alexaki Coral Creations <Yes... when you are ready to expand to the clams, more standard stock (Acroporids) please make this known, and I will introduce you to a friend who can/will be able to help supply you. Bob Fenner>

Frag Rescue I got a fragment of A. formosa that was dying of slow necrosis from a friend. <Something about the syntax here> I put it in a temp. setup and stopped the necrosis (the frag was 1 inch long, and has been reduced to a few square centimeters of encrusting base). I was wondering what the habitat of this guy in the wild is. (I haven't gotten opp. to check WWM yet) I found all sorts of taxa info (this guy is either formosa, or a funny looking micropthalma, but I don't have the genetics training to find out), but I don't have any habitat books (yet)... bottom line is, I want to put this guy in my 2.5 gallon leeward Pac. reef flat...(been up about 6 months, run by a beast of an air pump for Eng-style circulation and an 18 watt PC) am aware of 'small tank perils' as described in your FAMA article) at the moment I have two species of Acroporids (valida and secale...I think), a Trachyphyllia geoffroyi, Millepora alcicornis, 2 Caulastrea furcata, Zoanthids, and an orange specimen of some unidentified pacific Porites, all thriving, all growing, tank is littered w/algaes, benthos, Stomatella, Haliotids, etc. I'm assuming that because of the spindly morphology typically seen in formosa, its a lagoonal, low flow adaptive species, so I hope it will be suitable for this semi-low flow tank (not much tissue left to lose, and the holding tank has to come down). please advise... Chris >> <Would go ahead with your plan... the systematics and i.d. of various Acroporids is a mess... to put it mildly. This frag will grow or go... not much more that can be done as far as I'm aware. Bob Fenner>

Fragments Hi Bob, I've added more light to my reef tank and will add some stony corals. Why are fragments so small ? It will take years to have an impressive display . So, I discovered how brittle they are . Very hard to transport without breaking. That must be the reason only small frags are offered.. My question : Instead of a plastic bag, how about a couple of inches of gravel or sand in the bottom of the styro , add water , "plant " the larger pieces upright and schlep them home. It's a 6 hr. drive from Hayward to L.A. Harry Wagner >> Agree with you Harry... and some help on the way... Seems to be simple economics... cheaper to produce and ship the smaller bits... and folks are willing to pay for them (!) as such... WSI and others are going to be making larger, less expensive cultured frags in good numbers available soon... Many folks getting into the field. Bob Fenner

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