leroy@garf.org

This new page has some of my favorite information from the other parts of the website.
I hope that you're able to produce soft corals, because they're very good for increasing sales, and they are the first corals people need when they start your new reef aquarium. Soft corals are easy to propagate, but there are a few tricks that you can learn that will help you make more of them. These are good corals to trade in at the Fish store for rare SPS type corals.

FINE BRANCH PINK CORAL STANDS OUT

The fine branches of this coral is not quite like any other in the nonconnected genetic bank. This coral is a very good seller because it does not look like other soft corals. This is one of the only soft corals that spawns in the aquarium. The young corals attach to the live rock and they grow very fast.

SOFT CORAL PRODUCTION

This is a very hardy coral and it has done well in many systems. We have had great success shipping this coral. We hang the reef plug upside down in a styrofoam ring and so far we have not lost one. We are certain this coral will be one of the best soft corals to propagate for profit. It has all of the best traits. It is easy to propagate, easy to ship, fast growing, and many people do not have it in their reefs yet.

This image shows a large Capnella in the center of the picture. You can also see some Sinularia in the lower left-hand corner both the pink one and a green one. In the upper right hand corner there are some Xenia. You can see there are lots of SPS corals; some people so you can't keep them together but that's foolishness.

X
SOFT CORAL PRODUCTION

REMEMBER - SAVE A REEF - GROW YOUR OWN

The common color for this coral which is often call the Kenya tree is a reddy brown. It the coral that grows fast and it is nice for beginners, but the colored ones are so much more valuable. The colored ones are the only ones that you should be looking for. You can get them growing in Yellow Green and Blue.

These are the Green Capnella that you can grow for your own coral farm. This coral is showing up more often and people really like it. It's a beautiful coral that lives well, and it's very easy to propagate. We will be teaching you how we've grown them here Garf.

These corals often looked very white when you first get them, but after they've grown for a while they have more and more color. The cuttings will keep that color and they look great in your customers aquariums

soft corals

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PROPAGATING CAPNELLA

 GREEN CAPNELLA CORAL

CAPNELLA SOFT CORAL

Capnella are one of the easy corals. We just cut the branches into 1/2-inch long pieces and we drop them into a tank with course substrate. We do use the older Capnella in our systems to provide new symbionts for them.

We have found that we can increase the number of surviving cuttings of the new Capnella when we cut up several of our fastest growing Capnella in the water we use to hold the new cuttings. We leave the new cuttings in this water for one half-hour.

PROPAGATING CAPNELLA CORAL><p></td><td>CAPNELLA SOFT CORAL<p>
This fast growing soft coral is very easy to propagate. We use plastic tanks that are only four inches deep that have a layer  of  small sea shells on the bittom. The Capnella is cut into small pieces and and spread out on the bottom of the tank. It takes only two days for the corals to attach to the shells. We then glue the shells with the corals attached to reef plugs. <p>
Our cutting tanks are four feet long and they are divided into three sections. We use 40 watt lights above these tanks. We use Aquarium Systems Mini-Jet power heads and one air release in each chamber. We now use these chambers to propagate other fragile soft corals. </td>
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	<td>These are some of the brood stock Capnella corals growing in our 120 reef. When you use these corals in a show tank it is best if you group them. The main rule of aquascaping is the same as the rule for landscaping. GROUP YOUR CORALS AND GROUP YOUR GROUPS. <p>

Four large corals are glued to this socket rock and it easy to remove the rock with all of the Capnella attached. We hold the rock upside down and the corals can be clipped into the cutting trays. We turn off the power head and remove the air release when we cut the corals so the cuttings have a chance to settle. DO NOT FORGET TO TURN THEM BACK ON!<p>
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Class Anthozoa
Subclass Octocorallia
Order Alcyonacea
Family Alcyoniidae
Genus Sinularia

Sinularia
Sinularia are one of my favorite soft corals. There are several different kinds of Sinularia commonly available, and each is colorful with an interesting shape. The most familiar kind of Sinularia is probably Sinularia dura, commonly known as the cabbage Sinularia.

This Sinularia grows in a shape much like a pinkish cabbage. The flesh is translucent and may have a greenish tint. Often there will be a row of polyps on the very edges of the "leaf."

Other types of Sinularia grow in finger shapes or even in a shape like a cauliflower head. The shapes and colors can be highly variable, but in this genus, they are always beautiful.

I have recently propagated a lot of a gorgeous and rare kind of Sinularia. This green Sinularia grows in a shape like a weeping willow tree. The color is an unearthly, glowing green.

pinkish cabbage

These Sinularia grow very quickly, and are pretty adaptable; I have them in several different systems here, and each one is doing fine. This particular species tends to prefer fairly strong current and light, and will look best in a combination of white and blue actinic VHO lights.

GEOTHERMAL AQUACULTURE RESEARCH FOUNDATION

These corals have specialized cells called Amebocytes, which produce calcium carbonate spicules. A spicule is like a little spine that grows in the inside of the coral lending it support. Calcium carbonate is the same material that SPS corals use to produce skeletons, although Sinularia are not directly related to SPS.

SPS corals
Because of these spicules, Sinularia are easy to propagate. The spicules make the coral tougher than most other soft corals. They can be sewed onto plugs, or the bridal veil netting method can be used. However, the method that I have found easiest is simply to rubber band them onto GARF plugs.

First procure a handful of these thin, black rubber bands.

 cut a Sinularia

Next, cut a Sinularia into small pieces. Each piece should be big enough to have at least 1 "fork" and 2 branches. Put these pieces in a dish of water, and the parent colony can go back into the tank.

Sinularia grow so quickly

Attach each piece to a plug with a thin rubber band. You should choose plugs that are flat on top (but textured enough to make it easy for the coral to hold onto). Other material, like pieces of rubble, could conceivably be used for attachment sites.

These plugs should be placed into an area with limited current until they attach; otherwise they might get blown off the plug. In about a month, the green sinularia will be attached firmly to the plug.

You can either take the rubber band off then or wait until the rubber band dissolves in the seawater . These Sinularia grow so quickly, that in no time you should be able to cut your cuttings again, producing more coral!

These are the live rocks that come with the divesity specials!

GEOTHERMAL AQUACULTURE RESEARCH FOUNDATION
Colt coral Genus Cladiella Colt coral is one of my favorite corals. It is fast, easy to grow and pretty hardy. This coral is also a coral that has been in the hobby for a while. All of GARF's colt coral came from a schoolteacher in a nearby town. Every couple of months he would send us several huge pieces of his coral.

colt coral
We have many different stories for origins of coral here at GARF. There is a kind of unique Pavona, the only one of its kind that Leroy has ever seen, that was picked up on the beach growing on a dolphin's jawbone. However, this colt coral story is one of my favorites. It represents the ultimate goals of coral aquaculture: propagation of corals that are twice removed from the wild ocean, and hobbyists who are willing to work together and trade corals.

Pavona
Unfortunately, colt coral has proven to be a fairly difficult corals to propagate. With many soft corals, all you have to do is cut several pieces off, put them over a gravel bed and in no time you'll have many soft corals ready to glue to plugs. Colt coral pieces have a much harder time attaching themselves. They'll drift around in an aquarium and eventually get sucked up by a powerhead and shredded into tiny bits.

GEOTHERMAL AQUACULTURE RESEARCH FOUNDATION
Other conventional propagation techniques don't work either. Colt coral is too slimy to glue down, and it can't be sewed on to a plug. Even the tried-and-true bridal veil netting method doesn't always work for these corals.

Colt coral
However, after several months of research, I have found a pretty foolproof way to grow colt coral.

Materials:
Plastic sword
Plugs with a hole
SallyJo's Reef Gel

After the coral has grown pretty big, take a sharp pair of scissors and cut it into many pieces. Each piece should be about the width of a nickel, and an inch high. If you have a colt coral that is thick, be sure that there is a section of the outer skin, which contains polyps, on the piece. Before you cut the colt coral, ready some plugs. At Garf, we make special plugs that have holes drilled in them.

green Colt coral
Take a plastic sword, and use reef glue to glue the blunt end inside the hole so the sharp end is sticking straight up. I use the swords that are used to spear sandwiches or as toothpicks in restaurants. Other sharp plastic objects could be used, such as toothpicks; however most toothpicks are made of wood and are not suitable.

blue Colt coral
At this point, I must give a huge thanks to my mother. She has driven down to the restaurant supply store and bought these swords for my experiments many times, without asking why I needed hundreds of tiny plastic weapons.

finished colt coral

I would never have had the time to go down to the supply store myself, so without my mother this new colt coral propagation technique would not exist. Leave the swords and the plugs in a container of water for a couple of hours. This will ensure that the sword is stuck firm.

garf.org colt coral

Use this page to purchase the Garf.org PRODUCTS for your reef aquarium.


We use many types of grunge in each reef.

Garf Grunge Plus™ consists of larger particles about the size of walnuts down to thumbnail size and it is harvesteed from the older tanks.

Garf Grunge Plus™ contains more of the small invertebrates such as the worms, Copepods, Amphipods, and many others such as Brittle stars.

Garf Grunge Plus™ is used to create a cryptic zone in the existing aquarium. This is done by piling the Garf Grunge Plus™ in a back corner. Garf Grunge Plus™ is the finest thing to add to seed the refugeum. This product has been extremely popular and it does a great job of creating a small hiding place called the cryptic zone in the main tank and in the sump.


Learn more about GARF Grunge plustm

We use many types of grunge in each reef.

Our newest product is one of the most asked for things that we've had during the years and this is Garf Grunge Bright White™.

Garf Grunge Bright White™ is grown in our grunge tanks using a very fine aragonite sand. It fits really well with modern look of white gravel. There are still a lot of micro invertebrates, and an extremely large number of that bacteria. Garf Grunge Bright White™ has many strains that will not ship in the big bag live sand or wild sand. Garf Grunge Bright White™ is the newest product but it's very very popular, and we will be glad to help you with Your questions when you call.
We use many types of grunge in each reef.

Grunge Light Mud™ is the Best thing to add to mud filters and refugeums.

It consists very fine particles of our Grunge™. We collect it from the square corners of our grow out tanks.

These tanks are 6 foot across, and they have lots and lots of grunge and live sand moving through them. The grunge light from the corners is very small. and it works great in the mud filter or refugeum chamber. We've been shipping this product to people who are starting a refugeum, because the mud that they buy doesn't have anything alive, and there are lots of different organisms that thrive in very fine particulate mud.

We are selling a group of garf.org products called Garf Diversity&trade, and we will be posting the Garf Diversity™ packages for each size reef. You will get the Garf Grunge™, Garf Grunge Plus™l, and the Bag-o-macro Algae™free. You can also choose a live coralline covered live rock and any of Sally Jo's Bag-o-bugs™. These specials start at only 59.00 for a reef aquarium up to 27 gallons. Call LeRoy 208-344-6163 the first callers get the finest live rocks:)

Sally Jo's students visit a coral farming Reef store.

Green algae control buttons

Now, take the pieces of coral and stake them onto the swords. Push each piece all the way down, so it is in contact with the base of the plug. Then, place a dab of glue where the top of the colt coral touches the sword. This glue will harden on the plastic of the sword, and prevent the colt coral from floating up off the sword.

diversity package
Cut the top of the sword off for aesthetic reasons. That's the entire process! The finished colt coral plugs should be initially put in a place of the tank with pretty low current.

Making Reef Aquarium Lights

After a couple of weeks they will be established enough to withstand higher current, although colt corals generally prefer medium light and low current.

Making Reef Aquarium Lights garf

In a couple of months your colt coral plug will be ready to be cut again, producing more of these beautiful animals!

J