SEE A LARGER THAN LIFE SIZE PICTURE
FOR YOUR DESKTOP WALLPAPER :)
Here is another full size picture of Sally Jo's reefs that you can use as wallpaper on your computer. Please e-mail us if you like these larger pictures so we can make our site more enjoyable and educational. This large picture shows one of Sally Jo's Clown Fish living in her Pink Sinularia.
One of our continuing research projects has been to identify and propagate alternative hosts for clown fish. We feel that it is very important that large anemones not be harvested as hosts for captive raised clown fish. As you can see, this Pink Hairy Sinularia makes a very good host for Sally Jo's Clown Fish. Two other good hosts for Clown Fish are the larger hairy Mushrooms and the Ricordia Mushrooms.
Corallimorphs can be kept with many types of soft coral in the brood stock aquarium. They often grow in among the Zoanthids and Protopalthoa colonies without causing harm to either species. Most Mushrooms do seem to do better in older tanks, and many of them often need less light than many corals. You can use the bottoms of your systems to produce the other types of Mushrooms, but give your Ricordia the top center of your reef.
|Our favorite Mushrooms that we are working with here at GARF are in the genus Ricordia. Ricordia are one of the most popular corallimorphs in the hobby because of their beautiful colors and their tentacles that terminate in round balls, called clavate tips. Ricordia often have several different colors on one mushroom. |
The most beautiful Caribbean Ricordia in GARF's collection have orange polyps, and a blue margin with a bright green upraised mouth. Collection of Ricordia Mushrooms in the United States was made illegal in the early 1990's but it is often possible to buy single polyps that are farmed. Fortunately there are some Ricordia yuma that have been imported from the Pacific Ocean.
Both Types of Ricordia can be kept in brighter light than the Mushrooms from the group Discosoma. We have found that they do best when we place them under VHO lighting in parts of the reef aquarium that receive a good amount of light. You do not want to place these types of corallimorphs too close to the surface if you have Halide lighting.
There are several species of Ricordia, but the most beautiful one comes from the Caribbean. The Caribbean Ricordia can be propagated using several different methods. The easiest method involves simply cutting the caps from several Ricordia and then dividing the caps into four equal pieces. These pieces can be placed in gravel until they attach.
The Ricordia in this picture is one of the more rare colors that we have in our genetic bank; it has a beautiful orange center. We have been collecting Ricordia for five years and we're starting to learn how to grow them very well. At first we often treated Ricordia like we do other Mushrooms. Now, we treat them more like SPS corals. The Ricordia in LeRoy's 300 gal. sps reef are growing at the very top of the tall Aragocrete Arch Sculptures. These Ricordia are pictured on this page and they are grown less than 6 in. from VHO Bulbs. Many of these Ricordia have naturally reproduced creating colonies of from 6 to 12 new Ricordia in just one year.
| || This beautiful blue Ricordia is in the process of dividing. When Ricordia start to divide you will notice that they have two mouths. As these two mouths mature they start to move apart so they can divide into two Ricordia. You will notice that the space between the two mouths seems to be pinching toward the center. Soon you'll notice that there are two separate Ricordia. When the conditions are right these two Ricordia can start to divide in two months.
Natural reproduction of colonies is one of the very safest ways to propagate rare strains of Ricordia. After they have started dividing by themselves you may want to increase the number of Ricordia using one of the methods listed on this page. If your Ricordia are dividing by themselves a simple way to distribute them among your systems is to split the rock they are growing on into several pieces.
Ricordia seemed to thrive in older systems with intense lighting and strong water current. The beautiful Ricordia in this picture has been grown in a 55 gallon bulletproof reef with three-40 W bulbs using 3 Bulbs and the new electronic 40 W ballast we are testing. This reef has two White Actinic bulbs and one Actinic 03 bulbs.
|These two beautiful colonies of Ricordia grew from two single polyps in just one year. The large colony of orange polyps is one of three colonies that we have of this color. Each of our colonies of orange Ricordia have different colors of polyps around the outer edge and each colony has a different color mouth. These colonies show why it is so important to collect different brood stock. As these Ricordia are propagated each new set of clones grow faster in our closed systems. |
All of the different color Ricordia are able to live together on the same rocks. In nature many different colors grow together to form large colonies.
Ricordia are able to catch and consume many different types of food. Our systems contain a large number of food organisms so the Ricordia are constantly being fed. Each of our systems was started using GARF Grungetm and we reinoculate each reef every six months. The GARF Grungetm is a rich source of food organisms.
||The bright blue Ricordia in this picture are ready to propagate. All of these huge Ricordia grew from one single polyp in just one year. They are crowding the Acropora that is growing below them. When we are ready to propagate these Ricordia we will fill a bowl full of reef water. We will then slip the points of our stainless steel scissors under the heads of the lowest Ricordia. After we have pulled the scissors as far up the stalk as we can we will cut off the head of the Ricordia. Each of the stalks will soon grow a new head.
Because this is a very rare color, and we do not want to take any chances of losing the cuttings in the gravel, we will use the netting method of attachment.
After we have collected several Ricordia caps we will cut them each into three or four pieces. Each of these pieces will be mounted on a Reef Plugtm. We will use pieces of bridal veil netting and rubber bands to hold the cuttings in place while they attach to the Reef Plugstm.
|The Ricordia in this picture have been mounted on reef plugs using super glue to attach the gravel that they attached to in the cutting tray . These Ricordia will be a beautiful blue green and several of them have distinct turquoise mouths. It is very easy to propagate this size of Ricordia. I simply split them in two with a pair of scissors and place the cuttings in a tray of course gravel. These Ricordia plugs are thriving in one of our 30 liter Farm-In-A-Box with one-22 watt power compact light. |
The new cutting trays at GARF are 4 ft. long and 2 ft. wide. These trays are 8 in. deep. We are using three - 40 watt bulbs above each of these trays. The water for each set of these cutting trays come from one of our large reef aquariums. Our newest cutting units have two of these trays above a 1 ft. deep tank that is also 4 ft. long and 2 ft. wide. This deeper tank acts as a sump and a brood stock tank.
This new greenhouse will be built in the center of our constructed wetland. During the last three years LeRoy has planted over 600 trees around the perimeter of our wetland so that we can be absolutely certain that no artificial light reaches the new greenhouse.
| ||This picture shows the Ricordia plugs in one of the plastic trays that comes with a Farm-In-A-Box. This 30 liter Farm-In-A-Box holds 36 reef plugs and has enough space under the racks to allow several dozen cuttings to attach to the Coralline covered Grunge. After these cuttings have attached to the gravel we use GARF Reef Glue to mount them on a Reef Plugtm.
If you have an opportunity to purchase or trade for any captive raised Ricordia I am certain that you will be very happy with your new coral. GARF is in the process of collecting as many types of Ricordia as we can. Our colonies will be grown for several years until we are certain that the oldest individual polyps are fully mature. These corals will join all of the other species that will be moved into our future breeding greenhouse.
One of our most important future projects includes the spawning of many coral colonies that we have in captivity here Idaho. We have been experimenting for several years on running systems with only air lifts for power.
Airlifts have several advantages including the fact that they do not destroy coral larva. Airlifts are also safer than electric pumps when you are working inside of a greenhouse with swimming pool size saltwater ponds. The saltwater ponds will be heated and cooled using the Geothermal technology that we have developed in our laboratory.
You can be certain that we will keep you informed of our progress as this project develops. Thank you all for taking the time to read this web page and thank you again for all of the support that you have given all of us here at Geothermal Aquaculture Research Foundation.
REMEMBER - SAVE A REEF - GROW YOUR OWN
FOR THE LAST 5 YEARS WE HAVE WORKED VERY HARD TO PURCHASE, TRADE, AND SAVE AS MANY TYPES OF CORALS AS WE CAN.
We are having a special on all of the coral cuttings. WHEN YOU PURCHASE 5 AT THE REGULAR PRICE OF $100 WE WILL GIVE YOU TWO FREE CORALS!.
We will continue to provide the most current data on reef farming for both education and profit.