THIS IS ONE OF THE GREEN TREE SHAPED CORALS WE WILL TEST TO SEE IF IT CAME FROM PALAU.
If this coral is the type that was sent to the hobby from the farm in Koror, Palau we will be able to return many clones to the ocean.
|THIS PICTURE SHOWS TWO OF THE GREAT NEW CORALS THAT WE ARE GROWING FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH.
THESE CAPTIVE STRAINS OF CORALS GROW MUCH FASTER THAN RECENT IMPORTS.
|THIS PICTURE SHOWS THE KIND OF SOFT CORALS THAT WE HAVE MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT.
We have a great article that we have included with these pictures that will teach you propagate all of the soft corals.
THESE CAPTIVE STRAINS OF CORALS CAME TO GARF IN RECENT TRADE.
|ALL OF THESE CORALS CAN BE PROPAGATED USING THE METHODS WE HAVE DEVELOPED. We hope that you are able to make many cuttings and that you will want to trade some of them.
ALL OF THESE CORALS CAN BE CUT AS SOON AS THEY START GROWING AGAIN AFTER YOU MOVE THEM TO A NEW AQAURIUM.
Leather corals of the genus Sinularia and Lobophytum have been some of the harder corals to attach using just super glue. The corals shrink after they are glued and they often are lost when they fall off of the rock. We now use a combination of glue and a small srtip of netting to secure the cuttings while they heal. One of the benefits of using super glue on soft coral cuttings is that the cut is sealed so there is less of a chance for bacteria and protozoans to attack the coral.
We have been collecting several types of leather or cabbage corals. These corals can grow very fast in the right aquarium set up. They seem to do better when they are grown in bright light and strong water flow.
Several of the corals we grow have nice large polyps along the edges of the body. these types are very popular. I used to think that these corals did do very well in our marketing research because we did have very many of them in the lab. I learned that there were only a few left because they sell very well. They need plenty of room to grow and after being propagated tend to shrink up and the polyps take awhile to extend.
This mother colony actually came from a very kind young man who had to leave for Ireland for a year or two and didn't want to just give away all he had strived for. So he drove this beautiful animal amoung many others to the Foundation for our care. We find that you can propagate this animal and glue other specimens such as green stars to the same rock. It does not seem to fight or sting other corals. This well developed mother made over 30 cuttings. We take this animal out of the reef tank and propagate in the open air and dip the mother in a bowl of fresh salt water before placing it back into the system. The mother will recover and grow back slowly.
|The group of soft corals we are working with this month are all in the order Alcyonaria and they are sold under many common names. We have seen them sold as Leather corals, Cabbage corals, Lettuce corals, Cauliflower corals , and Finger leathers. The corals in this group come from any one of several genera including Lobophyum, Sarcophyton, Sinularia, and several others. All of the corals in the the leather coral group can be propagated using this method.|
The corals we used in the pictures are some of the more difficult to attach because they can shrink to a very small size. We have found that by using a thin strip of bridal veil netting along with the glue we can attach the corals very fast. The netting is streched across the base of the cutting after it is glued to the plug.
It is very important that the cutting is dipped into reef water as soon a possible. The glue heats up when it cures and you must cool the cutting before damage can take place. The glue will seal the cut and help keep the cutting from becoming infected.
|.||It is best if you can remove the coral from the brood stock aquarium before you cut it. We have had some problems with these types of corals when we cut them underwater. Many of the softer types bleed quite a bit when they are cut and the fluid can be toxic. We placed this large coral in a bowl of water from the aquarium it came from. A second bowl of reef water was set aside for the cuttings. After we finished cutting the large coral we washed it before placing it back in the reef to grow again.
It is important to watch the temperature of the smaller bowls so they do not drop below the safe zone of 74 to 80 degrees. You do not want to stress the cuttings any more than you have to. We are certain that by being able to process all 30 cuttings in a few minutes by using the glue we reduce the stress.
When the coral is in the bowl you can start to map out the best way to cut it so that you can get the best cuttings while doing the least damage. We try to remove the edges of the soft corals so we can keep the main body of the coral whole. The corals seem to have a strong repair mode they go into and the central part of the stalk may not heal as fast as the edges. We do not often remove more than 1/2 of the tissue around the outside of the corla.
When the skin has formed over the top of the stalk it only takes about a week before the entire healed cut starts to grow polyps. We take the head of the coral into Sally Jo's office and cut it into 1/2 inch slices that look like a pizza. We drop the slices into the bottom of her cutting tank for a week and they heal and start to attach to the gravel. The Sarcophyton cuttings are heavy enough to sink right to the bottom. When we tried that with Sinularia and Lobophytum cutting they almost always blow into dark corners and die. That is why we needed to develop a method that would attach these corals to rocks without the trouble of them working loose in the cutting tanks. It takes a lot of extra time to remove empty plugs after we have set a group of corals for a grow out.
|TOOLS AND MATERIALS YOU NEED|
1. SHARP SCISSORS
2. TWO PLASTIC BOWLS
3. ROCKS OR REEF PLUGS
4. LARGE HOLE BRIDAL VEIL NETTING
5. SUPER GLUE GEL
6. RUBBER BANDS
| METHOD WE USE
1. REMOVE CORAL FROM REEF AQUARIUM
2. PLACE CORAL IN BOWL OF WARM OF WATER
3.CUT FIRST PIECE FROM CORAL.
4. PUT LARGE DROP OF GLUE ON ROCK
5. PLACE CUTTING ON GLUE AND TURN IT OVER
6. STRETCH NETTING OVER BASE OF CUTTING
7. PUT CUTTING IN BOWL OF WATER.
|This method can be tried when the other two methods we use on these corals do not seem to be working. The first and fastest method that we try on a new coral is the one that works fine on the Sarcophyton from Palau. We just put a bit of glue on a plug and glue the coral to the rock. These corals do not shrink much and the glue holds them in place until they grow onto the rock.
The second method we use for very soft corals is the one where we cover the entire cutting with netting and then we rubber band it in place. The corlas stay put but there are two problems with this method. the corals often do not get enough water flow under the netting and they die. When they do grow, they sometimes stick to the netting instead of the rock.
You can see in this picture how the netting is over just the base of the cutting. The glue is embedded in the glue so it gives the cutting support. The netting allows us to pull the cutting downinto the glue so that it can not shrink out from under the glue. We have have very good success with this method on the flat growing soft corals.
When the cutting is attached we trim off the extra netting, and the rest of the netting and the glue soon grow coralline algae. We will have some pictures of these cuttings in a future issue.
COMBO REEF PLUG PROJECT
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!. If you have any questions please use this form to ask them. WE WILL PHONE YOU AND HELP YOU PICK THE BEST CORALS FOR YOUR REEF AQUARIUM. We will continue to provide the most current data on reef farming for both education and profit.