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SALLY JO'S PICTURES OF THE WEEK
The first picture is of Sally Jo's 55 gal. reef tank. This tank is lighted by 40 W lights, and it is now three years old. The beautiful blue purple Acropora fragment is one that we received from the second farm in the Solomon Islands. We've been informed that unfortunately much of the first fragment farm has been destroyed.
It is unfortunate if this is true, but it shows how, " coral farming will continue to grow across the the island nations" because the people who started the second coral farm learned how to do it by watching the original fragment farm. Doing business in developing nations has always been a challenge.
The freight on the delivery of these coral fragments actually cost more than the original cost of the fragments in the Solomon Islands. The increasing cost of freight and the difficulty doing business in remote locations will always leave an economic opportunity for local land based coral farms to prosper.
Brood stock acquisition from these ocean based coral farms is an ecologically sound method of building a land based operation. GARF has actively supported many new coral farms by purchasing the products that they produce. Many of the Xenia colonies in this picture were produced as a aquaculture product.
The second picture shows a tomato Clown that is living in the Xenia. Tomato clowns are one of the easiest clowns to acclimate to Xenia. The Xenia in this picture is one of the clones that receive from the Smithsonian in 1998. This group of Xenia grows very fast and is very hardy in captivity.
Sally Jo grows many different types of Xenia in her office. This picture is taken in one of 55 gal. brood stock tanks. This tank has to be harvested every two weeks or it will become overgrown with Xenia. Xenia more than any other coral can be produced in captivity successfully and profitably. Importing large Xenia is extremely difficult, and many dealers would rather purchase captive raised Xenia locally.
Collected Xenia are extremely hard to ship and they are never guaranteed to arrive alive. It is our experience that one out of about nine or ten Xenia that are collected on the reef survive shipment and handling. these it while Xenias still take several years to acclimate completely to captivity that is why it is so important that you purchase captive raised brood stock.
Sally Jo has developed a very good method that she uses for cloning hundreds of Xenia each month. She harvest the captive raised Xenia from her brood stock tanks and many of the other aquariums at GARF. these cuttings are then divided into small pieces that contained approximately fifteen polyps. The small cuttings are then held in place on a small Aragocrete plug with a circle made from nylon netting. This netting is attached to the plug with a rubber band and it is left in place from one to two weeks.
FOR THE LAST 5 YEARS WE HAVE WORKED VERY HARD TO PURCHASE, TRADE, AND SAVE AS MANY TYPES OF CORALS AS WE CAN.