Three years ago Sally Jo purchased a beautiful 150 gallon reef and oak cabinet for my office. This reef has now been set up for three years, and it is home to about 150 strains of SPS corals. This reef was set up using Aragocrete sand-cast rock. The bottom of the reef has two Eco-Sand Plenums covered with 3 inches of CaribSea aragonite gravel. The lighting consists of eight-110 watt VHO bulbs powered by 2 - 660 Ice Cap Ballasts.
In the second picture I am trying to show one of the great reefscape effects that you can create with Aragocrete Arches. During the first two years that this tank was growing the original Aragocrete Sculptures became completely encrusted with soft corals such as Zoanthids. This is the left end of the 150-gallon reef and this is a second batch of Aragocrete rocks that have become completely encrusted with Coralline algae and corals. When I had the opportunity to redecorate this reef I chose five tall, thin, Arches. Starting with the arch in the very back of the reef, I positioned each arch so that I could see through the entire stack from different directions. I am quite a coral collector and I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed having all these new Aragocrete Arches to glue more corals to.
This next picture shows the middle section of this 5-ft. long reef. On the left side you can see another view of the arch with the Blue Chalice coral on it. The coral growing on the front glass is a Beautiful Pink Creeping Xenia. I like to watch the Beautiful Pink Creeping Xenia grow on the glass because of the way it forms its new polyps. When this coral starts to grow too much, I use my credit card to remove large sections of it. These pieces of the Beautiful Pink Creeping Xenia are dropped in the gravel trays until they attach to gravel or seashells. It is very easy to then glue the Beautiful Pink Creeping Xenia to reef plugs. This section of the 150-gallon Aragocrete reef shows some of the only original Aragocrete from three years ago. You can see how many bright colored Zoanthids are covering the Aragocrete arch in the center of the picture. The Xenia in the upper right hand corner of this picture is the Giant Bali Two Colored Xenia that Sally Jo gave me as a gift.
This picture shows the Giant Bali Two Colored Xenia late in the day after it has started to close. This remarkable Xenia has been one of the great challenges Sally Jo has worked on in our research to learn about how to best domesticate coral strains. Usually in Xenia each generation of clones is much hardier than the original parent colony. This domestication process has taken much longer in the Giant Bali Two Colored Xenia. The new set of clones will be at least seven copies removed from the original colony, and it is still a challenging coral to grow.
The last picture shows the sps coral that led to all of our research on bud tip initiation. The beautiful fuzzy blue Acropora that is growing on the top of these Arches is one of the most stunning stony corals we have ever seen. We have a preliminary identification that this is a strain of an Acropora millipora. I have been nursing this colony from 3/4-inch fragment that I received from Steve two years ago. In that same shipment we received a dime size fragment of orange encrusting Montipora. You can see how valuable these two collector quality fragments have become.
The Pocillopora in between these two corals has a light orange body and baby blue polyps. Pocillopora and Stylophora are two of my very favorite corals because of these large polyps that move in the current. The take away message of this page is; small fragments of captive raised collector quality corals can pay you back with years of enjoyment.
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.