These pictures of the week all show different views of Sally Jo's first reef that is now four years old. This 55 gal. reef never fails to amaze me, and it is the first thing I see when I walk up the front stairs at the foundation each morning. Many of the coral colonies are now getting so large that Sally Jo has to cut them quite often. Lately I've been looking back through some of the early pictures and I am reminded that all of these SPS coral colonies started from single small fragments.
Sally Jo has been taking hundreds of pictures each day as part of our research and documentation of coral domestication. Since September 1999 she has taken over 17,000 digital pictures of reefs. There have been many days when she has taken over 500 pictures, and I have to burn a 650 MB CD every two days. All of these pictures are dated by the computer so we will be able to construct very detailed growth charts of hundreds of different coral colonies.
This first picture shows one of my favorite colonies of Stylophora. This SPS coral was the very first one that really got my attention in 1994. I love the way the polyps move in the current and shine like velvet.
In the upper right hand corner of this picture you can see the bright purple Acropora that has completely covered the reef plug that it was glued to. Next to this Acropora plug is a branch of the bright Purple Blade Gorgonians that add so much color to all of our reefs here at the foundation. These bright purple Gorgonians grow very fast and Sally Jo has had some of them for almost three years. These Gorgonians make a great color accent in any reef because they have purple blades and white polyps.
This Next picture shows an incredible colony of Bali Green Slimer that has produced dozens and dozens of cuttings over the last four years. This is one of the Acropora types that are called Stag Horn corals. You'll notice that each time a branch is cut the coral forms several axial polyps that develop into new branches.
This picture also shows some of the beautiful Purple Blade Gorgonians. Gorgonians are great in community reef tanks because they do not often sting anything else . These Purple Blade Gorgonians seem to be one of the most hardy, colorful Gorgonians that can be kept in captivity. These Gorgonians are very interesting because they often shed their skin to get rid of bacteria and unwanted algae. They always have the most beautiful purple color right after they have shed their skin.
The next picture shows the upper left-hand corner of Sally Jo's 55 gal. reef tank and the beautiful 100 percent pulsing Xenia. Using the dated pictures that we are cataloging in our computer we can document how fast this POM-POM Xenia can grow back from having its head cut off of the stalk. Many of the sps coral colonies in this part of the tank are over four years old now.
It is very exciting to watch Sally Jo remove fragments from all of these colorful colonies to stock her second reef and several of the other sps colony tanks at the foundation. Soon we will be able to post high quality, dated pictures that show many of these corals as they grow during an entire year. You can look at the last four years of pictures that we have posted to see how these corals have grown from frags.
Looking at this picture I can count over 25 different species of SPS corals surrounding the Fiji POM-POM. One of the most interesting things you notice, when you view this tank in person, is that there are layers and layers of corals. The longer you look at this reef the more different things you see. During the first part of 1996 I thought that this reef was surely one of the kind but that was before I truly understood Sally Jo's magic. It is now May 2000 and all of her reefs and many more of the reef tanks at the foundation are starting to look like this SPS wonderland.
The last picture on this page shows the coral that we are calling the Bali Stag number two. This Acropora looks like the Bali Green Slimer, but this coral has a white polyps. The true Bali Green Slimer has fluorescent green polyps.
In front of the Bali Stag number two is one of the most beautiful gorgonians that we grow here at the foundation. This gorgonians is bright orange and pure white polyps extend from the red spots. Because these white polyps are so large this is one of the easiest predatory gorgonians to keep in captivity. Many of the small polyp predatory gorgonians are very hard to feed, but this gorgonians even each eats flake food. This orange Gorgonian makes a great combination plug when it is mounted next to the Purple Blade Gorgonian
Spring is the very best time of year to ship corals, and if you have wanted to purchase some of Sally Jo's cuttings this is a great time to do so. Many people have asked us if we have a coral list on the Web and I have to tell them that with over 400 different types of coral at the foundation we can't possibly list all of the ones that are ready.
We have been able to continue our special so that when you order five corals you receive two for free. We are very happy because so many people have ordered several sets of corals and they have learned that it is best to specify whether they want Soft Corals or SPS corals and ask for Sally Jo's choice :)
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!. 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.