|I was just sitting here trying to figure out where to start describing this picture. There are so many wonderful corals in this corner of Sally Jo's 55 gallon reef that I think I will just have to start in one corner.
In the upper right hand corner is one of the most strikingly beautiful Montiporas that I have ever seen. In the hundreds of photographs of this coral taken over the last four years we have just titled this one 'question mark' because I have not been able to figure out what species it is. It started life in Sally Jo's reef as a one half-inch fragment, and it grew into what I would have to describe as a massive branched mound.
The space between the polyps (coenosteum) is purple and there are no projections (tuberculae) - if larger than single polyp or (papilllae) - if smaller than single polyp- on the surface. The large green polyps are always open during the day, and now this coral grows very rapidly. As soon as we have moved this coral in to each of the other grow out tanks we will have some ready for sale. We have already sent this coral to the five people at both private homes and at public aquariums who we trust to keep it alive.
The incredible purple Acropora in the middle of this picture came from the second aquaculture farm in the Solomon Islands. During the past three years we have been able to buy several hundred corals from both Solomon island aquaculture facilities. These corals are now acclimated and producing fragments at the foundation.
There are at least eight nice Acropora is in this photo, but I want to point out the bright green Montipora confusa in the bottom center. For the last two semesters I have been studying and collecting every plating Montipora that I can find. We have been lucky to make several great trades. This coral came in one of the trades from a friend in Florida. Montipora confusa could be confused with Montiporas capricornis. Montipora confusa has small projections (tuberculae) - that are larger than single polyp and they form ridges that line up on the surface. Montipora confusa also has some branches that grow to lift the next plate above the coral.
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