Orders (800)600-6163
Support (208)344-6163
E-mail leroy@garf.org 1726 Merrill St. St, Boise, ID, 83705
Garf's Archives
COVER AND INDEX
LAST MONTHS ISSUE | HOME | NOVEMBER ISSUE PAGE 1 | NOVEMBER ISSUE PAGE 2


A TEACHER VISITS THE1998 CORAL FARMING SEMINAR
MAGIC REEF DUST UPDATE #1
BOISE GEOTHERMAL PUBLIC RESEARCH AQUARIUM UPDATE

Reef Aquarium Farming News
Online Newsletter for Reef Aquarium Propagation Research

ISSUE # 22 page 3 NOVEMBER 1998



A TEACHER VISITS THE1998 CORAL FARMING SEMINAR

R. Scott Page
Hanford High School

SEE MANY MORE PICTURES OF THE SEMINAR ON THIS PAGE

LeRoy and Sally Jo Headlee, along with their staff, provided an entertaining and highly educational weekend seminar on October 24th and 25th featuring 4 speakers who are veritable cornerstones of modern reefkeeping and captive propagation. Even Philip E. Batt, the Governor or Idaho, got into the act with the proclamation of October 23 - 30, 1998 'SAVE A REEF GROW YOUR OWN WEEK' in Idaho; an apropos proclamation in the midst of the International Year of the Ocean.

In "Breeding the Orchid Dottyback" Martin Moe suggests that with a little work, anyone can make a small fortune raising aquarium fish provided, he adds, they start with a large fortune. That was certainly the underlying theme at the 1998 Coral Farming Seminar sponsored by the Geothermal Aquatic Research Foundation, or GARF (http://www.garf.org). A second, and in my mind, more pressing theme also ran through the seminar, that being the need to be keenly aware of the impact and the perceived impact this hobby has on the world's besieged reefs.

Dick Perrin receiving LIFE TIME SERVICE AWARD
Stanley Brown, Executive Director of the Breeder's Registry and frequent contributor to Marine Fish Monthly, led off the seminar with an historical look at events and technologies which have brought us to where we are with marine animal husbandry and propagation. Mr. Brown's presentation centered on fish propagation as that is where, until recently, most breeders could hope for success. Success breeding marine animals, however, doesn't assure a profitable business in marine aquaculture as many well funded, well researched folks have demonstrated over the past 20 years.

The Breeders Registry is a non-profit organization which catalogues and disseminates information on all captive breeding marine animals. The $15 annual membership fee not only provides members with the quarterly Journal of MaquAculture (marine aquarium aquaculture) and other member benefits, but helps the environment by reducing our dependence on wild caught animals.

Gerald Heslinga, Marine Biologist and founder of Indo-Pacific Sea Farms gave a fascinating, informative, and passionate presentation on his pioneering research on the reproductive biology and mass culture of tridacnid clams. Mr. Heslinga was the principal investigator at MMDC Giant Clam Hatchery in Palau from 1981 through 1995. Dick Perrin and others have raised countless clams which were bred in hatcheries such as those in Palau, and shipped slightly larger than finger nails for growout in tanks in Michigan and around the world. It was intriguing to learn from Mr. Heslinga that phenomenal growth rates have been obtained in tridacnid clams by fertilization with aqueous organic nitrogenous compounds. It would be equally intriguing to know if similar growth rates could be obtained using this method with hermatypic corals.

It was disheartening to learn that many of the South Pacific Giant Clam Hatcheries, including the MMDC Giant Clam Hatchery have ceased operations and/or no longer have resources available to produce clams in quantity. The lack of captive bred giant clams threatens not only their availability to the reefkeeping hobby and the oriental sushi trade, but to their very existence in the wild, as high prices and an insatiable market assures they will be hunted into extinction without some interdiction.

Since leaving Palau, Jerry has founded the Indo-Pacific Sea Farm in Hawaii. IPSF has many novel and intriguing products. IPSF tries to add a new product to their line up every month. A recent addition which will be of great use to keepers of plankton feeding animals, is their "plankton bomb." As a scientist I disdain the use of cute names such as magic or vital, which must be why I am not in marketing. The plankton bomb is essentially just that. A gelatinous mass of mollusk eggs, which upon hatching in your reef, will provide the plankton feeders with a veritable feast. No commentary about Jerry would be complete without mentioning his wife Kyoko and two daughters, Olivia and Lisa, who according to Jerry, are a close knit family working together to nurture IPSF into a first class critter farm.

More than a couple of business opportunities
were consummated over roast turkey and hot soup.

The seminar luncheon enabled prospective coral farmers to learn from those experienced in the business, such as Tim Weidauer of Wasatch Aquaculture (http://www.rotifer.com), Dick Perrin of Tropicorium, Dwight Guss of Avalon Aquaculture in Portland, Oregon, and of course LeRoy Headlee who has 31 years of experience in the aquarium industry. More than a couple of business opportunities were consummated over roast turkey and hot soup. Following lunch, I returned to Boise State University, my head already swimming with new information, but anxious to hear the afternoon presentations.

Tom Frakes of Aquarium Systems (http://www.aquariumsystems.com) was the third speaker of the day. As this hobby is often dominated by self proclaimed experts with little or no science education, I was pleased that Tom was the third biologist presenting. Too many ideas are published, without appropriate disclaimers which have not undergone rigorous peer review, controlled research, or on occasion are patently false. Working as vice president of research and development for Aquarium Systems is but one notch in the belt for Mr. Frakes. In the mid 70's, he was research director breeding marine ornamentals, predominantly anemone fish for what later became Ocean Pure Hatcheries. For over a decade Tom has been the editor of a free marine aquarist quarterly newsletter, SeaScope.

Tom Frakes (Anclote Aquaculture), established live rock farming in 1994 when he planted a million pound barge load of rock in response to the shutdown of the wild live rock industry in U.S. waters. The artificial reefs they built yields rock encrusted with corals, sponges, barnacles, bivalves and a plethora of wild life. Aquacultured live rock has become an important viable and environmentally sound alternative to the removal of rocks from the world's reefs, thanks to the work of these aquaculture pioneers.

Tom gave us an overview of the damage caused by this year's hurricane season on the rock farms in the Keys and the Gulf. About half of the live rock being farmed in the Keys rolled away in the storm surge. The other remaining half was virtually sandblasted by the storm currents. Fortunately most of the rock in the Gulf was largely unaffected.

Tom stared intently into the eyes of all 70 prospective coral farmers
and stated sternly, "Don't quit your day jobs - YET."

Not so fortunate was the C-Quest hatchery in Puerto Rico. Just as hobbyists were beginning to understand the necessity of buying captive bred marine animals and as C-Quest was on the verge of making a profit, mother nature destroyed the hatchery, tearing the roof off the facility and spilling most of the fish on to the beach area. The environmental consequences of this introduction of non-indigenous marine fish into the Puerto Rican waters remains to be seen. Conjecture as to any impact this may have on Caribbean marine life is premature. No information on whether Bill Addison will rebuild C-Quest or bulldoze it was forthcoming, although few of those 'in the know' seemed optimistic.

While in the midst of this conversation, Tom stared intently into the eyes of all 70 prospective coral farmers and stated sternly, "Don't quit your day jobs - YET." It was apparent that this was the voice of experience. While I am not given to hero worship, having the opportunity to hear Albert Thiel speak was momentous. Albert, who began fish keeping in 1953 and kept saltwater animals when Kennedy was president, has written seven books on reef aquariums and maintains one of the most information rich web sites of any kind.

I had not expected to be able to see Albert as he has been embattled with three strokes in thelast year. His presentation was severely hampered as Boise State University would not allow him to cut and propagate corals in the lecture room for fear that saltwater would damage their new facility. While his explanations at the university were helpful, it wasn't until that evening at the GARF facility that he was able to demonstrate his technique for cutting large polyp stony corals. His duty wasn't done yet as LeRoy volunteered him to whomp up a batch of Aragocrete┼ Sunday morning. Several prospective coral farmers availed themselves to hands on instruction from LeRoy on making great shapes with the porous AragocreteTM mixed by Albert.

1

Behind the Victorian houses on Warm Springs Avenue is a handmade wetland of about an acre. This wetland is a key element of GARF's research on methods to save the world's reefs. LeRoy is more than happy to take anybody who can keep up with him on a whirlwind educational lesson in natural water purification through his wetland. He maintains that if the many resorts which parasitize the worlds reefs would construct artificial wetlands and route their wastewater through these wetlands, the reefs and resorts could assume a commensalistic relationship. Furthermore, by supporting captive coral farming, establishment of a worldwide coral genetic bank, and restoring damaged reefs, mankind could, if we have the resolve, grow into a mutualistic relationship with the tropical rain forests of the ocean - the world's reefs.


Delivered-To: algae-garf-leroy@garf.org
From: "Albert Thiel"
To:
Subject: Magic Dust
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 16:07:51 -0500
LeRoy,

Hi ... guess you guys may be away as I have not heard from you for a while.

Now to the point ... I finally had time to try out the Magic Dust. Well what a surprise! I was actually really amazed at the results that I obtained on an empty tank to which I had added water from one that was quite polluted (I got the water from a pet shop).

Before adding the Magic Dust I measured over 1.5 ppm of Phosphate and about 30 ppm of Nitrate. The tank was 20 gallons.

I added 1 tablespoon in the morning, one at lunch and one in the evening for three days and took some intermediate measurements. After each addition the levels of phosphate and nitrate dropped within 3 hours (about the time it took for the powder to settle).

The end result after three days was Nitrate down to less than 5 ppm, Phosphate down to less than 0.07 ppm. I am stunned as I do not understand why it is happening, but it is!

I also measured the dKH to see if there would be a great difference. The initial one was 9 and the end one was 10 so no significant increase but I did find that the pH was far more stable which would indicate to me that the carbonate portion of the buffer increased (which is good of course).

I wonder whether you have an explanation for this course of events with the Magic Dust.

Albert


We have noticed this also, and we are testing it now. I am certain that adding the crushed coralline algae from the fossil reef does make the reef much better. We have used it for the past 4 years in all of our reefs and you know how good they are doing.

Leroy

Magic Reef DustTM for coral growth

Is it just Hocus-Pocus?

What kind of magic potions could we use to make corals grow faster? If there were just something that we could add to the water to really make our coral cuttings grow faster, we could make a lot more money growing corals for sale from small cuttings.

Well, you could raise your temperature a little to speed up metabolism and get faster growth, but only to a reasonable point. About 80-85 degrees seems to be the limit depending on the type of coral.

Trace elements help, but only to a certain point also, then they cause toxicity problems and excessive algal growth. Reef Janitors can help with the algae part though.

Circulation is very helpful to some corals, but only if you don't blow them right over. Lighting? Maybe more lighting?

As I sat thinking of ways to speed up the growth of corals and mushroom anemone cuttings I realized that my optimistic plans for doubling the number of cuttings I can grow each month by re-dividing them on a pre-set schedule usually doesn't work as planned or hoped for. In other words, the coral cuttings don't cooperate as well as I want them to all the time.

I dream up optimistic multiplying schedules which sound great, but the corals sometimes grow fast and sometimes they slow down. I found that the best you can do is optimize everything you can and then be patient. Sometimes A coral cutting doubles in a month and the next time I divide it, it takes two or three months to double. Don't count your chicks before they hatch and don't spend your money before your coral cuttings double.

Take for example a leather mushroom coral (sarcophyton). Initially I can cut an inch wide ring off the outer disk and then cut it into a bunch of one inch squares. I can attach these by sewing, super gluing with Super Reef GelTM or letting them sit in a coarse gravel bed to attach to small pea sized chips or chunks of rock. Then I glue these attached pebbles to a chosen rock to attach the coral.

But some times the new cuttings skin over and go into an unusually prolonged dormancy cycle. For this reason I learned to not use phosphate remover ever just before or after making sarcophyton cuttings. Phosphate remover can especially cause havoc when leather corals (and some others) are trying to attach to new rock. The process just slows down.

If you take too much phosphate out of the water to combat hair algae and cyanobacteria, you not only slow down the growth of hair algae but the growth of everything. Constant overuse of phosphate remover will help me get a beautifully clean tank that is slow growing with dead sarcophyton corals after a while. So, too much phosphate slows down coral skeletal formation and too little phosphate starves corals. Should we dose phosphate?

Wow, I can almost hear a commotion out there already.

If we could dose just small but healthy doses of phosphate into a phosphate deficient system then maybe we could control it and get good results. Did I hear someone say: "Oh no, not another piece of equipment?".

No, it's not another piece of equipment. How about just an additive instead? I think I heard another groan: "Not another additive, I use 15 of them already!". Well, just try using some simpler additives that have most everything combined already. Then you'll have room for a couple of goodies like Magic Reef DustTM and Coral VitalTM. I have seen and heard of Coral Vital helping in many instances as a supplement.

What is Magic Reef DustTM ?

It is from GARF and is simple and natural, and it really works. It is a special soft crumbly grade of Idaho aragonite rock ground up into a fine powder. You mix a tablespoon or two of it into a 32 ounce drink cup with tank water and stir it. Let it settle about two seconds then dump the unsettled cloudy water off into your tank.

This amount is perfect for dosing a 55 gallon aquarium according to Sally Jo Headlee. Living proof of how well it works is in her 55 gallon reef aquarium. It is amazingly beautiful! Those who have had a chance to watch it grow will attest to its unusually fast growth rate.
small jay

She adds a capful of SeaChem's Reef Plus every other day and gives it the Magic Reef DustTM treatment weekly.
After dosing with Magic Reef DustTM, the reef aquarium looks quite cloudy and mucky for hours. When it clears after 6-12 hours, the aquarium water is unusually clear and the corals all perk up. I'm sure it has a similar effect to adding SeaChem's Reef Builder to the tank, but this seems to do even more.
small jay

Besides adding calcium carbonate, it adds lots of trace elements including phosphate which no one would dream of adding to a reef aquarium, right? Once diluted in a whole aquarium full of water, the actual dose is quite small and controlled though. The reason I really think that the phosphate it provides is helpful to many corals is as follows.

After using Magic Reef DustTM "on and off" for about a half year, I started noticing that after I used it, sarcophyton corals and their cuttings that were in dormancy, skinned over with retracted polyps, would usually come out of dormancy the next day! Kind of the opposite effect as using too much phosphate remover for too long.
This isn't a guaranteed cure but it really helps most of the time and all the corals appear to benefit. It probably isn't just because of the minerals in the dust.

Many people have had a chance to try the Magic Reef DustTM treatment now and it is giving good results and appears to be a fantastic new aquaculture growth booster. You try it and see what you think. Imagine that, a super new product that ╠s practically as dumb as dirt! Some of the best things in aquaculture are quite simple.


IF YOU WANT TO PURCHASE SOME TO TRY CALL MATT AT 800-600-6163

FUTURE HOME OF THE BOISE GEOTHERMAL PUBLIC RESEARCH AQUARIUM

The new Aquarium will be constructed in the same manner as a Chambered Nautilus grows. Each section will make the building larger, but the shape of the structure will be the same after each addition.

We are doing the research needed to build the first public aqaurium in the world that will be dedicated to the study of geothermal water and how it can be protected. Many of the nutrients and minerals needed for a healthy ocean come from geothermal sources. Geothermal springs both in the mountains of Idaho and in the deepest parts of the ocean may hold the cure for many diseases. Bacteria from geothermal springs are now being used in new medicines and in modern laboratory methods. The rapid cloning of DNA would not be possible if it were not for some bacteria from Yellow Stone Park.Every year thousands of geothermal springs are dried up because of poor irrigation practices.

GARF

This public aquarium will be the only aquarium in the world where you will be able to see cross sections of the many types of thermal springs. These displays will allow study of the habitats and the animals that live in these unique and secret places. Many of the endangered species will be able to be reproduced so they donot become extinct before we even have a chance to name them.

GARF

We are proud to announce that we are starting a new project that will allow us to teach at six public aquariums during the next 12 months. We will host weekend seminars on coral propagation and reef rock building. These seminars will be open to the aquarium keepers who work at other public aqauriums in each region. Garf will supply the host aquariums with several dozen free captive raised corals so they can build a display using aquacultured animals. If you work at a public aquarium and you think that this project might fit into your education program please feel free to call us toll free at 1-800-600-6163. There will be no cost for this series of seminars. We have started to data bank corals that many public aquariums have an excess of and we will help them trade these corals with other aquariums who need them and may have too many of some other species.

GARF IS TEACHING PUBLIC AQUARIUMS AROUND THE WORLD TO PROPAGATE CORALS.  WE WILL SOON BE STARTING OUR NEW PROJECT TO BRING THE PUBLIC RESEARCH AQUARIUM TO THE CITIZENS OF IDAHO

WETLAND RESEARCH

REEF PROPAGATION RESEARCH

GEOTHERMAL RESEARCH AND EDUCATION

More later - LeRoy


INDEX OF OUR RESEARCH
ALGAE CONTROL CENTRAL
REEF JANITORS ALGAE CONTROL CENTRAL

Use this site to solve your reef aquarium algae problems, and help support our research!!!

Learn how you can grow a wonderful reef aquarium like the one we visit in this JULY 1997 special feature Learn to set up your own fantastic reef aquarium like
Sally Jo's

You can learn how a reef aquarium grows into a mature sps coral reef
Sally Jo's 55 gallon reef is starting to mature into a small polyp stony coral aquarium

We will add more about this aquarium each month

JOIN THE RESEARCH FOUNDATION

You can support our research and learn more about reef aquariums and wetlands

1997 WINTER - SPRING NEWSLETTER Our foundation is growing - Please visit our Newsletter

REEF AQUARIUM FARMING NEWS

Newest information on reef aquarium farming

CORALLINE ALGAE PROPAGATION

Learn to grow coralline algae on your reef aquarium live rocks


COMBINATION ROCK PROPAGATION

Learn to grow combination reef aquarium live rocks

COMBINATION ROCK BASE ROCK SELECTION

Learn about base rock for combination reef aquarium live rocks

COMBINATION ROCK SPECIES SELECTION

Learn about selecting species for combination reef aquarium live rocks

LOW COST BULLET PROOF REEF AQUARIUM

Learn to start an inexpensive reef aquarium

55 GALLON INSTA REEF
Visit Rachel's 12 week old Bullet Proof Reef Aquarium

MORE PICTURES OF THIS REEF AQUARIUM

Geothermal Aquaculture Research Foundation,Inc. online tour

Learn why we call it Geothermal

Super glue research page

We teach you the Super Glue method of invertebrate propagation

Super Glue evaluation page

Our researchers rate many brands of super glue

Geothermal Aquaculture Research Foundation Feed Back page

E-mail input so we can make these pages better

Natural Algae Control

Reef Janitor Order Page - red leg hermits, snails, grunge.

THIS IS WHAT OUR HAPPY REEF JANITOR CUSTOMERS SAY ABOUT THEIR NEW JANITORS AND OUR SERVICE

Research page for Xenia and related soft coral propagation

Learn to propagate xenia. Please enter any data you have about these corals.

Soft Coral Propagation Page

Pictures and details of soft coral propagation

Stony Coral Propagation Page

Pictures and details of small polyp stony corals

Mushroom Anemone Propagation Page

Pictures and details of mushroom propagation

Zoanthid and palythoa Anemone Propagation Page

Pictures and details of Sea mat propagation

Image Page for Zoanthids and Palythoa

Learn to construct a 140 gallon plywood and epoxy reef tank

This is one of our most popular pages. Many people have made their own reef aquarium.

Learn to construct an aquarium stand

WETLANDS SAVE THE WORLDS REEFS FROM ALGAE DESTRUCTION

COVER AND INDEX
LAST MONTHS ISSUE | HOME | NOVEMBER ISSUE PAGE 1 | NOVEMBER ISSUE PAGE 2


A TEACHER VISITS THE1998 CORAL FARMING SEMINAR
MAGIC REEF DUST UPDATE #1
BOISE GEOTHERMAL PUBLIC RESEARCH AQUARIUM UPDATE
PREVIOUS PAGE