small polyp stony coral small polyp stony coral small polyp stony coral small polyp stony coral small polyp stony small polyp stony coral

GEOTHERMAL AQUACULTURE RESEARCH FOUNDATION, INC.

REEF AQUARIUM CORAL PROPAGATION LAB

1726 Merrill St.
BOISE IDAHO 83705
Email: leroy@garf.org

SPRING 97 SPECIAL RESEARCH PROJECT - SPS CORALS -


SMALL POLYP STONY CORAL PROPAGATION PAGE

This page will teach you to propagate small poylp stony corals

research data entry form

Reef Aquarium with sps

This coral is the one that finally got my attention and started my interest in researching small polyp stony corals. This coral shimmers with pinks , purples,and blues. The polyps move in the current and the coral seems to change colors. I had already collected over 30 types of sps corals for our unconnected genetic bank when this jewell caught my eye. None of the other species had made me a true sps collector until this one came along
LeRoy Headlee, Director of Reseach GARF




SMALL POLYP STONY CORAL - ACROPORA - MONTIPORA - POCILLOPORA - STYLOPHORA - HYDNOPHORA - PAVONA - ANACROPORA - SERATOPHORA - PORITES - FAVITES - FAVIA -

Fragments of these corals do extremely well when glued to aragonite with thick super glue. These corals look like they are almost floating above the base rock. Only the center skeleton is attached at first. These cuttings have been very strong even before the tissue grows down onto the base rock. Several fragments have fallen in the aquarium. Very few cuttings have broken loose, but one fragment broke in half.

THE BASE ON THIS CORAL FRAGMENT GREW DOWN ONTO THE ARAGONITE RAPIDLY. THE NEW GROWTH IS VERY GREEN.

Reef Aquarium with coral

The most interesting thing is that none of the polyps around the base die. When we use epoxy some tissue always dies. I love to watch the polyps grow down onto the base rock. They form a circle of polyps around the fragment, and then new branches start up from this base. Some of the bases are now over two inches wide. We have removed the original cutting, and the bases are growing several new branches.

Reef Aquarium with sps


Small pieces of small polyp stony corals can be glued to larger rocks by breaking off small pieces from the colony.

    TOOL LIST
  • 1/2"wood chisel
  • Small wire cutting pliers
  • Tweezers
  • Glasses :)
  • Cutting board
  • Small plastic pans

    MATERIAL LIST
  • Gel type Super glue
  • Reef aquarium safe rocks - aragonite, lava, tufa
  • Coral to be cut
Prepare the fragments by breaking a small branch from the parent colony. This can be done by using a small pair of pliers. We use side cutting pliers to snap the frags from the colony. The coral will break rather than cut. Grip the branch firmly and twist it gently. These frags are placed in a plastic pan of reef water.

Choose the base rocks and prepare the attachment sites. If the rock is very absorbent treat the site with liquid glue. When the coatings of liquid glue have dried select the newly made cutting.

Place the fresh cut on the paper towel for 10 seconds. Apply the thick super glue to the prepared site on the base rock. Two drops are usually sufficient. Pick up the cutting and press the newly cut fragment to the prepared site.

You can use many methods to hold your cuttings while they grow. We often use concrete reef plugs and drilled plastic racks. These corals are in plastic boxes and plastic bud vases.

Try to control the growth of macro algaes so they do not touch your sps corals. We try to keep all macro algae out of our grow out tanks.

sps propgation box

Place the cutting and base rock into the bowl of aquarium water for 2 minutes. Place the new fragments in the reef aquarium so that the cutting receives adequate light and strong current. Be very certain that the new frags can not fall over.



- NEW -

We have been gluing many frags to live rocks underwater. When a new colony comes into the lab we break off several of the lower branches. We apply gel type super glue to the broken part of the coral. A ball of glue the size of a pencil eraser will hold most frags in place. We pick a spot in one of the show tanks, and quickly push the frag against the live rock. A slight twist to spread the glue on the surface of the live rock helps. Count to 30 and release the frag.

- Research update -


We have been doing tests to determine the best size of frags to use to produce cuttings for sale. It seems that with many of the species of Acropora the smaller cuttings grow faster than larger ones.
Smaller cuttings are often less than 1/4 inch long. The larger cuttings are over 1 inch long. Many of the small cuttings have grown much faster.

Reef Aquarium with coral

- Profit update -


FOR THE LIVE ROCK GROWERS GROUP
1. The best selling sps coral cuttings that we have seen were made by gluing four one half inch frags of colored coral in a small group - one inch apart - on a two inch piece of aragonite. The finished rocks had colonies with four or more branches. The bases grew together making them valuable finished rocks.
2. Coralline algae growing on the base rock is very important. People will often purchase a cutting with heavy coralline growth that has a smaller frag rather than a larger frag with little or no coraline.

GROW YOUR OWN - SAVE A REEF


PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO ENTER ANY DATA YOU HAVE COLLECTED IN THIS FIELD OF STUDY

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