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How to frag corals


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#1
BibleSue

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I fragged some corals tonight. I didn't have anyone to take the picture & didn't want to ruin my camera with the SW & debris on my hands so pardon the blurry shots.

Here is the first one I did. A rock of green encrusting gorgonian that I had set on a frag disk. The disk became covered so it was time to frag.

Before shots:

In tank
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Out of tank You can see where it had started a runner along the egg crate on the left side of the disk.
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Table set up
Dremel tool, bone cutters (2 sizes), hammer, screw driver to use as wedge, frag glue, frag plugs, 2 containers of tank water from the WC I just did, paper towels, towels, X-axto knife, goggles, face mask
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I used the dremel tool (diamond cutting wheel) to cut from the bottom near one edge
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I used the screw driver to pop the section the rest of the way off. I used the X-acto knife to cut through the mat at the break.
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I dried off a frag plug that had been rinsed in one of the containers of tank water, applied some Super Glue Gel & attached the frag to the plug. I put it in the second container of water to help the glue set up.

I repeated the cuts around the disk. At one point the mother colony came off.
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When I was finished, I had 9 frags & the mother colony.
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Next Day Shots (It took awhile for the mother to open. Not many of the cuttings have opened yet. They take some time but are OK) The pictures are not as good since these are at the back of the tank & in higher flow.

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Later this AM
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Edited by BibleSue, 23 September 2008 - 11:20 AM.


#2
BKtomodachi

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Looks great, sue!

It looks like you did a great job, getting 9 frags from one, basically!

Also- I love prepping to frag corals. It makes me feel like I'm suiting up for a dangerous experimental surgery or something. Only the corals are my poor patients. :D

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#3
BibleSue

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Next is a flower leather. I'll try to find an in tank shot tomorrow. As you can see, it needs to be cleaned up. My plan for tonight was to cut off the baby.

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Using the dremel tool, I cut from the bottom & removed the tip of the rock to get close to the baby. I, then, cut a thin slice just past the baby. Taking the bone cutters, I cut the rock the rest of the way & used the X-acto knive to release it from the top. Another disk was put on the towel to dry a bit, Super Glue Gel applied & baby has a new home! :lol:
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Next day shots
Momma
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Baby
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This coral has been too far back in my tank to get to so I have not tried Prop's method of fragging yet. Maybe he will do a demo for us. Hint! Hint!

Edited by BibleSue, 05 June 2008 - 11:39 AM.


#4
BibleSue

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I had a Whammin' Watermelon that had over-grown the frag plug
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The bone cutters work well for the edge of frag plugs & the thinner frag disks.
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Section that was cut off is hanging only by the mat. I used an X-acto knife to cut through the mat.
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Another cut
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And another
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The original coral broke off the plug. When I was done cutting it up this is what I had.
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Mounted
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New Mother colony
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Next day shot
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Edited by BibleSue, 05 June 2008 - 10:00 AM.


#5
BibleSue

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Looks great, sue!

It looks like you did a great job, getting 9 frags from one, basically!

Also- I love prepping to frag corals. It makes me feel like I'm suiting up for a dangerous experimental surgery or something. Only the corals are my poor patients. :D


Thanks! I agree. Weetie & I often work on fragging coral together. I missed her tonight. You should take pics & post some How To's. There are lots of things that people would like to know how to frag.

#6
The Propagator

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Good job Suzy-Q !
:D

Now when the GSP mat becomes more of a solid mass you can simply peel it up ( as long as its thick enough) and glue it down to what ever. I let mine roam wild on the substrate. They grow right off the rock they are on and I frag them off as they grow. If you blast them with current they will grow like CRAZY.
To pry them off of what ever they are growing on ( as long as the mat is healthy, not to thin, and mass like)
Just scrape under it with a razor and peel and scrape as you go. You can also grow GSP on pieces of acrylic sheet, or large floor tiles and peel it right up. If you start using floor tiles or acrylic sheet keep the sheet or tile leaned up against some thing so debris can fall off it or get blown off easily.
Actually you can do the same with zoanthids, and the same methods applies.

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#7
Weetabix7

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Thanks! I agree. Weetie & I often work on fragging coral together. I missed her tonight. You should take pics & post some How To's. There are lots of things that people would like to know how to frag.


Awwww... :wub:

Nice write-up, and I think you did a pretty good job on the pics too!

#8
dtfleming

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Looks good, on the leather's I've used prop's methods and also cut the stem to frag it to. Monti's I use a dremel to cut through it or the rock it on.



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#9
BibleSue

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Looks good, on the leather's I've used prop's methods and also cut the stem to frag it to. Monti's I use a dremel to cut through it or the rock it on.


Where's the pics & instructions? :P I though it would be good to have one place for people to go to learn how to frag different things complete with pics for the visual learners like me.

#10
BibleSue

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Good job Suzy-Q !
:D

Now when the GSP mat becomes more of a solid mass you can simply peel it up ( as long as its thick enough) and glue it down to what ever. I let mine roam wild on the substrate. They grow right off the rock they are on and I frag them off as they grow. If you blast them with current they will grow like CRAZY.
To pry them off of what ever they are growing on ( as long as the mat is healthy, not to thin, and mass like)
Just scrape under it with a razor and peel and scrape as you go. You can also grow GSP on pieces of acrylic sheet, or large floor tiles and peel it right up. If you start using floor tiles or acrylic sheet keep the sheet or tile leaned up against some thing so debris can fall off it or get blown off easily.
Actually you can do the same with zoanthids, and the same methods applies.


Great ideas, Prop! This started from about a 1" cutting from Weetie's tank. When it grows too much in my personal tank, I take it out, cut off the part that is not on the rock, glue it to a plug & sell it. I have also been know to put another rock next to it for it to grow on. I can cut them apart & it is ready to go. I have never tried acrylic or used this method on zoos. Great stuff!

#11
abe

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*GASP* no gloves :o

just kidding. nice little thread you got going.

so, when are you adding the shark? I have one and it is awesome, I take it for walks every day in the snow. He does snow angels. They look funny. Then we pee our names in the snow and skip home and get on myspace and talk to all our internet friends that we see all day at school but come home and talk some more over the keyboard.



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#12
BibleSue

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Next I will show how I fragged some Daisy Polyps on a large rock.

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Rock out of water
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I found a thin tip to see if I could use bone cutters.
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The rock was too dense so I had to use the dremel tool. I try to cut below where the polyps are not so packed together if I can.
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After making the cut, I used the screw driver to finish breaking the piece. It is hanging by just the mat. Sorry the picture is too blurry to see it well.
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I used and X-acto knife to cut thru the mat.
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After choosing the frag plug I wanted from my dish of tank water, I dried the top a bit on the towel as well as the bottom of the frag, put glue on the plug, mounted the frag & put the whole thing in the 2nd dish of water to cure a bit while I worked on cutting from the section with the bright green tips..
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Next day shots
You can see where the rock was cut on the lower left.
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Green tips on the left & green dot center on the right.
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#13
BibleSue

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*GASP* no gloves :o

just kidding. nice little thread you got going.


Good point! Thanks for making it. I didn't use them last night because I had no cuts on my hands. I always use them with palys, Neons & Purple Death. It is better to be safe than sorry. You need to get the purple kind with no powder. I get mine at Walmart. I also use them when I use Aqua-Putty Lowes or HD). That stuff works great but is hard to clean off your hands. :lol:

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#14
BibleSue

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Candy Cane Coral is very easy to frag with bone cutters. I did this one last week. It is in my display tank & I need to clean the glass. I'll get better pictures when I do my next WC. The frag in the background came from a spot just behind the smaller spot of coraline on the left. Note the old Aqua-Mend mounting at the base of the larger one..
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#15
BibleSue

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This is from Weeties thread when we tried our hand at an acan April 15.

I just fragged an Acan for the first time with BibleSue.
It was interesting, and not all that difficult, although the real test will be how well the fragged pieces look tomorrow and the next day!

The piece we fragged is the Acan on the left in the picture below:
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Here are the tools we used. A dremel with diamond cut-off wheel, a salt-encrusted flat head screwdriver, and an Xacto knife. One tool we used that isn't pictured is a pair of bone-cutters.
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I just took the dremel and sliced right into the tip, not worrying about where the individual mouths or anything were.
When the dremel had cut most of the way through, I stuck the screwdriver into the chasm I had just cut and just knocked it the rest of the way through.
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At this point all of the skeleton had been detached from the main piece but there was still some flesh holding on, so I used the Xacto knife to slice through the remaining attached flesh.

The fragged piece was immediately placed in a SW iodine dip for approx. 3 mins, as pictured below:
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After it was removed from the dip, it was immediately superglued to a frag plug and placed in a container with tankwater for the superglue to cure.
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There was a great deal of sliming as a defense mechanism from the coral, and the frags were swished around fairly vigorously to remove as much slime as possible before being placed in a high flow area of the prop tank.

We ended up with a total of 4 frags when finished.
I apologize for the reflective areas in the pic on the top two frags, this is actually the flash reflecting off of the white cross-section of the interior skeleton.
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I will try to post tomorrow on how the new frags are doing.


Look at them now.
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#16
BibleSue

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Here is prop's method for fragging a Toad Stool leather.

I finally got bored enough to snap photos of me fragging some stuff up so you can see my take on it. This week its Toadies. Next week will be SPS. The week after will be Zoanthids. The week after that LPS.

1st fill a bowl large enough to hold your cuttings with tank water.
Then cut off what ever amount it is you want to remove from your toadstool and place it in the bowl of tank water.
You'll want to take off at least 1/2" with a new razor blade from the coral by shaving off a section from the cap just like you were peeling an orange. Below is what it will look like when your done.
( I fragged two toadstools last night. A yellow and an ORA super long polyp )
ORA
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Yellow
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Now that you have one continuous section thats at least 1/2" wide use a razor or scissors to cut that in to as many peices as you can while trying to leave the peices as large as you can versus the number you would like to make out of it.

I always cut mine from around 1"x1" - 3/4" x 3/4".

ORA
( those little peices are what I shaved off to make them fit and so they would grow as symetrical as possible. I just tossed them into the fuge. They will form new leathers as well.)

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Yellow

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Now.... how to mount them?
I really like using super glue gel form. Any brand will do as long as its in gel form.
1st I lay the cutting on a towel:

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Then I fold the towel over on it and apply a little pressure.
This will flatten out the cutting some what and remove most of the water and other liquids ( coral juice) from the cutting so you can easily glue it. Don't be afraid to apply pressure ! As long as you don't smash the crap out of it it will be just fine :) Removing the excess water and coral juice ( :P ) is a necessary step
in using super glue to mount them to your chosen media.
When they suddenly break away and become floaters 9 out of 10 times the person gluing didn't remove as much as they should have or they didn't hold the cutting down long enough for the glue to set ( will be discussed below )

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Once you have dried your cutting off a bit and removed any slime or coral juice form the gluing surface ( which will be the UNDER SIDE OF THE CORAL ) apply 3-4 drops of super glue gel.
Then pick up your chosen media for the cutting to grow out on ( in my case I will be using a marble tile)
line up the cutting and center it on the media,

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Then firmly yet evenly press down and hold for roughly 40 seconds out of the water.
As long as you don't squish the crap out of it all will be fine. I guess the best way to describe how much pressure to apply would be like this.. put your index finger and your thumb together like your pinching something. Now put them together and apply enough pressure until your skin stops depressing and you fell your bone stopping it. ( it doesn't take as much pressure as it sounds to feel it). Don't be afraid to press down on it while it drys, or to hold it out of the water for at least 40 seconds. Your not going to hurt it.

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After you have finished holding it for 40 plus seconds return it to your bowl of tank water. Let it sit in the bowl for another 5 minutes or so. ( it really wont hurt to leave them in it for another 30 though cause these buggers are tuff ! )

Finished product:

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Thats all there is to it !
Its so easy a cave man can do it !
( and he just has ! :haha: )


Here is a link to his thread on it.
http://www.nano-reef...?...154612&st=0

#17
BibleSue

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Here is Mvite's famous video. If you try this, do it at your own risk. He gets too close to his fingers for my comfort. :lol: We used what we remembered from this video when we fragged the acan. He uses a dremel tool & a ring saw.

http://s55.photobuck...nt=049d48a1.flv

Here is his pictorial tutorial.

lol!

I can't believe that even my Internet friends have me pegged so quickly!!

There will be vids---but I couldn't wait until tomorrow to try the saw--so---I did!!

See the saw...
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Look how precisely I was able to cut this acan---almost 3 perfect heads.
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This was the first acan I tried--kind of a practice acan.
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And this is cool--I love how they personalized this for me. ;)
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It was a bugger to align the blade guides at first as it was shipped to me with a blade that was bent. It kept jumping off track---but I got it now--I think.

I ordered a face shield and light kit as you can see---but there is a built in piece of plastic in the base that acts as a face shield---I didn't need to buy the extra one.



Linky
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Edited by BibleSue, 05 June 2008 - 12:42 PM.


#18
abe

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Here is Mvite's famous video. If you try this, do it at your own risk. He gets too close to his fingers for my comfort. :lol: We used what we remembered from this video when we fragged the acan. He uses a dremel tool & a ring saw.

http://s55.photobuck...nt=049d48a1.flv

Here is his pictorial tutorial.




Linky
http://www.nano-reef...?...ideo&st=440



:o that video scared me.

so, when are you adding the shark? I have one and it is awesome, I take it for walks every day in the snow. He does snow angels. They look funny. Then we pee our names in the snow and skip home and get on myspace and talk to all our internet friends that we see all day at school but come home and talk some more over the keyboard.



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#19
Nick's Reef

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Look at them now.
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They look great Sue! I can't wait til' you put them up for sale, hopefully I'll have money since i just split a micromussa with lilredneckman and bought some fishing tackle since the snook are gonna be on the beach soon and i needed a few things. So i'm pretty much broke.

We did frag the micro though and it had some dead skeleton so we just cut it in half with garden clippers by just cutting the dead part.

#20
Weetabix7

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They look great Sue! I can't wait til' you put them up for sale, hopefully I'll have money since i just split a micromussa with lilredneckman and bought some fishing tackle since the snook are gonna be on the beach soon and i needed a few things. So i'm pretty much broke.

We did frag the micro though and it had some dead skeleton so we just cut it in half with garden clippers by just cutting the dead part.


They're actually available for sale now, just PM her.
I think there's a 7 head frag, a 5 head frag, and a 3 + 1 baby head frag.

#21
gulfsurfer101

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Nice thread on propagation, very educational and lots of hands on pics. This will definately help with lots of questions regarding fragging and mounting different corals.
The 75g CLAM JAM! Jam out with your clam out!
http://www.nano-reef...30#entry4449048

#22
BibleSue

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I fragged more daisy polyps, & acans last night. Here are some of the daisys.
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I dipped them for a couple of min. in SeaChem Reef Dip I put in tank water tub as a holding tank till I glued them to plugs.

I did micros which were done the same as the acans (see page 1) and some SPS.
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If I am going to frag very much, I use a shallow pan with tap water & put a heater in there to keep the temp up on the tubs for the frags. It works well.

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Who said fragging was neat! :o

Edited by BibleSue, 23 September 2008 - 11:33 AM.


#23
BibleSue

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Here is a link with instructions for all kinds of coral minus pics.

http://www.garf.org/algae2/GLUE.HTMl

#24
badbread

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Instead of using towels I use puppy training pads.

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They are just the right size and hold water and drippings perfectly.

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#25
BibleSue

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Instead of using towels I use puppy training pads.

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They are just the right size and hold water and drippings perfectly.

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