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Jakesaw

Encrusting coral placement?

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Jakesaw

Got my first corals today 5 to be exact.  tank 10 gal standard. 

 

GSP

Candy Cane green ( already ate a piece of brine shrimp in tank tonight )

Acan

Frogspawn

some kindof colorful encrusting coral

 

They all are going to be moved around til they find their place, but one that I'm not sure what to do with is an encrusting coral.  I liked the color so I grabbed it.  but where / how shoud I place it in my tank wasn't a part of my thought process. 


Right now it's covering a small rock in my sand.  Took it off the frag plug.  

 

I'm thinking if I put it on my live rock ( only have 4 pieces in my 10 gal tank ) that it'll eventually cover entire rock.  So probably not the best idea.  how / where do people affix encrusting corals in small tanks like this?  I didn't get a name, but was told it's a fast grower. 

 

Any thoughts / suggestions what to do with encrustng coral - I'm open to ideas.  I do have some unused lace rock I had been planning on tinkering with - but not quite sure it's reef save / ideal.  

 

Thanks

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waldoz

My suggestion would be Island.  You could also glue some rubble into interesting shapes and let it go.  If you plan on fragging it  try to think of a way to make it easier to do down the road.

This is boring 😄.

IMG_20210411_205858779.thumb.jpg.60b3bdfa15d0d93cd643ea09b75562c7.jpg

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Tired

You're right, it'll cover anything you put it on. So you can either put it on your back wall, or put it on something interestingly shaped. Maybe a bit of SPS skeleton. 

 

The GSP will also cover anything you put it on, in case you didn't already know. 

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Jakesaw
2 hours ago, Tired said:

 

The GSP will also cover anything you put it on, in case you didn't already know. 

Tes - I did know that. 

 

But of course one doesn't REALLY know anything until they've experienced it with things like coral in reef tank and plants in a FW tank.  IMHO one needs to see how things grow out to really understand how to work with them and create a visual experience.   

 

Are ACAN's encrusting too?  I see them in bunches online but not quite sure how they got that way?  Do they grow up into a big bunch ball from nothing.  Or do they encrust a shape you put them on.  

 

re: Fragging, I will probably try and frag everything I own at some point.  Just for the husbandry knowledge or to trade / sell / exchange from one tank to another.  

 

The candycane / GSP / and Frogspawn I " think " I have a pretty good idea what to expect.  Time will tell. 

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jservedio
9 hours ago, Jakesaw said:

Are ACAN's encrusting too?  I see them in bunches online but not quite sure how they got that way?  Do they grow up into a big bunch ball from nothing.  Or do they encrust a shape you put them on.  

Acans can do pretty much whatever they want - if they are in the sand or something flat, they will simply grow into a ball that keeps getting bigger and bigger. However, if they are growing over live rock they can commandeer to use as a skeleton, they will while filling in the gaps with skeleton.

 

This is an acan that is recovering in my tank after being beaten down by other LPS twice over a few years. There is actually two layers of dead skeleton so you can see how it grows and fills in:

 

red-acan-skeleton.thumb.jpg.32da0e1e8fcd4c6fdcc6d91695276f9b.jpg

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Jakesaw
Quote

Acans can do pretty much whatever they want - if they are in the sand or something flat, they will simply grow into a ball that keeps getting bigger and bigger. However, if they are growing over live rock they can commandeer to use as a skeleton, they will while filling in the gaps with skeleton.

 

This is an acan that is recovering in my tank after being beaten down by other LPS twice over a few years. There is actually two layers of dead skeleton so you can see how it grows and fills in:

Very helpful

 

I've seen ACAN balls and surface coverage and didn't really know what to make of em.  I'll play around with mine and see what I can do.  

 

The tank I got them from - the ACANS were nice and full with color.  Once they got in bag for transfer they lost color and deflated.  Still looking in the transport stage today.  I'm hoping they fill out in volume and color today or the next few days.  Will have to wait and see.   Currently I have em ACANS the sandbed

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jservedio
1 minute ago, Jakesaw said:

Very helpful

 

I've seen ACAN balls and surface coverage and didn't really know what to make of em.  I'll play around with mine and see what I can do.  

 

The tank I got them from - the ACANS were nice and full with color.  Once they got in bag for transfer they lost color and deflated.  Still looking in the transport stage today.  I'm hoping they fill out in volume and color today or the next few days.  Will have to wait and see.   Currently I have em ACANS the sandbed

They can be temperamental and be deflated for days on end for no apparent reason, but they are nearly impossible to kill. They can also be deceptively small because the polyps are so huge - you can have a 1/2" skeleton of acan within 6 or 7 polyps that actually 2" across when inflated.

 

They also like changing colors depending on lighting and nutrients over time so it  can be fun to buy ugly frags for $5-10 and then color them up into something you can sell for a lot more. They are cool, extremely hardy corals that grow pretty fast. I personally like to glue mine to bathroom tiles and put them on the sandbed to let them grow out a bit before putting on the rock. They will do much better glued to a tile to keep them from getting buried in the sand.

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Jakesaw
1 hour ago, jservedio said:

They can be temperamental and be deflated for days on end for no apparent reason, but they are nearly impossible to kill. They can also be deceptively small because the polyps are so huge - you can have a 1/2" skeleton of acan within 6 or 7 polyps that actually 2" across when inflated.

 

They also like changing colors depending on lighting and nutrients over time so it  can be fun to buy ugly frags for $5-10 and then color them up into something you can sell for a lot more. They are cool, extremely hardy corals that grow pretty fast. I personally like to glue mine to bathroom tiles and put them on the sandbed to let them grow out a bit before putting on the rock. They will do much better glued to a tile to keep them from getting buried in the sand.

I got lucky.  Mine already colored up on day 2 and inflated by time lights came on today.

 

Can't believe I was thinking I had to start with zoas and GSP for beginner corals.  After a little bit a colorful favia is next on my list after I've grown these out a bit, I want to frag and mount a few ways and generally got comfortable with corals in my tank.  

 

Right now, my Royal Gramma is having issues.  Shy fish that had gotten to swimming in column with clown for most of day.  He's gone back into hiding mode since I put the new corals in.  Got a hole in side of rock where I can barely see his face sticking out.  

 

Hopefully in a few days he'll enjoy his new neighbors too.  I've always read that corals make RG's happy.  Not my guy.. LOL

 

Q - If I put an encrusting coral on rock with say another coral like ACAN one side / encrusting on other side.  Any idea what would win.  Would they meet up and stop in the middle.  Same Questin with Zoas on same rock?

 

Thanks

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jservedio
1 minute ago, Jakesaw said:

I got lucky.  Mine already colored up on day 2 and inflated by time lights came on today.

 

Can't believe I was thinking I had to start with zoas and GSP for beginner corals.  After a little bit a colorful favia is next on my list after I've grown these out a bit, I want to frag and mount a few ways and generally got comfortable with corals in my tank.  

 

Right now, my Royal Gramma is having issues.  Shy fish that had gotten to swimming in column with clown for most of day.  He's gone back into hiding mode since I put the new corals in.  Got a hole in side of rock where I can barely see his face sticking out.  

 

Hopefully in a few days he'll enjoy his new neighbors too.  I've always read that corals make RG's happy.  Not my guy.. LOL

 

Q - If I put an encrusting coral on rock with say another coral like ACAN one side / encrusting on other side.  Any idea what would win.  Would they meet up and stop in the middle.  Same Questin with Zoas on same rock?

 

Thanks

IME, zoas are harder to keep than acans and many are way more finnicky.

 

Acans (as in Micromussa Lordhowensis), are not aggressive at all, so if the encrusting coral is a non-aggressive coral like a monti, it'll just grow around it and the acan will keep it at bay by a few millimeters. If the encruster is more aggressive (like some chalices, cyphastrea, etc.) the acan may end up getting killed back and overtaken. It totally depends on what is meeting up.

 

That red acan I showed above is recovering because it was overgrown by a whole host of other corals, all of which are considered peaceful. Here is what it looked like before I had to save it:

low-on-space.thumb.jpg.db9e63ac6269da388a4b457c7a63260f.jpg

 

You can never really tell who is going to win - they are going to compete against each other as hard as they can and will never stop competing. I've seen some crazy matchups and surprise outcomes from corals coming into contact. It's just part of having a reef and you may have to intervene to either move something or kill something back yourself (I generally just scrape the flesh off encrusters to keep them from getting out of control).

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Jakesaw
On 4/11/2021 at 11:00 PM, waldoz said:

 If you plan on fragging it  try to think of a way to make it easier to do down the road.

 

I'll probably frag every coral I own at least once.   If not for just the knowledge of how to do it fro future aquascaping.

 

My ACAN is the one that has me quasi-stumped what to do with it.  

 

Currently my acan has got 5 heads sitting in the sandbed.  It looks like it's attached to a rock, but that could be coral skeleton underneath.  I'm not quite sure.  I took frag off a pretty dirty Tile base after cleaning.   It's very healthy and happy looking and ate a bite of brine shrimp yesterday.

 

For Frags sake on the ACAN -

* I want to cut it into two with a bone cutter or dremmel, but not sure if I should leave it alone for a while to grow out. a bit. 

* will it grow wider and more heads if I leave it alone. for later fragging 

* Will it grow into a ball that will be hard to frag later

* Should I attach it to frag plug or tile for easier fragging later?

 

I lack the knowledge base to make an informed decision on the above.  Any suggestions / opinions would be appreciated. 

 

I don't own a wet bandsaw and likely won't.  Bone cutter is the most likely tool I'd to attempt the frag, but I have an old dremel somewhere I could try. 

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Tired

If you put the acan on a flat surface it can encrust onto, it won't become a ball. It's fine if the flat surface has algae on it, corals just grow right over algae. You want a layer of algae on the surface, anyway- that keeps hair algae from growing there. Hair algae loves clean surfaces to grow on, and annoys corals by touching them. 

 

Yes, it will grow more heads, all corals grow if given time and space. 

 

How many polyps does it have? Unless it's already at least a mini-colony, you should leave it alone for now, rather than cutting it up. You probably don't want to be fragging new corals anyway, in general. Let them settle in fully before you stress them again.

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Jakesaw
5 hours ago, Tired said:

If you put the acan on a flat surface it can encrust onto, it won't become a ball. It's fine if the flat surface has algae on it, corals just grow right over algae. 

 

How many polyps does it have? Unless it's already at least a mini-colony, you should leave it alone for now, rather than cutting it up. You probably don't want to be fragging new corals anyway, in general. Let them settle in fully before you stress them again.

I have no flat surfaces without algae on it - that I would want the ACAN to grow onto right now.  10 gallon is a blt limiting. and it has 2 medium rocks I'd like to remain free for other corals to attach to or re-arrange current / future tank.

 

I could re-attach it to a frag tiile or plug but the surface area is a bit low.  And, that'd be pretty algae free right now..  

 

My current objective with the ACAN besides growing it out would be how do I coax it into a frag friendly growth while it settles into my aquarium.

 

Frag has only got 5 polyps right now. 

 

Thanks

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jservedio

Honestly, unless you've got a wet saw and really know what you are doing, you are just going to make a huge mess attempting to frag LPS like acans or blastomussa.  And even if you know what you are doing, it's difficult to cut perfectly between polyps, so there is some waste unless you are really good and there is significant recovery time. Until you've got 15-20 polyps of an acan that you don't mind risking, it's pointless to even attempt it. With a 5 polyps lord, you will likely just crack the skeleton and end up losing everything or walking away with a couple mangled frags.

 

You can cut them with a dremel, but you end up doing more damage compared to a wet saw since it gets so hot at the cutting surface and you end up losing more polyps and a cutoff wheel is too small to even make it through a mini-colony.

 

Instead of using purpose built frag tiles that are typically 0.75" - 1.5", use ceramic bathroom/kitchen tiles. You can cut them to whatever size you want and they are cheap as hell. If  you just use a small dab of super glue, you can get them off easily to move them to a bigger tile or move them to the rockwork when ready. This is what I've always done to grow out acans:

 

lords_2021-01-19.thumb.jpg.bddd96b623666f37820a0650b27ed8f4.jpg

 

Since you aren't using the tile in your kitchen, it doesn't matter if the cut/break is straight. If you don't have a tile cutter or wet saw, use a dremel to score a line where you want it to be cut and then break it along the score line. I just put a towel down, put a small piece of scrap underneath the tile, with the scored edge hanging over the scrap, towel on top, and give it a whack with my palm and it just breaks along the line.

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Jakesaw
16 minutes ago, jservedio said:

Honestly, unless you've got a wet saw and really know what you are doing, you are just going to make a huge mess attempting to frag LPS like acans or blastomussa.  And even if you know what you are doing, it's difficult to cut perfectly between polyps, so there is some waste unless you are really good and there is significant recovery time. Until you've got 15-20 polyps of an acan that you don't mind risking, it's pointless to even attempt it. With a 5 polyps lord, you will likely just crack the skeleton and end up losing everything or walking away with a couple mangled frags.

 

Thanks, 

 

I'll let it grow out a bit before attempting to frag. But I'm definitely gonna give it a try when the colony grows out a little and try and figure out a ideal surface to mount it to in the mean time.

 

Frag saw doesn't make much sense to me today.  I'm not making a business out of cutting / selling frags.  Just want to do it for my own uses to share with another tank or two down the road.  Or have a frag tank in case I ever get a crash in main aquarium.  

 

Any idea how long it'll take to grow another 10 or so polyps from the 5 it has.  I'm guessing a couple of months. 

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jservedio
2 minutes ago, Jakesaw said:

Thanks, 

 

I'll let it grow out a bit before attempting to frag. But I'm definitely gonna give it a try when the colony grows out a little and try and figure out a ideal surface to mount it to in the mean time.

 

Frag saw doesn't make much sense to me today.  I'm not making a business out of cutting / selling frags.  Just want to do it for my own uses to share with another tank or two down the road.  Or have a frag tank in case I ever get a crash in main aquarium.  

 

Any idea how long it'll take to grow another 10 or so polyps from the 5 it has.  I'm guessing a couple of months. 

It depends on conditions of your tank and the tank it came from, how much you feed it, and just the particular acan. One of my acans went from 3 to 16 polyps in about two years, another went from 5 to 18 in the same period and I've also had a different acan go from a single 1/4" polyp to 9 in just over a year. In general, acans grow fairly slow for me.

 

You should expect somewhere between 12-24 months to go from 5 polyps to 15 polyps (not counting teeny tiny baby polyps). There is no way you are going from 5 to 15 in 2 months.

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Jakesaw

 

36 minutes ago, jservedio said:

You should expect somewhere between 12-24 months to go from 5 polyps to 15 polyps (not counting teeny tiny baby polyps). There is no way you are going from 5 to 15 in 2 months.

Thanks,

 

Coming from FW planted tanks, that's quite a bit slower than I'm used to.  Sounds like I'll be waiting for a while for my first ACAN frag then. Will have to try a couple other corals to frag.  

 

re feeding - I'm spot feeding the coral every 3rd day or so after feeding fish.  Same with my Candycane Green trumpet.  The candycane I see injestign the food and wrapping around the brine shrimp.

 

The ACAN I see the mouth open and close, but don't ever see any tentacles or anything pulling food in. I do think he's eating though.  Also later at night when I turn off flow, the ACAN seems to grey out when I turn off for feeding.  Always comes back to full color the next morning when lights go on. 

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Tired

Algae is completely fine on coral surfaces. The only algae that would be a problem is the long hair algae, because that bumps against corals in the current and can bother them. Any of the algae that grows flat to the rockwork is perfectly fine. Later on, coraline makes a great surface for corals to encrust onto. All you need right now is a surface with no long hair algae that will touch the coral. Just put the acan on a tile or similar surface, and set it on the sandbed. That's how most people keep acans, and it makes them easy to frag in the future. 

 

I would see if anyone locally has a frag saw you can use. Grow that acan out nice and big, then offer to give them a frag of it if they let you use the saw. 

 

When you put the food on the acan, you should see it kinda curl inwards and slowly engulf the food. Any food placed on it should vanish into it. 

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Jakesaw
16 minutes ago, Tired said:

When you put the food on the acan, you should see it kinda curl inwards and slowly engulf the food. Any food placed on it should vanish into it. 

I'm seeing that on Candy cane. Not the ACAN yet. But I did see the mouth open up on ACANS and then it was closed while I was spot feeding.  Food seemed to disappear.  I'll have to watch it more closely. 

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