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Cultivated Reef

Fascination-like Favites, or self-inflating balloon? You decide!


Tired

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I have a Chemical Warfare favites, which is the same species as a Fascination favites. Today I noticed that, where my makeshift frag rack is shading it, it's developed a nice green color. I couldn't photograph it from above because of the angle of my lights, so I figured I'd pick it up with my tongs, take a picture, and put it back. Thing is, I pinched one of the polyps with the tongs, and it didn't seem to like that. 

 

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I've seen it do this thing where the centers of the polyps go mound-shaped when it gets sand on it, or is otherwise annoyed. You can kinda see that green wedge I was trying to photograph, but look at the polyps puffing up. That's when I noticed I was pinching it.

 

So I put some water in my food-thawing measuring cup real quick, and plonked the coral in that, to avoid pinching it any further.

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In the space of a couple seconds, it had done THIS. The polyps in that green wedge are massively inflated, and the rest are somewhat puffed. Anyone want to guess if that's coincidence, or if the green area specifically didn't like being held super close to the light? 

 

I put it back down, further under the rack to see if I can get that green on more of it. 

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This is a more normal shape for it. Still hard to photograph, though. Don't mind the bare spot, it got poisoned back pretty badly by palytoxin awhile ago and for some reason hasn't regrown over that patch. I wish I could get a nice picture of this favites, it's pretty nice. Stripey edges, nice color variation. It doesn't show very nice color if I place it far away from the lights, but for some reason, directly under the light and heavily shaded seems to pop up some really nice colors. I wonder if it's the angle of the light? 

 

I won't be grabbing it again, since it's hard to not pinch and clearly doesn't like being grabbed. I'll have to figure out a better way to photograph it, particularly if it gets as green as I think it's going to get. We'll give it a month or so under those lights and see what happens. 

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Yeah, it's pretty wild how dramatically some corals can change in color when their light and nutrient balance is shifted. You can develop some insane colors with low light so long as they aren't being stressed by it. And with some corals it's the opposite. I love messing with this and there is nothing better than LPS to do it with. I bet you develop more color keeping it in the shade, so long as it's just enough light. Go too far where it's stretching and it'll lose all that color.

 

For example this massive change took just a few weeks from a rapid drop in nutrients while the light stayed the same (same would have happened if I just cranked up that light with no nutrient change).

 

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Same colony I've had for 9 years, never saw that happen before.

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Wow, that's an impressive change! Ever thought about fragging it and moving a piece of it to somewhere else, to see what happens? 

 

I knew about the color change, and I've been tinkering with placement a little. I don't actually know what this coral is meant to look like- it was a freebie, so I never saw its sale picture. I assume as long as its polyps are shaped like in that last picture, it's getting enough light? I might see if I can get a half-and-half effect, that could be cool. 

 

I was mostly just surprised to see it inflate that far. I didn't know they could puff up that grotesquely large. Looked like it was trying to inflate itself and float away! Glad these don't do that- it'd be a real pain if favias occasionally uprooted like mushrooms and went off to sting something. 

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