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How to make Frags / Fragging FAQ


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Hi guys and ladies, I'm a new guy to the forums, and right now I am starting my first 7gal MiniBow that has been cycling for a week now. Although I have probally several months of tank preperation before me, I would really like to read about introducing frags of corals to a tank and making frags from established colonies. Maybe there is a FAQ out there I have missed, but maybe we could start one here.


Some Q's I have:


Acclimation: Whats worked for you guys?


Attachment of corals to established live rock: superglue, epoxy, string, duct tape, elmers???


Is there a preffered way to break up a larger colony of coral? Can you just take your ginsu and chop away or are coral more delicate then that?


Polyps: Zoo's in particular, can you transfer them from a frag rock to a rock in your aquarium, or do they have to grow into it?


Thanks for the help

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Hey guys, I'll try and give you a few basic things I've learned. Like reefing in general, there are many ways to successfully frag various corals...try a few and use what works for you...really no right or wrong for the most part.


First off, having a separate prop/frag tank is a super start, you'll not have as much chemical warfare to contend with, but thats another whole ballgame.


Leathers - (fingers, toads, cabbage, devil, colts, etc) I generally allow fresh cuttings to "heal" for a few days to a week on the substrate with decent flow. I'm not looking for it to attach at this point, just start showing me some polyps, show me no signs of rot or infection, and generally tell me it's ok to proceed.

Then I take a small, sterile sewing needle and regular old cotton thread and pierce the base of the leather to pull the thread through. Then loosely wrap the thread around the rock securing (but not constricting) the leather.

Then it sits untouched, but observed, for 2-3 weeks while it attaches and gets a foothold on the new rock.

Then I snip and remove the thread and you're done.


Zoanthids - While some people have the patience to try and remove the zoos from the rock with no damage, I don't. I simply wedge the morph that I want to spread in between a few rubble rocks, give it about a month, then carefully snip hte "seed rock away form the center, leaving serveral new starts on the adjacent rocks. Simple as can be with a bit of patience.


Hope that helped a bit.


PEace, Bryan

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Acclimation: The same as a fish or any coral. Standard acclimation (Read the FAQ page on the site) I find that corals are much easier to acclimate then fish and I have been known to just come home and throw them in without even a temperature acclimation. I would not suggest this, it is just to let you know that acclimating coral is not that difficult.


Attachment: Super Glue will normally work fine for most corals. Some species slime too much and the use of netting (wedding veil type) is used to secure the coral to the rock until it attaches itself. Sometimes the said coral is left in rocky substrate until it attaches to the substrate then Super Glue the rock it attached to into place. Corals are different, therefore there is no single way to attach all corals. I would steer clear of the duct tape.


Preffered way to break up colony: Again, all corals are different and therefore fraging oneway on a certain coral may not work on another. I think you could rip a piece of Xenia from your tank, throw it in a blender and pour it back in and end up with a bunch of healthy Xenia. On the other hand, some coral I would not even suggest attempting to cut apart. Yes, the standard is to cut them apart, but each needs to be cut in a particular way for all to work out properly and some can not be cut at all.


Transfering zoo's from one rock to another: Yes, it can be done but I would not suggest trying it. Besides, it would be like performing surgery to get a complete zoo mat detached from the rock. Some friends of mine propogate zoo's in tanks with no rocks or substrate. They just let them grow on the glass then cut out the polyps to be removed and scrape them out like algae. This is much simpiler and you can then apply glue to the bottom of the mat and attach easily to your rock and it will look like it grew there. This is my prefered way of receiving them because I hate adding, removing or re-arranging my rocks once the aquascaping is done.


There are plenty of places on the net for information on this. Try searching for "Coral Propogation"

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Thanks for the info guys. I fully intend to get a couple frags of those beautiful zoo's from your shop Bryan, that is, If i can be fast enough!

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garf.org has some coral propagation info and spsfrags.com has some nice info on acclimating corals. spsfrags also sells glue that I swear by. I know you can get larger quantities for less but I always say if it works, don't f with it.


the above info is about as good as it can get. Bryan most definitly knows his stuff when it comes to zoos and softies (check out his site, it's insane and the prices are excellent - hear that Bry, now send some frags).

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There are TONS of different ways to mount corals. Give em all a try and you'll find a method you like.


SPS Frags: Just clip off a branch and glue down.


Leathers: I actually have used glue to attach my yellow leathers to small rocks when propagating them. I tried the netting method mentioned by folks but it always caused the coral to start rotting. Water flow is key with leathers.


Xenia: Good old bridal veil netting and a rubber band works great. After about 2 weeks take the netting off and you have yourself a new coral.


Ricordia / Zoos: You can cut ricordia and then remount them but that is time consuming. I lay a pile of rocks on the bottom of my tank and let the zoos & rics just grow over them naturally. Less labor although it's a bit more slow.


When it comes to acclimation there are two key things to remember:


1) Temperature

2) Water chemistry


Your goal should be to slowly adjust the new livestock to the two items above. The biggest mistake I see is people not getting the temperature right. Most people keep a cold house in the winter. They put their livestock into buckets and drip water into them. You really aren't going to be able to keep the temp with a cold house. How do I know thisS????? Yes I have a cold house:)


Best of luck!



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