Coral Transplant

I love to just sit and look at my reef when I have the time. Its so peaceful and relaxing. I note the fish doing their thing, the corals swaying in the currents. My eyes automatically pick up any points of special note – it isn’t that I’m robotic its just that I know the aquarium intimately.

One of the things I note every time is the corals growth. They never stop. I’ve taken quite a few cuttings (‘frags’ if you like) when the corals have become oversize or have overshadowed something else. Some of these cuttings have gone to Peter who is growing them on. A few cuttings were quite a size.

One cutting was taken from the left end of the tank, as the coral branch was so large it was travelling along the top of the water and a little distance along the back length. This particular branch will have been around 12″ or so.

Having removed the branch I noticed a space that had previously been hidden. There wasn’t anything of note in it, but something needed putting there as it was fairly obvious, and the loss of the mentioned branch had meant a loss of height appeal.

For quite a while I considered various options, choosing a new coral species then changing my mind. However, my mind was made up for me.

Sitting gazing at the tank recently I noticed that a coral, a Kenyan tree (proper name Capnella sp) was not too far from the water surface and appeared top heavy and in danger of falling over because of it. I wondered if a cutting could be placed in the aforementioned gap, thus solving two problems in one go.

This was considered for a while – I like to be sure the impact on the reef would be aesthetically correct. Shape and colour need consideration. It seemed alright to me.

So out came the sharp scissors and, after the cutting point had been decided, off came a section, a fairly big one. The part that had been removed was pressed into a crevice where it appeared to be secure. The mother coral had of course gone into a serious sulk.

The next morning the cutting had moved probably because of the water currents. So out came a cocktail stick, the cutting was pierced, and the cocktail stick pushed firmly into a tiny hole in the rock. It has remained in place this time.

The mother coral has now ceased its 100% sulk, this has been reduced to 25%. The coral is partially inflated and it looks as though all will be well.

The cutting is in the same situation though of course not yet attached to the rock.

All things being equal the reef will be back to its full splendour in a few weeks.


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