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New Wild Acro Colony ... Acclimatization/advice?

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Joined
Oct 23, 2004
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Madcity, WI
Short backround, then questions.

LFS here just got in a huge SPS shipment [about 80-100 pieces] ... and it just happens to be one that I sell frags to and have some credit at. Just in time to buy myself my own present :)

Anyway, I have a 58 SPS tank [about a year ago removed softies/others to make it SPS focused] where I've been growing out frags and had stocked with all tank-fragged corals except for two single frags that were broken off colonies in shipping + purchased out of the bag at the LFS.

So ... I look at this great chance to buy one single choice piece [well, maybe two ...] - but the fact that I've never bought a wild Acropora makes me seek out info from those who have dealt with these corals shortly after leaving the ocean.

I've lost only two Acropora frags over my time, both lost into the rockwork ... and I'd hate to end the string of good luck here. I'm knocking the heck out of everything wood as I type ... as I know I've been lucky to avoid many issues [though I got to go thru the red bug experience, now gone].

I'd love your advice to help me avoid pitfalls and stay on the lucky path with this one too.

---
Obviously, I'd think the standard good water quality and flow for Acropora would apply ... with all the stability, good levels, etc.

As well, I'd imagine that a slow acclimatization to light [starting on the floor of the tank, slowly slowly moving up] would be par for the course.

How slowly [start moving in one week, or 3]?
How long until I should consider having it in it's final position? [2 months? less/more?]

Any tips, tricks, or suggestions?

Any selection tips? Ways to find the to-be cherry? Things to avoid?

How would you go about propagation? Wait 6 months, or take a few immediately?

I'm not new to Acropora, but would love to help my new coral make the transition to aquarium life well so that I can spread it's genetics far and wide.
As a fair amount of people here seem to come from areas with LFS that actually get decent wild colonies from time to time ... I'd happily take your far greater experience with these as I'm late to the wild-coral game, and would rather get my name-able variety [mark's monster ;)] and call it good at that one. [too many amazing frag-based varieties to risk getting an unimpressive wild variety regularly IMO]

Just seems to be good timing to get one, a good deal as I have store credit, a nice end to a very poor week ... and after almost two years of keeping SPS, I feel like I'm `ready' for the challenge. Any/all advice taken, just maybe not followed. :D

TIA ... mark
 
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CarlaW

Scarlet Begonias
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Columbia Falls, MT.
Is this the same guy as middleton mark?? Just asking, but welcome to reef frontiers. this is a pretty mellow spot with alot of people that really know their stuff.
To start with, is there a way you could pick out your choice, pay him, or whatever, and have the store hold it for you for a while. God only knows what came in on/ with these, and it would probably beat you having to "Q" the specimen. What kind of lighting does the store have? That will probably help you figure out your acclimation also. If your lighting is similar, I would think that the acclimation would be easier on you and the coral.
I haven't bought a wild specimen in 2 years, but I kept mine on the bottom for at least 2 weeks before I started moving it up in the tank. I know I've missed some of your questions, but my coffee is starting to get cold, and I ain't goin anywhere for a while. HTH
:D :D
 
Joined
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Messages
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Madcity, WI
Yup, you know me elsewhere :) Do I know you with another name?

That's a good idea, but to be honest, I trust my husbandry far more than this LFS.

But I don't really know ... but as they'd likely have my credit/$ - is the risk of moving it within a few days of import high enough to risk their care for another week?


As I recently upgraded one of my MH's ... I do have a spare and have had a future prop-tank running in my basement for about 3-4 months with rock just hanging out. As I'm not moving my other tank to the prop tub for a month or so ... I do have a QT that would function. I do also have interceptor, if I want to dip it for that and just hope for the best.

I sure don't have to buy anything ... not today, not ever. But yet I try to be an honest reefer ... and as I see maybe 5-10 Acroporids a month show up to LFS here, I know a tank full of them will be hard to pass up if they look healthy and in good shape. Nevermind the fact that my wife knows I've been building up credit there.

Just a shame that it's not a Bali aquaculture shipment ... though my savings account is happy there.
 

CarlaW

Scarlet Begonias
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Messages
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Columbia Falls, MT.
Yeah you might recognize my avatar. I would be willis over there. I just don't seem to go there much any more :D
I would be the same as you as far as the care part goes, but with wild colonies it may be safer to let them ride with it for a week or so to see what happens. RTN in their tank is better than RTN in yours, whether it be a Q tank or not.
I know I wouldn't feel as bad if it RTN'd in theri tank, something about the possesion thing, ya know!
The fact that you have a prop tank is great, ( wish I did), but do you wanna risk them also. If you are like me, my frags are my babies and you definitly don't want anything hurting them.
 
Joined
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Ah, but my prop tank has just been waiting ... coral free. NO's for lighting over it until I get coral in there ... but racks are not yet constructed and all my frags currently reside in a rack in my main tank.

But I know what you're saying about that possession thing ... but as the last Acropora shipment after about 1-2 weeks became FOWLR decorations [thru hazily-defined employee error of the new guy ... some w/c fiasco] ... I'm sure they're paying more attention this time around + he's kept far away, but not confidence building to say the least :D

We'll see, I guess. Heck, there could be some aquacultured stuff in there ... or it could be a huge batch of brownies. I guess I'll see what Santa brought [has that same excitement] ... though I thought my MH upgrade was my present to myself a few weeks ago!

We'll see if this advice is needed ... but I'll always take more learning even if I pass this time. There will be next year's temptations.
 

CarlaW

Scarlet Begonias
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Well now that you throw the Christmas factor in there, go for it. That prop tank will come in handy. What did your MH upgrade add up to, do you have any pics to post, I'm sure I'm not the only one around here that wants to see your tank.

Go for it and show us what you got. That way we can all drool on our keyboards. :D :D
 
Joined
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Well, I think I'm in the `ugly' phase of the light upgrade ... having decreased my light period + slowly bumping it back to normal ... just seems like color is weak right now as I slowly bump things to 7 hours Sunday.

My 58 [36 x 18 x 21] had 2 175w 10k's on a PFO parallel reflector + pc actinics ... replaced one with a 250w 14k bulb. Great color, more PAR ... hoping that the few corals that I could `pop' before will appreciate more photons passing their way.

But ... pictures always get more posts ... so here's a few including the Acropora I'm proudest about [the pic of the coral I'm removing for fragging] which was grown from a 1.5" frag I got in 2003. Not the most amazing variety, but incredible tips and the first one I grew from frag to colony.
 

CarlaW

Scarlet Begonias
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I really like the color on the one you are removing., it reminds me of my aculeus. The first purple is nice to. Most of the stuff in my tank was grown from frags the same size as yours. That is the part of this hobby that is the most rewarding. It means that something is goin right. It is also nice to give something back. I recently gave a small colony back to the guy that has supplied me with 90% of what is in my tank. He is gonna put it in his store display tank!
 

kevinpo

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Spokane Valley, WA
Hi Mark,
Welcome to Reef Frontiers :)
Wild colonies can be a real crap shoot as far as coloration goes. Many times they are all brown so you have to really look them over carefully to see if you can detect any color at the tips. A. millepora will almost always color up and is a good bet. Sometimes looking from the top (bring a clear glass bowl from home or 6"x6" piece of acrylic) will give you a better clue as to what the color potential is. Table type colonies are the most risky IMO/IME.
I place them at the bottom of the tank for 10 days at least then move them into higher light every 10 days or so. If they start getting too light I move them back to a lower light area.
If the coral is brightly colored they will usually darken at the bottom of your tank and may even turn brown. Not to worry though with a little patience and time you can get the original color back.

HTH,
Kevin
Is your tank a Oceanic 58? I really like the shape of those (great for SPS IMO).
 
Joined
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Yup, an Oceanic 58. I'd call it the perfect starting tank for a SPS-er ... nice shape, small enough to fill with frags and get results in. Once I crowd this thing, I'll have the big colonies for my next tank.

Every 10 days ... sounds good to me, similar to what I'd do with any new frag.


Well ... I went and was tempted.

Probably 50-60 mainly small, some medium sized Acropora colonies, Fiji. Nothing unbelievable ... but definitely would fill me a new 120 nicely :lol:

So I came home with the only Montipora of the shipment, which seems somewhat unusual in growth form [branching type, but not your usual digitata].
Given it was the only one, and seemingly `stuck in the back corner' ... I'm rolling the dice on the Monti. Pics to come later ...

--- Thanks for the good advice. I'd take any and all further advice - as in a week I just might be able to bring enough more frags in to trade them for a small colony that intrigues me. Then again, as I have a friend who is stopping by today who always seems to bring a frag ... might be out of space now.
 
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Here's the monti ... still waiting for MH2 to kick in [but still quite sheltered].

Reminds me of my ORA `german blue' digi ... but the branch tips and form suggested to my eye that it's not your average digi. Maybe I'm wrong, I hope not ... but at worst here's the initial pics.

Eye candy pics once it gets better situated.
 
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Well, unofficially ID'ed as Montipora stellata.

Have it residing in a somewhat sheltered light-wise, less so flow-wise area of my tank. To mount it well I had to cut a branch [and ended up with two, you know how it goes :lol:] ... mounted on plugs on the frag rack now.

Here's a couple more pics ... you know how color is on photos ... similar to my ORA german-blue digitata in color but almost more of a bluegray color to it. I'm quite pleased, though of course someone had to send this link as a response to ID questions. Then again, they don't take frags as payment, so I made out like a bandit IMO.

Thanks for the advice guys ... I'll be taking it into the future.
 

CarlaW

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Mark, you know the ols d saying about LFS's don't you? Ignorance is bliss. Looks like you ended up with a gem, my friend. You don't ship frags, do you. :D
Congrats, and here's to it coloring up nicely for you.
 
Joined
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Update:

Time has passed ... colony is doing great. Still in somewhat shaded area, my new 250w MH upgrade is now at my 9.5 hours + holding steady.

I fragged three small branches from one part - doing well, one up on the back glass fairly high to see how that would treat it. Well, I guess :)

Anyway - one more thanks for the good advice ... updated pics to follow, frags eventually :D
 
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Well, thanks in part to good advice ... the coral is doing great. Still in it's initial location, but as shown below - growing.

Not a lot of encrusting, starfish that came in on it still appears to be living inside the rock part ... but has been showing growth for a few weeks now. Probably will get more `aggressive' for the color eventually, but just happy to have it doing well.

My eye keeps going to this neat little Acro table colony at the LFS - now weeks after import [when I got mine] and doing well ... feel like I'd have to chop it up to hope to have success [as tightly branched from ocean is hard to make happy in aquarium IMO] ... time to put above advice to practice if they take more frags this weekend.
 
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