Thursday, March 19, 2009

Colt Coral Fragging

Ever since I upgraded my lighting to 324 Watts of T5 luminosity my Colt coral has been growing like a weed. Not only is it growing but the polyps are feathery and voluptuous. Yes, voluptuous. A term more often used for describing the lips of a Hollywood starlet rather than the polyps of an animal that most would confuse as a plant.

This Colt has grown to the point where it was shadowing my green open brain coral and basically taking over the front-right corner of my tank. I decided it was once again time to try to frag this coral.

My previous attempts at fragging small pieces of this coral have failed. I've tried rubber banding pieces I cut to small rocks. The rubber band would eventually cut its way through the soft flesh of the coral no matter how loose I tightened it. If I went too loose the piece would eventually float away. One of these pieces has nestled itself up against a piece of live rock and does seem to have attached itself. Unfortunately, it will likely end up getting stung by both my anemone and my Toadstool.

This time I decided to try a different approach. I would spear the piece to a rock and hope it would eventually stick.

First the prep. This is the best part.
  1. Visit local watering hole and purchase one Martini with an olive.
  2. Consume olive and Martini and keep the Martini spear.
  3. Order 2nd Martini with olive to have a backup.
  4. Order 3rd just in case.
I then glued the spear to a small piece of live rock using Super Glue Gel. The rock needs to be dried off first.

Then I had to pick a piece to cut. The choice was easy since there was a large branch shading my brain.

I cut the branch with a utility knife blade right at the trunk. I then put some Super Glue Gel on the rock next to the spear to help hold the coral down. After that, I quickly lanced the coral up through the branch so the cut piece was up against the rock and so the spear would exit where the branch split into smaller branches. In the process the coral secreted slime all over the place and shrunk like a frightened turtle. This big branch was now half the height of the olive spear.

I quickly put the coral back in the tank on the sand bed. This way it was at approximately the same distance away from the light as it started.

So twelve days later it looks like this. It actually looks worse.

A lot worse.

I'll give it time and hope it improves. In the meantime the mother Colt is still growing like crazy and will soon need another haircut. I hope I figure out a way to propagate these colt pieces. It would be a shame to have to throw them out.