Jun 2004

Traded a hammer coral for a suncoral

By: melev | Tags: | Comments: 0

A DFWMAS club member traded me his beautiful sun coral for a piece of my Hammer coral. Some might not think that is an equal trade, but as far as I can tell we are both very very happy with our exchange.

The Hammer was quite large in my tank, with a thick trunk that I never saw for the past few months. I pulled it out this morning to break off his branch and found that each side was 4 heads still connected and very thick. Even the main core was covered with tissue, but I had to get his piece. I pulled out the coral and let it drip some fluid off into the tank, but I could tell that the heads of each polyp were very heavy and I was afraid tissue damage would ensue if I let gravity tug any longer.

I dashed to the kitchen, trying to fruitlessly catch the water draining from the coral to a spot that I had prepared. The bag was ready, a hammer and very sharp chisel nearby. As I looked at the coral and the trunk, the typical option was to hit it at the base, splitting it right through the middle. But what would happen to the polyp heads enduring such massive force flat on the counter during that sudden impact?! Instead, I laid it on its side, put the point of the chisel in the center of the trunk where the blade ran parallel with the cut I hoped to create, and hit it hard. CRUNCH! Not a good sound, as that meant the heads were beginning to splinter on the areas that are most fragile, within the polyp tissue. One more try, hitting hard and without reticence, and it split perfectly down the center as planned. Quickly I put my half back in the tank. The way it was split, the trunk was shaped like a spike and fit perfectly into the spot were it was before. Matt's piece was put in a large LFS bag with a ton of water, and very carefully lowered into my cooler to avoid hitting the skeleton hard against anything solid again.

We met in Grapevine, where our exchange took place, and discussed the needs of each piece and left.

I did stop at Petorama, and ran into several DFWMAS club members. :D Picked up some Joe's Juice, btw. Joe's Juice is a product made to kill aiptasia.

Got home, and acclimated my new beauty in the sump. Here it is at 6:41pm today, located in the side area of my 55g, out of the direct lighting (350w MH, 108w T5): New arrival

About 1.5 hours later, I fed the tank live baby brine shrimp, and the sun coral was ready to eat too: Hungry coral

Once it was open and ready, I gently used a small turkey baster to drizzle thawed mysis (mixed with tank water) over the coral. I took a cube of mysis from the freezer, and with a knife cut thin shavings to speed up the thawing process. It seemed to enjoy the mysis, opening some of the mouths quite wide while other polyp heads were closed tight as if to keep the food from escaping! Here's the coral from another POV at 9:14pm: Ahhhh...!

And I just checked on it for fun with a flashlight and it was FULLY open! I had to use a flash so this looks a little washed out, but it looks great. 11:12pm: Shot after dark

Now I just have to keep up this process at least every other day, so I can enjoy my new bright friend. :D

I decided to work on the tank a little bit today, removing excess Neon/White Star Polyps and Green Star Polyps. I pulled off quite a few pieces, which I'll mount on small bits of LR and make them available to club members (maybe put them in the raffle this week at our meeting). During this process, I accidentally broke a small frag (some type of Acropora sp. from its spot of nine months, and had to remount it. SIGH I glued it with Super Glue Gel to the nylon bolt it had been connected to until today, and put it back but it isn't staying firmly in place like it had been. I'll have to see if I can get it wedged tightly again, because corals that wiggle somewhat don't grow. They need to 'feel' firmly locked into place, and then they'll grow nicely.

I dosed a bunch of aptasia with Joe's Juice in my tank as well as my son's, and hope to see less of them in the future.

Meanwhile, in the 29g, I'm really enjoying the new Bi-color Blenny. He's decided to make his home (at least for today) inside a hidden cavern under my "Mean Green" zoanthids. He's adorable and the zoas seem to be fine.

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