Aquacultured Corals have grown in popularity over the past few years, and deservingly so. The majority of these species that are chosen for aquaculture are some of the hardiest, fastest growing and beautiful species available in the industry. Aquacultured Corals afford you the wonderful opportunity of developing a mature-looking reef aquarium in a relatively short amount of time, while reducing the impact we have on one of our most valuable resources, coral reefs.
What is a Coral Frag?
Coral Fragments are commonly referred to as "Frags" by most reef enthusiasts and are a sound alternative to wild harvested corals. It is important to understand that Coral Frags are not all the same. Most coral frags available today are snipped pieces or branches of live coral that are harvested from wild "mother" colonies that have been collected from various coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific and South Pacific Oceans. This technique has some major drawbacks. These snipped coral branches are normally damaged at their base from where they have been broken away from the mother colony. If not allowed the proper time to heal, during transit the damaged area of the coral frag is exposed to excessive amounts of harmful bacteria and declining water conditions. This exposure can lead to infections and disease such as (RTN) Rapid Tissue Necrosis. Some species and varieties offered today from the clip and ship suppliers are not suitable for most aquariums due to their poor survival and slow growth rates in the home aquarium. Furthermore, the coral frags available from this method have a difficult time adjusting to the new lighting of the aquarium that often results in coloration changes. Not only is the transition from the wild to your aquarium taxing on these frags, they also have a greater chance of introducing unwanted disease and parasites into your aquarium.
There is a much better alternative for the reef aquarist!
We are proud to offer
Aquacultured Corals from both ORA® (Oceans, Reefs and Aquariums), and TCN (The Coral Nursery), both of which are located in sunny Florida. Unlike the clip and ship suppliers, all of our Aquacultured corals are propagated from stock that has been grown out and adjusted to a captive environment. The majority of these species have been grown out for several generations. Only fast growing species are offered for sale, which will enable you to establish a beautiful reef aquarium quickly and easily. No wild colonies are ever fragged and shipped, because we feel this method is not ideal for the reef enthusiast. All of our Aquacultured corals are fully acclimated to aquarium conditions and are maintained under 400-watt
metal halide lighting in a
temperature controlled holding system. The results are phenomenal, yielding beautiful fast growing specimens with minimal coloration shift. Not only are aquacultured corals hardier and faster growing than their wild counterparts, they are also observed daily for disease and parasites. All of our corals are affixed to either a marine-safe composite mesh, an aragonite plug or a small piece of live rock and are fully encrusted making the transition and adjustment to your aquarium quickly and easily with minimal color shift. The corals can be affixed with
underwater epoxy, and attached on or between pieces of live rock, reducing the risk of damage to the coral from being knocked over by fish or invertebrates.
About our Aquacultured Coral holding facility
In order to provide a smooth transition from the grow-out facility to your aquarium, we maintain the corals in the best conditions possible. All of our aquacultured corals are maintained in a separate holding system, away from wild colonies. 400-watt, 10K and 20K
metal halide lamps illuminate the corals, and the system is filtered through a biotower and foam fractionator. Two Knopp HD calcium reactors are used in order to provide the corals with stable pH of 8.2-8.4, alkalinity levels of 10-12dKH, and a calcium level of 400-425ppm. A 1.5hp
chiller maintains a stable 78 degrees year-round. Water parameters are monitored daily in order to maintain the system at zero phosphates, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.
Parasites and Diseases within the Industry
The gain in popularity of aquacultured corals has brought about an increase in frag swapping between hobbyists, club members and even the aquaculture facilities. Unfortunately, due to this activity, several pests and diseases have become prevalent in far too many hobbyists' aquariums. In order to prevent spreading these problems to our customers, we carefully monitor and inspect our holding system for any evidence of parasites and pests like red bugs, Flatworms, and Montipora eating nudibranch. The holding system has been treated on three consecutive times with
Interceptor, starting on October 3, 2004. All new stock is quarantined and closely monitored for one week prior to being introduced to our holding system and ultimately offered for sale. Not only are we keeping a close eye on the corals in our holding facility, ORA™, and The Coral Nursery are also following the same protocols. If you decide to participate in frag swaps with fellow hobbyists, we urge you to follow proper quarantine procedures followed with the necessary treatment when needed, in order to reduce the spread of these parasites. We go to great lengths to assure that our corals are parasite free, and are proud to offer a wide selection of the healthiest Aquacultured corals available anywhere at LiveAquaria.com.
visit our Aquacultured Corals section.