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Old 05-07-2011, 11:04 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 18
What should I do with purchased coral?

Hello everyone,

Still a "noobie" at this, but the tank seems to have been running healthy for 3+ months now. Water conditions are relatively stable, and I have yet to see any increase in nitrate. I guess this means the live rock and protein skimmer are all doing their jobs.

After the live rock, I introduced 6 "starter fish" (3 yellow tail damsels + 3 blue-green chromis). The damsels are actually more aggressive towards each other than the passive schooling chromis.

I then introduced some turbo snails and hermit crabs (very fun to watch - especially the electric blue hermits). I may not have dripped the crabs successfully as 2 of them died (one within a few days and the other within 2 weeks). The 3rd one seems to be holding up very strong & healthy. Even though hermit crabs are rated to be "peaceful" I actually saw him digging out a helpless small black hermit crab out of his shell! Kind of horrific, but kind of cool at the same time. I still can't help feeling sorry for the once alive small hermit crab. I never mean to assign living things a "death sentence" in our aquarium environment.

Anyway, to the point at hand...

We now recently purchased some starter coral for our tank. They are really small, but obviously didn't want to spend a lot of money on something that might die, etc.

- a frogspawn
- a mushroom
- a polyp colony of some sort

These things were apparently "frag grown" and glued to some sort of artificial rock material. A couple were in a cone shape, and the other was like a disc w/cylinder plug.

At first, I tried to place these ultra-large plugs inside the rock... but the result looked horrible. Kind of cheesy & fake looking like it doesn't really belong there. I gently started to "tilt" the colony polyp and it started to peel away from the artificial stone! There was a very tiny piece of material still stuck to the polyp so I just tried my best to wedge that in a rock crevice. But it's mostly just resting instead of being "locked" in any way.

I then had the uncontrollable urge to do the same with the frogspawn. It peeled away fairly easily, and it appeared to have its own natural "base" anyway. This wedged into a rock fairly well. The mushroom was on the circular disc + cylinder plug. I may have damaged the mushroom with a slight tear. There doesn't appear to be any rock or material attached. It's just a very light canopy. I initially placed it on a rock but an hour later saw the current moved it to another location. At this point, it's really just a "floater" and I hope it doesn't get lost or ruined.

So my question to everyone is...

Did I error in doing this? Did I completely screw up and threw away $30 bucks down the drain? Should I have instead broken off pieces of the artificial rock to keep the super glue gel (and the attached coral) in-tact? Should I have just left everything alone and inserted these corals AS PURCHASED - resulting in "eye sore" large man-made material poking out of the live rocks? It's frustrating dealing with how little I know about this hobby, but I am very happy the tank's parameters have been stellar. I have also occassionally added pH buffer (to bring consistently to 8.3) as well as a calcium boost to help bring to 420-500 ppm (better for the coral & live rock I take it).

Thanks in advance,

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Old 05-08-2011, 09:07 PM   #2
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Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 1,526
Well you chose great beginner corals, all easy to care for and hardy.

What you did was fine, the frogspawn is a branching coral so it will grow outwards from the one branch you have, putting its base in a hole in the rock is also fine as long as you don't damage the tissue too much (even if you did it will recover, they are pretty hardy). Gluing it will help keep it in place if it's not wedged in too well.

The mushroom you probably should have waited until it had moved off of the plug. It will eventually reattach somewhere, I've had a few leave the rock they were on only to show up a few weeks later in a new spot. They are just a hard coral to get to reattach on your own since they are so slimy, gluing doesn't really work. Sometimes elasticing it to the live rock will work, might even cause it to split into two mushrooms.

If you have a piece of live rock that can be easily taken out you can try to glue the polyps and the small piece of rock they are attached too onto the live rock. Super glue works well and is safe for aquariums, I think the gel type is best. Just dry the area where you want the polyps glued too and the bottom side of the polyps before gluing, then leave it for a minute or two before placing it back in the water. Try not to get too much glue on the heads of the polyps though, if you do you can pick it off later.
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