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NOTES on Frags & Shipments 

COOKIES were a major contribution in preservation & propagation of Corals

 

Every Salty knows that Urchins can instantly deliver cookies to another destination... So do grazing and larger fishes... Crabs of all denominations will perform same relocation... and even large Molluscs can move ceramic plugs... That's what they were designed for !

 

Of course the most important evolution of Marine Aquariophilia to this day was the design of this means of propagation of Coral Fragments and the development of shipping methods that allows for safe transportation of delicate specimens by floating them in a bag. We can only praise the pioneers in Coral Farming and wholesalers who adopted the best possible means of safely delivering overnight even the most delicate species. Aquarists now have the possibility of obtaining the widest selection at the most reasonable cost. Above all it helps preserving wild stock by making sure that smaller but healthier specimens reach the consumer.

Once in an Aquarist's tank... what then ?

Well... you can neatly stack them on a Frag Rack and have your own cookie collection. Or smartly align them on bottom of tank in coral sand... But sooner or later; you will have to mount your frags permanently somewhere in that priceless marine tank... With most stony corals that shouldn't be much of a problem since all sorts of adhesives will come in handy at gluing them directly on rock. It would be wise however to drill and adjust holes according to cookie size to avoid that - Doorknob Decor - that ruins even the most expensive setup....  It remains a personal perspective however... 

The most interesting aspect of small frags on cookies (1/2 in. to 1 or 2 in.) is that for a minimal investment you can get to see if a specific specie will survive in your setup (lighting, tank mates etc)  and without fear of loosing a larger (usually rare & expensive) specimen. It's not a question of being novice or expert but simply wise.

With Soft Corals and Anemones it's a very different story

Most Soft Corals ship very well without any support at all !! Since there is no mounting and manipulation involved for distributor: the costs are much lower which allows to get larger specimens for the cost of cookied ones. Any Aquarist can do this easily and avoid the headaches of securing plugs. Mounting a Soft Coral directly in it's permanent display location is more gratifying in my opinion.

Anemones (Discosoma, Rhodactis etc) do best in a tank when mounted on rubble or rocks (small or large). We recommend getting them in this manner in the first place !! The cost is higher because of natural process involved: Anemones are set on a bed of rubble and small rocks where they need time to attach themselves (one to two weeks) but the benefits are well worth it. You see Anemones (Mushrooms) are mobile invertebrates and even though the process is very slow they like to move about on their own and select their own spot. 

Gluing them on a cookie is fast and easy but has consequences... Cyanide glue produces a lot of heat when curing which can burn the delicate tissue of many corals and anemones (not always but often). And once Glued On: it will take months for a Rhodactis to unseat itself from the adhesive and move on to another destination.... All the while you shouldn't expect much growth out of them. Having your Anemone on rubble or rocks allows them to settle in a new tank faster. You can't rubber band an Anemone by the way: it's either the Natural Process or Cyanoacrylic glue... Here at SBMarine we never use it for many reasons...

Needs a Closer Look !

Unless a Coral requires a cookie in order to be established permanently ( some Stony Corals, Gorgonian, etc) : We never Epoxy them into place since we like to dispose of them once they have served their purpose...

Safe Shipping that is !!! 

This implies that even when snugly and tightly fit into a hole or the other in the Aquascaping... they remain very vulnerable to fishes, crustaceans, echinoderms and molluscs that will gladly pull them off... Everytime this occurs; it will take weeks usually for a specimen to recover and start again it's acclimatation process... Rhodactis in the Aegis tank were set up as a tutorial and yes it did take them a very long time to show any progress at all... What took 6 months or more could have been accomplished in two !!

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All Rhodactis in this presentation have been dislodged, knocked over several times so it took them much longer to settle. Unseating themselves from cyanide glue normally takes a few months but the stress adds up and delays the whole process. The enlargment shows the ring of Cyanoacrylic glue where Anemone was seated...

Getting closer to rockwork...

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Snowball had dislodged this Parent Rhodactis prior to it's natural reproduction in July 2016 until it was very tightly fit on this piece of rubble. The Offspring slowly moved away...

Baby Rhodactis is finally off cookie and on rubble where Mother is also getting to !! When done the ceramic plug will be removed after serving it's initial purpose: safe shipping !!

The UNFOLDING of this story will take a while... Let's start at the beginning... 

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At first this large Cabbage frag was a closed lump of soft coral and had a few rubble pieces attached to it's base. It fitted nicely in a large cavity on this rock: without being compressed or forced into... No rubber bands were necessary since the EOS tank is a safe place where it will have ample time to attach itself without being disturbed   :)

Early next morning it had started unfolding and revealed a Finger Leather Coral attached to it. It is better to remove it now because it is another agressive coral that grows quite large with a base exceeding a foot !! 

Slicing through the Cabbage was not an option... So it had to be pulled off by hand. By doing so the base of Finger Coral will be damaged since it really has to be pulled off hard...  

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A severely damaged foot or base has only one option: the Natural Process. Cyanide glue will burn it's delicate tissue and after a day or two it will rot and fall off... Elastic bands even lightly compressed will achieve same negative result... 

Good lighting, moderately strong current, clean water and rubble work magic !! 

NYX got us a new frag... 

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Both species of Sinularia passed the: EOS TEST 

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ICICLE walked across the whole GSP frag without having a single polyp close !!! When he got at other end he managed to scoop up a rolled piece of loose skin... Making the GSP look even healthier...

On his way to meet Rosa ICICLE has a lot of work ahead of him. 

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GSP's are photosynthetic only... Anemones also are in addition to having raging appetites   :)

Rosa savours every distribution of SBMarine's own

- Marinara Puree - and now engulfs the meal in less than 20 seconds !!

Sylvain Bériault