Friday Rewind – Micro Propagation Revisited

by | Jun 5, 2015 | Corals, ReefGen, Science | 0 comments

Today I’d like to share with you an update on my baby micro-propagated coral.  I first posted about these two and a half months ago, and I’m impressed with how much they’ve grown since then.

From 2 Polyps to 14 Polyps,  in 10 weeks.

From 2 Polyps to 14 Polyps, in 10 weeks.

The two-polyp Astroturf Goniopora I posted about 10 weeks ago has seen a 700% increase in number of polyps, and is now triple its original overall size. It began as a tiny bit of skeleton tissue left over from fragging.

Micro-propagation can be challenging, since the smaller a coral is, the more fragile and vunerable; even (normally) beneficial coralline algae can attack and smother a tiny coral, one big bite from a hungry tang or emerald crab could mean disaster. I honestly did not expect all of the coral I featured to survive, since mortality can be quite high, but I’m happy to report that they have not only survived but thrived! You can refer back to my original posting if you’d like to compare sizes.

Two rapidly growing  Euphyllia babies.

Two rapidly growing Euphyllia babies.

I also have been working with quite a bit of Euphyllia, and am micro-propagating them to eventually sell, this is the first time that I am relying on this method for the bulk of propagation. My original success with micro-propagating them, and their subsequent growth, shows that this a viable technique for large scale aquaculture.

From barely one polyp to 35+

From barely one polyp to 35+

One of the more outstanding growth rates can be seen on this red and yellow Goniopora stutchburyi. It started out as a one polyp mini-chunk of tissue, and is now well on its way to being a full-fledged colony. Every piece of coral tissue has the potential to become a new colony. With enough care, they can grow and thrive, and will provide a rewarding propagation experience.


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