Coral and wet paper towel

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I’m intrigued as I read somewhere that coral can survive out of water as long as they’re kept damp with a paper towel over them. Is this true with SPS as well? I’m wanting to redo my rock scape but I’d rather prefer to look at what rocks I have to work with and one of them has a stylophora on it. Could I keep that out of water if I kept it under a wet paper towel (wetted with tank water of course).
 
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Lost in the Sauce

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Unsure if the paper towel method would work.

Is there any reason you can't stage your rock in a Rubbermaid with just enough water to cover them, instead of out in the air?

I will be rescaping my anemone tank this weekend and that's the plan. Downstack and lay out the rock single level in a rubbermaid, which should give me plenty of time to play Tetris with The Rock, Not having to worry about it. Many of the rocks already have nems attached. They can easily survive hours outside of water under a wet paper towel, But I don't see a benefit to it.
 
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I asked my coral vendor about my SPS at the top of the tank during water changes being exposed out of the water. He said no problem for 30 minutes or even longer.
Thanks for the reply! Great to hear that they will be alright :)
 

ISpeakForTheSeas

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Depending on species, I’d imagine it’s especially true for SPS. This thread (linked below) discusses this same sort of thing and has videos/examples of different corals being exposed for considerable lengths of time:
This quote from that link is particularly applicable to your question:
plus 1, corals are exposed to air normally during low tide, which explains why some corals ship better dry than wet. take a frag, wrap it with wet paper towel, place it in a sealed bag. I read a famous article regarding survival rates of corals shipped dry in this manner had much higher survival rates as opposed to corals that rot in the bag of water. The paper towel insures that no part of the coral tissue is pressed against the plastic, cutting off circulation. Also insures plenty of oxygen exchange, which is lacking when shipped completely submerged.
As such I repeated the process with a frag of M. digitata, which I left in the bag for 3 days. (3 days to simulate USPS priority shipping.) After the time was up, the frag opened up as normal when placed back into my aquarium. The key to keeping corals heathy when out of water, is that it must be maintained at 100% humidity.

As noted, this only applies to shallow water species.

For your situation, a plastic wrap over the aquarium may be helpful.
 
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Unsure if the paper towel method would work.

Is there any reason you can't stage your rock in a Rubbermaid with just enough water to cover them, instead of out in the air?

I will be rescaping my anemone tank this weekend and that's the plan. Downstack and lay out the rock single level in a rubbermaid, which should give me plenty of time to play Tetris with The Rock, Not having to worry about it. Many of the rocks already have nems attached. They can easily survive hours outside of water under a wet paper towel, But I don't see a benefit to it.
I may try that but my other issue is how I wouldn’t have enough water for that size as I either have large containers (I think my biggest is 3-4’x2’) or small buckets with basically no inbetween.
 
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I’m intrigued as I read somewhere that coral can survive out of water as long as they’re kept damp with a paper towel over them. Is this true with SPS as well? I’m wanting to redo my rock scape but I’d rather prefer to look at what rocks I have to work with and one of them has a stylophora on it. Could I keep that out of water if I kept it under a wet paper towel (wetted with tank water of course).
you have to keep the tank covered with a plastic sheet, to maintain 100% humidity, or spray the corals continuously. I wouldn't recommend you leave them out during aquascaping, since time seems to fly by quickly. I've had frag racks, which I've pulled out of water for cleaning and inspection and what I thought was 5 minutes turned into a 45 minute ordeal. The tips all dried out. Air conditioning or even a fan will dry out exposed coral quickly.
 
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you have to keep the tank covered with a plastic sheet, to maintain 100% humidity, or spray the corals continuously. I wouldn't recommend you leave them out during aquascaping, since time seems to fly by quickly. I've had frag racks, which I've pulled out of water for cleaning and inspection and what I thought was 5 minutes turned into a 45 minute ordeal. The tips all dried out. Air conditioning or even a fan will dry out exposed coral quickly.
Unfortunately in the UK we don’t have air con as our houses are build to hold in the heat (Summer is vile).
I will definitely keep the coral moist and make sure I do, I will most likely resort to pulling the coral off the rock if needed though.
 
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homegrowncichlid

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Unfortunately in the UK we don’t have air con as our houses are build to hold in the heat (Summer is vile).
I will definitely keep the coral moist and make sure I do, I will most likely resort to pulling the coral off the rock if needed though.
well air conditioning is a dehumidifier, so that's one less thing you have to worry about. I understand now you want to keep the corals on the rock. Get a separate large tupperware container with lid or a plastic trash can with lid. you can hold the entire rock in there, keep it cool in standing water, while covered with wet paper towel. Or you can paper towel wrap the entire thing and place in a garbage bag.
Before you do this, frag a little piece and store it, wrapped in the towel in a bag, and see how it does the next day. That will give you the confidence to move forward with your redesign. You can use a sample of each species to see how they do.
 
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I'm curious -- how did it go? Any lessons learned that we could benefit from?
It didn’t go too badly actually, all the coral survived and it was much easier to make sure everything stayed wet.
 

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I recently moved my tank and one of rocks that had a few different types of sps coral on it that were too large for a container. I just placed a wet rag over the corals. Took almost 2 hrs until it was in water. I was surprised It had no issues.
 
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