Fragging Corals for "BOOSTED" Growth: Do you believe in it?

BRS

Do you believe that you can boost coral growth and reproduction by fragging your coral?

  • YES

    Votes: 212 42.2%
  • NO

    Votes: 76 15.1%
  • Not Sure

    Votes: 204 40.6%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 10 2.0%

  • Total voters
    502

tltruitt8

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The tree gets its nutrients and water primarily from its roots and energy from leafs for photo synthesis.

Most corals get energy from polyps and flesh via light absorption.

if you cut the roots of a tree you don’t get faster growth. However if you micro frag and place the frags close to each other the fuse and grow faster. But only once the fuse do they accelerate growth. With zoas what doubles faster 1 polyp it 5. 5 or 20?
Hmmm...I’ve never “fragged” zoas before. My first zoas came to me as 4 polyps on a frag plug. Once they had multiplied and had started moving off the plug, I moved the plug to a new area, and the process began again. Maybe that could be considered a form of fragging. Here’s how my 4 little orange zoas ended up after 8 months through my 65 gal LPS tank
 

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ClownWrangler

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By cutting of the branches you:
1. Take away resources that would have been used for growth
2. You created a wound (stress) that has to be healed with resources that can not be used for growth

So in the end you reduced total growth compared to if you had not cut of these branches. All you did is direct the left over growth to the area you find desirable, thus shaping the tree to your liking. If you hadn't done so the tree would shape itself in the most efficient shape.

The same will apply to our corals.

However if you root those branches you cut off or air layer them, you now have more trees and more fruit production in the long run. I have been "fragging" rare plants for decades. I can say for certain that the more pieces you chop in into, the more bio-mass you end up with in the long run so long as there is a growth bud in each cutting. The reason for this is that you are spreading the frags out so that each piece has more resources available for growth and not as much competition.
 
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ClownWrangler

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At the risk of sounding like a complete nerd, there is a simple mathematical explanation for all of this. Most of the growth happens at the edges or tips, especially for sps. If you cut something in half, you have effectively increased the perimeter and total amount of edge for growth or for a branching coral, the total number of tips. By separating these pieces, you also give each polyp or group of polyps far more resources for growth, light, real-estate, nutrients, ect. Imagine being a polyp in the middle, surrounded by polyps so you have no room for growth, then all the sudden the polyp next to you moves away and you have beach front property to yourself. Now you can take all that energy you have been saving up and use it for growth. Start a family of your own.
 

ClownWrangler

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I have a branching GSP that seems to put on a growth spurt every time I snip a few of it's branches off. I actually find it's resilience amazing. Hack away with some scissors and it yells "tis but a scratch!"

Branching GSP will grow out of your tank, smother you in your sleep, cover all the walls in your house, eat your children and then go for your neighbors and eat them too regardless of what you do. Why would you facilitate this madness.
 

Cell

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Look at trees....A pruned tree will leap much taller quicker if you prune off the bottom branches

So yes.... irritated corals that are forced to heal, starts a sped up process IMO

Ever dive or snorkel a reef? It's a violent place with changing currents that will scare newbies to death who want to get back on the boat. Lololololololololol

While increased growth from trimming coral may indeed be a thing, I'm not sure the tree analogy makes sense. I think the pruned tree leaps taller because more nutrients from the ground are now making it to the top instead of being used by the lower branches. Coral is not getting nutrients from roots.
 

mainereefer

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I randomly cut the foot of palys then they sprout babies from the spot.. never had anything happen except more polyps..
All my yuma shrooms I cut a tiny piece off the foot that has sand stuck to it then glue the sand to a frag plug. Takes about 2 months to get a 1" shroom from nothing... 100% aquaculture home grown... I wont cut a shroom in half that's awful they never go back to being round..
 

Nick Steele

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I believe it all depends on many factors. How health the coral is, tank/ocean conditions and how long ago it was last disturbed.

I have a Walt Disney I’m going to test this out with as it grows. Right now it is encrusting the plug and not showing any vertical growth at all but massive horizontal growth. It’s only on the plug right now but about to make contact with my main rock work. I believe once it gets a sturdier base it will grow vertical more. I’m going to let it get like a 1” base around itself and then I’m going to snip the single point off of it and make a frag and see how it goes.
 

MabuyaQ

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At the risk of sounding like a complete nerd, there is a simple mathematical explanation for all of this. Most of the growth happens at the edges or tips, especially for sps. If you cut something in half, you have effectively increased the perimeter and total amount of edge for growth or for a branching coral, the total number of tips. By separating these pieces, you also give each polyp or group of polyps far more resources for growth, light, real-estate, nutrients, ect. Imagine being a polyp in the middle, surrounded by polyps so you have no room for growth, then all the sudden the polyp next to you moves away and you have beach front property to yourself. Now you can take all that energy you have been saving up and use it for growth. Start a family of your own.
Still disagree and your math is off. That polype in the middle that has no room to grow is still adding to the overal resourcepool that is used for total growth of the entire colony. It are these resources that are transported to the growthtips. Take away those resources from the total resourcepool and you take away the growth.
 

MnFish1

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Back in the Club Zoa day we used to frag zoanthids to "boost" their growth and try to cause them to grow new polyps by doing so. There are many reefers who believe that the "trauma" of fragging a coral will cause it to reproduce faster. But then there are those who don't believe in that at all! Let's talk about it today!

1. Do you believe that you can boost coral growth and reproduction by fragging your coral?

2. Outside of fragging, what do you think is the best method for boosting coral growth?



image via @ChaosAquaculture
20191106-_DSC0082.jpg
I think this is absolutely true (not sure about Zoas) - but take this example: You have a colony that has 100 pieces that can be easily fragged. You mount those 100 pieces onto 100 plugs. Now you have 100 small corals who are receiving more overall light, flow, nutrients, etc - and they will grow faster (as compared to leaving the colony at the large size). Also - if you cut the tip of a coral - often times, 3 or 4 new 'buds' will grow from that one stalk. Thus - you now have 3 growing sites compared to 1.
Stability is king! Not sure if constant fragging will get you better growth, it has to heal at some piont first.

In the wild they spawn as a natural reproduction.

Interresting topic though!
True - they also spread by pieces getting broken off.
 

MnFish1

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No, best case scenario fragging has no impact on growth, worst case neither frag nor fragged coral survive.
Can you answer 'why'? Because - I have seen the opposite. Now, for example - I dont think you can take a zoa, put it into the blender - and expect 5000 new zoo's. But - I've been told - and done it several times - the best way to get a quick covering of coral - is to rather than 'planting' one colony, is to break up parts of the colony - and glue the smaller pieces in various places. The results can be amazing. Now wanting to start an argument with you - but you seem quite 'sure', and I'm not sure 'why'? As others have said - I also think it depends on what type of coral
 

MnFish1

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By cutting of the branches you:
1. Take away resources that would have been used for growth
2. You created a wound (stress) that has to be healed with resources that can not be used for growth

So in the end you reduced total growth compared to if you had not cut of these branches. All you did is direct the left over growth to the area you find desirable, thus shaping the tree to your liking. If you hadn't done so the tree would shape itself in the most efficient shape.

The same will apply to our corals.
I would suggest that a tree is not the same as a coral (at all). 1). The coral does not have a root system. 2) the coral actively 'eats' as well as photosynthesizes 3)the more surface area the coral is exposed to nutrients, flow, etc - the more growth that will occur. This, as far as I am aware its not just hobbyist poppycock. Its published - for example after Hurricaines in Florida: "Unlike acroporid species in the Indo-Pacific Province that exhibit high sexual recruitment rates(>s IWALL\"E, 19851, the main propagation mode of A. polmuta in the Caribbean is by means of colony fragmentation ISAK and E;-':<;EL, i979: HI(;IISl\1IT1l, 1982; RYLAAI{:-iIlAl\l, 191-\:3: ,JoIUJAl'i-DA!IL!;ln;;-.:, 19~j21, enahling this species to re-cover and re-populate areas disturbed by intense physical disturbances IHI:)I 1:-i;VIITII et al., 1980: R()(;E!{:-i d al. I~J82: LIH:YIAN and FON(;, llllPllhl/s/wd data I. Some resoarchc-rs believe the ability to produce asexual recruits readily from wave generated fragments is also an adaptation to wave stress IHH:II:-iMITII, 19821. Fast growth rates, the ability to regenerate lesions IRo(;,;J:)-i />1 al.. 1982:"
 

Calm Blue Ocean

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Branching GSP will grow out of your tank, smother you in your sleep, cover all the walls in your house, eat your children and then go for your neighbors and eat them too regardless of what you do. Why would you facilitate this madness.

My porcelain crab would be left homeless if I removed this beast of a coral (he never leaves it for anything)! But really, in spite of the fact that it grows like crazy, I've had it confined to a small island for about a year and a half and it's never escaped, it just grows more branches which are easy to prune. If someone is going to put GSP in a tank, this variety doesn't seem too bad. Now the xenia and kenya tree that I added, those are another story. Mistakes were made! ;Hilarious

gsp.jpg
 

ClownWrangler

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Still disagree and your math is off. That polype in the middle that has no room to grow is still adding to the overal resourcepool that is used for total growth of the entire colony. It are these resources that are transported to the growthtips. Take away those resources from the total resourcepool and you take away the growth.

Um no my math is not off. Let me break it down with an example since you are having trouble picturing it. If you break a stick in half with two growth tips, you now have 3 growing tips. break those new ones in half and you now have four frags with a total of 8 growing tips. It's an exponential function, which is why the example in post 24 works so well. This is not just theoretical. People are doing it with amazing results. For the total perimeter growth example I gave. If you nave a circle with a perimeter of 3.14" and cut it in half, you now have two half circles with a total perimeter of 5.14" between the two.

Also, the reason the colony as a whole has more resources available afterward is that you are spreading out the frags. Resources are a function of total area. If you spread out the frags, they take up more area. More area translates to more resources.
 
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ClownWrangler

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There is a relatively easy way to settle this if someone wants to test the hypothesis:

1) take two medium sized frags of the same species. Let them sit and recover any previous stressors until you see both are in similar health and happiness.

2) measure their weight

3) frag one into 2 small frags, leave the other alone

4) put them back in the same place

5) wait 2 months.

6) measure change in weight in term of a %

Can even do this with multiple pairs to improve accuracy and repeatability.

The controlled experiments you speak of have already been done, there are references to them in this thread. You would just be reproving the world is round at that point and there will still be flat-worlders in the end.
 

ClownWrangler

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Depends on the species and growth pattern. I do this with leptoseris and other encrusting forals. Leptoseris grows from the edges, so cutting a 1 square inch frag into four equal pieces doubles the amount of growth edges. For an example see this paper.

Sorry. I overlooked this post. I tried to explain this and was told my "math is off" lol. Thanks for the reference. Also, cutting a circle in half creates a greater percent increase in total edge length than if you cut a square in half (64% vs 50% increase). This must be part of the reason plate corals frag so well.
 
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