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How to Frag Palys (w/ pictures)

GoFish

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Not the standard way of fragging, also not the easiest, but in my opinion, the most viable if you have the time tools, and patience... quicker easier methods are available, but this is a way to double your polyps instead of fragging your colony down in size.

This idea came to mind a while ago noticing some random paly heads amongst a nice colony that weren't as nice looking as the the others. So i reached in there and pinched the not so nice heads off with a thumbnail and finger. Days later, problem solved....but, weeks later the not so nice heads came back... seemed weird because i knew i had severed the heads off and discarded them.
After thinking about it several times over a couple months and not wanting to try this on something fancy, it really did seem possible to use this as a method of fragging, as long as the heads i severed would open back up and become healthy enough to re-attach to a new plug.
These Palys had longer stalks which i wasn't a fan of, so thought I'd give it a go

Tools i used.
- new, clean razor blade (disposable, easy blade etc... Must be very sharp so you don't have to squish the stalk while cutting. You could maybe use scissors too but I wouldn't for the fact it squishes to cut, the key is SLICE!
- backing material, something like a bank card
- cyanoacrylate gel (super glue, krazy glue)
- a container for holding the heads, and also for placing the plugs into after they have been glued (i used a custom made coral viewer with suction cups on the side) also sand or rubble for bottom of container
- another container to do the fragging in so that water can be discarded, rinsed etc...
- spare new salt water for rinsing
- paper towel
- frag plugs
- safety goggles
- nitrile gloves, or latex
, or whatever
- beer (optional) mmmbeer

The Paly colony (peacocks) was removed from the tank and placed in tank water in a separate container. I use a new razor every time, the one time use kind that comes in boxes of 100. I slice the stalks in the middle on a 90 degree angle as smoothly and cleanly as possible. That water was discarded and new tank water was added to the container holding just the heads with sand on the bottom and placed in the upper corner of the tank, away from direct light, and the rim was only slightly under the water line so not to create too much flow and prevent the heads from floating away. Nowadays, I have a semi permanent rubble try hanging over the edge of the glass, it has small holes drilled in the sides and again the edge is barely at the water line. There's a mixture of sand and rubble for the newly cut heads to attach to
The colony these were taken from was just placed on a frag rack in the corner, also out of intense lighting to allow it to heal. Within hours or a day after slicing the stalks in half, the new severed heads had opened up in the container! I got impatient and didn't give the heads a chance to attach on their own, partly because after i placed them in there realized that i should've used rubble instead. On day 2 i got some paper towel, krazy glue, and plugs. The heads were taken out 1 at a time and dried off at the base, trying not to squish or irritate them too much. after being dried i put a dab of glue on the base and put them onto a plug, after that the frag plugs went back into the container in the tank in a low flow are so the heads would start to attach to the glue and the plug. This same method can be used for zoas as well, however the majority of zoas rarely ever get stocks long enough to be able to slice the head off cleanly while leaving a healthy enough base behind. As long as you can cut the head off without damaging its face or mouth and leave a portion of the stock, in theory this will work with both. And as with any fragging please don't attempt this with anything you aren't prepared to lose, anything can happen

The photo above the razor blade was taken 14 days after slicing the heads off, i left 2 heads on the colony. If you compare the first image of the colony to the last image of the colony, you can see which heads i left alone. The stalks all recovered as well as all the fragged heads. Tada!

You can trade, you can sell, and weeks later, its as if nothing happened....Or do it all over again. Enjoy

And if anyone tries this method, please post your experience, GOOD or BAD






This was the most recent photo of the colony after fragging. Like nothing happened!
 

revhtree

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Thanks for sharing!
 

Pola0502ds

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Awesome post man!

That is a very interesting way of fragging. I always Wondered how far down the stem of each poly the "guts" where to prevent killing them. You obviously answered that. Im surprised the glue doesnt bother or inhibit their recovery. I believe the glue heats up when exposed to water and air, with the palys cut and exposed like that you think it would have a negative effect. I will try this for sure.
 
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GoFish

GoFish

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Thanks and you're welcome!

Just to add one more thing if you try this. Keep in mind there's a mouth hidden inside. If you cut through the mouth at all the frag won't survive.

And maybe the title of this thread could be changed to "Alternative Or Another way to frag palys" etc...?

I plan on doing this again soon will try to take a few more pics
 

sde1500

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Oh wow, now that is pretty cool. Get a whole bunch of new palys without losing the old ones, awesome. Might have to work up the courage to give this a try on a colony I have.
 

TheEngineer

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Hmm... that's interesting. How quickly were these growing before you fragged?
 

Pola0502ds

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When the original poster said new ones came back after pinching them off i assumed new babies off to the side of each stem
 
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ahiggins

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interesting....Ive always read that you need to take the mat with the polyp.
Im going to have to try these on cheapo palys lol
 
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GoFish

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Hmm... that's interesting. How quickly were these growing before you fragged?
Polyps grow fairly fast for me in general, these were like the others. Not the weed type just a head or 2 a month
So the idea is new heads will form on top of the stem that was just cut??
not new heads, the stalks just repaired themselves
interesting....Ive always read that you need to take the mat with the polyp.
Im going to have to try these on cheapo palys lol
Let us know how it goes!

If this colony was 10 heads to start with after 1 month if I hadn't done this it may have grown 2 more heads for a total of 12... but, when fragged this way instead of 12 heads I now had 20. The bit of extra effort was totally worth it. Now if someone could try this on some rare, fancy, slow growers I'd love to see the outcome!
 
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Pola0502ds

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How long would you say it took for the stalks to form a new head? I'm going to try this tonight on some Sunny D's. I have a plug with about 20 or so heads on it, i'll chop off 3 and see what happens. The sunny d's I have grow really fast.
 
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GoFish

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How long would you say it took for the stalks to form a new head? I'm going to try this tonight on some Sunny D's. I have a plug with about 20 or so heads on it, i'll chop off 3 and see what happens. The sunny d's I have grow really fast.
Cool, please share your results. I'll be doing this with Orange Rainbows soon.
The first two photos were taken the same day. The photo above the razor was 14 days later. If you compare the first colony photo with the one after 14 days you can see 2 heads that were left alone, one was a baby and the other was full grow. So all the other heads you see have skirts and mouths, but they have barely any colour at that point. I'd say it took about 1 month to look like nothing happened, maybe a bit shy of full colour
 

Pola0502ds

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So, I tried to do this last night. I pick the longest palys I have which were sunny d's and i'd say the stem below the head was a good 1/2"+. i figured I would be able to slide a card next to one and get under the head with a razor blade. As soon as I took it out of the tank and started handling it the stem went from 1/2" long to NOTHING. I couldn't get a razor blade under it.. So my attempt failed. I was excited to try this.
 

TheEngineer

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So, I tried to do this last night. I pick the longest palys I have which were sunny d's and i'd say the stem below the head was a good 1/2"+. i figured I would be able to slide a card next to one and get under the head with a razor blade. As soon as I took it out of the tank and started handling it the stem went from 1/2" long to NOTHING. I couldn't get a razor blade under it.. So my attempt failed. I was excited to try this.
Probably needs to be done underwater, if I had to guess
 
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GoFish

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So, I tried to do this last night. I pick the longest palys I have which were sunny d's and i'd say the stem below the head was a good 1/2"+. i figured I would be able to slide a card next to one and get under the head with a razor blade. As soon as I took it out of the tank and started handling it the stem went from 1/2" long to NOTHING. I couldn't get a razor blade under it.. So my attempt failed. I was excited to try this.
Could you take a photo of how small the polyps get? Maybe a before and after you touch them? Are they healthy stalks?

And I don't do the slicing while they're submerged, it's a little easier to see what I'm doing if done out of water

Did this 3 days ago with Orange Rainbows and took a few more pics. Things are going as planned so far. The first bunch of pics were taken the same evening, the last 2 are from last night, just over 48 hours after fragging.

 

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