Promoting sps growth by fragging!

jtietz

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Ive been reading that snipping a bit off an sps coral can jumpstart growth. I know a frag will base out first from it trimmed area.

-Will sps corals grow and branch faster if trimmed?
-If so how much cutting is optimal or could a razor blade score be efficient?
 

DarkSky

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Ha.

I actually tried this on some green SPS I had in my tank. I snipped a small nub on a tip to test it out, and now the spot the nub was cut from has a 5-6 little branches growing off of it. The process probably took a bit less than a month? I sadly didn't take any photos.

I wonder if this is some evolutionary response to being snapped off from the mother colony in order to put down "roots" and establish itself?

Think about it - a piece snaps off and lands somewhere on the rocks. Most of the time, it lands on its side - it'll quickly encrust in order to build a strong base and not be blown around by the current.

The mother colony will quickly want to heal over that broken branch spot to prevent infection or algae from taking root.

Makes sense, but is entirely conjecture. I'll try snapping off another nub or two tonight to see how they do, and this time I'll snap photos. I wonder how much energy the coral expends to do this extra growth.
 

spsick

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I’ve found this to get new growth going on stagnant branches, but only on well encrusted, established growing colonies.
 

UM Aquarium Club

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I haven't read anything specifically for acros related to this but with several types of massive coral in the Caribbean these techniques are being used to promote growth and success of restoration efforts. There could be similar relationships with acropora that site wounding could trigger a growth response. Would be very interested to see if anyone that had a system and enough acros to test this out!
 
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jtietz

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I haven't read anything specifically for acros related to this but with several types of massive coral in the Caribbean these techniques are being used to promote growth and success of restoration efforts. There could be similar relationships with acropora that site wounding could trigger a growth response. Would be very interested to see if anyone that had a system and enough acros to test this out!
I will be trying this out. Ive been in the hobby for 17 yrs. Had reef of all sizes. Had a 210 gallon mix reef full of corals. Recently sold it and replaced it with a 25 gallon IM nuvo aquarium fully dedicated to sps corals, mostly acros. Bellow is the methods i will be using along with pics of my 210 and current 25. Side note - i use all aquaforest product but i am not endorsed in anyway

-acro 1: i will cut a 1/4 inch off
-acro 2: i will just snip the tip off
-acro 3: i will score the tip with a razor blade
-i will give weekly updates

Any suggestion on which should be acro 1,2, and 3
 
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jtietz

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jtietz

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I wouldn’t recommend it with any acros that small. I haven’t found this to be the case until they are at least pool ball size.
Thank you for your concern. But its going to happen anyway. Its an experiment and not all end in success. My tank is and has been extremely stable. I dont want to lose any corals they are a living animal. But if i can learn from the outcome of this test to better my knowledge of coral growth and propagation then its worth the risk in my opinion. With that said please help me pick the 3 lucky corals.
 

Stickboy15

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I have snipped the tip off and I have not yet seen any faster then normal growth
 
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jtietz

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Gearing up. Will cut tomorrow. Did water change yesterday. Just want to be as stable as possible after the cutting. Im thinking of.

-sps1: 1/4 inch cut of the orange digitata
-sps2: im going to cut the tip off a gree/blue acropora
-sps 3:thinking of scoring my tmnt montipora.

Would be a better experiment if they were all the same coral from the same mother colony but doing the best i can
 

tnyr5

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I’ve found this to get new growth going on stagnant branches, but only on well encrusted, established growing colonies.

What he said. It works, but it only works well under the following conditions:
1. Your tank is healthy enough that sps typically grow, encrust, and color up well.
2. The acro to be snipped is an otherwise perfectly healthy piece with a well-encrusted base. This means that you should let that new frag base out for a good 6 months before snipping the dormant branch.
3. The stagnant branch is in the right place on the colony. For example, snipping axial corallites in the center of a tabling acro won't do you much good.

Basically, things have to be going well enough that the coral in question would have eventually done what you are prompting it to do anyway. You're just forcing its hand.
 
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jtietz

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What he said. It works, but it only works well under the following conditions:
1. Your tank is healthy enough that sps typically grow, encrust, and color up well.
2. The acro to be snipped is an otherwise perfectly healthy piece with a well-encrusted base. This means that you should let that new frag base out for a good 6 months before snipping the dormant branch.
3. The stagnant branch is in the right place on the colony. For example, snipping axial corallites in the center of a tabling acro won't do you much good.

Basically, things have to be going well enough that the coral in question would have eventually done what you are prompting it to do anyway. You're just forcing its hand.
Thank you. Keep following. Will be cutting tomorrow.
 
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jtietz

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Experiment has started.
Pis are bellow.(before and after)

-Pic 1: orange digitata- 1/4" cut
-Pic 2: green/purple acro- just tip cut
-PIc 3: tmnt montippra- scored with razor

I will keep yall posted weekly
 
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jtietz

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-Which one do you think will grow faster?
-Will there be any branching?
-Will nothing happen, heal over?
-Or did i just kill my corals? Lol
Please post, let me know what you think?
 

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