!!!THE VANISHING OF THE NUANCE!!!

Eric B

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Adam, Here is a coral I got as a small frag for free from a buddy and after about 3 years I took it out this past weekend to cut it back to a smaller colony because it had reached the surface and was growing sideways! Here is a picture of it sitting on a 5 gallon bucket and there was also a starry night colony next to it the same size that I had to also cut back as well as other, but those were the 2 largest!

ART_1451774838274.jpeg
 
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Battlecorals

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Adam, Here is a coral I got as a small frag for free from a buddy and after about 3 years I took it out this past weekend to cut it back to a smaller colony because it had reached the surface and was growing sideways! Here is a picture of it sitting on a 5 gallon bucket and there was also a starry night colony next to it the same size that I had to also cut back as well as other, but those were the 2 largest!

ART_1451774838274.jpeg

INSANE MAN! Nice post. This thread is getting very cool! Thanks for all the posts!
 

Nomadic1

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If all the nub sellers out there would actually give you something that is more than 1" in size for $400, maybe we wouldn't see so many nub tanks. Sorry, but, blame is due on those who sell and those who buy these nub/booger frags. I've been in the hobby 15 years now, and, when I started, an entire 6"+, nice SPS/LPS colony was less than what reef-raper sellers are selling 0.5" frags for.
 
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JBNY

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OK a little late to this thread. I agree that it is mostly impatience, as well as people who think that they need make back money on the $$$ frag they just bought. I find one of the interesting things is that people rarely show the mother colony of any of their frags. All I see are little bitty frags. To me that is a little disappointing as the frag when grown out looks completely different that when it is a frag.

So here is a picture of my tank from a few years back, but this was grown 100% from small frags. I am trying to grow out my current tank with just frags again and only having varying degrees of success, but I'll get there. To me growing out the tank is the fun part.

 
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Battlecorals

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OK a little late to this thread. I agree that it is mostly impatience, as well as people who think that they need make back money on the $$$ frag they just bought. I find one of the interesting things is that people rarely show the mother colony of any of their frags. All I see are little bitty frags. To me that is a little disappointing as the frag when grown out looks completely different that when it is a frag.

So here is a picture of my tank from a few years back, but this was grown 100% from small frags. I am trying to grow out my current tank with just frags again and only having varying degrees of success, but I'll get there. To me growing out the tank is the fun part.


not at all! was hoping this one would get updated her and there.

extremely good example! Those colonies consume the space quite well id say!
 

slojmn

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I am definitely enjoying this thread. I appreciate everyone's pictures and wow, just wow. There are gorgeous tanks with large colonies in the US. I, like Joe above, am trying to grow out my tank after serious issues. I prefer the growing out of frags. I like to see the progress over time of beautiful acro colonies growing. It certainly does take time to grow out tiny frags though. I have had some really tiny boogers that I chose to buy, I knew what I was getting and I wanted the coral but I have never been a fan of booger size frags but it seems to be the way certain vendors prefer to do business. We all make our own decisions and buy the corals we really want. However, I do like the chunky frags I consistently get from certain folks. I really look forward to seeing my frags become colonies and fill out the tank so I can add an awesome full tank shot to this thread in the future.
 

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Nice write-up Adam! Thanks for the kind words about my tank. I'm now attempting to do it again after the move and losing many of my large colonies. I must be out of my mind...
 

schprock

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I find the hardest thing to this hobby is to limit yourself to a certain number of sps and grow them into colonies. I make a rule of 5 sps and inadvertently always break my own rule.
For those who are divers in a mature reef especially in the indo pacific will notice that an area of a reef does not have many varieties of sps. You will usually see large colonies the size of a car everywhere crowding each other out. Again few species, but humongous sizes. And most of the corals are not very colorful. A good example of a tank that actually reflects the natural environment is the outdoor sps tank at Waikiki aquarium.
But if we were all to keep large brown corals, not many of us will stay in the hobby. On the other end of the spectrum, a tank that looks like a fruit stand may precipitate a seizure for the visiting reefer who forgot to take his anticonvulsants.

Waikiki aquarium outdoor tank Oct 2012
IMG_2599.JPG


Surge system
IMG_2600.JPG
 
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Battlecorals

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I find the hardest thing to this hobby is to limit yourself to a certain number of sps and grow them into colonies. I make a rule of 5 sps and inadvertently always break my own rule.
For those who are divers in a mature reef especially in the indo pacific will notice that an area of a reef does not have many varieties of sps. You will usually see large colonies the size of a car everywhere crowding each other out. Again few species, but humongous sizes. And most of the corals are not very colorful. A good example of a tank that actually reflects the natural environment is the outdoor sps tank at Waikiki aquarium.
But if we were all to keep large brown corals, not many of us will stay in the hobby. On the other end of the spectrum, a tank that looks like a fruit stand may precipitate a seizure for the visiting reefer who forgot to take his anticonvulsants.

Waikiki aquarium outdoor tank Oct 2012
IMG_2599.JPG


Surge system
IMG_2600.JPG

WOW that is no joke! Thanks for sharing!
 

erk

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I don't see it mentioned much, but why don't people prune their coral in a similar fashion to those with planted nature aquariums? Trim back the colony to a slightly smaller size than wanted and let it grow slightly past that point before pruning again. Since I don't see much talk pruning corals in this method, I'm unsure if you could eventually train the coral into a certain shape.

I also wonder why more people don't have large colonies. I see so many people on this site that have been in the hobby for a couple years with just nubs. Are they having problems growing coral and just don't say anything? I know this has been my problem until only maybe the last 3-4 months. Now I'm rushing to get a 40B setup to house the corals I've been growing in a 25 gal tub that are getting too crowded. I just hope nothing happens so these corals will become large colonies some day.
 

Reef UP

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snapseed-41.jpeg
20160401_175109-01.jpeg
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thanksgiving day ^^^^ first day set up
FB_IMG_1461558051587-01.jpeg

I usually go for the fill with everything I like then pluck out the less desirable to the strived for overall look.
I have high end crazy priced stuff to bargin bin which is what the last picture is of, and it's every bit as stunning as my pink Floyd and equally a favorite
FB_IMG_1462176019855.jpg

This tank is young and I anxiously await having another mature tank.
Great write up Adam always enjoy them, and as always Happy Reefing
 

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Hi Reef Up,...beautiful tank!...hope to see more pics as it matures.
I see you have a group of green Chromis. I want to get a group also but have been following a thread here on R2R regarding Uronema and Chromis (https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/uronema-marinum-will-ruin-your-day.243601/),...have you had issues with you Chromis,...any dos and don't you can share?
I been watching Dr's F&S live aqua,...they have been offering Black Axil Chromis which look like Green Chromis on steroids,... might make them a more sturdy fish but they are 10x the cost. I would hate to get a group and have them all die off due to Uronema.
I have also read that Chromis sometimes pick each other off, until your down to one or two but my tank is fairly large so the timid should be able to avoid the bullies.
Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance,---Rick
 
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Battlecorals

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My reef. Defiantly understanding the shading problems mentioned in this thread at this point.



Good call Steve! and really good looking tank here #Lake! thanks a ton for posting. would love to see more as well:) keep em coming!
 

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So, I'm glad I stumbled across this gem of a thread and thought it warranted a bump. I thought I'd also offer an opinion about the challenges reef keepers 'new' to the hobby face when they transition from finally being able to grow SPS to achieving the beautifully aquascaped mature tanks featured in this thread.
Aquarists in this transitional stage may think that since they've overcome the challenges of being able to get SPS to thrive in their tank that they are near the top of the learning curve, but it's just not true. Figuring out how to adjust your system to accommodate for the increased element demands/nutrient export needs/etc should be pretty straight forward at this point. What now gets to be the tough part is visualizing and planning for how these little nubs that are actually growing are going to look in a few years.
If you are like me, the initial climb up the dauntingly flat initial stretch of the learning curve was agonizingly slow and fraught with setbacks. I really can't blame the newly successful SPS keeper who, with nose pressed against glass looking at their beautiful little macro-view frags, feels a mixture of pride and despair. Pride that they FINALLY pulled it off...that hallelujah, my acropora have actually grown and are showing some awesome color. Despair that when they take a step back from the glass all that beauty is lost in the rockwork. With no prior experience to stay your hand, how could you possibly keep from hitting your LFS/online vendor for more frags in your new and hard won enthusiasm? I know I couldn't.
It's even tougher these days when the market proportionally has far more nubs/frags compared to mini-colonies for the enthusiast to chose from than was the case in years past. Furthermore, it can be hard to find images of what a given coral frag offered on a website would look like as a mature colony, making planning future aquascapes even tougher. I imagine the profit margin for a vendor offering aquacultured SPS is pretty slim and the need to chop mother colonies to keep product moving out the door must be a pretty powerful motivator against letting these mothers grow in all their splendor so they can post colony images alongside their offspring frags' WYSIWYG shots.
Difficulty in coral species identification contributes to the problem as well. I suspect vendors trying to get new SPS on the market need to wade through a flood of wild specimens, select a passel of those that grab their eye as having some potential for the hobby and then go through the years of husbandry to get a few successful aquacultured pieces to offer for sale. So to expect the vendor to be able to identify an individual coral's subspecies is pretty unreasonable. That being said, it would be nice if the consumer who clicked on the image of the newly offered SPS knew if it were an Acropora acuminata vs A. abrolhosensis and not just that its called "Cranberry Muffin Sublime." Googling Cranberry Muffin Sublime when its the hot new SPS on the scene would only yield a few macro shots of frags newly arrived in others' tanks. Googling Acropora acuminata, however would help the potential customer who is trying to plan a nice mature aquascape know if the C Muffin might fit in their design plan.
So, since there is not going to be a bunch of online vendors featuring subspecies indentifications and images of full grown mother colonies for the nubs they sell, the transitional SPS keeper probably has to resort to the hard and long school of experience before they come close to nailing their ultimate goal of establishing a tank like those featured in this thread. As I see it, with rare exception, there's just no getting around doing it wrong a few times before you can get close to doing it right. And does it suck that each attempt will take years? Well, yes an no. Obviously there is going to be a lot of frustration, but encountering new challenges and finally overcoming them is what will keep enthusiasm strong over decades...and not many hobbies can do that.

So here are old images of my Mature SPS Tank 1.0 that demonstrate how NOT to do it.
As you can clearly see, I fell victim to the "too many little frags syndrome" early on. And as the colonies got bigger and I had to do some pruning, I further compounded the problem by squeezing the cuttings into any available space. I just couldn't bring myself to discard nice healthy branches of the coral I had nurtured from 1 inch frags. So as you can see, I wound up with a cluttered mess of a tank with negligible negative space
2013FTS.jpg



2013 old tank sideshot.jpg



So now I am in the early stages of Mature SPS Tank 2.0. I hope it will wind up being a little closer to the amazing tanks in this thread. (I would be curious to know how many SPS tanks these reefers went through before achieving the hero tanks pictured here).
 

tigé21v

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The tanks full of dozens of colored golf balls don't do much for me.
A stag forest growing out of the water and tables the size of dinner plates- now THAT's a tank!!
 

tigé21v

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So, I'm glad I stumbled across this gem of a thread and thought it warranted a bump. I thought I'd also offer an opinion about the challenges reef keepers 'new' to the hobby face when they transition from finally being able to grow SPS to achieving the beautifully aquascaped mature tanks featured in this thread.
Aquarists in this transitional stage may think that since they've overcome the challenges of being able to get SPS to thrive in their tank that they are near the top of the learning curve, but it's just not true. Figuring out how to adjust your system to accommodate for the increased element demands/nutrient export needs/etc should be pretty straight forward at this point. What now gets to be the tough part is visualizing and planning for how these little nubs that are actually growing are going to look in a few years.
If you are like me, the initial climb up the dauntingly flat initial stretch of the learning curve was agonizingly slow and fraught with setbacks. I really can't blame the newly successful SPS keeper who, with nose pressed against glass looking at their beautiful little macro-view frags, feels a mixture of pride and despair. Pride that they FINALLY pulled it off...that hallelujah, my acropora have actually grown and are showing some awesome color. Despair that when they take a step back from the glass all that beauty is lost in the rockwork. With no prior experience to stay your hand, how could you possibly keep from hitting your LFS/online vendor for more frags in your new and hard won enthusiasm? I know I couldn't.
It's even tougher these days when the market proportionally has far more nubs/frags compared to mini-colonies for the enthusiast to chose from than was the case in years past. Furthermore, it can be hard to find images of what a given coral frag offered on a website would look like as a mature colony, making planning future aquascapes even tougher. I imagine the profit margin for a vendor offering aquacultured SPS is pretty slim and the need to chop mother colonies to keep product moving out the door must be a pretty powerful motivator against letting these mothers grow in all their splendor so they can post colony images alongside their offspring frags' WYSIWYG shots.
Difficulty in coral species identification contributes to the problem as well. I suspect vendors trying to get new SPS on the market need to wade through a flood of wild specimens, select a passel of those that grab their eye as having some potential for the hobby and then go through the years of husbandry to get a few successful aquacultured pieces to offer for sale. So to expect the vendor to be able to identify an individual coral's subspecies is pretty unreasonable. That being said, it would be nice if the consumer who clicked on the image of the newly offered SPS knew if it were an Acropora acuminata vs A. abrolhosensis and not just that its called "Cranberry Muffin Sublime." Googling Cranberry Muffin Sublime when its the hot new SPS on the scene would only yield a few macro shots of frags newly arrived in others' tanks. Googling Acropora acuminata, however would help the potential customer who is trying to plan a nice mature aquascape know if the C Muffin might fit in their design plan.
So, since there is not going to be a bunch of online vendors featuring subspecies indentifications and images of full grown mother colonies for the nubs they sell, the transitional SPS keeper probably has to resort to the hard and long school of experience before they come close to nailing their ultimate goal of establishing a tank like those featured in this thread. As I see it, with rare exception, there's just no getting around doing it wrong a few times before you can get close to doing it right. And does it suck that each attempt will take years? Well, yes an no. Obviously there is going to be a lot of frustration, but encountering new challenges and finally overcoming them is what will keep enthusiasm strong over decades...and not many hobbies can do that.

So here are old images of my Mature SPS Tank 1.0 that demonstrate how NOT to do it.
As you can clearly see, I fell victim to the "too many little frags syndrome" early on. And as the colonies got bigger and I had to do some pruning, I further compounded the problem by squeezing the cuttings into any available space. I just couldn't bring myself to discard nice healthy branches of the coral I had nurtured from 1 inch frags. So as you can see, I wound up with a cluttered mess of a tank with negligible negative space
2013FTS.jpg



2013 old tank sideshot.jpg



So now I am in the early stages of Mature SPS Tank 2.0. I hope it will wind up being a little closer to the amazing tanks in this thread. (I would be curious to know how many SPS tanks these reefers went through before achieving the hero tanks pictured here).
I love the side shot of that tank. You can tell how thick of a magnetic scraper you have. LOL
Looks like a freshly -cut lawn !
 

tigé21v

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IMG_2600.JPG
One of my favorite tanks was featured on RC a number of years ago. He had a surge system on his VERY mature tank. His tank was in the basement, and he pumped water up to his surge box- on the second floor of his house!
 

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