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Contents:

  1. [M][R] Acropora - Care
    by steve/rhythm.com (Steve Tyree) (Mon, 25 Oct 1993)
  2. (M) Restricted live rock collection in Florida
    by tse/ra.nrl.navy.mil (Anthony Tse) (Fri, 12 Feb 1993)
  3. (M) Restricted live rock collection in Florida
    by steve/celia.UUCP (Steve Tyree) (17 Feb 93)
  4. (M) Restricted live rock collection in Florida)
    by josh/cqs.washington.edu (Josh Hayes) (13 Feb 93)
  5. Coral growth rates (was Re: (M) Restricted live rock collection in Florida)
    by dbs/hprnd.rose.hp.com (Dave Sheehy) (Thu, 18 Feb 1993)
  6. Coral growth rates (was Re: (M) Restricted live rock collection in Florida)
    by josh/cqs.washington.edu (Josh Hayes) (18 Feb 93)
  7. Acropora Parasite
    by steve/rhythm.com (Steve Tyree) (Sun, 5 Sep 1993)

[M][R] Acropora - Care

by steve/rhythm.com (Steve Tyree)
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1993
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

In article  sbjie-at-engr.psu.edu (Sanjay Joshi) writes:
>I picked up a roughly tennis ball size of Acropora species coral today at the 
>local fish store.  It is the kind with thick branches, and brown colored.  The 
>tips of the branches are lighter, some are white.  I have had it the tank for 
>a day now, but haven't seem any polyps expand.  It has some dark brown specks 
>all over the branches (which I guess are the retracted polyps).  Having never 
>kept or seen such a coral before, I have several questions regarding its care, 
>and indications of well being.

>1) I have placed it high in the tank, about 3" from the top of the water, 
>right under one of the MH lights.

 Mike Paletta has made the observation that dark brown or medium brown acropora
should be kept low in the tank and slowly acclimated over a month to the upper
regions of the reef (personal communication). If they are exposed to bright 
lite while in a weakened state, the base can recede due to over production of
oxygen in the darkest brown (highest zoox) regions of the colony. The tips
will continue to grow in most cases. Once acclimated and healthy they can be
moved to higher lighting where slowly a lighter color will develop and colorful
pigments might also show. In some cases though the lightening causes previous
non-brown pigments to fade. Very confusing !

>2) the tank has quite a strong current.  Do I need to direct any water 
>directly at it to provide a direct storng current. ?

 The basic rule of thumb is the thicker the branches the stronger the current.
Do not direct strong water at the colony while in a weakened state. This can
cause receding.

>3) How do I tell, that this coral is thrivng and doing well ?  With the other 
>corals in my tank I can pretty much tell by how expanded they are, etc.  With 
>this one since it is not "fleshy" and has'nt really extended any polyps I am 
>not sure how to tell. ?  If the polyps do come out, how large should they be.

 The polyps should extend after an hour or two of lights out. The healthier the
colony gets, the ealier the polyps come out. If very healthy, the polyps part-
ially extend during the day. Some species always extend polyps.

>4) The coral has 5 major branches with each branch having 3-5 tips (sub 
>branches), and is roughly the size between a racketball and tennis ball.  What 
>is the typical selling price for such a coral ?  

 $65 to $85 bargain retail. The price is dropping and it all depends on the
wholesalers price and how much the retailer jacked it up. Blue tipped or
blue or pink or purple colonies sell for over a $100. Very large colonies
sell for over $200. These are southern cal prices which might be lower
because of proximatey to wholesalers.

>5) Are there any special instructions/techniques for keeping these corals ?  
>From reading posts, I know some of you have been successful in growing these 
>in your tanks.  So any help from the "Acropora Gurus" will be very 
>appreciated.  I have'nt had a coral die in two years now, and would hate to 
>see this one suffer.

 Follow my above suggestions and everything should be fine. You could also
look for acropora eating snails and worms at night with a flashlight. My main
reef now has 33 species of which 29 are whole colonies. Their are also up to
50 fragmented acropora with a few large enough to classify as colonies. So
I know a little about them :>  Feel free to ask questions. Certain reefs can
have problems proliferating these corals.

 Steve Tyree - Reef Breeder


(M) Restricted live rock collection in Florida

by tse/ra.nrl.navy.mil (Anthony Tse)
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1993
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria,rec.aquaria,sci.aquaria,rec.scuba

In article <1993Feb12.035035.17191-at-credence.com> spass-at-or.credence.com (Spass Stoiantschewsky) writes:
>In some article dbs-at-hprnd.rose.hp.com (Dave Sheehy) writes:
>>John Penix (jpenix-at-uceng.uc.edu) wrote:
>
>acropora (sp?):
>
>>: If coral grows so fast, why don't you grow it
>>: in your tank?  You could have a nice football sized grouping in a
>>: couple of years, heck you might be able to fill your bathtub :)
>...
>i visited the (closed for renovations) Waikiki Aquarium this past october,
>and got a tour by Dr. Carlson.  he has two large (350g ?) agro-bins filled
>with a *very* wide variety of corals (for anyone who went to MACNA, these
>were the bins that had accidentally drained, and exposed the corals...).
>anyway, he has a hard time keeping the corals from actually growing out of the 
>water...without having to worry about the bins draining accidentally.
>these two bins alone are enough to convince me that with some sensible
>aquaculturing, corals can *easily* be grown at *commercially viable* rates.
>
>to me, this really means one thing about the whole argument about live
>rock harvesting in florida and elsewhere...we should be able to harvest
>all we want (300 tons annually is a pittance), the reef can easily support
>our needs.  but it cannot support the other damage done to it through
>pollution via fertilizer, sewage, etc.
>
    It is entirely too bad that damage due to pollution and curio trade
had wipe out so much reef before there is even a reef tank hobby to
speak of.  It is entirely too bad that acropora is protected because of
all the damage done before there is a reef hobby.  Cause if any hard coral
can be grown commercially with ease, it's acropora.  You just drop a
small piece in your tank, and watch it grow.  It doesn't appear to be
anymore difficult then growing soft coral.  Finding a starter piece
though, can be a year long quest.

-Anthony


(M) Restricted live rock collection in Florida

by steve/celia.UUCP (Steve Tyree)
Date: 17 Feb 93
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria,rec.aquaria,sci.aquaria,rec.scuba

In article <C25Cxw.Cvw-at-uceng.uc.edu> jpenix-at-uceng.uc.edu (John Penix) writes:

>There are a hell of alot more forests than coral reefs, but we seem to be
>running out of them too.  If coral grows so fast, why don't you grow it
>in your tank?  You could have a nice football sized grouping in a
>couple of years, heck you might be able to fill your bathtub :)

 I have a football sized colony of Acropora sp. in my reef. It has more 
than doubled in size and has sprouted over a hundred new branches. They
happen to be one of the fastest growing stony corals. When they are put
in a ideal environment they develop a natural pigmentation that looks
incredible under actinic lighting. This coral was rather brown when I
received it due to a probable inadequate location on the reef. 

 Steve Tyree - Reef Breeder


(M) Restricted live rock collection in Florida)

by josh/cqs.washington.edu (Josh Hayes)
Date: 13 Feb 93
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria,rec.aquaria,sci.aquaria,rec.scuba

Just to inject a little factual material here...

Stony coral (Scleractinian) growth rates are, with a couple notable exceptions,
in the ballpark of 1 cm skeletal extension per year. Some common Caribbean species,
for example Montastrea annularis and M. cavernosa, and most members of the Agaricia
complex, grow at this rate.

The exceptions fall largely in two related families of more or less ramose
(branched) forms: the Acroporidae and the Pocilloporidae. In the Caribbean,
the former is represented almost entirely by Acropora cervicornis (staghorn
coral) and A. palmata (elkhorn coral); the latter can extend up to about
10 cm per year, and the former has been observed to extend up to 20 cm in
a single year. Remember, however, that these are branching forms and less
carbonate secretion is required to produce a given extension in such forms
than in, say, a massive, or a plating, form. The Pocilloporids are Indo-Pacific,
and comprise almost all of the branching colonies seen in those areas. Species
within the genus Pocillopora are a mess right now, but all seem to grow at
about the same 5-15 cm/year rate of the Acroporids.

Neither of the branching forms is particularly hardy; the acroporids have
been particularly hard-hit (especially A. cervicornis) by the recent Western
Atlantic bleaching events.

I can supply references for these observations to interested parties; we now
return you to your regularly-scheduled flamefest. Cheers.

(Dr.) Josh Hayes, reef biologist in exile in Seattle; at least the beer is good
--
 Josh Hayes, Quantitative Sciences HR-20 U of Washington
  josh-at-pogo.cqs.washington.edu             206 543-5004
 Scalp 'em, Tantric!		       Groovy, Kemosabe. 


Coral growth rates (was Re: (M) Restricted live rock collection in Florida)

by dbs/hprnd.rose.hp.com (Dave Sheehy)
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1993
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria,rec.aquaria,sci.aquaria,rec.scuba

Josh Hayes (josh-at-cqs.washington.edu) wrote:
: The exceptions fall largely in two related families of more or less ramose
: (branched) forms: the Acroporidae and the Pocilloporidae. In the Caribbean,
: the former is represented almost entirely by Acropora cervicornis (staghorn
: coral) and A. palmata (elkhorn coral); the latter can extend up to about
: 10 cm per year, and the former has been observed to extend up to 20 cm in
: a single year. Remember, however, that these are branching forms and less
: carbonate secretion is required to produce a given extension in such forms
: than in, say, a massive, or a plating, form. 

The two acropora corals you mention are responsible for the bulk of the reef
struture in the Carribean. The next largest contributors to the reef are
Millepora and Porites(?) which come in a distant 3rd and 4th. The references
I have read imply that this is largely due to their fantastic growth rates (as
compared to other corals). This would seem to conflict with your contention
that Acropora corals due not outgrow other corals in terms of volume. Perhaps
you could supply some of your references. I for one, welcome any objective
information I can get.

:  Josh Hayes, Quantitative Sciences HR-20 U of Washington

Dave Sheehy


Coral growth rates (was Re: (M) Restricted live rock collection in Florida)

by josh/cqs.washington.edu (Josh Hayes)
Date: 18 Feb 93
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria,rec.aquaria,sci.aquaria,rec.scuba

dbs-at-hprnd.rose.hp.com (Dave Sheehy) writes:

>The two acropora corals you mention are responsible for the bulk of the reef
>struture in the Carribean. The next largest contributors to the reef are
>Millepora and Porites(?) which come in a distant 3rd and 4th. The references
>I have read imply that this is largely due to their fantastic growth rates (as
>compared to other corals). This would seem to conflict with your contention
>that Acropora corals due not outgrow other corals in terms of volume. Perhaps
>you could supply some of your references. I for one, welcome any objective
>information I can get.

Oh ho, pedantry alert: Millepora is not a coral, it's a hydrozoan. But
never mind that; it's certainly a contributor to reef structure.

You are correct that elkhorn and staghorn (and in that order, I think)
contribute a lot to reef structure. They are abundant in shallow water,
and prone to fragmentation due to the comparatively fragile colony
structure (especially true of staghorn). They also grow rapidly, as
we've all come to agree. They've also historically been VERY abundant,
but this is changing. Elkhorn remains abundant in the high-energy
shallows, where very few other species do well, and no other species
grows very fast at all - Agaricia (not sure what the common name is
for this group...lettuce coral?) settles all over the place but the
skeletal elements seem to be quite unstable: they contribute very
little to reef formation despite being pretty abundant.

It's interesting to note that all the forms you mention are branching
to a greater or lesser extent (well, Porites has encrusting and massive
forms as well, but I bet the ramose form constitutes the bulk of the
reef building). I don't know why that would be, except that a) all of
these species are extremely abundant, and b) they grow rapidly. I'm not
saying they don't grow fast, I'm just saying it's misleading to think
of staghorn as growing 20 times faster than, say, Agaricia or Montastrea.

Probably the problem arises out of sloppy use of the term "growth";
certainly I've been pretty lax in my use. Mea culpa. But branching
forms grow in a way that we measure as extension, that is, how far
was it from my tag to the branch tip last year, and how far is it
now? Massive and encrusting forms present special problems; typically
one takes thin sections of these colonies and takes an X-ray of them
to look at density banding. The comparison between the two is like
measuring "growth" in a line segment as the ends are extended, and
measuring "growth" in a circle as we increase the radius.

Staghorn coral also suffers high mortality rates compared to other
corals. To the extent that ANY coral is r-selected, I guess staghorn
is: live fast, die young.

Josh Hayes, Quantitative Sciences HR-20 U of Washington

>Dave Sheehy
--
 Josh Hayes, Quantitative Sciences HR-20 U of Washington
  josh-at-pogo.cqs.washington.edu             206 543-5004
 Scalp 'em, Tantric!		       Groovy, Kemosabe. 


Acropora Parasite

by steve/rhythm.com (Steve Tyree)
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 1993
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria,sci.aquaria

 Just recieved a call from a very experienced reefer who lives
in Orange County California. He lost a acropora colony during
the last 24 hours while two others in his reef were not affected.
Just by chance he happened to turn on his lighting very early
today and discovered that a white slug like parasite was eating
the brown skin of the acropora. He made a video tape of the 
beastie which I will hopefully see soon. It is unkown whether
the slug was eating dead skin or living skin but the reefer
(Huey) seems to think that the parasite killed the coral.
Anyone who has these types of coral should occasionally examine
the colony with a flashlight looking for the white colored
organism. Huey also seems to think that the symbiotic crabs
which are regularly seen living inbetween acropora branches 
might eat the parasites but this has not been verified. We
should be very careful when transferring corals around. My reef
is becomming all stonys with a main acropora theme and an out-
break of those parasites would be most unwelcome. The parasite
apparently can kill the colony very fast and has not been id-
entified as of yet.

 Steve Tyree - Reef Breeder


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