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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Coral Farming


In my opinion coral farming is any self sustaining means of reproducing corals in captivity. This would include a hobbyist working from one or more aquariums, to greenhouse setups, to farming parts of the ocean floor. This is different from a chop shop approach, where a coral is chopped up and all of the pieces are sold. The key here is being able to have a sustainable harvest without depleting the parent stock.

The first step to becoming a good coral farmer is to become a good reef keeper. You must gain an understanding of the needs of the animals you plan to keep. Finding the best conditions for each animal and being able to sustain the parent. Learning the conditions needed for growth and what conditions aid in the healing of the parent and the frags. The setup of coral farming systems are different from most reef systems. Research and experimentation will help you plan out your systems. Get with someone who is farming corals and ask for advice.

When deciding which corals to farm, start with what you know. Ask your local LFS’s which corals they sell more of. I chose to start with beginner corals, Zoa’s, leathers, and the like. They seemed to be the most cost effective way to begin for me. Some people prefer to farm SPS’s. Remember that separate systems may be needed for each type of coral you plan to farm.

Choose your parent stock carefully. Dip and quarantine new stock. Spend a little extra time and money to get a good color. Color sells. Buy from a dealer you know. IMO it is worth paying retail in order to see it before you buy it. Yes, it will take longer to recover you investment, but I feel it is worth it. Trading with other farmers and hobbyist is another good source of attaining live stock and a chance to exchange knowledge. Give your new stock a chance to acclimate to their new environment. I wait for 30 days before I frag a new coral. This is to reduce stress on the animal. Think about it: a coral is pulled from the reef on one day, packed and shipped to a wholesaler the next day. Then it is unpacked and placed in a system. After setting for a few hours to a few days, it is packed and shipped to a retailer. The retail places it into another system where it sets for a few hours to a few days. Then you come along buy it and take it home, dip it and place it in another system. Now after all of that, wouldn’t you want to wait a few days before someone chopped you up?

Do your research and decide which methods of fragmentation and attachment will work the best for your corals. If possible make your own plugs. When you start fraging, concentrate on producing more parent stock.

Plan ahead of time on how you plan to sell your corals and who you will be selling them to. Who do you plan to sell to? Are you going to trade with your fellow hobbyist? Do you plan to sell them to individuals on the internet? Do you plan to sell wholesale to retail stores? You also need to figure out any shipping that may be involved. In my opinion the retail market is the area that would have the greatest impact on protecting the reefs. By removing demand and provide a less stressed product. After all IMO the two main reasons to farm coral are protection of the natural reefs and of course to make money.

It has been my experience that growing corals for profit under lights is hard. The replacement of bulbs and other overhead greatly limits profits. I believe that the greenhouse method may be the best choice for me, but that will take some time to work up to.

Farming corals is not for everyone it takes a large investment in time and money. Having said that every hobbyist can do their part by sharing frags from their corals, just by trimming back excess growth and trade the frags.


After saying all of that, I will be posting info on this post showing how I farm corals.

Ken
 

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Excellent write up!

Fragging and prompagating corals is definitely the future of this hobby as I am not sure that the oceans resources can continue to be harvested like it has been. Anything that can be done by those in the hobby will definitely help the hobby and the oceans by lowing the demand placed on our natrual resources.

On another note there are a number of articles in the how to sections at Geothermal Aquaculture Research Foundation. These are all very informative and they offer a lot go good advice and food for though from start to finish. Their Fragging DVD is also pretty good too as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Excellent write up!

Fragging and prompagating corals is definitely the future of this hobby as I am not sure that the oceans resources can continue to be harvested like it has been. Anything that can be done by those in the hobby will definitely help the hobby and the oceans by lowing the demand placed on our natrual resources.

On another note there are a number of articles in the how to sections at Geothermal Aquaculture Research Foundation. These are all very informative and they offer a lot go good advice and food for though from start to finish. Their Fragging DVD is also pretty good too as well.
Thanks for the link, but I found Garf a few years back. They have a lot of good info.
 
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