SPS Coral and You

Wooobly-wooble (Frogspawn, of the Euphllia family)

Wooobly-wooble (Frogspawn, of the Euphllia family)

A quick post for Sunday –

For me, the main pleasure of keeping a miniature reef is the color.  I’m fairly sure that the difference between my aesthetics in reef design and Ursula’s is that she’s drawn to multiple media within the same tank – when we browse the coral, she’s instinctively drawn to the ones that have some fluidity to them, allowing them to move within the current.  She refers to these as “wooble” coral and that third eye of mine that’s trained on the future foresees her tank as an idyllic maelstrom of motion which, in keeping with her penchant for oddities, will then eat her.

Lineage colony "Purple Hornets" or "Why Do You Need to Borrow $200 Again?"

Lineage colony - "Purple Hornets" or "Why Do You Need to Borrow $300 Again?"

Myself, I have an obsession with color.  All color, the brighter the better.  As I am still fairly new to the hobby, I’ve mainly been collecting zoanthids.  The “zoos” are hardy, easy to propagate, and come in all colors of the rainbow.  Some are “named” zoos (here we go with the semi-arbitrary quotation marks again…), which are zoos that have a distinct colors or pattern of colors.  Many named zoos have a distinct lineage that can be traced back to colonies that were wild-caught and have since been propagated through aquaculture.  I’m one of the many who have a little “zoo garden,” or a couple dozen different varieties growing within the same general area of my tank for a nice landscaping effect… or did, until that Peyssonnelia stated to encrust them.

I’ve saved clippings of each colony so I can regrow them when the Peyssonnelia subsides (actually, this past weekend I’ve noticed that some of the colonies are now starting to overgrow the Peyssonnelia!  Go go yellow-white light spectrum!).  However, before I realized the Peyssonnelia was starting to lose ground, I started deviating into SPS coral.  Small polyped stony corals (SPS) can be difficult to keep and are harder to find than most corals, and as I set a $20 budget on each frag I put in the tank, very difficult for me to acquire.  But I’m getting more experienced with this stuff, and the two SPS frags I found to test whether or not I could keep them alive have neither died nor fled screaming, and in fact look pretty darned healthy.  And as many SPS grow up, this meant that I could easily keep the Peyssonnelia from encrusting them as long as I kept the base clean.

And some of them… oh wow.

The "Aqua Delight" - Like a box of crayons that dies if you turn off your skimmer.

SPS "Aqua Delight" - Like a box of crayons that dies if you turn off your skimmer.

In an earlier post, I mentioned I was waiting on some frags that had been delayed by the snow; in a follow-up post, I noted the frags had arrived dead.  Well, the gentleman who sold them to me was good enough to send me a second batch to replace the losses, and they are lovely.  Um… I guess I should say they are proto-lovely… each frag is less than an inch long and doesn’t show much of how they will look when they mature into adult colonies.  They are also still rather pissy from being mailed in a dark box, but they are gradually losing the brownish hue they had when they arrived and are taking on the hints of color found in the parent colony.   It’s going to take at least two years before I have a colony like the one in the picture, but my “Aqua Delight” is already a favorite.  I’m going to enjoy watching it grow up and fill out.

~ by KBSpangler on March 23, 2009.

6 Responses to “SPS Coral and You”

  1. I’m also falling in love with the SPS corals. I’m afraid to get them because I keep reading about how hard they are to keep. So I plan I going FOWLR until I get used to the whole water quality thing and then add some zoos. (My god some of those are gorgeous) If everything goes well with those then I’ll add some easier SPS. Prolly a birdsnest of some variety.

    I wish you luck with yours. That Aqua Delight is simply amazing. Maybe post some pics of the tank when your frags colour up?

    • Sure! I’m woefully terrible with a camera but I’ll see if I can get a nice closeup when the colors return.

  2. Some day you’ll get a phone call, and even though it’ll have my number on the caller ID, when you answer it, all you’ll here will be a distant, sinister woobling…

    • Not that I wish you any harm whatsoever, but given the overall strangeness of your life…

  3. Yes, “that” SJ, I fear. Visited because of the pointer on the strip. Waaaay back in the last millennium, my first job was with an aquarium store. The first aquarium store in Houston to stock salt-water fish.

    My, my, things have changed since then. If you could time-travel back to the old House of Fish, my boss would declare you a goddess and worship you with any rites you cared to suggest, as long as you’d drop the occasional bit of Future Fishy Skillz. I mean, he was highly advanced, because he let hair algae grow on the back of his otherwise shiny/sterile tanks full of blinding-white dead coral. My, things have changed, and they have changed for the prettier.

    • I know, exciting, right? I can’t wait to see what the next ten years look like as we finally figure out methods that keep marine livestock fat and healthy, instead of treating them like disposable hothouse flowers.

      P.S.: My friends say “Thank you.”

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