The story of what Jamie Craggs and friends have accomplished with their ‘manufactured’ mother colonies is nothing short of astounding. Working at the Horniman Museum and Aquarium, in less than 12 months they went from frags, to sexually viable colonies to planned sexually spawning of SPS corals in an aquarium, in completely un-tropical London England.
The process of trying to spawn Acropora in an aquarium began with the creation of a “supercolony” by cementing many frags of a clone of Acropora valida together to create one colony about 20 inches across, and repeated for another genotype of Acropora prostrata. Most species of stony corals will only spawn when the colony has reached a certain size, but being able to re-fuse genetically identical frags into a viable coral colony is a first for the purposes of sexual broadcast spawning.
That alone is an amazing step to circumvent the need for growing a single coral colony into a suitable size for two to three years until it reaches the required size for sexual viability. Critical attention to nutrition, photoperiod, lunar period and seasonal timing cues culminated in the first induced broadcast coral spawning in an aquarium of both colony species with amazing precision. Check out the video of the fruits of the Horniman Coral Lab’s labor in action and for the full story, check out the great write up by Mr. Craggs himself in the March/April issue of CORAL Magazine. [Horniman]