The biggest challenge in reef keeping is keeping the alchemy of light, flow, nutrients and chemistry stable for long enough that corals grow to an appreciable size. But once corals really take off, our favorite part of reefing is grooming and curating the colonies to grow in the most aesthetically pleasing way that is flattering to the species and gels with neighboring corals to create a pleasing reef aquarium aquascape.
We are thankfully getting to this stage of development in our Waterbox 7225 flagship reef tank where some of the earliest corals have grown much larger than frags we added later, and some species or colonies have grown way out of proportion with everything else. As you can see in some of our recent videos we’ve been doing a lot of coral curation around the Studio reef tanks lately, restarting a big colony of Red Dragon Acropora carduus, and grafting a nice thick branching staghorn Acropora back to its own skeleton (which is progressing well we might add).
In this video we continue this current phase of grooming some of our SPS corals with two Acropora getting grafted to themselves – basically cutting out the midsection of the colony and gluing the most actively growing part of the coral to its live encrusted base which we’ve performed on the classic WWC yellow tip stag, a well known fast growing coral, and a thinner branching strain called the WWC Joe Dirt Acro.
We have to admit that we were a little bit lucky with how the corals fragged apart and then came together again, in precisely the ways that we had hoped and are still holding fast and beginning to heal over their grafting points. The yellow tipped, purple polyped Milka Stylophora wasn’t so lucky as it got hacked down to a literal nub using a small hammer to make short work of the branches which were well beyond hogging space in the far end of this peninsula reef tank. We’ve been waiting a long time to share these entertaining videos of grooming corals in parts of the tanks that are becoming crowded but now that we’re mostly caught up, in future videos we’ll be adding new corals to this tank which have been in a holding pattern in other tanks, waiting for real estate to free up.