With our ever present fixation on truly unique corals, we’re always looking for new, rare, uncommon and exotic species and strains of corals, especially the small polyp stony corals. Some people seek ‘rare’ corals with blue light, orange glasses and a colorful imagination, but we prefer to direct our attention toward new points of origin for aquarium corals, which is why we’ve been such a big cheerleader for the opening of Papua New Guinea and the reopening of the Solomon Islands.
But after years of wishing, hoping and praying, we’ve learned that Biota Palau has finally unlocked permission from the Palau government to farm and export stony corals from this hotspot of reef biodiversity that has loads of species and strains that we’ve never seen in the reef aquarium hobby. Better yet, since Biota represents the antidote to biopiracy by cultivating reef animals in the country where they originate, Biota will be able to create many new jobs to employ people from the local community – a win-win for both reefers and the natural environment!
Considering the rarity of SPS from the West pacific Ocean the prices for Palau cultured Acropora direct from Biota aren’t that bad with corals starting at $90 for assorted miniature colonies and one of their first named strain, the Figment Dragon Acropora, is $180 for a piece large enough to appreciate on day one. Having traveled to Palau just under four years ago, we were able to dive many different types of coral reef environments and surveyed a wealth of LPS and SPS corals, so we know firsthand that there are oodles of species and strains that we just can’t wait to start working with under reef aquarium conditions. [Reef2Rainforest]