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FarmerTy

Maricultures colonies versus aquacultured frags

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Someone brought this up on another forum and I thought the information may be useful so I copied it here too.

 

While I always think its better to buy aquaculture frags from established tanks as the colors are already mature and you know what you're going to get, getting some mariculture colonies is a nice way to jump start your tank and have it look mature quicker.

 

For maris, some have more difficult times transitioning, which is why not everybody buys maris. I've had decent success with them with the following method:

 

1) Remove plug and put on my own... Plugs are just covered in all types of algae you don't want to go nuts in your tank.

 

2) Dip them all, not so much looking for AEFW but black bugs and sea spiders will make you shut down your tank, there is no cure for either but total shutdown.

 

3) Keep your tank alk at a lower value, below 7.5 dKh... Natural reefs have pretty low alk, often 6.5 dKh and below so having yours low too helps the transition IMO.

 

4) Put them directly in high light > 250 par. None of that start them on the same bed business unless they are deepwater acros.

 

They will take a long time to settle on final colors. I've had some do it in months, I've had some for 2 years still not color up.

 

For price value, you can't beat maris. Just don't expect all the colors to be there for awhile and expect a higher mortality rate than just collecting aquaculture frags.

 

I like to have a mix of maris and named pieces in the tank when first starting so it doesn't look so bare but over time, I usually phase out the maris to make room for my named pieces, unless I find a gem of a mariculture... Then I name it.

 

All I can say is avoid spathulata and abrotanoides. They will reel you in with their amazing colors straight from the facility but are crazy difficult and often don't make the transition. I've personally avoid millis these days too... Talk about ultimate bait and switch. They have ridiculous colors coming in and all end up turning into pretty boring colors under our lights for the most part. Plus, they have the highest mortality rate in my system... I've probably bought over 30+ maris over the years, with probably a 80% survival rate long-term and the 20% of deaths, about 3/4 of that are millis. They just do great for 2-3 months and then spend the next 3 slowly STNing away. Just my personal experience though, maybe they just don't like my tank. FWIW, my aquacultured millis are growing just fine.

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Here's exactly what I'm talking about with the old tank. I circled all the maris. Makes it look fuller when you first start your tank so you aren't staring at a bunch of 1" sticks.

I sold most of them off over the years as my named pieces started growing larger. The gems I kept and named.

36e0f41a85e9565477bbff874ffa93aa.jpg

As opposed to the new tank where I have a bunch more named pieces and much less maris.

f4919d84c6af49aa867d3e253ac5c4d0.jpg

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Anyways, just wanted to share in case it helped out anybody looking into mariculture colonies of acros.

Let's use this thread as a good discussion point for those with questions regarding maris.

There are plenty on the club that buy them and have success with them too so hopefully they share their success stories and points of failure to avoid on them as well!

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+1 on the removal from he concrete plug and dipping it. There are so many nooks and crannies in those plugs and spots where critters can hide, it's not worth the risk. Some of my maris have been absolutely gorgeous and some have not retained their colors.

For the most part I view maris as being nicer than just wild corals. The thing about maris is that the farmer is usually finding the nicest coral available and propagating it in the wild, so you're rarely getting some ugly brown coral. Like you said Ty, it's a great way to get good color in your tank quickly. Is it he best color? No, not usually. The named corals that go for a pretty penny are those that have gone through more rounds of selection based on coloration and therefore demand a higher price.

I agree that maris do best under higher light. Usually they look dull and ugly under lower light conditions. Most of the Milles I've gotten don't retain those amazing colors from the store. I've only had one mille that looked amazing, turned bland, and has begun to get those amazing colors back half a year later.

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1 hour ago, FarmerTy said:

Makes it look fuller when you first start your tank so you aren't staring at a bunch of 1" sticks.

This is exactly what I'm having to deal with now.  With all the newbie research I did most everything instructed "aquaculture only".  Also I had the perception that there was a stigma on those that bought colonies as opposed to growing out their own frags. 

My tank has a great assortment of SPS and I think it will be an outstanding display. . . when they all grow out.  Until then it looks weird and I don't really know how long the wait will be - a couple years? 

I never would have known you had bought colonies for your tank if you hadn't said anything and it does make the tank much more enjoyable to look at.  I wish I had a little more experience at the time and a separate coral QT.  I think in hindsight I would have purchased a few colonies for fillers as well.

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This is exactly what I'm having to deal with now.  With all the newbie research I did most everything instructed "aquaculture only".  Also I had the perception that there was a stigma on those that bought colonies as opposed to growing out their own frags. 
My tank has a great assortment of SPS and I think it will be an outstanding display. . . when they all grow out.  Until then it looks weird and I don't really know how long the wait will be - a couple years? 
I never would have known you had bought colonies for your tank if you hadn't said anything and it does make the tank much more enjoyable to look at.  I wish I had a little more experience at the time and a separate coral QT.  I think in hindsight I would have purchased a few colonies for fillers as well.
No, I think you took the correct path. When I started maris, I'd already been keeping acros for 3 years so I think that leant to the success with them. If someone was just jumping out the gates trying to keep acros, I would not recommend that route. You'd end up spending $50-$75 a colony and killing 3 or 4 right out of the gate probably. That's an expensive lesson to learn.

Now that you've gotten the hang of them and they are doing well in your tank, experimenting with 1 or 2 wouldn't be a bad idea.

FWIW, my 125 gallon was grown completely from either 1" frags or 3-5 zoa polyp frags except for 1 or 2 pieces. I was pretty proud of that fact but when I went all acros and got a larger tank, the tank looked so bare and so I tried some Mari colonies to fill in the tank a bit and it worked out great for me.fb6daa39c002d87704628b795cd1bef0.jpg610511888277c94005e1c3f91df3e5fd.jpg
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Awesome info! I appreciate it cuz I'm always contemplating buying some since they're so much bigger than the frags I have. 

Have you ever bought any from river city? They always seem to have a few... but obviously aren't showing any crazy colors. 

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Awesome info! I appreciate it cuz I'm always contemplating buying some since they're so much bigger than the frags I have. 
Have you ever bought any from river city? They always seem to have a few... but obviously aren't showing any crazy colors. 
I've bought them from everywhere... RCA, Aquadome, Austin aqua farms, Aquatek, online vendors... Back of someone's car in a dark alley... You name it.

I don't worry about current colors... Half the fun is finding the diamond in the rough. If its got just a hint of the right coloes I'm looking for, I'll jump on it.

Just a heads up, rough color guide to final colors:

Yellow = green final color
Purple = blue or purple final color
Pinks = usually reds or even brownish red final color

Don't be fooled by current colors... They usually change. Also growth form too... They'll sprout out often to entirely different growth forms than what you bought it as.
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I should emphasize, they have high mortality rates if your system isn't spot on. So you can try them, but just know the risks that may come with them too.

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Ok good to know. I may try one here soon since I really feel my tank is coming around lately. 

But if I get one that is tan...and it turns poop brown...I'm gonna start pointing the finger. 

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psh no abroitanoides? Quitter! Stick em up top in front of the MP60. 

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Ok good to know. I may try one here soon since I really feel my tank is coming around lately. 
But if I get one that is tan...and it turns poop brown...I'm gonna start pointing the finger. 
I better start growing a mustache and thinking of a new screename... RancherTy... Hmmm... Nobody will be the wiser. Yes!
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psh no abroitanoides? Quitter! Stick em up top in front of the MP60. 
I got two in the frag tank. f752889f58a2edcb9dd66c98cc151fd2.gif

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I've bought them from everywhere... RCA, Aquadome, Austin aqua farms, Aquatek, online vendors... Back of someone's car in a dark alley... You name it.

I don't worry about current colors... Half the fun is finding the diamond in the rough. If its got just a hint of the right coloes I'm looking for, I'll jump on it.

Just a heads up, rough color guide to final colors:

Yellow = green final color
Purple = blue or purple final color
Pinks = usually reds or even brownish red final color

Don't be fooled by current colors... They usually change. Also growth form too... They'll sprout out often to entirely different growth forms than what you bought it as.
Good to know the colors change for you too. All of mine normally turn brown or white hahah. But now that my CaRx is getting tuned in, ill see how else I can mess them up.

In all seriousness. I really intend on buying 50% Maris for my build. I hope this Indonesian stoppage is short-term, because all of the options are going to be much more expensive then $50.

Then maybe, if I can prove to myself that I can grow stony corals at a good rate, I will look at substituing quality/high end for them. But im not even thinkin about that.
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Oh and by the way. Very helpful for you to post this.

If only you posted this earlier, I wouldn't have PM'd you so many times :firefirefire:

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Good to know the colors change for you too. All of mine normally turn brown or white hahah. But now that my CaRx is getting tuned in, ill see how else I can mess them up.

In all seriousness. I really intend on buying 50% Maris for my build. I hope this Indonesian stoppage is short-term, because all of the options are going to be much more expensive then $50.

Then maybe, if I can prove to myself that I can grow stony corals at a good rate, I will look at substituing quality/high end for them. But im not even thinkin about that.


Oh yeah, besides green, just assume almost all colors will change, whether they just get darker or change colors entirely.

Aussies are where its at. I love wilds! Just seeing what you may get is exciting.

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3 hours ago, FarmerTy said:


 

 


Oh yeah, besides green, just assume almost all colors will change, whether they just get darker or change colors entirely.

Aussies are where its at. I love wilds! Just seeing what you may get is exciting.

Assuming you can maintain those great Aussie colors! I feel like ULNSs make great Aussie tanks, keeps them that beautiful pale pastel color that the wilds usually come in with.

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Matt from Boom Corals put some wild and mari colonies for sale after Ty's post was made into an article over on R2R.  Pretty timely; I think Matt has a good eye for marketing opportunities.  😀

I didn't buy a colony, but he did have a very nice wild that he was keeping for himself but willing to cut some large frags from.  I splurged and bought one to put on the rack and take a chance because I really liked the colors.  Hopefully I'll get a lucky break and it retains them.  The piece he's cutting from is below:

boom-1966-jpg.751181

boom-1994-jpg.751269

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Matt from Boom Corals put some wild and mari colonies for sale after Ty's post was made into an article over on R2R.  Pretty timely; I think Matt has a good eye for marketing opportunities. 
I didn't buy a colony, but he did have a very nice wild that he was keeping for himself but willing to cut some large frags from.  I splurged and bought one to put on the rack and take a chance because I really liked the colors.  Hopefully I'll get a lucky break and it retains them.  The piece he's cutting from is below:
boom-1966-jpg.751181
boom-1994-jpg.751269
I'm going to make Matt send me a colony just for drumming up business for him.

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