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Fragging a hammer plate


mcallahan

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From wetwetwebmedia; about a third od the way down,

Fragging Euphyloa ancora

Excerpt;

Fragging Euphyllia ancora - 01/05/06

Crew,

<<Bill>>

Hope you are well.

<<Yes, thank you>>

I have researched as extensively as I can on this site as well as web based.

<<ok>>

I hope that you can direct me to the proper link if I have missed it as I know you are all tremendously busy.

<<Tremendously <grin>...but seriously, what can I help you with?>>

I have a 8" expanded anchor coral. Not a hammer coral, not a branching hammer coral; not a branching anchor coral. The meandering structure type. Euphyllia ancora I believe.

<<Does sound like E. ancora, yes.>>

I have three questions:

1) At what point of growth and maturity on a segment is it safe to frag?

<<Hmm, not sure I get what you're asking. If you mean "How big should the coral be before I frag it", then it should be of a size big enough to produce a frag(s) of desirable size. If you're looking for a "minimum" size, I think you could get away with splitting a 3" specimen. Anything smaller and you don't really have much to handle/work with. Of course larger specimens could be fragged in to more pieces if desired.>>

2) How does one frag this coral?

<<Dremel tool...or a band saw.>>

All of the information on fragging that I have found is for the branching variety.

<<Is easier to frag.>>

I have gotten conflicting information; some state to simply whack the place where you want to split with a hammer and chisel

<<Messy and wasteful...>>

and others state wrapping a rubber band around the skeletal structure and wait for the tissue to recede,

<<This is a good way to 'begin'.>>

then whack it with a hammer and chisel.

<<But don't 'end' this way.>>

To me, this seems to be adding another level of opportunity for tissue degradation, infection and just plan stress.

<<The whacking? Agreed>>

And once split, what happens to the inevitable tentacle that has tissue on both pieces - do you say "loves me not" and jerk it on one side versus the other or will that be too damaging.

<<Never good to "yank" the tissue apart. If necessary use "very" sharp scissors or a razor blade to cut.>>

I believe the rubber band/receding tissue suggestion has value but would imagine it would be cleaner to use a circular saw or Dremel?

<<Yes on the rubber band method to recede the flesh from the intended "break", this works quite well...but no circular saw...much too dangerous. Buy/borrow a Dremel tool and a diamond bit. This works very well for cutting the skeleton, just don't expect to "zip" through it.>>

Although the skeleton is quite thick and dense.

<<Very>>

3) I currently have this on a raised substrate bed and it looks fabulous. However, I am concerned about the frags I will have. Do I attempt to attach it with glue to a small piece of rock for support and weight?

<<This is fine.>>

Where on the skeletal structure would I accomplish that?

<<Mmm...probably opposite the fleshy bit.>>

I would appreciate your input.

Regards,

Bill

<<You have it my friend...EricR>>

Re: Fragging Euphyllia ancora - 01/07/06

Eric,

<<Bill>>

Thank you. Just to make sure on a couple of points and recap, if it is not too much bother.

<<No bother at all...>>

((I said)) At what point of growth and maturity on a segment is it safe to frag?

((You said)) Hmm, not sure I get what you're asking. If you mean.....get away with splitting a 3" specimen.

((I will clarify :D) I meant at what point is it healthy to pursue frag of this coral. (although, in reality, fragging is not natural but beats harvesting). I've seen many people make quarter inch Acropora cuttings.

<<Difference in physiology.>>

Each segment seems to have a mouth (this is good, right?)

<<And a requirement.>>

so my plan was to frag a segment when it reached 3" to 4".

<<This sounds like a good plan...>>

((I Said)) How does one frag this coral?

((You Said)) Dremel tool...or a band saw.

((I Said Next)) Wow, that tough? I am assuming it is all calcareous and there is no life aside from the tissue external to the calcareous growth so I can hack away.

<<Yep>>

With the proper tools how long should it take to go

through 2 to 3" IYO?

<<Density will vary slightly depending on the coral and the water flow conditions under which it was grown. With the Dremel tool I would expect to take a minute or two to make the cut you describe.>>

New Question: Recommendations where/how to hold the tissue parts where I will have to squeeze for leverage while cutting?

<<Best not to handle/squeeze the tissue...will cause damage. Handle the coral by the skeleton...pliers may help with this.>>

How long can it be out of the water?

<<A surprisingly long time it kept "wetted". Keep a container of seawater handy and dip the coral frequently (every minute or two) while working on it. Have another container of seawater for placing the frags as they are cut.>>

Would it be advisable to do a bit, stop, then do more?

<<I would get it all done at one time...no need to extend/prolong the stress.>>

I have never allowed my corals to be out of water since I took xenia out for 8 seconds and had 2 pints of snot everywhere. Does anchor coral mucus or slough easily?

<<Expect some mucus, but not to the extent of the xenia. I also recommend you rinse the mucus away before placing the frags/parent coral back in the tank. Excessive mucus can be an invite to bacteria.>>

New Question: It is currently in moderate flow, on a mound of sand in a raised grotto of rubble pieces, in direct lighting. It has grown nicely and expands well - appears/seems to like this area but I am not sure this is optimal or if it would do well raised higher on a shelf.

<<From what you say...I would leave as is.>>

I have about 5w per gallon of 10k/03 Actinic. Might be interesting to see how the segments form with a different sense of gravity.

<<???>>

My plan at this stage, barring additional input from above. When retracted, place a wide rubber band around segment (to give me space to work with in case of slippage) about .5" to 1" from where the next segment meets. Allow time for the tissue to recede, making sure that the tissue has reformed well on the segment to be fragged and all sweepers are active and inflated as normal. if not, I will watch for that and remove the band. I am going to

attach Styrofoam to the base and let it float in a plastic tray deep enough for it to float, and work with the Dremel from the back side all the way through if possible. If needed I will flip it and finish exposed to air. I plan on also using the Dremel to smooth the edges also. Then a mild Melafix and Iodine dip for both ends and back in the tank.

<<Don't think I would do the dip, many corals don't react well in my experience. Possibly a mild iodine dip would be OK, but I wouldn't mix it with the Melafix...just my opinion.>>

The frag will then be mounted to a piece of rock so it can be buried or mounted. It has grown about .5" in the last month so I will be doing at a couple of frags in another month or so at the same time - I believe the rubber band method, if it works, will allow this to be accomplished with very minimal stress.

<<Agreed>>

Take good care.

Bill

<<Regards, EricR>>

Re: Fragging Euphyllia ancora II - 01/08/06

Apologies for being silly.

<<Not necessary my friend.>>

>>>> I have about 5w per gallon of 10k/03 Actinic. Might be interesting to see how the segments form with a different sense of gravity. (<<???>>)

I meant gravity in the sense of height placement, lighting, flow as well as segment formation differences from being on different structures instead of a flattish sand bed - curves, dips, etc..

<<Ah, ok...a change in environmental conditions...>>

Thank you

<<Regards, EricR>>

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