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Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by bondolo, Jan 28, 2011.
I know where you can get an 8x4 real cheap...
Mike make four 2X4's and sell three. Part build, part cheap.
I made my first serious attempt at fragging corals last weekend. I fragged 3 different montis, and two zoa colonies into a total of 14 frags. 13 of 14 have made it through the first week and all of the survivors seem to be doing well. Two of the montis have visible growth already The one frag that didn't make it just slowly died off over a couple of days. Immediately before the fragging I replaced the carbon media bag and added a small bag of Phosban. For the first two days I dosed the tank with "Restor" every evening.
I am pretty pleased with the results for my first big attempt. I'm still not confident enough to tackle fragging blastos, duncans or my hammer corals.
Looks good! That's definitely a good survival rate, nice work.
What techniques did you use to frag?
All of the monti frags were on heavily encrusted discs or plugs. Luckily these were all argonite plugs/discs not harder ceramic which my dremel cutting wheels barely scratch. It cuts through the argonite plugs like soft butter. I actually have to be careful to not cut too fast with the argonite.
For the plugs I broke off the stem first with pliers For both discs and plugs I cut from the back side with a dremel cutting disk. I cut an X into the back side of each disc about 75% of the way through. After the dremel cuts were made I used a screwdriver to just barely crack the rest of the cut groove. I then flipped over the plug to the frontside. Wherever the crack in the monti on the front didn't seem to be follow the cut on the back, I poked it with dental pick to align with the cut. Once I though I had the cracks in the right place I finished prying the cut groove apart with a screwdriver from the back side.
This left me with four wedges per plug disc and very little direct tampering with the front (growing side) of the plug. I super glued the frags to new discs. The remnant of the original plug on each new frag plugs is a little bigger on than I would like. I am not sure how others make smaller frags from plug frags. Perhaps they just divide each disc up into into smaller pieces.
For the zoas I used bone shears to break the bits of coral they were growing on and then a razor blade to separate the individual polyps apart. I tried to slice only between polyps (mostly successfully). I was paranoid about doing all the work on zoas without using the dremel cutter because of the stories about aerosolizing zoa/play flesh and palytoxin. I need stronger bone shears for future attempts as the ones I have were barely able to manage the smallest coral chunks.
None of the things I fragged were particularly exotic, but more importantly, most of them survived the ordeal. I hope to learn more and be able to frag with greater confidence and skill eventually.
Willing to bring the saw by next time if you wanna try it out
Were using a diamond cut off wheel? I've cut just about everything with mine but can't recall if I've cut ceramic ones.
I don't think it's a diamond wheel. When I used it on ceramic I got a lot of sparks and the wheel disintegrated rather quickly. For the ceramic disk I used hardened steel etching tool to score it and then took my chances with a chisel. It fractured right along the scoring line but I did crush a small corner of the frag in the process. It was kind of brutal and I'd prefer not to do that too often.
I might just take up Mike on his saw offer for future fragging. I have blasto that will need fragging before the end of the year and a favite. I seem to recall at previous meetings someone had a saw in the parking lot and was slicing up frags with abandon.
The diamond cut off wheels work great and they seem to last a long time. If I recal they cost $10-$20 each depending on the size you get.
Mike I had great success cutting blastos with dremmel. Jeremy cut some at a meeting once and I took notes. John(Screebo) cut a bunch for me on his band saw and that was good too. You should be fine with either method given how much care you took with the first fragging. The blastos do not like being cut in half very much, and the skeleton can get fragile on the edges. I have one now that has all these loose skeletal chips that weigh down the animal when it is deflated. Inflated it looks fine. I have tried to glue the parts down several time. I would cut larger frags than trying to separate each polyp.
Since I am updating my photos today before tomorrow's "Big Drill" here are some shots of the frag tank:
Yes the lighting is total garbage. I will get new lighting when I move to a 24" x 48" x 10-16" tank"
I forgot to clean the glass before taking this shot. Growth is pretty good though:
I drilled a 3" hole through the stand to accommodate the new drain for the 55G tank:
looking good man
Both of my tanks are now fairly stable after the big drilling and plumbing operation. The I am still adjusting the dosers as both alkalinity crept up fairly significantly over the last week. I haven't had to adjust pH nearly as much lately. I had been going through a bottle of Aquavitro "Balance" every two weeks trying to keep the pH >= 8.0
February 5, 2012
4.3 Meq/L/11.65 dKh
490 Ca ppm
1520 Mg ppm (I must have double dosed).
0.02 ppm PO4
The phosphates have finally dropped to acceptable levels. This in spite of the increased feeding regime I've started. Having a skimmer is nice! ;-) I've already started to notice an uptick in growth and coloration. The display tank corals are honestly looking better than they ever have before. I've got a lot more work to get everything perfect but I'm slowly dialing it in....
Yessiree!!! Nice work
Woo Hoo! Glad to hear things are getting dialed in.
good news Mike.... glad the work is paying off and settling in.
I've been very busy lately with work and a major home renovation. I finally got time over the last week to clean up my office which included a fair bit of tank maintenance. Things looked so much better than they have for the last two months that I had to take a couple of pictures.
Most everything is growing well in the frag tank. I have lost a couple of montis which just slowly bleached away. I believe this is because I am desperately in need of a lighting upgrade for the frag tank. The 65W 50/50 PC is entirely insufficient.
Ideally, in anticipation of the eventual 48Lx24Dx12-16"H flat frag tank I want to upgrade to, I'd like a 48" fixture with 2 or preferably 3 150W DE MH, 2 T5 and a few LED moon lights. I don't even know if such a fixture exists and I'm too cheap to buy it new so I will probably buy whatever I eventually find.
I've moved a lot of coral into the display tank and otherwise stocked it up. I think I'm about done adding coral for the time being. I would like to add a couple more fish but don't really have a clue what I can/should get.
I plan to feed both tanks as much as I can without sending nitrates through the roof.
Looks good Mike.
Keep it up
Looks great Mike. Colors are awesome!