How to frag...

Discussion in 'Propagation' started by sfsuphysics, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2005
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    Ok, so the frag swap is coming up rapidly, my in-line frag tank is all setup using a combo of natural sunlight as well as metal halide lighting (comes on when the sunlight is not at it's brightest). But the purpose of this post is not to remind people to start fragging (you should! :D), but to get some tips. Ok branching stonies are a no brainer snap a twig off using your favorite staineless steel instrument, but what if it's not something as easy. So those out there please respond, since I do fall into a number of these catagories myself, and if you want me to bring more stuff, I need some help (and I'm sure others would too)

    1) Plating stony corals, how exactly do you remove frags if they're hugging the rock? Are you left with removal of the rock they're on (hoping it's not structural) then hit it with a diamond blade? Or is there a slicker method?

    2) Pretty much any other corals that in a similar fashion hug the rocks, I have numerous mushroom species I'd like to "trim" back, acan lords colonoies which I wouldn't mind popping a few heads off for people, zoanthid colonies (ok I don't have large mats, but some people do!) So how exactly do you work frags off of these?? Is it still a matter of hoping the piece isn't structural?

    3) Monti-caps, and the like, I have a few versions (including Mike's Luscious Pink* Pinkness is a direct relation to the wavelength of light shining upon it) that could do for a little trim, but everytime I think I could snap a piece off, WAMMO, I get 10 mini-frags.

    Basically I'm opening the forum to suggestions for removing similar stuff... hopefully without removing the whole rock.
  2. Thales

    Thales Past President

    Apr 13, 2004
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    For 2, I like a hammer and chisel. First I try to remove any excess rock from under the colony. Then with the colony upright on a table, I place the blade of the chisel between the polyps at a location I think will shear nicely then wack away. You will prolly get some partial heads, but I don't see that as a bad thing.
  3. Mr. Ugly

    Mr. Ugly Past President

    Nov 6, 2005
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    Pretty much for all of those, I've been liking my diamond wheel on a dremel. Cuts fast and accurate with practically no heat build-up.

    For big zoa rocks, sure hammer and chisel. But most of my zoas rocks are smaller pieces, and I'll use a really sharp knife with a locking blade to cut between the polyps if not even into the rock. If the rock is too hard, I'll cut up partway from underneath with the diamond wheel and aim to get the rock to split where I've cut through the polyps.
  4. cwolfus

    cwolfus Past President

    Nov 22, 2005
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    I use dremel for stoneys and scalpel for shrooms, zoos, leathers, and other softies. For zoos I try to get under the polyp and pop off a bit of rock, but even if you cut the polyps they come back fine.

    BTW, I've also cut shrooms in half which works well. I've even heard of others who use blenders!

  5. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    The Cuban National Aquarium (or what ever it's name is) uses a blender and a raceway filled with kitty litter to prop all their ricordeas. FWIW, they have the nicest collection of ric. floridas around :)
  6. LordHelmet

    LordHelmet Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2005
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    gresh are you seriouse! thats out of control.
  7. bookfish

    bookfish Guest

    Apr 25, 2004
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    I like to deep score the backs of boulder like stuff (leptastreas, cyphastreas, etc...) with a dremel and then pop it into pieces from the back w/ a screwdriver in the score marks. I have also cut surface strips off colonies like that with a dremel but the flake (frag) tends to get pretty hot. Lords I cut with a scalpel from the top and then dremel from the back, same w/ micros. Caps also can be lightly dremel scored from the back and snapped by hand. HTH

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