Plate proprogation

Discussion in 'Propagation' started by Ibn, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. jestersix

    jestersix Sponsor

    About a year ago, I had a tiny plate that was a hitchhiker on a small piece of LR. When it gets about a quarter inch across, it pops off the LR - I now have three plus a new start on the rock. The first off the rock has grown to about an inch across in a year. Once they pass about a half inch, growth seems to really take off - especially if you spot feed them.
  2. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

    I have been keeping an eye out for these anthocauli in local stores, they seem to come in on softy rocks occasionally. I've now collected three, but they are definitely slow growers. I've had two pop off, one from each of the first ones I got, and size seems to vary by species. One I think is a fungia fraulinae, and it only grows to about 3/4" before it drops off, the other I don't know the species, and it grew to 1.5", and I think it only jumped off because it hit the rock with the edge of the skeleton. The third one I've only had for a week but it's tiny, about 1/4" so it will be a while before it pops off. Looks like about 6 months+ per new plate in my tank. maybe closer to a year for the bigger one.

    As far as fragging them, I've been hesitating to try this. I recently bought a nice red plate, and when it came in it had a small chunk missing out of the edge. It doesn't seem like too much of a stretch to say someone thought they would nick a small piece out of the edge and have a nice plate to sell and a baby to grow. This is pretty much the technique I had decided to try myself after a lot of reading, however on this plate, there is a large half dollar sized piece of the tissue that has died back from the cut area. I'd rather see the coral heal completely than lose tissue on the underside.

    Depending on the species it seems some of them react fairly poorly to nicks and cuts.
  3. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Plates should NOT be kept in sand despite what so many people think. They will do much better on chunky gravel (read: rubble) or even on your rock work.
  4. Sfork

    Sfork Guest

    Thanks for that. I never really researched it, just went off what I saw in everyones pictures.
  5. Sfork

    Sfork Guest

    @anathema could you show some pictures of what they look like before they turn to plates? My Google-fu failed me.

    My plate actually started deteriorating after i pulled off the plug. It's still battling, I have some agronite substrate and i think that's a part of the reason it never healed. The skin on the plug never formed anything either.
  6. Mr. Ugly

    Mr. Ugly Past President

    Better to let them separate naturally on their own.
  7. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

    I'll try to snap some pics if I have time this week, but basically they look like plate corals on a stalk.

    I have to agree with Gresham as well. I have sand in my plate tank and it's a total pita, several of them have trouble avoiding getting buried or sinking in due to their daily expansion and contraction. I have to dig them out occasionally and plan to replace the substrate in that tank soon. I've noticed the plates with finer structure and minuscule tentacles really have a hard time with sand. I also had a near death of the dbtc purple fungia because it sank into the sand and began to recede.

    As additional evidence I was looking through my dive pics and all the fungia I had pics of were living on rocks. I actually have a pretty cool pic of a fungia anthocauli with a fungia on the stalk and a stack of clones and skeletons downstream of it.

    Additionally, kind of off topic but I am leaning towards the idea that heliofungia are not actually accustomed to living detached from their stalk at all.

    I also strongly agree that attached plates should be allowed to detach on their own. I have now had two detach and within a week had a clearly recognizable plate growing on the stalk in place of the detached one. Cutting or forcing the plate off could damage the stalk and end your plate factory.
  8. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

    Whoops my mind is actually playing tricks on me late at night, it's actually two pics, and it's 2 different sets of plates, but the pics still illustrate what I was talking about so here they are:

    In the above pic you can see that the small plate is "hovering" over the rock, not laying on it. It's actually attached by a small stalk, and when it pops off it falls to the right, and a new plate grows in it's place. The bigger plate is left to try to scoot around to a better location, or get jammed upside down in a rock structure and die, as seen below.
    You can even see some of the plates made it all the way to the sand below and either died up top or died down below. Who knows how many clones that one stalk has produced? As long as it's kept free of algae it can generate clones for a very long time.

    These are shot in the wild, I'll get some shots in my tank when I have time.
  9. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

    Here are the pics you asked for from my tank:

    Fungia Fraulenai, pretty blah and plain, it's a drab greenish color. This one also fell over and was stung quite badly, and has not recovered. It produced one offspring that I brought to an NCRC swap. I found this in a live rock bin and it was a tiny patch of tissue on the top of a stalk, it had a mouth but no tentacles and was dark brown. I immediately fed it tiny chunks of mysis, and it made an amazing recovery and produced a plate in about 3 months. Since it fell over and was stung it has refused to grow and develops algae and cyano that must be removed. It still eats but this seems to have zero effect on growth. It was stung 2 months ago, and I'm still hoping for a recovery. :(

    This is my newest one, picked up as live rock also. It's hard to capture the color since it's so small, but it has green tentacles and possibly a purple base color. Maybe brown, seems to maybe have stripes as some do. We'll see as it grows I guess, it appears to be healthy and readily accepts food.

    This is my most successful anthocauli, and it was purchased as a 1" plate coral on a stalk. It was also my first find. You can see it has fairly extensive brown tissue that has encrusted well below the oral disc of the fungia it is producing. About 4 months after I purchased this coral, the plate grew into the rock I have it mounted on and popped off the stem. It is now the green fungia pictured below.
    As you can see, the plate is not a uniform round shape. It grew around the rock that was obstructing it's growth, until the skeleton hit the rock. Possibly this is a method that could be used to spur an earlier departure fromt he stem, at the cost of a somewhat odd shaped offspring. Even with the possible early departure this plate seems to have a gestation (not really the right word but oh well) period of approximately a year with fairly frequent feeding.

    Learning as I go, so I'm open to any info anyone else has to offer. Needless to say, if you see one of these Anthocauli in a store, buy it. If you don't want to, buy it and PM me or call me and I'll purchase it from you.

    Yuck! I tune out the cyano when i look at the tank I guess because these pics make me realize how much I overfeed. :(
  10. Sfork

    Sfork Guest

    Cool Thanks for the writeup :)
  11. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member


    Describes cutting up two fungia clones and fusing them in addition to the normal cutting.
  12. Sfork

    Sfork Guest

    even MORE interesting:
    "However, cut sections lacking a mouth always regenerated multiple mouths along the cut edge, but not along the uncut edge. ... The new mouths eventually developed into individual polyps."

    I kind of want to try this now since the plate will regenerate that cut section anyway.
  13. anathema

    anathema Supporting Member

    Just remember it's a slow process. ;)

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