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Removing My Favorite Acropora Colony From The 300 Gallon Reef

By Fish of Hex on

Travis: What's up, guys? Welcome back to Fish of Hex. My name is Travis. Today, unfortunately, is the day where we're going to be removing that blue Acropora colony at the top middle rock structure.

If you've been following the channel for some time, I've gone back and forth on the idea of actually removing this colony, to prevent it from completely dying off, from that, Fishofhex milli, which is right next to it. I have cut both of these colonies several times. I try to get in there at least once per week. Because there's so many other acros that need to be cut, I can't always cut those two colonies up.

Because I missed a couple of weeks, they ended up growing into each other even more. About half of that blue Acropora started dying off relatively quickly. In this video, we are going to go in there and remove that colony. I'm going to show you that process.

I'm going to frag it up and then in a later video, once I have a good healed chunk of that acro, I will find another place for it here in the 300 gallon. With all of that said, let's go ahead and get started. When it comes to removing this colony, my goal is to cut it as close to the rock as I possibly can where it's starting to STN from the stress of being touched by that other coral. I will leave some of it on the rock, so if it's meant to grow and continue to thrive then it will.

I have a feeling because it's already STN ending on the base. Once I cut this colony up, or cut it out of that spot, it's just going to be even more stressed and probably finish STN ending off and then just become part of the rock structure. I did mention the STN because it actually started increasing its speed up the base of the colony. I have since cut this and it's spent a few days, and it has completely stopped in my frag tank, but I will say that the STN would have probably, eventually taken this colony because purely of the stress of being touched by that Millepora.

I did mention before when I was fragging these two colonies, and they were not touching, the STN completely stopped. It turned into part of the rock, and that actually started growing back over the previous STN. It was fine. Once they started touching again, it reflared up if that's what you want to call it, and eventually, it was going to take over the entire colony. I will admit, when it came to removing the colony, it was pretty stressful.

I don't like putting that much pressure on my rock structures. I don't like the fact that they move a little bit, even with acrylic rods and glued. There's just a certain way that this is built that, if I hit it too hard or I jerk it around it has a potential of coming loose and the whole structure toppling down. I will admit I did not have a big enough pair of bone cutter, so I'm in there just grinding away at the base of this colony eventually getting word a point where I can get a good grip on the pliers where I can break it off completely.

I did end up breaking the colony in two, once it came loose from the rock. I think it was just from the shock of finally being released from the rock. That's okay. It was just easier for me to actually frag later on with the saw and the bone cutters. When it comes to breaking the colony up into individual frags, I try to stay between a half an inch to one and a half inches. That way when they heal and grow within the frag tank, they actually encrust and get a little bit of more growth before finally putting them on the website.

If I go over two inches on frags, I can't get them into those specimen cups, which is my preferred method for shipping SPS coral. If you purchase any kind of SPS for my website, you know exactly what I'm talking about. I might as well answer that question, you guys gonna be asking. Yes, these frags will be for sale at some point, but probably not for the next two to three weeks if not longer, just because the colony has gone through a ton of stress I want to make sure that they're all healed up and ready to go before sending them off on their overnight journey to wherever you guys are within the United States.

I like to keep my deal way very low. That is dead on arrival. I like my percentage very, very low. That means I don't send out anything unless it's ready and fully healed and healthy that can actually take that shipping. I will admit, now that I look at the reef tank without this Acropora colony in it, it does feel like it's missing something. There's just a chunk of this reef, that's not there anymore. It just feels really empty where it was.

Actually, there are some positives to this colony not being there. The Acropora that we're getting shaded out, will actually have the opportunity to get more light and they'll grow and that also that Fishofhex milli will be able to expand, get very, very big. As you guys could see, the milli and the staghorn behind it are kind of fighting for the top of the tank. We already know that the stackhorn is going to be out of the water before the milli, but it's just nice to have that open space at the top where both of them can grow and really expand.

I have to worry about how to get in there and cut. In hindsight, if I knew that they were going to grow their way the way they did, I wanted to put those acros so close together, even though they were approximately 7 to 10 inches already apart, but because the way the growth is they just came together. I do run those 2XR15s, basically as if they are XR30, but I spread them out just a little bit to help with the rock structure. Now, because these acros are reaching for the light, it was just natural for them to eventually come together to a point and that's when they started touching.

We all live and learn. I am upset in the fact that I had to remove the colony, but I do have a frag set-aside that's healing up which will go to the bottom right rock structure and hopefully will still be as beautiful as it was on the other structure. With that said guys, I hope you enjoyed the video. If you have any questions let me know. If you want to support the channel check out

I just redid the entire website because I ran into some issues with one of my WYSIWYG pages, so I just rebuilt the entire site, pretty much out of frustration and the fact that I didn't want to keep spending money on something that I didn't have to. With that said guys, I hope you enjoyed the video. I'll see you later. Peace.

About Fish of Hex

Travis’ main reef display tank featuring many small-polyp stony coral (SPS) is a 300-gallon custom glass aquarium setting on a welded iron stand, both from Custom Aquariums.

"Here you will find everything you need to know to be successful in the saltwater aquarium hobby. I have several video series such as "Beginner Guide to Saltwater Aquariums", "300 Gallon Build" and "How to & Diy". I will teach you how to avoid common mistakes and prevent tank disasters. With thirteen years of experience in the hobby, I plan on sharing all of it with my subscribers. I take great pride in helping others and seeing their tanks grow into amazing works of art makes the time I put into making these videos worth it. Follow me and you will have an amazing reef tank in no time!"

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