Sun Corals Spawn phenomenon

Discussion in 'LPS Corals' started by Jaco Schoeman, 22 Feb 2010.

  1. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    Hi

    I have to tell you the entire story in order to fully undertsand the events taking place, so please bare with me:;)

    A few weeks back, on a Friday I went to Lanzo to pick up four Sun Coral colonies. As I drive past the airport back home, he asked me to take two boxes of SPS to the airport to be shipped to DBN. So, we loaded all the SPS in bags and boxes, and my suns in bags only.

    At about 12h30 when I got from the N1 highway onto the R21, I immediately hit massive traffic (welcome to Gauteng:p) I am not joking, but I only got the airport from that spot that afternoon just after 16h00!!!!:whistling:

    My car measure 37.5deg in that traffic, and I had the aircon on blowing over the sun coral bags just to keep the temp down a bit.

    After offloading at the airport, I was on my merry way back, and just as I arrived in Boksburg, my clutch cable snapped, and I was left next to road at News Cafe. I would have had a few :peroni: but I had the sun corals in the "oven." I ran over to Builders Warehouse, bought one or two "boer maak 'n plan" spares and fixed the car to get back home. All in all, I came home at 18h30 that evening, tired, wired and with a huge headache.

    To my absolute shock (but no surprise), when I picked the bags, the bags were luke warm - REALLY, luke warm... I thought they were gonners for sure.

    Then I saw the weirdest thing - two of the suncorals (they were Tubastrea Faulkneri) had realeased hundreds of little orange round balls, like fish eggs. It immediately dawned on me that they had to have spawned. Not sure weather the corals or spawn would survive, I introduced the lot into the tank, and my chromis when ape on the little orange balls.:(

    I thought I had lost them all, till last week, when, with closer inspection I saw three small little orange spots on my LR. This weekend I counted 15 orange spots on my LR, and some have clear visible mouths.

    Does anyone know what could have triggered those suns to spawn? Was is the temperature maybe?

    I must report however that those two colonies, although alive, are not doing the best yet. They are still struggling to open up, but they are getting there.

    The other two are my headache though. The one is the rare branging orange suncoral and the other is a branching black suncoral. I have noted some tissue disintegration from them, and they are REALLY struggling to open up. Last night was the first time I could actually see some tentacles from the orange, but the blacks only have the mouths visible. Other than that, just skelton and the died off parts :(.

    I understand that they took on massive knock, which was beyond my control, and that survival might be 0.5% I am trying my utmost best however, and hope they make it.

    But for the Tubastrea Faulkneri spawning, that was quite cool I think.
     
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  3. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Very interesting Jaco. Thanks for sharing. Im sure it was the temperature that lead to the spawing event taking place.
     
  4. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    So do you think the once a year spawing of coral on reefs are also maybe linked to higher water temperatures?
     
  5. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Well if all else fails, then you will have a nice Tubastrea Faulkneri colony.

    Good luck on the recovery of the two sick colonies.
     
  6. lanzo

    lanzo Sponsor

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    Any pictures for us?
     
  7. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    No idea dude. I never researched spawning of corals.
     
  8. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    No, sorry Lanzo - I was so gatvol and tired and upset cause I thought I'd loose everything, so I just chucked them all in the tank. I will however take some snaps of the new colonies.

    I have however done a little reading now, and some people are reporting spawning by suncorals in higher water temperature, and one guy is actually reporting sun corals spawning once a month when he swithces all power off on his tanks. This happened by accident in a power failure, and then he saw the routine, and now his suns are spawning a lot...:p

    I have also seen more orange balls floating in the tank at times, but thought it was maybe fish pooh or something... Seems like suns spawn more often under correct conditions (and these correct conditions are not normal conditions for us )
    ;)
     
  9. Dewald@Dorry

    Dewald@Dorry

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    Very interesting!! One of these days wou'll be farming suncorals!!
     
  10. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    all the best bru
     
  11. Bob the (reef)builder

    Bob the (reef)builder

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    Cool Jaco.

    I would imagine that stress events of a few types might trigger spawning as a "last ditch attempt" by corals to save their "bloodlines".

    I once got in a bag of Xenia that had gone vrot in transit. I was about to chuck it out when I saw these tiny white blobs. I strained them out of the water and threw them into a tank. A week later I had thousands of tiny colonies happening.

    Probably similar stress reaction. :)

    Cheers

    Rob.
     
  12. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Amazingly enough, I can report that this sun coral of mine still spawns when water flow is switched off!!!!!

    It has not opened up as yet, after 4 weeks, and I tried the feeding in a container method, just to find about 10 "spawns" in the water after 25minutes!!! I am now harvesting the eggs, and "planting" them on liverock, so there will be MANY suncorals available to you soon.

    Seems like most of the babies that already attached are all growing well, and the mouth and tentacles are clearly visible.
     
  13. Nsteyn

    Nsteyn

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    :whistling: Niel raises his hand slowly in anticipation....
     
  14. Dewald@Dorry

    Dewald@Dorry

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    Amazing!! I would love to come see this!!

    PS: I also have a huge favor to ask. Will drop you a mail..
     
  15. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Here's a picture for you guys - note the small little orange balls floating...

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Dane

    Dane

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    Such fantastic news! Thanks for posting your experiences! The more we can aquaculture ourselves, the less impact we have on the natural reefs! Awesome!! Especially with something like a sun coral! :-D congrats for running with the opportunity!
     
  17. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    Very much so, but beware of this, if certain inverts spawn it could end badly, for example clams, as they really foul up the water. It is not something i would try do on purpose [as nice as it sounds] unless you are geared for this.
     
  18. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Nah, not the suns, they just pop small little orange "eggs". I know clams make mess, but with the suns you only see the eggs about 1mm big.
     
  19. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    I hear you, but as i said if you try induce a spawning event in a mixed reef, how do you control what spawns and what doesn't. To answer your question temp changes do/can induce spawning.
     
  20. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Ah sorry, I misunderstood you. Absolutely agreed with you there. People shouldn't go and set their heaters on 30 to try and get the corals to spawn - PLEASE!!!

    I dont really intentionally induce the sun to spawn, but when I feed and switch flow off my sun spawns, and btw my water temp is now between 22-24deg C... ;)
     
  21. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    I hear you but often coral spawning will last over a few weeks and by the sounds of things once they start they have to finish.......;)
     
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