As an aquarist, we understand how tricky it is to manage all the marine species.
Although there are many hacks or tricks for maintenance, you need to know when to apply the techniques so that your aquarium is in excellent condition. And today, we will be discussing one such essential technique that can help you out a lot!
For instance, mushroom corals are a great addition to aquariums as it boosts aesthetic appeal and quite easy to keep in your reef tank. However, it has a tendency to overpopulate, which barely leaves any space for other inhabitants in your aquarium.
No worries, we brought you this guide on how to frag mushroom corals so that you’re well prepared in handling this crisis when (and if) it arises.
Additional Read: Guide to Fragging Corals
Why Fragging Mushroom Corals Is Important?
Although Mushroom Corals make an aquarium attractive with its structure and color, it can be a hassle for you after a while.
These corals grow on rocks as a large and fleshy polyp. It rises as an individual; however, soon, you will see it can multiply like crazy and overtake the whole aquarium.
In proper conditions, corals tend to dominate by covering the substrate. Moreover, they can potentially intrude on other creatures’ territory.
Also, these corals possess stinging nematocysts right alongside their discs. As a result, their spread can become dangerous for other sessile organisms.
Then, there is also the risk of a nutrient spike. If by any chance, they die in the aquarium, these will release toxins into the water, which can stress other inhabitants.
Routinely, they frag by splitting or budding, but that only creates more mushroom corals. When they split or bud, little pieces pinch off and form another new polyp.
Any mushroom coral, regardless of their size, can reproduce no matter where it is cut from. So, it is an endless cycle of life.
That’s why you need to frag these corals from time to time, but fear not, we are going to be with you through all the steps.
Additional Read: Fragging Zoas
How To Frag Mushroom Corals: Step-By-Step Guide
This method of fragging is exploited from mushroom corals’ build-in ability to naturally split and bud for survival and prosperity.
Thus far, you need not hesitate because these corals can take all the knifing required in this fragging process. They are equipped to withstand this.
Moreover, it is an effective way to make sure your reef tank or saltwater aquarium is free of overbearing mushroom corals.
- First of all, you need a working station for fragging. It can be a brightly lit table or desk where the surrounding household items would not be hampered if it gets wet in the process.
- Use a small rectangular chopping board or a pot for holding the corals in shallow aquarium water.
- Make sure all the containers or utensils are food-safe and free of domestic chemicals. All items need to be properly cleaned before usage.
- Once the work station is set up, select the specimen for fragging.
- At first, you need to take the coral out of the aquarium and alienate it from any rock the coral attached itself to.
- As soon as it shrinks, you will see the attachment disc on top of a narrower column.
- Use a sharp knife for efficiency; it can be the knives of a craftsman that has curved blades or a straightly edged blade that has more effect.
- Then, all you need is to cut the coral from across the column, however leaving the disc behind.
- Next, you will see a tremendous amount of mucus and white filaments of an animal’s gut. Make sure to rinse the fragged corals to discard all goo before placing them in a fresh container bath of aquarium water.
- Since the mushroom corals can regenerate, use it to your advantage.
- The attachment disc needs to be cut into quarters and left into each segment so that the corals can regrow better.
- Make sure to leave a small piece of this central oral cavity in each resulting fragged coral.
Since these mushroom corals produce a huge amount of slime, you cannot expect cyanoacrylate glue for attaching them onto a different piece of rock or fragging disc.
There are an even better alternative and effective method to attach a rock to a fragged coral.
- First, fill a shallow container with small pieces of live rock; the rocks can be rubble-like.
- Then add aquarium water to the container.
- Next, gently place the fragged corals onto the rocks.
- Use fine mesh to cover the container and an elastic band to keep the frags in place, and not let them wash away into the tank.
- Here, you can use the cyanoacrylate glue to keep them in place; however, it is a temporary fix.
- If you cover the holding container, it keeps fish and hermit crabs from disturbing the frags.
After all the previous steps are followed through properly, it is time to rehouse the frags.
- Place the amount of frags still situated inside the container to the aquarium.
- Make sure you return the container to an area of your aquarium or fragging tank with low-light and low-current.
- Please do not move the frags unduly; however, it may shift a little, do not be too worried about it.
- These corals can shift and correct themselves as they grow and attach if they have shifted in the moving process.
Marine equipment manufacturers especially made frag tanks for housing newly fragged fragments of corals to grow in their needed environment.
Many aquarists purchase these frag tanks because aquarium companies offer all-in-one frag tanks that are shallow enough to allow light penetration.
For an aquarist who regularly intends to frag corals, it can be worthwhile to purchase a separate frag tank.
Usually, it takes many days for the fragged corals to heal from their cuts. Then, it takes a few more weeks for them to become smaller copies of the parent corals.
At this point, you can complete the final process.
- Initially, you need to take the frags attached to tiny pieces of live rock out of the container.
- Then, you can attach these small rocks with frags to larger parts of rock to build an all-new colony of mushroom corals.
- It is not scientifically proven that the chemicals and tissues within the corals are hazardous; however, you might want to wear protective eye goggles and latex gloves for precaution.
- All the steps within the fragging process are fiddly, perform the tasks gently and carefully.
- Make sure to clean all the equipment and utensils used in this process to remove any residue left behind from the frags.
- If you are concerned about the costing of a separate or different frag tank, you can easily pay for the entire equipment or procedure set-up by selling coral fragments.
- Also, during the maintenance of skimming and water changes, replace activated carbon to limit impacts on other inhabitants present in the tank.
Fragging Mushroom Corals might seem excessive; however, it is needed to maintain the environment of your saltwater aquarium. These corals are vicious, so thus far, you need to be vicious as well in dealing with them.
In this guide of how to frag mushroom corals, all steps are pretty straightforward and require fewer items. Nevertheless, these fewer items are handy for long-term use.
So, attack these wild savages before they surround your whole territory!