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Old 08/29/2006, 05:54 PM   #1
"Umm, fish?"
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Tubastrea about to release eggs?

Is that what's happening here?




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Old 08/29/2006, 05:57 PM   #2
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And, what should I do (aside from taking more photos)?


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Old 08/29/2006, 08:14 PM   #3
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Eric Bourneman suggested that these might be brooded larvae, so I have moved the parent to a tupperware container with some rock rubble and an air pump bubbling hoping that I can can the youngsters. Hopefully the stress from the move won't cause the parent to abort the release.

Some more photos:







And this one, inside the tupperware:




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Old 08/29/2006, 08:30 PM   #4
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So do this mean you might have some Tubastrea you might be selling?
Benny


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Old 08/29/2006, 08:38 PM   #5
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Well, I'd give it two or three days ...

But there's also that little don't count the tubastrea before they hatch thing....


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Old 08/29/2006, 08:46 PM   #6
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awesome pics. beautiful detail.


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Old 08/29/2006, 09:02 PM   #7
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Thanks! Hopefully there'll be something to show for it. No release yet.


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Old 08/29/2006, 09:03 PM   #8
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Those are planula. The good news is that they turn into free swimming larva, look for an attachment place and metamorphose into a new polyp. The bad news is that the parent polyp often dies soon after release. I would cut back by 1/2 on feedings to keep the mother colony from further reproducing via planular reproduction otherwise the whole colony may die off. This process occurs whenever the coral "thinks" that there is an abundant food source. Otherwise, it sticks to less energy consuming methods of reproduction such as budding.

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Old 08/29/2006, 09:23 PM   #9
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Thanks, K. You did mention this to me a while back, didn't you, now that I'm reminded? I'm not doing any supplemental feeding of the colony at all, just what it's catching in the tank. Maybe I'm feeding the tank too much....

I've actually cut back on the amount I'm feeding the tank total per day, but I'm feeding it pretty constantly over the course of the tank's day. Could that be what's going on?


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Old 08/29/2006, 10:13 PM   #10
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great pic. A little off subject but what kind of camera are you using.


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Old 08/29/2006, 10:27 PM   #11
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check out this link camera info midway down, some really great pics!
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...hreadid=915141


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Old 08/30/2006, 08:33 AM   #12
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The polyp has now blown up like a hot air balloon, stuffed full of planula larvae. No release yet, though.

One way or another, I'll put up a web site soon with all the pictures I've taken. I think I can even time stamp them.

messy--Thanks! Yes, it's a Canon D-20 with a 100mm macro lens and I'm taking the shots from about as close as the camera will focus (around six inches).

beetle-b--Thank you and thanks for taking care of messy's question.


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Old 08/30/2006, 02:37 PM   #13
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This is proving a longer labour than my child. The pics aren't the greatest, shooting through scratched tupperware with a hand-held flashlight doesn't make for the best pics.






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Old 08/30/2006, 02:39 PM   #14
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That's awesome. There is a good article in the new Coral Magazine with the woman from Germany who has them breeding quite often. IMO food is always good, if they are breeding they are getting more than they need to just survive which I think should be the goal for reef keeping rather than just "keeping everything alive".


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Old 08/30/2006, 03:54 PM   #15
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Linkia--

Thanks! I have that issue but I'm running a slight fever at the moment and only remember the article vaguely. I'm with you on getting our charges to reproduce, but (to play devil's advocate for the moment) what if, as K. mentioned above, the act of reproduction is a terminal act? If the momma has to die to make the babies, is it really worthwhile?


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Old 08/30/2006, 04:32 PM   #16
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So, after gently blasting the momma polyp with a turkey baster for a while, I finally got it to release the larvae. It was remarkably difficult, leading me to believe that the larvae were no longer viable. But, no use being pessimistic, time will tell. The mother colony is back in my display with every polyp out and happy except for the mother polyp. It's not completely withdrawn, but it hasn't started feeding again, either.

I'll keep you updated.


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Old 08/30/2006, 04:48 PM   #17
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I put together a website (okay, iPhoto put together a website) with all the photos from this event.

http://65.102.221.68/tubastrea/tubastrea.html

Thanks!


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Old 08/30/2006, 08:52 PM   #18
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I've never heard of them dying off after spawning until now...

I would imagine it would happen though say if a coral was not being well fed and then there was a sudden spike in the food source (used to induce some fish spawning). I would offer an educated guess that if the coral is well fed and has the energy available to live and reproduce than this would be the course it would follow. The woman in the article's tubastrea reproduce daily and all of her colony looks alive and healthy (no dead spots in a few square feet of growth). You have got me wondering now though so I'll ask some of my coral reproduction specialist friends to see what they say.


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Old 08/30/2006, 11:52 PM   #19
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Planula brooding in tubastrea, as with any other cnidarian, in not necessarily terminal but that is often the result. Planula brooding requires a massive investment of nutrients and energy by the mother polyp. So, the brooding event occurs only if the coral "thinks" there are enough nutrients available to recover from the required energy expenditure. IF there are enough nutrients sustained through the reproductive cycle (ie. we feed the tank regularly), the mother colony will recover and keep reproducing just fine. This is what the woman in the Coral article is doing to produce such results.

However, if there is a sudden drop in nutrients after the brooding cycle (ie. we go away for the weekend and dont feed the tank for a few days, we just forget to do it after the planula are released) when the colony is "starving", the mother colony may not have enough food available to recover and it may die.

In our tanks, the later scenario is more likely. To avoid this scenario, I recommend feeding less to begin with so that a brooding event is never initiated by our corals. IF the event is already starting to occur, its better to starve it by feeding less and cause the whole event to abort before the polyp commits all its energy reserves to the process.

Brooding is a far more effective form of reproduction since mature swimming planula have a much better chance at survival than free floating gametes (sperm + eggs). Planulas also produce more colonies than fragging/budding. But in our tanks and for the average hobbyist, allowing a brooding event is simply a gamble that I dont recommend. There are other options for propagating our corals that are more safe than brooding.

K.


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Old 08/31/2006, 11:23 AM   #20
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I see. So, I would assume then that target feeding the polyp that had the brooding event once it recovers enough to start feeding again would make it much more likely that that polyp will recover from the stress. True (hoping to save that one polyp)?

Thanks again for the information. It is truly amazing that this region has so many people with such wealth of knowledge that are so willing to share. I always post my questions in this forum first, because the answers are always faster and better than in the specialty forums of RC.

Thanks!


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Old 09/01/2006, 07:14 PM   #21
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Well, it's hard to see and I'm not sure yet, but maybe one of them settled!






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Old 09/01/2006, 07:20 PM   #22
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By the way, the mother polyp is out and feeding for the first time today!


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Old 09/07/2006, 04:20 PM   #23
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The mother polyp looks just like all the rest of the polyps again. Woohoo!

I've pretty much given up on anything showing up in the tupperware now, though.


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