Am I Cheating?


New member
I read in Mucho Reef's TOTM that the real testiment of reefer is if he can can actually grow a reef, not buy a reef. Recently I have started to buy large corals (esp. from Premium Aquatics) to try to fill up space in my 125g reef (set up about 1 year now) and am wondering if I am cheating in reefkeeping?


New member
No, you expect the "large" corals to get larger, don't you? I disagree with what you read, some people don't want to start out with frags and a bunch of open space. I would rather have a great looking tank and watch it grow from nice pieces, not some 1/2" specs of coral that everyone seems so fascinated with. You're either successful in keeping things alive or you're not, that is the ultimate test. Corals grows, some systems it's slow, some fast.


Registered Reefer
I believe you have a severe case of reefers's a combination of mild obsessions...collecting of beautiful things, staring at a glass box for hours, reading endlessly on the internet (even at work), and OCD. there is no cure, no in between.

Seriously, if your tank is mature year seems reasonable, go ahead and add what corals you like. if these 'large' corals are wild caught, you will have less of a chance of succeeding. For some reason, a majority of them(wild caught) do not do well in hobbyists tanks. I suggest you keep the same mindset, but make a big effort to buy larger pieces from local reefers or aquacultured, even if it's at a slight premium, and you have to wait for the right opportunity to come along, verses impulse buying. end of the day, the name of the game is to not kill anything, or else your throwing $$$ out the window.

if you feel guilty about 'cheating', I musta already gotten my life sentence. I'm in the Marshall islands. I literally leave my back door, and go get whatever I want. corals, clams, fish, etc. the return policy is awesome as well.

since there's zero coral export from here, most of the corals are indigenous to this area only...stuff I've never seen in the states.



New member
Wow! Thanks for the replies guys, makes me feel better. I have been keeping aquacultured corals in the tank for about 4-5 months now, so hopefully everything continues to do well. Growth is fairly slow and the color fades a bit, but that was expected as I am only using PC's for lighting. Hopefully the new corals do well, they are huge so I wonder if they were wild, but I trust Premium.

@ r-balljunkie: Dude that is awesome! Have you ever posted pics of the reef/island? You should- it would be sweet to see some pics of the wild reef.

Thanks for your input everyone.


Premium Member
I am pretty sure I have most of those or ones very similar to them. Nice collection! It is amazing to be able to just go snorkeling and choose. The real WYSIWYG!

What is your success rate when pulling them from the wild like that?

I recently got some maricultured colonies and so far so good.
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collie man

Stoney Reefer
have you thought of putting a frag zone down where you go diving? i read and article in coral magazine that you can purchase a plot to grow your own coral in the ocean.


New member
Hers is what can happen in Three years. This was a 150 started 3.5 years back.

5 months

1 year

3 years

No such thing as cheating as long as it grows and stays alive.
Good Luck


Premium Member
Depends on the coral too, I find that acros and other sps grow the the flow they have avaiible, if they move tanks or getnput into a tank from the ocean, they can start to die off in areas that have low flow areas. I found this in a tank with 60x turnover. Frags will grow to the environment they are placed in, so this will not happen.


Registered Reefer
have you thought of putting a frag zone down where you go diving? i read and article in coral magazine that you can purchase a plot to grow your own coral in the ocean.

1st off happyclam, sorry for the thread jack, worst case it somehow ties into your original question.

CM yeah, as a matter of fact. I have a spot that I religiously put corals from my tank I don't care for anymore or need to make some room for another coral....kind of like building my own coral head...I go and check on em when I'm in the area. if I see something going 'south' in my tank, I pull it and go for a swim. luckily I've had a low rate of mortality. what's shiny and catches your eye sometimes doesn't look good in your tank. sometimes something you think is diminutive looking is actually awesome in your tank. I have learned the hard way, the pocillipora on the ocean side, collected at low tide.. sticks out like a sore thumb because its a vivid red, but does poorly in my tank. it's really rough on the ocean side, constant pounding of the waves, exposed at low tide. I find the corals on the lagoon side (calmer) do well, especially around the 70' range. the coral heads around here are HUGE. you can explore one for the better part of a half hour on scuba, still not cover it all.
tspors, nice growth. I have some buddies up in Appleton, they own a roofing know Apie, bartender chick?


New member
Some folks might consider it cheating. I personally do not.

While it is fun to watch your coral grow, you get taken for a ride on some of these prices. I remember when I first started reef keeping, you could walk into your LFS and you would get a really good sized acro colony for <$150. Put it in the tank, watch it grow and spread. I started reef keeping right before fragging got really popular in my area. Now it is really hard to find a coral colony. I just bought a table acro off of divers den tonight for 60 bucks, it's about 4.5'' and it looked really nice. It looked exactly the same as red planet except it was a blue green, so I took it. My lfs was asking $80 for a large size piece of red planet from ora. It was maybe 1.5'' and it formed a skirt to cover the frag plug. I really can't justify spending around $100 for a spec of coral and a frag plug. I used to really like sps corals until I walked into the store and saw ten one inch pieces for >$50 each. I've seen people in my reef club with a piece of purple monster they bought from an online site, they spent $200 and got a frag the size of the tip of your pinky finger.

So, to sum up, IMO I wouldn't call it cheating, I would say it is financially better to buy a colony that doesn't have an awsome name. Especially when some mini colonies cost as much, if not less than what some of these frags cost. If your coral colony is growing and is bigger in a year than what you started it at, you arn't doing anything different than someone who starts out with a frag. :)


New member
I read in Mucho Reef's TOTM that the real testiment of reefer is if he can can actually grow a reef, not buy a reef.

I am betting that at some point he had to buy pieces of reef to grow. :)

If you have a coral growing, especially once it gets 4x bigger than it started out. Then y ou have arrived. Does it really matter how big it was at the beginning?

Though the coral I had the most fun with started out thumbnail size and was eventually a colony.