Aquarium grown corals and reef conservation

reefcrew

New member
I've been a reef aquarist for years, and I'm often thinking of how to help a devastated reefs. Reefs are suffering of heat, acidity, chemical polutions...
For many years, biologists and environmentalists have been trying to bring life back to dying reefs by replanting them with coral fragments. Sometime successfully, sometime less ... They are always use fragments of wild corals, partially grown on healthy reefs, partially on a special coral farms.

And then I got the idea. 💡 Maybe it's not realistic, maybe it's stupid. But it's mine ;)

What about to planting bleaching and suffering reef with corals from our aquariums? Our corals are for a years and generations grown in aquariums under conditions which are many times far from ideal water parameters (high temperature in summer, high concentration of NO3 and PO4, lower pH, lower kH ...) and they mostly survive. The reason is they are alredy acclimated for such worse conditions.

So, did you already hear or read some articles about that idea? Do you know someone who already try to use this "aquaristic" method of reef restoring?
I'm waiting for your opinion and do not hesitate criticize my idea if this is really stupid.

The worst we can do for reefs is do nothing!
 

mellotang

Premium Member
I like the idea

It might be met with some resistance due to concerns about bacteria or pathogens from captive environments
 

JohnL

RC Staff
Staff member
Admin
I recently started donating to this

 

reefcrew

New member
I like the idea

It might be met with some resistance due to concerns about bacteria or pathogens from captive environments
You are right. I was not thinking of that aspect of my idea. Pathogens, bacteria and many kind of invasive plants and animals can be the problem. Anyhow there are already methods and processes how to minimize that risk. Thanks for your reaction.
 

reefcrew

New member
As to coral reproduction stimulation I have read or see a movie about the progressive method named "micro fragging" (or nano fraging?) which is based on fragging aged (5-6 years old) corals to really small frags (mm2) and placing few pieces of that frags close to each one. Each frag is holding (in its genome?) info on age of mother colony it came from. As the frags are growing, they grow again into one new coral (colony). Info on the age of the new colony is somehow calculated as a summary of the ages of frags it comes from and if this age is over the specific maturity age of that coral species it will start to spawn. So that way we can speed up spawning age of the corals to reproduce much sooner.
 

reefing102

Who Am I Here?
Premium Member
Except for the pathogen issue (which I don’t think would be as big of an issue as we think) I think several mariculture programs are already trying to do this, sadly it doesn’t seem to be a active thought for our Carribean reefs
 

reefcrew

New member
Except for the pathogen issue (which I don’t think would be as big of an issue as we think) I think several mariculture programs are already trying to do this, sadly it doesn’t seem to be a active thought for our Carribean reefs
You're right there are many mariculture programs. But I'm not sure if their corals are breed for a years under the conditions wich are so far from ideal and then their corals are not acclimated for worse water parameters. I think they are trying to culture coral under ideal conditions to improve their grown to be able colonize as big areas of devastated reefs as they are able to.
I see this project just for individual activity of the aquarium enthusiasts (of course just in "small") for very start.
Unfortunately I can't participate on such kind of activity due to my geolocation (Slovakia has no seashore).
 

Yodeling

Premium Member
Interesting idea. There was a NOVA episode a year or so ago, called Reef Rescue. The scientists were trying to evolve new coral variants that would be more adapted to changing climate. They were somewhat successful, but they also had some setbacks. I suggest watching it if you have the means. The study was led by Ruth Gates (RIP) and it continued after her passing.

Edit: Found it - looks like you can watch it online.
 

Noah_Reefing

Active member
I've been a reef aquarist for years, and I'm often thinking of how to help a devastated reefs. Reefs are suffering of heat, acidity, chemical polutions...
For many years, biologists and environmentalists have been trying to bring life back to dying reefs by replanting them with coral fragments. Sometime successfully, sometime less ... They are always use fragments of wild corals, partially grown on healthy reefs, partially on a special coral farms.

And then I got the idea. 💡 Maybe it's not realistic, maybe it's stupid. But it's mine ;)

What about to planting bleaching and suffering reef with corals from our aquariums? Our corals are for a years and generations grown in aquariums under conditions which are many times far from ideal water parameters (high temperature in summer, high concentration of NO3 and PO4, lower pH, lower kH ...) and they mostly survive. The reason is they are alredy acclimated for such worse conditions.

So, did you already hear or read some articles about that idea? Do you know someone who already try to use this "aquaristic" method of reef restoring?
I'm waiting for your opinion and do not hesitate criticize my idea if this is really stupid.

The worst we can do for reefs is do nothing
nah all those coral strains in captive enviroment are not designed to live in the water. nobody can do this cause about 80% of us dont have the braincells to know where our coral comes from and how it would be placed in the wild to optimize growth. the reason some corals are hardy is cause they livei n a variety of localitys with different water conditions and thats in their genome. almost all of us do not even live in the south pacific where our coral comes from so it would cost hundreds of dollars to ship and it would die by the time it gets there. also, have you ever kept your corals at 86 degrees year round and poured manure into your tank? the reason corals heat bleach iscause the reefs are not at 76-78 degrees outside of like winter and they are at like 85 degrees most of the time so changing the temp 1 degree makes them go ohmygoditssohotimgonnadie and they bleach
 

Noah_Reefing

Active member
Except for the pathogen issue (which I don’t think would be as big of an issue as we think) I think several mariculture programs are already trying to do this, sadly it doesn’t seem to be a active thought for our Carribean reefs
the caribean already has enough gorgonians
 

Timfish

Timfish
Premium Member
Aquarium grown corals may not be able to survive the conditions found on reefs. (Most likely due to changes in the mircobiomes.) At a presentation at Next Wave 2011 in Dallas TX Charles Delbeek related the problems they had stocking the Steinhart aquarium in San Francisco, CA. The Aquarium was set up with a series of skylights so it was it recieved sunlight throughout the day as well as light from 400 watt MH fixtrues. It was stocked with corals the aquarium had permits to collect from the wild, confiscated corals by US Customs and corals donated by reef aquarists. After a year the wild corals had almost a 100% survival while the aquarium grown corals had almsot 100% death rate.
 

Habib

CEO of Salifert
Premium Member

marfuerte

Member
I recently started donating to this

Thanks for sharing this. Been to Belize almost 10 years ago; Blue hole and reefs. Outer reefs looked decent (to me) but the devastation was widespread. One old fishing guide told me "it's either dead or dying...we're done." Went to the GBR a few years back--kinda got conned by the dive guide and his friends about it bouncing back. But again you had to go way out to see anything resembling a real thriving reef and even then I saw huge swaths of dead coral with cyano growing everywhere. Turned me into a bit of fanatic and I'm donating to all kinds of groups working against climate change.
 
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