My 'coral farm' sorry I don't have a catchy name!

Greg Hiller

New member
I use my PhD in biochemical engineering for my day job at a small biotechnology company in Boston, but seem to start 'work' (or is it play?) all over again when I get home and start tending to my systems. I have three reef tank systems that I consider display tanks, a 110 gallon SPS dominated system, a 54 gallon corner, mostly soft corals, and a 65 gallon mixed system. I got into the propagation thing about 3 years ago when I noticed how fast the Xenia was splitting in a few of my tanks. When a new LFS opened up nearby me and mentioned on their web site that they were specializing in tank raised livestock I took them to task and asked if they would be interested in some of the things that were overgrowing my tank. They agreed, and we developed a very good working relationship. Unfortunately, that shop (and a few others that I slowly developed relationships with) did not have enormous clienteles. My 110 SPS system was really taking off, and as some corals broke the water surface, or grew to shade or sting each other I've had no choice but to take lots of cuttings. I've never been able to bring myself to throw much out (except maybe that one orange M. digitata that took over 1/3 of the 65 gallon), so I had to try to sell the stuff, even the brown Acros. I picked up a 125 gallon from a guy moving to Florida, made a few homemade light hoods, some skimmers, calcium reactors, etc. and things started to take off. I just recently added another 75 gallon system mostly for SPS frags, in the upper section (held up by egg crate), and miscellaneous corals in the bottom.

I have a variety of different lighting systems on different tanks because I've found some corals just look better, and grow better under different lights (not exactly a revelation). I mount my SPS frags on small pieces of Reefrock brand fossilized coral rock, or on thick, flat sea shell fragments I picked up from a parking lot on a recent trip to Florida! The sea shells work great because they are/were free, very strong, lightweight for shipping, sit flat on a piece of eggcrate in the frag tanks, look natural, are easy to epoxy to large rocks in peoples display tanks, are easy to remove algae from if some should become attached, and are easy to float on styrofoam for shipping.

I generally only sell frags that have already encrusted down onto a substrate. Folks tend to have much better luck with this type of frag versus freshly cut, free-floating 'frags-in-a-bag'. I also try to E-mail people with info about where each frag was in my systems so they will have a better idea where to place the pieces initially with respect to lighting intensity.

I currently have about 33 of what are probably all different species of SPS (about 18 Acroporas), with another 9 or so color morphs of some of the same species. Most of these are fragmented occasionally, some only rarely. I've successfully propagated about 9 species of LPS corals, 14 of soft corals, and another 14 or so colormorphs/species of mushroom anemones, and zoanthids. I've tried my hand at raising fish with successful batches of maroon clowns and A. ocellaris, and even have seven H. barbouri giant seahorses out to 11 months now.

I have photos of the various mother colonies, details on lighting and tank set up, and my experience on how the different SPS that I have color up under different lighting conditions on my web site at

- Greg Hiller


I just visited Gregs facilities and he also has tank raised clowns and Bengii cardnails available as well as detrivoires and Macro algea.

His corals are awsome too.

Just thought I would post an update