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kaybee
01-16-2009, 11:51 PM
In a reef aquarium most LPS corals increase either by budding (new heads develop but are still connected to the main colony), or by splitting (one head becomes two).

In other cases, however, the LPS coral will drop 'daughters' (smaller replicants), possibly as an attempt to create a new colony rather than expand the size of a current one.

Here are two examples of coral 'daughters' in my tank:

Blastomussa 'daughter' (blue mushrooms in the background)
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a259/y2kenny19/Saltwater2009/blastodaughter.jpg

This one apparently formed following the development of a calcium skeleton which developed inside coral tissue rather than from the main skeleton. Basically the skeleton of this daughter was not skeletally attached to the mother colony. As it grew in in size it just dropped off the main colony (for a while it was just hanging on by a thin strand of coral tissue. This daughter is currently the size of a fingernail.

Calaustrea (trumpet/candy cane) 'daughter'
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a259/y2kenny19/Saltwater2009/trumpdaught.jpg

At one point the main colony (currently equivalent in size to a full grown human brain) developed and subsequently dropped a what appeared to be a bare 'calcium shard' which must have had a tiny fragment of coral tissue on it, because it has since become a tiny trumpet coral polyp, smaller than a pea (significantly smaller from the new head formed by splitting which are usually near-bottle cap sized in diameter. I've never seen a trumpet coral this small before. Note how the zoanthids have a larger diameter than it does.

It will be interesting to see how it develops. But then again trumpet coral is becoming a near nuisance in my tank (grow fairly fast and take up a lot of 'real estate').

ILuvMyGoldBarb
01-17-2009, 12:00 AM
Very very cool Kabee. Thanks for sharing.

Rue
01-17-2009, 12:01 AM
My largish finger leather does that...another reason I want to get the frag tank going, so I can take them out of the display and see if they'll grow. They get disturbed too often in the display...

kaybee
01-28-2009, 03:33 AM
The little gravel-sized trumpet coral 'daughter' was at risk of getting 'lost' in the tank (the snail or crabs or water flow kept dislodging it) and it's so small it wouldn't take much for this to disappear somewhere in the tank so I ended up super-gluing it to a piece of rubble:
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a259/y2kenny19/Saltwater2009/tinycandy.jpg

It looks ready to feed but I doubt it could down a mysis shrimp at its current size. In time, if everything goes well, this small daughter will become a colony far larger than the rock it's currently affixed to.

Here it is again in the foreground with some polyps from a mother-colony in the rear for a size comparison:
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a259/y2kenny19/Saltwater2009/bignsmall.jpg