Kessil

Who throws away coral?

dochou

Supporting Member
Just curious how many people throw out live coral into the trash when the growth becomes overwhelming?
I feel bad doing it on rare occasions that I have to clue a colony back. For example, GSP or zoas or monti cap.
I always offer them free to fellow reefers, but there aren't always takers.
Seems odd that we have to euthanize these animals.
 
I have tossed out a piece of GSP after it attached to the glass. The mother did not look very healthy and had some white stuff growing on it. Seemed like the thing to do since the propagation on the glass looked so much better. I would imagine a lot of us here have tossed out coral from time to time.
 

JVU

President
BOD
It has taken me many years to get comfortable with doing this, and I only have pretty recently. Often the alternative is having it overgrow and damage other coral or even have the colony put at additional risk itself. I had some recent painful RTN episodes that were partly driven by letting some large colonies get out of control including growing through the water surface and into each other. I think it is important to trim back coral when needed. Obviously better to share frags, but if there are no takers or doing it would be prohibitively difficult, then better to throw away the extra for the good of the other coral in the tank.

One way to rationalize it is to think about what happens on a reef- portions of coral are dying all the time on a healthy reef, and contributing to the reef base and substrate.
 

sfsuphysics

Frag Swap Coordinator
BOD
I don't feel bad killing ants, or other pests in the yard (I don't do it maliciously with a magnifying glass or anything), I I don't feel bad using hand sanitizer and killing upwards of a billion lifeforms in an instant, I don't feel bad yanking plants in my backyard that don't fit what I like to "make pretty", and I certainly don't feel bad throwing away corals either. I'll absolutely attempt to give them away first, but the way I think about it is I got a relatively small amount of a coral (aka frag) and through my car the colony has grown substantially bigger and given the opportunity would grow without limit, so much like farmers I'm simply culling the herd.

I'm not going to be a hypocrite here, I have no delusions about saving the world's oceans with my hobby since that side of things don't want corals from our tanks anyways, I have glass tanks full of water so I can have pretty. And it's as selfish as that.
 

keithschon

Supporting Member
I frequently prune my Kenya tree and pulsing xenia and throw them out. At this point, I think of it as part of my tank's nutrient export program. I do give them away whenever I can find somebody who wants them.
 

Kremis

Supporting Member
Yeah when a frag becomes too infested with something, like bubble algae, hydroids, aptasia etc depending on the type of coral its not worth saving lol
 

Wlachnit

Member Relations
BOD
I regularly throw out my SPS trimmings...because most of my corals (these days) are fairly pedestrian And there are few takers.
 

newfly

Supporting Member
Gsp, Xenia, anthelia, leathers, monti cap, purple stylo, birdsnests, rainbow monti. Yep. Lots of times.

Next time you do any trimming, let me know. My tank have stabilized (from Alk swing) and time to restock. I managed to kill the stylo and monti from you in March i think.
 

dochou

Supporting Member
I don't feel bad killing ants, or other pests in the yard (I don't do it maliciously with a magnifying glass or anything), I I don't feel bad using hand sanitizer and killing upwards of a billion lifeforms in an instant, I don't feel bad yanking plants in my backyard that don't fit what I like to "make pretty", and I certainly don't feel bad throwing away corals either. I'll absolutely attempt to give them away first, but the way I think about it is I got a relatively small amount of a coral (aka frag) and through my car the colony has grown substantially bigger and given the opportunity would grow without limit, so much like farmers I'm simply culling the herd.

I'm not going to be a hypocrite here, I have no delusions about saving the world's oceans with my hobby since that side of things don't want corals from our tanks anyways, I have glass tanks full of water so I can have pretty. And it's as selfish as that.

Great answer!
But I still feel guilty.
The problem is that these are not insects, plants, or lower life forms like bacteria; these are actually animals. They are in the animal kingdom and, to me, that's what makes them so interesting. People who aren't in the hobby often look at my corals as plants and I educate them, explaining that they are actually animals.
 

sfsuphysics

Frag Swap Coordinator
BOD
Great answer!
But I still feel guilty.
The problem is that these are not insects, plants, or lower life forms like bacteria; these are actually animals. They are in the animal kingdom and, to me, that's what makes them so interesting. People who aren't in the hobby often look at my corals as plants and I educate them, explaining that they are actually animals.
insects are part of the animal kingdom ... or at least they were when I was a kid who knows what science has classified today :D
 

JVU

President
BOD
For me a big part of my hangup is the lost opportunity of sharing the coral with someone. Since I know people are wanting and paying quite a bit for the pieces I’m throwing out. But the reality is that sharing coral cuttings is many times more effort than trimming and trashing, even if there are people wanting the frags. Sometimes it just isn’t possible/feasible. And connecting with those people who want that exact piece and are willing to go through the process of arranging and getting it makes it so much more difficult.

If there were a frictionless way to share frags with people who want them, like we have with the electronic flow of information now, that would really change how I think of this. Our revamped DBTC program and especially our frag swaps, are big steps in the right direction here. But still a lot more difficult to make, tank, and deliver frags than just to trash them.

The other big part of the hangup for me is that I put a lot of time, effort, and love into growing my coral pets. Obviously not the same connection as with a mammalian pet, but still much more of a connection than a bush in the yard or some pest. More similar to how I feel really conflicted about trimming way back a large tree I love in my yard. I know it needs to be done for the good of the tree and other plants, but still hard.
 

Michael Hans

Supporting Member
Just curious how many people throw out live coral into the trash when the growth becomes overwhelming?
I feel bad doing it on rare occasions that I have to clue a colony back. For example, GSP or zoas or monti cap.
I always offer them free to fellow reefers, but there aren't always takers.
Seems odd that we have to euthanize these animals.
I'm in Alameda and would be happy to take any zoas from you.
 
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