Original environment rehabilitation manual 3.368

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Coral and substrate can be attached to a module at a variety of methods, and the species may be placed at varying densities and height on a module.

Methods of attachment[edit | edit source]

Using coral plug adaptors[edit | edit source]

File:Applying substrate with coral to module image 1.jpg
Coral Plugs before and after attachment.
Re-stabilization of Montastrea cavernosa onto a Reef Ball using a 4” drilled hole and epoxy. Photos from left to right show the colony; immediately after stabilization, 3 months, and 6 months post-stabilization.

In order to make the underwater work most efficient, it is necessary to know in advance which coral species your project will be working with. In many cases, it is best to determine your planting strategy before construction of modules begins. Most coral species can be planted using a standard coral plug that is the size of a medicine cup. Some coral species, particularly gorgonians, can be directly planted without a plug in holes the size of a pencil. Some coral species, particularly larger re-stabilized brain or star corals, may require customized plugs and adapters. For example, the second image shows the re-stabilization of a Montastrea cavernosa (Cavernous star coral) colony made with a 4-inch core drill. If you are unsure of how to re-stabilize or propagate a specific species with your chosen module type, consult your module manufacturer or a coral propagation expert.

With the Reef Ball Coral Adapter Plug system, planting effort can be as easy as mixing a special two part underwater epoxy and attaching a pre-plugged coral fragment to the Reef Ball. A bit of hands on training is required to master this step but a good diver can learn to plant up to about 100 coral plugs per hour. Unfortunately, planting is not nearly so simple from a long term outcome perspective.

Using ?[edit | edit source]

to be added

Placement on module[edit | edit source]

Just a a gardener has to carefully plan rows, crop types, sun exposure, soil conditions, ... similar planning is required for corals. At Damage assessment and project organising, you already determined on what types of corals you wanted to propogate and where these main corals were to be planted. Now howevern you will need to determine beforehand which corals you will plant on each module, in which density and at a certain height.

Additional things to consider when placing the coral+substrate into the module are:

  • Mucus is secreted by some corals when under stress. While this is a method of protection for the coral doing the secreting it can be very harmful (toxic) to other corals. A mucus web can also be secreted to capture food, but the one we are most concerned about is the one used for protection.
  • Chemical warfare: Because space on the reefs can be limited corals compete in order to expand by producing a toxic compound. The toxic compounds also discourage predation. Only about 50% of the corals produce these compounds and they range in potency from very toxic to harmful.
  • Before attaching a coral in its new location is is necessary to consider proper placement:
    • By Compatibility of neighboring species
    • By water conditions
    • By lighting conditions
    • Room to grow
    • Room to expand
    • Room for sweeper tentacles
    • First look at the conditions the coral originated from, this will give you an indication of where it should be place on the Reef ball. Specifically note the the zone, water depth, water conditions i.e. high or low water flow, turbidity, distance from the bottom, compatible or non-compatible species nearby, ... Because the conditions under which a coral grows is a key factor in determining their growth form. Each category of coral falls into a coral zone.

Coral zones: TO BE ADDED

Branching corals[edit | edit source]

When relocating branching corals be sure to place them high up on the Reef ball where they can be exposed to the strongest current high light and surge conditions.

Encrusting corals[edit | edit source]

Almost any were on the ball as long as they get some flow past them and are not in total shade.

Solitary corals[edit | edit source]

They are not good candidates for planting on a module. Be sure when relocating these corals that they are placed upright and on sand or rubble bottom and not in contact with other corals.

Tabulate corals[edit | edit source]

Placement on the Reef Ball:Room must be provided for these corals to spread out horizontally as they mature. They should also be place in the upper to mid range quadrants of the Reef ball.

Foliaceous corals[edit | edit source]

These corals require high water movement but not surge, strong light, and high nutrients.

Laminar corals[edit | edit source]

Placement on the Reef Ball: Care must be taken when planting the plug to be sure the polyps are facing up.