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Gorgonian Gallery


Eunicea sp. - Knobby Sea Rod Propagation
Picture taken March 2000, Nikon Coolpix 950 digital camera, Full flash

The branches to my Knobby Sea Rods Eunicea sp. were getting so long that they started to sweep against my SPS corals which is a major No-No in my tank. Two branches that were very long got about seven inches cut off. I also had a small colony growing in the shadows of two larger colonies. This small colony was also removed.

Gorgonians like this respond very well to being propagated.

First I cut the branches from the parent colony using my dedicated reefing scissors shows in the picture. The parent colony showed no ill effects other than the closing of polyps near where it was cut. As a side note the parent colony showed full recovery and a closing of the opening within 3 days.

Next I removed a small chunk of live rock to be used for mounting the cuttings. I used a crowbar and a hammer to break it into three chunks.

I then drilled holes into the rock wide enough for the cuttings to fit into.

Next I prepared some generic two part stick epoxy according to instructions on the package. You will not need much.

Lightly pat the cuttings to dry them slightly. Be very careful not to squeeze the cutting as this will kill that part of the coral. The cuttings quickly start to slime on you so you want to do this quickly-- I inserted the cuttings into the hole and firmly placed the epoxy around the cutting and worked the epoxy into cracks and nocks in the rock. This helps to keep the epoxy firmly attached to the rock since it does not actually stick (its not a glue).

Finally I placed the cuttings back into the tank in fairly strong flow. Within about 30 minutes after being back in the tank the polyps were starting to open.