There are a number of different techniques used to produce the corals depending on the species. With some corals frags are produced and then grown to a size where they can be split in two, one frag is then grown on to sell and the other kept to produce the next generation. With some other species, particularly the plating corals, large colonies are grown and regularly pruned to produce frags which are then grown on in the coral farm. With most of the branching sps species parent racks are produced. A number of frags of the same species are placed in a rack and left to completely encrust over the rack and produce numerous new branches. These branches are then regularly pruned to produce new frags which are grown on to sell. The picture to the righ shows a section of a parent Montipora rack.
There are other species of coral such as the encrusting hard corals, zooanthiids and encrusting soft corals where the corals are grown on disc which are then shipped out to customers.
Due to the huge variety of corals and their varying demands and growth forms we have developed many farming techniques over the years that are individual to certain species of coral and we are always working on new methods. This allows us to farm species of coral that were previously thought to be too difficult and slow to farm sustainably.
We have been carefully selecting individual corals to farm for many years, over this time we have found some of the most stunningly coloured examples of species and it is these ones that are nurtured and grown to produce the best coloured individuals of any species. Also due to the fact that we have had these species of coral for many years they have become very adapted to life in captivity and so are hardier than newly imported corals.
At Reefworks, if a species of coral cannot be grown in a sustainable and viable manner it will not be used. It is for this reason that you will not find certain genera at Reefworks. We do not buy in corals, frag them up and sell them and then buy in another colony to produce more frags. The key for us is to be self sustainable and to produce healthy vibrant coloured corals that have had no negative impact on natural reefs.