Aquarium Fish

Practical Coral Farming Book

The Ways, the Means and the Business
By Miguel Tolosa
Publisher: Unknown (2008)

Practical Coral Farming

The book Practical Coral Farming - the ways, the means and the business is about, you guessed it, setting up your very own coral farm. This book is geared towards reef tank hobbyists that are having good success growing corals and maybe want to venture into making it more of a serious business venture. Coral farming is not a get rich quick type of thing. It takes financial investment to get the proper equipment and can be a big time investment before you can even sell your first coral frag. Practical Coral Farming will help get you up to speed with all kinds of tips from someone that is actually running their own coral farm.

Given the current state of affairs regarding the coral reefs of the world coral farming is becoming more and more important. We could see in the near future new laws being imposed on the collection of wild corals in order to help save the reefs. The coral reefs of the world are being bombarded from several angles. Global warming, ocean acidification, pollution and nutrient imbalances, over fishing decimating the food webs leading to increased algae growth, etc. Growing your own corals is actually looking rather promising as a side job. This could help the hobby in several ways:

  • Less demand on wild corals
  • Tank raised corals are already adapted to aquarium conditions and tend to fare better long term
  • Perhaps tank raised corals could help replenish wild coral reefs if and when the world comes together to get a handle on the many issues negatively impacting the reefs
Practical Coral Farming is about 135 pages, so it's a rather quick read. But don't let it's small size fool you. It is literally packed with tons of information that you'll find useful if you're just starting out with growing your own coral frags. If you've been growing your own frags for awhile much of the information may not be new to you. So, what's in this book? It's set up as sort of a list of topics and the author provides the important information on each topic divided into sections.
  • Introduction - basically explains how growing corals is not a get rick quick type of thing and that it's not for everyone.

  • Business Jargon - information on how to set up your own LLC or company.

  • Suppliers - where to get good mother colony coral and how to find good suppliers.

  • It Begins - how to set up your operation. Optimum tank depth, finding tanks, sumps, water, turnover rate, water movement and maximizing flow. Also provides information on removing caulerpa from live rock

  • Lighting - T5 fluorescent vs. Metal Halides, VHO and Power Compact lighting

  • Quality Water - Salt, salinity, evaporation and dealing with temperature extremes

  • Filtration - deep sand beds, phosphate and carbon reactors, protein skimmer, ozone, calcium and alkalinity

  • Corals - soft corals, mushrooms, ricordia, xenia, zoanthids, LPS and SPS

  • Quarantine and Pests- acropora coral and their pests, acropora crabs, montipora coral, camel shrimp solution, LPS and soft corals, aiptasia and majano anemones, microalgae, old dips, new nudi dip, fungal infection dip and zoa pox.

  • Propagation - the tools, frag plugs and superglue

  • Fragging Corals - tips on how to frag mushrooms, zoanthids, LPS, SPS, soft corals, feeding corals, zoanthid tricks and water quality

  • Photography - photoshop and picture editing (and why you shouldn't be using photoshop to enhance your pictures), how to use light in photography.

  • Sales, Sales Venues, Accepting Payments, Shipping, Boxes, Bags, Coolers, etc.

This is definitely a quick but very interesting book and well worth the $20 price. Do you currently have a reef tank setup and your corals are growing well? By reading this book you can learn in a day or two about growing and selling your own coral frags along with lots of miscellaneous tips and advice from someone that is actually already doing it. The only negative is the amount of typos and grammatical errors, which to me is not a big deal since I'm just as guilty with the stuff I write. For the information given and the price of the book, I give Practical Coral Farming four and a half stars 4.5 stars.

Rating Information
Review Title: Practical Coral Farming
Reviewed by: Mike FishLore
Summary: Coral Farming Book
Description: A book that teaches those interested in growing corals as a business the ropes.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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