Starting a coral farm for wholesale?

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Ladies and Gentlemen I'm constantly fascinated with corals and would love to start a coral farm to aquaculture corals.

I'm an apprentice production engineer who has two coral tanks a 100 litre soft coral and a 180 litre stony coral tank. I just think corals are amazing and so good to look at and its fun to grow them.

I've been thinking about starting out small and slow by collecting as many species as possible that are easy to propagate and would sell well and then to grow around 10 colony's from the parents. From the colony's I would let them to grow out to be fragged for small frags or mini colony's and let them encrust to then be sold for wholesale. The plan is to start out in a shed and sell eye catching soft corals and SPS as they would be the easiest to propagate and grow. While growing out colony's of other coral to build stock over the years. I wouldn't be selling any corals for a good few years as I would rather let them adjust to the system and grow rapidly.

I plan in the future to buy a unit for my coral farm but also for other activitys.

I would also try to breed scolymia, elagance coral, fungia corals by attempting to get them to spawn this will take research and many attempts. I dont expect to make any profit for years to come but I would love to give it ago and support it through my job and coral swaps, sells until I can geta larger volume of coral for sale.

Unfortunately I wouldnt be trying it with hard to grow corals that wont be profitable such as wall hammers due to there slow growth compared to branching hammers.
The plain is to do all of this part time and to automate the all of the water parameters. The goal is to make profit but wont be expecting any profit for many years to come.


What is everyones opion of this? any suggestions?

HK_Fuey

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Reply #1

Sounds brilliant, but hard work. There's lots of options for automation, do you have anything in mind already?
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Discospartan100

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Reply #2

Sounds brilliant, but hard work. There's lots of options for automation, do you have anything in mind already?

The only automation options I can think of is automatic light timers along with a control unit to control multiple sensors for the parameters and dosers along with an auto top off and automatic water change. I be aiming to do it as cheap as possible while still producing quality corals.

I'm still playing around with ideas as I won't be starting the project until late next year when out.
 

HK_Fuey

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Reply #3

Motivation
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ajm83

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Reply #4

more motivation!

Discospartan100

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Reply #5

Love the video that sort of scale is what I would love to get to in the future.


I agree with making there own coral food as I was thinking about that as well and it be more nutritious, less nitrates and phosphates if the food is alive.


Whats the optimal light conditions for growing coral?
Is there a way to know what corals need what light? or is it just trial and error with a par meter?


I looked at a research paper to see if the LEDS, metal halides or T5 lghts are best for growing montipora capricornis in 3 different tanks with each a different light option all at the same kelvin and height.


Turns out metal halides were the worst performer for growth in the top level but best for growth in the middle and bottom level.


T5 was the best for top level growth and alright for medium and bottom level growth.
LEDS was the worst performer for growth for the bottom and medium but beat the Metal halide for growth in the top level.


T5 was maybe the best due to the light is spread uni formally out across the whole tank.


I was planning to grow everything in shallow water up to 30cm deep.












What method is best for maintaining  the tank water chemistry the Triton method or water changes. A study was done at the Georgia aquarium tank for the whale shark tank and how the bacteria behaves. and with the water changes the bacteria populations would fluctuate.

Mike

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Reply #6

Liveaquaria has lighting placement tips for each species, also flow rates and neighbours.
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Discospartan100

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Reply #7

Liveaquaria has lighting placement tips for each species, also flow rates and neighbours.

To be honest I'm trying to stay away from general information about coral placement due to be wanting to optimise the coral growth for various species.

Would you know any research papers which say how long the photoperiod in general should be and if the lights turn on slowly.

Like what corals use what spectrum of light. surely corals that are exposed to the open air and in shallow reefs needs different spectrum of light compared to deeper water coral with the traditional blue and violet light spectrum.


Mike

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Reply #8

Corals only use light for growing the algae that live in their tissue and produce sugars the coral feeds on.

Red light is accepted as being the end of the spectrum that stimulates photosynthesis most.

As for papers, no, we’re a small hobby forum not a scientific journal but if you find something contrary to what we understand, please enlighten us.
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HK_Fuey

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Reply #9

I'd suggest you read this cover to cover for lots of in-depth, species specific advice. It's an excellent book:
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Discospartan100

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Reply #10

I'd suggest you read this cover to cover for lots of in-depth, species specific advice. It's an excellent book:


I'm actually reading that exact book right now haha. It's a very good read with lots of information. only on chapter 2 though.

When I have time I'm looking through research papers as well just to see how growth can be optimized for different species.

Discospartan100

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Reply #11

Corals only use light for growing the algae that live in their tissue and produce sugars the coral feeds on.

Red light is accepted as being the end of the spectrum that stimulates photosynthesis most.

As for papers, no, we’re a small hobby forum not a scientific journal but if you find something contrary to what we understand, please enlighten us.

Intresting. I've briefly read something about red light is used by corals upto 10metres deep.

However blue and violet spectrum light are the most usable. But no corals can grow in red light dominated aquariums otherwise they beach and die.

I need to do alot more reading haha.

Discospartan100

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Reply #12


How much would people pay for small coral frags that has been aquacultured in the uk at 1nch squared? of course it depends on the type of coral of well.


Is there a demand for aquacultured corals? Some corals shops in the uk are making a killing by chopping up imported colony's then selling the frags.

HK_Fuey

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Reply #13

You'd have to market to those that look for aqua-cultured corals, or price-match imported corals, so if the choice is one or the other, then aqua-cultured should win.
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Discospartan100

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Reply #14

Lots of fish's stores are interested they all want to know prices however its impossible to price match imported corals. Imported corals will always be cheaper or more bang for your buck.

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