Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Acros and Montis!

I was just talking to one of my good old customers back from the Tropical Paradise days, and he was asking about sps. His name is Roy (Radiolunatic was his handle on RC), and he was especially excited about me working in his native homeland. We are going to hook up when he comes back to Indonesia, should be a lot of fun. But for now, here you go Roy, some pictures of sps that I've encountered during my "coral adventures". Most of these corals have been exported already. Please keep in mind that all of these corals will morph into different colors under artificial lights. Rarely do we see wild acros and montis looking like the pieces in our tanks, even if they are the same coral. Cheers - Eddie

One of a kind acropora! It is a deepwater species. At first glance, it looks like an echinata but it isn't. It actually is an Acropora Speciosa. It was light yellow - green with purple polyps - another incredible acro from Bali.

This picture does not do justice! This little beauty had three intense colors. The picture was taken at night with flash (same with the speciosa above). I can't imagine what colors it would have turned under some 400 watt 20k's, definitely a limited edition piece!

Some typical Superman Montis. You can't see the polyps from the picture, but they are orange. The polyp colors range from dull orange to bright orange (almost red). Some of these actually can morph into the rainbow monti under halides, although I've seen some wild ones and cultured ones too that have this color. I wonder how much I could have sold an eight inch colony piece for back in my old TP days? hm...... Notice the undata piece on the right corner? You can see two other pieces below.

Take a look at these babys! These are Montipora Undatas. I took this picture out of water while waiting for the corals to be packed. The pieces already had purple rims with greenish purple base. Awesome!!!

This little gem is a tenuis, most dark purple I've ever seen. Again under natural lighting. I really need to get some halides over here!

Sorry for the blurry picture. This a true Bali echinata. It was collected at around 60 feet. Typical of deepwater acros the base color was brown, although it did sport some light bluish tips. I think it would have turned into a truly spectacular piece under artificial lighting. Most of these bottlebrush type of acros are very delicate. I actually broke some corallites when I picked this piece up for a picture. Note that most echinatas in the hobby are not true echinatas. For marketing and money making purposes, any coral that has long elongated corallites are being called echinatas. A good example of this is the Bali aquacultured blue echinata. This actually is a gomezi species. Even to this day, people still sell them as echinatas. For most people, it wouldn't matter, but for true sps geeks like Roy and I, it still matters. A true echinata is a very fragile and very rare acropora. One day I will culture these and have a limited edition of my own. The only true echinatas that are floating around the hobby are the ones from the South Pacific. These are typically found in shallow water and are yellow or green. A really common looking coral that gets nobody's attention. I think I was the only one excited when I found them in Tonga, back a few years ago.

Some of the acros available at a supplier. These suppliers buy corals from fishermen and sell them to the exporters like me. The only difference is that I take the time to go to these remote places and hand pick my own coral, instead of just ordering and relying on them to send. I do pay a higher price, but it is well worth it. I market these corals as " eddie's hand picks", or ehp corals to my customers. Can you imagine the excitement! Even after doing this for a long time, my adrenaline still pumps when I walk in to a supplier because I never know what I will find. Who knows, I might find a large colony of my true undata (Steve Tyree's limited edition that he got from me). But getting back to the picture. The green acros at the top are Sunharsonois while the others are granulosas, carolinias, loripes, subglabras, and a few others I did not recognize offhand. All of these are deeper water acros, unlike the one below.

Ah yes, the old favorite - Acropora Millepora. These come in all kinds of colors, blue, pink,purple, green, yellow, red, and orange. Some of them have multiple colors and are very striking. This large tabling millepora colony came from around 15 feet of water in nutrient rich waters around the main island of Java.

Another stunning piece of a small millepora colony. Again wish had some halides!
Another highly potential montipora undata. This one came from the very deep. It was collected with the deepwater acros. The color was slight purple, but more brown. But again when I got my true undata, it also was brown, chocolate brown, but look what is turned into.

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