Hi everyone, it has been a long time since I last posted. Lots of things have happened since November of last year, especially in my personal life. I became a dad! People said things will change once I become a parent, and that has been totally true. My priorities have changed and now it is no longer chasing corals, but to spend time with my son and family. But it is only a matter of time, that my little "frag" gets old enough to join me in my adventures. Before we get into today's topic, here are some pictures of my "little man"!
Believe it or not, this is my boy Daniel born on January 21st 2012 smiling after drinking some milk - on his second day of being born!
And here is Daniel at three months - cute little guy, looks like me ha! ha!
At four months old with my wife Anne. That is my elderly Aunt who raised me since I was 8 in the background. We went on a pic-nic and set up a small tent for the day at a park.
And this picture was taken a few days ago. My boy is a happy little man - always smiling and laughing!
So let's get into today's topic. I have many stories to tell but let's start off with what I know best - corals! Please keep in mind that all the pictures were taken with flash under natural light. Of course these would look really nice under our aquarium lights. So if the corals look good under natural light, just imagine under some 20K halides!
So this gorgeous little piece is the famous highly sought after Tongan Micromussa amakuensis. Metallic orange with "steel" markings. Always in tiny to small pieces, these precious corals are only found on reef tops where there is a strong current. When I say strong current, like where the waves crash over the rocks!
This micromussa has more of the "steel" colored rings, very rare and really cool!
Not so rare is the Tongan pink and green favia. This picture truly does no justice, it is a super nice piece. Can't see it but the pink centers are really bright!
Kind of unusual coral. At a glance it looks like a plating montipora of some sort. But check out the grooves and the super hard skeleton tells me that this little gem is a psammocora. Also comes in orange green!
Again a bad picture of a truly super coral. This is a gorgeous orange green lobophyllia, found in deeper waters. The shallow water versions tend to be red!
If you guessed ultra green and white leptastrea, you are correct! Super piece that deserves super attention. This piece, along with all the corals on this post have been exported already. Chances are that this rare colored coral has been fragged into million pieces!
Once in a while we will find a favia that resembles the "Christmas" favias out of Indonesia. These morphs are rare in Tonga, just like the pink and green ones are rare out of Indo.
Don't let the dull colors from the flash fool you, this nice acanthastrea subechinata glows under aquarium lights! Note the whitish markings, many acans will come with these markings and the colors can range from white to pink to sky blue!
This sexy orange green lobo sports pink mouths and a pink rim - wow!!
Montipora danea! Purple with yellow green "bumps", oh and purple polyps too - nice!
One of the most popular corals these days are the platygyra/goniastrea type. The species are hard to tell apart, and some appear to be a convoluted favia. The color range from green to bluish color. My divers swear that they are blue in the ocean!
Everything in Tonga is big, the fungias can get huge! These are the size of heliofungias out of Indonesia. Normal colors are metallic green and purple. Super nice under aquarium lights!
Not so common are the orange morphs of the fungias. This metallic orange monster was "glowing" on the ocean bottom, according to my diver who found it!
Check out this little gem of an acanthastrea! I definitely see three colors on this gorgeous little coral!
Echinophyllia chalices are always high in demand. Good thing we have unlimited permits to export this coral out of Tonga. One of the reasons why this coral has such a high price tag on the retail market in the US, is that it is relatively rare (compared to other corals). It is rare or hard to find because there are virtually no wild Cites for this coral from Indonesia. So all of chalices you see running out there in the market from Indo have been smuggled in. The above piece has a grayish bluish marbled base with red eyes - very nice!
Nice shaped merulinas are hard to find, this one is purple and green!
Another one of those nice convoluted favid type of corals!
Scolymia vitiensis! This one is metallic orange with pink marbles! Sure would look awesome under some 20ks!
Nice plating psammocora! This one is orange with green hi-lights. It appeared to be solid orange under natural lighting, but when taken with flash, you can see some of the green!
This coral is known as a "worm brain" in Tonga. Definitely a platygyra species. Note the little white mark on the coral. Many of these type of corals host a tiny shrimp or a crab living in a hole. Really cute when they stick their heads out!
This is a euphyllia glabrescense, also known as the torch coral. We have two species, the other one is the cristata species which has shorter polyps when extended. Our Tongan euphyllias are not as nice as the Indo cousins but still the demand for them are high. Why? Simply because we can ship as many as the customer wants with proper permits. Out of Indo, the Cites permit for these corals definitely are not enough to meet the demand.
Pink stylophoras are nice out of Tonga. Sometimes we find the nicer pink ones with green polyps!
Montipora peltiformis, always popular due to their bright yellow base with purple polyps!
Cute pink seriotopora hystrix with yellow green tips!
Wow! This orange green lobophyllia is crazy! Indonesia has some nice ones, but this one can go toe to toe with any of the super nice ones from the Coral Triangle! It is sitting in someone's tank right now, probably in the dealer's show tank - ha! ha!
The most unique coral from the South Pacific, the famous Tongan Pavona maldivensis! They come in both green and orange. This perfect shaped specimen is a gem mint 10!
Killer metallic orange three headed scolymia vitiensis!
Nice red lobo with green white center. Small but definitely a gem!
And finally can't have a coral list without an acropora - my specialty! This nice medium sized colony is a tri color, Acropora secale. We also have the other tri color, validas but the branches tend to be thinner and longer. Again this picture does no justice. Take a picture of your favorite acro in the water with a flash, then you will know what I am talking about.
Ok guys that is it for today's post. Stayed tuned as I will be posting regularly from now on (really honest this time ha! ha!). If you are a dealer and would be interested in my Tongan corals, please don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.