Gorgonian (Soft) Corals…



Soft Corals (Common Name)

Many Gorgonian Species-


Suborders: Scleraxonia and Holaxonia





Size: Colony to to 4 ft+, All contain “woody stem” inside. (Personal Observation/published data)

Known Depth Ranges: 1-250 Feet (Published data)

Known Temperature Range: 70-84 (Known temp range where collected)

Known Current Range: 0-3 knots (Personal Observation)

Known Silt Tolerance: moderate to high tolerance (From site conditions)

Known Salinity Range: 1.019-1.027 (From tank Conditions)



Transplant Documentation:


Easily transplanted with rapid growth characteristics and high success rates.  However, not reef building species.  The technique to get them attached to the cement plug is to use a nail clipper or small sharp scissors to strip away the living flesh at the base exposing the internal “woody stem”….just like stripping the end of an electrical wire.  Then, embed just the woody part into the concrete all the way down until the living flesh just touches the liquid cement in your plug.  Propagation Documentation:


Propagation Documentation:

Available commercially from Applied Marine Technologies in Dominica.  Easy to propagate with scissors…you don’t have to have a growing tip as a new one will form. 


Other Notes:

Sea Fans require specialized techniques and are not recommended for non-scientific groups. Start with 4 inch square cuttings which include a vein at the bottom, strip the flesh from the vein and lower 1/3rd inch of square and embed this area into the plug.  Must be placed where it gets both light and platonic food.  Don't expect growth rates over 1-3 cm. per year. Surge zone recommended.  Orient the square in the same direction as other sea fans in the immediate area. (Often facing the shore).  Sea Fans are being attached by a land based fungus in the Keys.  It is unclear if this fungus is systemic or if it is possible to save these sea fans via propagation.  Please report any data on this to us.


Resistance to Algae Overgrowth:


Gorgonians: The results vary per individual. They usually grow at very fast but some develop a strong base and others don't. Also some grow fast quickly branching and others grow slow and just have two branches. They easily form new branches after breakage.