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DBTC Program - What is it and how does it work? - Here are the Details

Discussion in 'Instructions for DBTC' started by CRW Reef, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. CRW Reef

    CRW Reef Orca M.A.S.C Club Member ex-officio

    It has recently come to light that there has been some confusion about and disregard for the DBTC "rules". Everyone needs to completely understand and read the rules before participating in the program.

    So.....In effort to preserve the quality and absolute great benefit of being a MASC member and being a part of this great community, it is time to give the Program rules, info and guidelines a bump. Please see below.

    Don't Break the Chain Introduction

    Welcome to the Marine Aquarium Society of Colorado "Don't Break the Chain" (DBTC) Forum--- home for all activities related to our exciting new program for advancing and "Paying Forward " the hobby. (Introduction partially copied from the Manhattan Reefs club website)

    The DBTC program was conceived by the Bay Area Reefers (BAR) club and has since been implemented by several other clubs in New York and California. The concept is a rather simple system for giving or "paying forward" coral frags with no immediate returns. The program is designed with few rules other than no sales or trades are allowed. The participants make up the terms of their "giving" and it is up to the good conscience of the recipient to carry out those wishes. Unfortunately, it's not possible to "keep people honest". The hope is that by the time a reefer has become a club member and been introduced to the spirit of community and sharing that a hobbyist club offers, they'll see the benefit of behaving in a community oriented way. The DBTC program simply assumes that the vast majority of participants will behave correctly and proceeds from there. It's a true "Pay it Forward" program both in terms of the actual coral being exchanged and the spirit of generosity and goodwill that goes with it. To this end we envision very little direct moderation from MASC Board Members other than removing inappropriately placed posts and perhaps some tidying up of threads for record keeping purposes. If members are abusing the system, they will be quickly found out by the participants and simply shut out of future transactions. All we ask at this time is that all DBTC transactions (offerings, completions and future paying forward) are posted in this forum so we can use the information to keep track of the program and make decisions about future modifications or additional programs.

    What is DBTC?
    DBTC, stands for Don't Break The Chain--the idea is that it works like a Pay It Forward (PIF) type program where someone donates a particular coral fragment with the idea that the person(s) who get said fragment will grow it out giving to others, who will in turn make free fragments for others, etc.

    I still don't get it. Why do we have this?
    The idea behind it is to help spread coral species throughout the region. This will hopefully lessen the impact of taking corals from the oceans, as well as help spread diversity throughout the area. The idea was a way to push a non-greedy method of helping get corals out there to people. If you can get a coral fragment from a local farmer, that means less of an impact on the oceans. A great many of the "abundant" corals are not in any way marine/aqua cultured since it's still profitable to hack them out of the seas.

    Ok fine, so how do I get some free corals?
    They are not intended nor should they be viewed as free corals. While you will get "free corals" eventually, this is not what this program is about-- this is about sharing and being willing to share with others. The programs goal is to promote coral propagation in the home aquarium to help in taking a bit of relief from natural reef collecting. While inevitably there will be a bit of a "greed" factor that seeps in-- especially with more desirable corals-- you have to understand the idea is that more will be offered in the future. The way it works is that each coral grows exponentially (ideally), so while it may take some time the coral will be offered again. This program is NOT about stocking your empty tank with new corals for free, what it is about is helping grow a renewable resource and making it available to others for free.

    Time? How much time do I need to wait?
    It depends entirely on the amount of corals that are initially offered, and the type of corals. Some corals, specifically soft ones, grow quite readily so can be fragmented and dispersed quite rapidly. Others, like the small polyped stony corals grow relatively slowly, some grow a few inches a year! So it might take longer. Patience is the key, again this isn't to stock your tank full of corals so there should be no rush on getting one.

    I don't have any Limited Edition or otherwise rare corals, can I still participate?
    It doesn't matter, this program is not about distributing rare corals--if that happens all the better --however what is needed is a sharing of all corals not just rare ones. You have those brown mushrooms, offer them up-- just don't be sad if no one wants any.

    Ok, I have corals I'd like to donate, who do I give them too? What do I do?
    Alright, now we're talking! If you’ve got an animal that has grown enough to be shared with others you are ready to launch your DBTC experience! Also, this program isn’t just for coral. Snails, macro algae, fish, live sand etc… basically anything you can captive propagate is fair game!
    All right, now we're talking! First you give them to whomever you wish. They are your corals after all. Go start a new topic in the DBTC forum and type in all the gory details! You might want to list some guidelines, or follow some standard guidelines to help you determine the next, best, home for your captive raised baby.

    How to Post:
    1) Give a brief description of the coral in the thread topic, "Blue Acropora" for example.
    2) Give a bit more detailed description of the coral in the body of the message. If you don't know the exact species, don’t worry. It's hard, it's a stick, call it an Acropora! Mention what lighting you have it under, how high in the tank it is, the flow conditions, water test results, or anything else that you think is relevant.
    3) A picture is worth a thousand words! Get a camera, take a picture, and don’t worry if it's not the best. Post to any one the many online photo hosting sites (photobucket.com, imageshack.us) and then post via image tags in the body of the message
    4) Clearly state your terms for this DBTC transaction, and what you would like to see happen with the coral.

    Threads will be arranged in a similar way to this

    Beginner – This category contains fairly common corals (non rare zoas, xenia, Kenya trees, etc.) These corals are ideal for members new to the hobby, as they grow well in newer systems or low light systems.

    Standard - This category contains the majority of corals in the program, including SPS, LPS, etc. Members propagating this category of coral have a system capable of handling the coral they are asking for (i.e. established system of 4 months +, and satisfying lighting/water requirements for these corals).

    Extreme – This category contains rare or normally very expensive corals (for example, bubblegum watermelon chalice). Members propagating this level of DBTC coral have a system capable of handling any coral they are asking for (i.e. established aquarium with lighting/water parameters suitable for these challenging specimens).

    Non corals- Any other captive-propagated marine life goes here! Algae, snails, crabs, shrimp, fish, anemones, etc...


    The suggested guidelines are only suggestions, all final decisions can be made by each donor. This is a voluntary program and part of the fun is giving with as little or as many conditions as you see fit.

    1.Recipient must be a www.marinecolorado.org member, with priority given to MASC members and those with active DBTC corals.
    2. Must have a tank that can support the coral, as shown in a "build thread" or other post on www.marinecolorado.org to illustrate the potential new home
    3.You agree to give 2 frags of this coral to 2 more people through DBTC before selling/trading any of it. (This is to keep the exponential growth thing going)
    4.You agree to pick up at my home in (city), a MASC event, or a mutually agreed upon location
    5. If I lose this species and want it back, I get the next available frag in this chain.

    Ideally, we will have be an ever increasing number of chains(coral species) and each chain should be producing new coral fragments at an exponential rate. If 1 coral fragment recipient grew the coral out and passed on 2 fragments, the chain would experience exponential growth.

    That’s really it. We’ll see how this evolves and make some adjustments if need be. For now, let’s all begin to "Pay it Forward" MASC DBTC style……

    Again if you have any questions or comment as to how to make this a better program or how something works let us know​
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2014
  2. sweat044

    sweat044 Prawn

    I will admit when I first started I didn't know what DBTC was. I have never gotten anything but at first I thought. Wow. I can get free Corals. I would recommend this be read by everyone and understand.
  3. CRW Reef

    CRW Reef Orca M.A.S.C Club Member ex-officio

    Bump for any new comers and those whom forgot about the program.
  4. Smiley

    Smiley Barracuda M.A.S.C Club Member

    Re: DBTC Program - What is it and how does it work? - Here are the Details

    How does the club track its DBTC corals? In BAR, we had tracking system built by a member specifically for drupal. Since MASC doesn't use drupal, what tracking do you use?
  5. scchase

    scchase Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    The honor system right now
  6. fireheadman

    fireheadman Copepod

    can't wait to start participating in this..... Still stabilizing my system.
  7. CRW Reef

    CRW Reef Orca M.A.S.C Club Member ex-officio

    Giving this a bump for some of our newest members and a memory refresher that we have this program and it should be ever growing in volume as the club continues to grow. Also please remember that it is against MASC rules and guidelines to ask for DBTCs and ever worse to call them free corals lol.
  8. SilverSurfer

    SilverSurfer Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member

    Just completed my first DBTC's today as someone finally wanted what I have lol.
  9. sethsolomon

    sethsolomon Shark M.A.S.C Club Member

    Bump for the few new members that have not read the MASC rules and guidelines.
  10. hooked

    hooked Copepod S.C.M.A.S BOD M.A.S.C Club Member

    Allow me to add something to this thread.
    The MASC DBTC program has gained national following. Several other reefclubs and organizations have used these rules to implement their own program. I even read about the MASC DBTC in a national magazine publication some time back.

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