It is important to remember that taking corals from the wild is illegal without a permit from the relevant organisation, usually the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Moreton Bay Marine Park Authority or the state Environmental Protection Agencies. Corals are prepared for laboratory identification by bleaching with household bleach and rinsing in fresh water, then drying them bone dry in the sun. For genetic studies, a very small piece of tissue is taken and placed in a specified medium, most frequently full strength ethanol. For studies of tissue structures (e.g. gonads) and for histological sections, a sample should be fixed in 4% formaldehyde for 48 hours and then placed in 75% ethanol.

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