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Old 02-19-2006, 12:27 PM   #1
ouccmich
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best online coral store?


Has anyone had any luck with online coral purchases? I love my LFS, but they are pricy. Just curious if anyone has had any luck with online coral stores (price wise and quality wise). Plus, the shipping seems to drive the cost through the roof!
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Old 02-19-2006, 12:37 PM   #2
m3rma1d
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I order from www.saltwaterfish.com a lot, but they've never got a whole lotta corals in stock to choose from.. but the ones I've gotten were good, mind you.

I ordered star polyps size med, and green star polyps size small from http://www.liveaquaria.com and man the medium was HUGE, and the small wasn't small either! The only thing with them was I wish they'd have used more than one heat-pack... but everyone was alive, so... I guess it was enough

I was looking at www.seacrop.com last night... I think I'm gonna save up for a nice big order with them within the next couple of weeks. So, since I haven't ordered from them yet, I can't say if they're good or not.. but I followed the sponsor link to them from here, and they've got some neat little guys for low prices, so I'm gonna give them a try...

But I am interested to hear others' thoughts on good places as well... I'm a mega cheapskate, so I am CONSTANTLY looking for better places.. I do alotta window shopping, so more links are GOOD
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Old 02-20-2006, 12:08 PM   #3
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*bump*
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Old 02-20-2006, 01:06 PM   #4
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http://www.reefscience.com has very nice WYSIWYG, but his shipping is always $53 ($45 + $8 box fee). Reeftopia.com has free shipping when you spend $120 and 10% off if you spend $200.
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Old 02-20-2006, 01:54 PM   #5
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http://www.reefermadness.us/
http://www.atlantisaquarium.net/
http://phishybusiness.com/
http://www.reefscience.com/

All great online sellers.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:22 PM   #6
Mortimer Regimo
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Online Coral Store


Hi everyone - this is my first reply as a new member of the Reef Tank. I've gotten so much good information from this site over the past year that I thought I might give some good advice back to the community. I recently ordered a 10 piece frag pack from AQUACON. My 40 gallon dsb with 65 lbs of Marco Rocks had just finished cycling - everything was relatively stable and my clean-up crew and 2 fish were very happy and I thought I would introduce a variety of coral frags to see what would work (and what wouldn't).

First off, Aquacon's web site is very informative, easy to use, and easy to order and check out from.

The livestock came very well packed with heating pads that were still warm. Out of the 10 frags that were ordered, I only got 8 - 2 were empty frag plugs that looked like there may have been something there but fell off. I immediately sent them an email and some photos and they quickly replied and told me they would provide 2 additional frags on my next order.

The good news - of the 8 I did receive, 7 are all doing well after 3 months and have all quadrupled in size at a minimum. I have a mushroom frag plug that came in with 2 shrooms and now have more than 9 and quickly spreading onto my rock. The Zenia frag came in as one stalk and there are now more than 7 individual stalks. The Ricordea came attached to a small piece of rock chip and is doing very well attached to my Rock. Pipe Organ coral came in with 7 individual polyp stalks and now there are over 30. Even the Candy coral stony frag is doing well and eats mysis happily twice a week when target fed. The only one that didn't make it was an orange tubastrea which, from what I've read, are almost impossible to keep anyway and have to be target fed.

The shipping costs are high and on par with everyone elses. But I can honestly say that after 3 months if I had to purchase the corals that my frags have turned into from a LFS, I would probably be paying at least twice what my total online bill was.

All in all - very good service and livestock and will order from them again. After all, I've got 2 free frags coming.

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Old 02-01-2012, 01:52 PM   #7
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Never order from aquacon.. There are VERY many threads on here that show baaaaad experiences. The name is aqua con for a reason. good luck on the next order.

That being said.. Reef tank sponsors are a good way to go. Haven't used them personally but haven't heard anything bad about reef-a-holic and the always seem to have an awesome selection.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:57 PM   #8
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Aquacon does not have a great reputation. Try other places like:

www.cherrycorals.com
www.liveaquaria.com/diversden
http://www.wtsps.net/ (wet thumb frags)
www.vividaquariums.com
http://www.garretts-acropolis.com/ (CA Locals only)
www.reeffarmers.com

Those are all sites that I trust.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:02 PM   #9
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I have heard horror stories from Aquacon

I generally try and do business with folks who source their livestock from quality marine.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:08 PM   #10
Mortimer Regimo
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Thanks for the info - I usually try to give everyone a chance to redeem - you know the old saying "you're only as good as your last mistake" - might approach the next order with caution.

Thanks again
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mortimer Regimo View Post
After all, I've got 2 free frags coming.
They aren't free though. You already paid for them, right? And they sent you two empty frag plugs. If the corals fell off in the bag, they'd be free-floating in the bag and you'd have seen them. But they weren't, so I don't understand why they'd have put the plugs in the bag in the first place. You are more optimistic than me. I'd have raised more cain.

A quality store would replace them immediately, like LivaAquaria's arrive alive policy. I'm glad your new corals are growing well, and I truly hope you get the frags you paid for.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:07 PM   #12
ryanmeldrum17
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I know they charge shipping for consumers like us... but what about your LFS. I always see at mine for example a yellow tang is $35-$40 If online I would pay $80 how are these LFS buying they're fish and able to sell them at $40? Do they not pay that extra charge or what?
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:14 PM   #13
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They may be buying from suppliers and wholesalers, direct from the source. Also, if you spend "X" amount of dollars at many of these places, your shipping can be free. Your LFS isn't buying just two frags and a couple of fish. Their order can easily be in the hundreds or thousands of dollars.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:22 PM   #14
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thanks for the clarity!
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:31 PM   #15
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When the LFS order, they get charged for the fish (between 40-60% of the retail value... sometimes less/more). On top of that, they are then charge box fees (normally $8-20 for just the box!) and the one I knew would order between 8-15 "boxes" at a time. Then on top of that, they have to pay overnight shipping (and we know how much that is). So a fish order would be about 2-3K a pop with much of it sunk into shipping.

Plus not all "stock" is equal. Some LFS can order a powder blue tang for $14 wholesale from less reputable wholesaler/importer. These fish have really low survival rates and are often caught with cyanide. On the other hand, another store might buy from a great wholesaler and pay $40 for the tang. Both stores then turn around and sell it for about $90 for example... maybe the cheap place sells it for $80. That is why I always ask a LFS where they get their fish from. Most of the time they might have multiple sources and that is fine. But I am much more willing to buy from someone who buys from a quality place (Quality Marine) because their stocks are generally healthier. The price is higher normally but I won't be caught playing 90% the price for a fish that has less than 10% the survival rate. If a LFS will not tell me where they got the fish (and that particular fish) I won't buy. Easy as that. Because a fish from Quality Marine at $50 is a better deal than the same fish from Fishheads at $50 (don't be harsh on fishheads, I like them and they normally have a very good livestock... I just don't pay the same for them IMO)
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