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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Because I know a few people are interested, I decided not to PM Pastina, but rather started a new post.

Here is the question:
What are the issues you and others have had with Vivid Aquariums? In a post a few days ago you said you had a bad time with them, but all I and others have been able to find is positive experiences.

I have been wanting to place an order, but haven't done so yet. Pastina, can you provide some insite into what happened and what else you have heard about that was negative about them...this is not intended to be a slam on Vivid...I am just interested in ordering and the seed of doubt has been planted...

Thanks!!!
 

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From the little searching I have done here is what I have seen:

-I have had very good experiences with the following:
Drs. Foster and Smith
That fish place
Marine depot
Vivid Aquariums.
No particular order, just how I remembered them. The way I see it, I may not need to find out about anyother company, they will cover all my needs.

-I buy alot online. I like reeftopia for cleaner packages, Dr.Fosters for coral and fish, and Vivid aquariums for Fish and corals as well

-Vivid Aquariums---I bought from them 4 times. Dave and Amy are the greatest! I now buy only from them. Best prices and shipping deal.
Class outfit!

-Dave has top notch service and livestock,and an incredible guarantee to go with it

-I ordered a frogspawn and plate coral from them last week and everything was packed and ship well. The plate is in great shape with a vibrant purple rim. There was an issue with the frogspawn's color. On the site it showed a dark green with purple tips. The one I received was light green with Pink tips. I was annoyed so I spoke to Dave the owner through email. He responded to my emails within hours and even though the coral was healthy he refunded me almost about 60% of the price of the frogspawn because the color was off from the website. I think this was great customer service and I would order from them again.

Not sure if this was a WYSIWYG.....but sounds like good customer svc.

----And so far my order experience has been great!
 

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Sumpless Girl
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i ordered a purple tip frogspawn (this was awhile ago) and a mushroom rock. they called me up saying the mushroom rock they had didnt look so great and that they would replace it with a new one. fine i said it didnt matter much since its just a mushroom
the corals arrived (took longer to ship out that drfosters smith) i noticed right away the frogspawn didnt look right. it had four head two were def dead or close to death. they were closed but appeared pink
they had brown jelly disease
i waited for the remaining live heads to open which they struggled to do being covered with brown goo. i tried to treat them and they opened up a bit and were not green with purple tips but the typical brown/pink frogspawn
i emailed them right away, i think within 2 days telling them of my ordeal. they said it was alive and fine and purple tip with green when it left their facility. ok so guess the person was color blind who shipped it
now for the mushrooms they sent. they had gaping mouths open and bleached out within a week. all my other corals are fine mind you and ive never had this experience ever again
they chose to do nothing for me, so i looked on reefcentral and found other unhappy customers. we all got into a vivid bashing discussion and some how it got back to vivid. vivid offered to refund everyones money including me which they did minus the shipping. so all i was out was 30 bux no biggy at least i got the money back on the corals
now about a month ago i read of someones same ordeal with the same frogspawn. ordered green with purple tips arrived brown/pink
vivid emailed them with the same answer that is was green purple tipped when it left our facility.
so somethings not right here
from what i gathered through varies complaints on them is that they send what they want and rarely do they have this true purple tipped frogspawn in stock.
its just poor buisness period. i also read of how a few people received the wrong fish type from vivid
funny i ordered a branching hammer from live aquaria assorted colors for a decent price and they sent me a purple tip with neon green! the dang thing is as healthy as ever and has added another head in the short time i have it.
so i wont bother with vivid again, if they would have gotten my order right they would have gotten a great customer. i must have spent several thousands of dollars on live aquaria in just one year
 

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Are these WYSISYG corals that you were ordering? Typically if you are looking for a particular coloration of the coral best to get WYSIWYG. All my corals now are this type so I don't get surprises like I have as well in the past! If you notice on sites like Dr Fost....they list many colorforms for frogs and LPS and other corals and it kind of depends on what is in for what you get!

Did they have the 15 day guarantee back when you ordered? Why would they not originally refund your money?
 

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Sumpless Girl
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Are these WYSISYG corals that you were ordering? Typically if you are looking for a particular coloration of the coral best to get WYSIWYG. All my corals now are this type so I don't get surprises like I have as well in the past! If you notice on sites like Dr Fost....they list many colorforms for frogs and LPS and other corals and it kind of depends on what is in for what you get!

Did they have the 15 day guarantee back when you ordered? Why would they not originally refund your money?
vivid doesnt have a wysiwyg
ive ordered from live aquarias divers den, which in fact i have a green bubble coral coming today from live aquarias diving den
the 15 day guarantee after several days of showing them pictures telling them they sold me crap they then told me they will give me credit, well no i dont want credit im not gonna shop there again after that experience. and that was that until the read all the bad rap stuff on reef central, then i finally got a refund
the 15 day guarantee is for credit only not for a refund, at least live aquaria will give you a refund if you ask

heres the link
http://www.vividaquariums.com/10Expand.asp?ProductCode=02-1020-10

this is what i and a few others have ordered, the item wasnt sent, they will send out a brown/pink typical frogspawn instead
 

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Sumpless Girl
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ok want to see what they sent me? i dug up an old picture of it, this was that night of delivery. it was totally brown jellied by the end of the week and i then threw it away, along with the mushroom coral
now the other picture is what i got from live aquaria (hammer)
big difference huh?
 

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Stuff dies in transit sometimes. That is the nature of the live animal shipping game. When it does, issuing credit is standard practice for the vast majority of online vendors and NOT bad business IMO. I actually have credit sitting at several vendors at the moment for stuff that didnt make it, and sooner or later i will cash in on it when i am prepared to order enough to make shipping worthwhile.

If they didnt offer you anything, THAT would be bad business. It sounds as if they even went out of their way (and against their standard policy) in giving you a cash refund.

Believe me, i am very much not one to hold my tongue when a business practices poor business practices, but I dont think Vivid deserved any bashing for how they treated you Pastina. Sorry.
 

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Sumpless Girl
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what about the fact that its not what i ordered? shouldnt that be taken into consideration too? i think if it was indeed a purple tip with green i would have re-ordered a new one with the credit, but come on thats not a purple tip green frogspawn
you wanna stick up for a company then fine but i know i wont be shopping there ever ever again, and i sure as heck wouldnt recommend them to anyone
i dont even know why this post exist, its pointless and brings up bad memories of a messed up ordeal i went through with them
i said what i had to say and i showed my picture as proof, think what you want.
im done with the whole topic
 

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I didnt catch the wrong color part, maybe that mistake on their end is why they DID end up issuing a cash refund instead of simply credit.

sorry Pastina......didnt mean nor intend to pick on you...........I was just offering an opinion

Ive had a bad customer service experience with a popular custom skimmer and reef equipment manufacturer and I am like you in regards to them.........i dont care how great everyone else says he is, he repeatedly ignored my attempts to contact him after my purchase and gave me overall crappy service. Ive publicly said so plenty of times so i dont need to go there again.:)
 

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Sumpless Girl
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hehe thats ok, vivid just makes me a bit steamed under the collar lol
no more vivid talk for me :funny:
 

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Again...not bashing here either but......

The wrong color part is my point of WYSIWYG........They definitly better what you wanted if WYSIWYG....if not you really don't know,.....as most many LPS, especially frogs come in many colorforms and may be different than expected!

Even the green bubble coral for example....it may be green but I have seen some rather whitish to be called green! But since you got a WYSIWYG from the Divers Den it should be just as expected.....

Or this calustrea....

says brown/green, green etc.....

<TABLE width=476 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD align=left>Candy Cane Coral

</TD></TR><TR vAlign=top align=left><TD vAlign=top align=left>(Caulastrea furcata)
</TD></TR><TR><TD><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD> Click here for a larger image </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE> <TABLE borderColor=#036690 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=230 border=1><TBODY><TR><TH bgColor=#036690>Quick Stats
</TH></TR><TR><TD><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=2 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR bgColor=#99ccff><TD>Care Level: Easy
</TD></TR><TR bgColor=#99ccff><TD>Light: Moderate
</TD></TR><TR bgColor=#99ccff><TD>Water Flow: Medium
</TD></TR><TR bgColor=#99ccff><TD>Placement: All
</TD></TR><TR bgColor=#99ccff><TD>Tank Conditions: 72-78°F; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4; dKH 8-12
</TD></TR><TR bgColor=#ffffcc><TD>Color Form: Brown/Green, Green
</TD></TR><TR bgColor=#ffffcc><TD>Temperament: Peaceful
</TD></TR><TR bgColor=#ffffcc><TD>Ideal Supplements: Calcium, Strontium, Trace Elements
</TD></TR><TR bgColor=#99cc99><TD>Origin: Fiji
</TD></TR><TR bgColor=#99cc99><TD>Family: Faviidae
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

All of those in the pic are different. even the ones I have nono look like those.......plus different light have different colorations to the corals!
 

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Here is the frogs for example.....pics look nice but you still could get and ugly brown according to the description! Or a very nice green w/ pruple tip as seen in the pick!

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=476 align=center border=0><TBODY><TR><TD><SCRIPT language=javascript> function popupWin1(source, left, top, width, height, options) { var left = left + 40; var windowproperties = options + ",left=" + left + ",top=" + top + ",width=" + width + ",height=" + height popup = window.open(source,"PopupDetailedImage",windowproperties) } function popupWin2(source, left, top, width, height, options) { var left = left + 40 var windowproperties = options + ",left=" + left + ",top=" + top + ",width=" + width + ",height=" + height popup = window.open(source,"PopupAddinfo",windowproperties) } function popupWin3(source, left, top, width, height, options) { var left = left + 40 var windowproperties = options + ",left=" + left + ",top=" + top + ",width=" + width + ",height=" + height popup = window.open(source,"PopupAddinfo",windowproperties) } function popupWin4(source, left, top, width, height, options) { var left = left + 40 var windowproperties = "location=no,scrollbars=yes,menubars=no,toolbars=no,resizable=no,HEIGHT=300,WIDTH=400" popup = window.open(source,"PopupAddinfo",windowproperties) } //--> </SCRIPT><TABLE width=476 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD align=left>Frogspawn Coral - Branched


</TD></TR><TR vAlign=top align=left><TD vAlign=top align=left>(Euphyllia paradivisa)

</TD></TR><TR><TD><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD>Click here for a larger image </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE borderColor=#036690 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=230 border=1><TBODY><TR><TH bgColor=#036690>Quick Stats

</TH></TR><TR><TD><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=2 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR bgColor=#99ccff><TD>Care Level: Moderate

</TD></TR><TR bgColor=#99ccff><TD>Light: Moderate to High

</TD></TR><TR bgColor=#99ccff><TD>Water Flow: Medium

</TD></TR><TR bgColor=#99ccff><TD>Placement: Bottom

</TD></TR><TR bgColor=#99ccff><TD>Tank Conditions: 72-78°F; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4; dKH 8-12

</TD></TR><TR bgColor=#ffffcc><TD>Color Form: Green, Pale Brown, Tan

</TD></TR><TR bgColor=#ffffcc><TD>Temperament: Aggressive

</TD></TR><TR bgColor=#ffffcc><TD>Ideal Supplements: Calcium, Strontium, Trace Elements

</TD></TR><TR bgColor=#99cc99><TD>Origin: Indo-Pacific

</TD></TR><TR bgColor=#99cc99><TD>Family: Caryophylliidae

</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I did not create this post to unearth any bad feelings, I was just trying to understand what the issue was in case I decided to order from them.

Sorry if I upset anyone. I think it is stuff like this that makes TRT so valuable. We get the benefit of a worldwide audience and all of their experiences so we know how to proceed.

Thanks for the information!
 

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Not upset here.....I wanted to know as well.......as some issues are major and some are more minor!

I am not sure if I have yet to see a company w/o acomplaint.....even the best most reputable ones I know of I have seen someone w/ a bad experience!
 

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Sumpless Girl
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110gallonreef
yep you are right in that. but live aquaria at least will show you a variety of pictures and label them as assorted if needed
the green bubble thats coming today is not a neon green, it looked more mossy natural green so im not expecting something breath taking. it was also only 49.99 for a large piece!

the same can apply to xenia, alot are listed as white but are pretty much a pinkish hue
but a purple tipped neon green frogspawn does exist..just didnt get my hands on one yet :)
 

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Yup...if you have your eyes and heart on a set coloration WYSIWYG or LFS is the only way to go!

I have been in your shoes before thinking it was going to look like one thing and came back different!
 

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Sumpless Girl
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the best is when you dont expect much and end up with a beauty lol
like that hammer from live aquaria, that was a shocker, i never thought they would send me a neon green!
they did send me the most hideous candy cane coral. i kept it for a few months and decided it was just too ugly to keep so i chucked it.
am i the only one who ever did that?
like when you have a coral your just not happy with even though its healthy what do you do with it?
 

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Before I started my own store, I bought several fish from Vivid. They are close to me here in Cali so I have the luxury of picking items up. I did have a copperband die on me and they still have the $20 in my name..so I will use it soon.

Others here make a good point about WYSIWYG, and I plan on implementing that in my website when we are ready to house and grow our own coral and fish.

For now, I'd just like to support Vivid. Eventhough they are a competing business of mine now, I still have had nothing but good experience with them.

It is unfortunate you didnt get the right color. Could it be that the stress in shipping caused it to lose color? I dont have much experience with that coral so I dont know if that is possible or not, but corals have been known to change colors when stressed...but they should have never let this get out of control, the customers is always right, and in the past they have always refunded or given store credit, so it is weird that they didnt this time. At least not until you had to ask for it.

For anyone who wants to order from Vivid, I'd say go right ahead...I have seen their system in person and its definitely NICE. The fish are always beautiful, and corals are nice as well. Maybe you could ask them to send you a pic of the actual coral or fish when ordering.

Regards
Gal
 

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WYSIWYG costs more. Dot be surprised if they wont or cant take a pic of it if it isnt labeled as that in the first place.

Its worth a little more money IMO, and i wont buy anything that isnt WYSIWYG.

Gal....something to keep in mind that I think is awesome for the wysiwyg thing when you get ready to open shop.....Sharkys reef does it. First of all everything they have is wysiwyg, but when you do order something they take another pic of it right before they send it and include that pic along with your order. Its really a pretty slick program.
 

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Thanks FlyGuy

I will DEFINITELY see if I can do that...obviously if you are a big volume dealer like liveaquaria or marinedepot you cannot do that.. it would slow down your business. But I do see a need for a higher end service/product. Especially if its a rare coral.... there are tons of waiting lists out there for many rare corals...and the least you can do is give them a pic of it ... so yah, I'll definitely incorporate that. However I do think I will keep the mother colony pic on the website...its too time consuming to go through each coral I would sell and change the pic every other day. So it would be of the mother colony and when people want to buy the coral they can just shoot me an email asking for the actual frag and I can send it to them.

We'll see...if I can find a streamlined way of getting the pics up automatically I will do it...Or i could take a pic of all the frags I have and do a photo montage..so that I only have to change it out once all the frags are sold.

Anyways, I am sorry anyone had bad experience with Vivid, but I just wanted to say for the most part they seem like a trustworhty online retailer.

Gal
 
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