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lessons learned about shipping corals..

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Ed Hahn

Life is A Highway...
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
3,955
Location
Kennewick, Wa
Last Week end I took some corals up to Seattle area. I packed them in a styrofoam cooler. I had teal acropora, a slimer (yongeii), A nana Acropora, some tri-Colored Acropora, some monipora digitata(elk horn shaped) with pink tips,Bright Green Hydnaphora, I also brought some Starburst.

The mistake was putting four , Yes, four heat packs taped to the cooler top. I learned from friends that each one is about 110 degrees after heating up. I learned I boiled those corals. There was a good reason why some of those corals lost their color. I was thinking maybe I should have bought Kordon shipping bags. BrianE had no problems shipping me corals. BrianE used Kordon shipping bags. My corals from him reponded well. They were not over heated though either...
I hope this helps someone. Temperature is very important in shipping corals.
sorry I let you guys down
Ed
 

Gordo

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Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
398
Location
Olympia, WA
I've got one of your teal... ahh err.. white corals on my sand bed right now. I can't tell if it bleached or is dead just yet. I'm going to give it a couple of days and see what happens. Sorry it didn't work out. The Monti that goes to Don is still alive. :) I'm going to hold on to it for a week of so then I'll get it to Don. I figure it's been through enough and could use a little break before moving it again.
 

Ed Hahn

Life is A Highway...
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
3,955
Location
Kennewick, Wa
Thanks Gordo for being a transfer spot again. The teal acros were from Rico. I have two smaller colonies of the teal acros yet in my tank that are growing well. The teal grows to certain size and then grows really fast. I guess I had a bad streak of luck with corals last week end. The snails in my tank bull dozed my Tort onto another coral.
My tort is gone. But I had a really good time and can get another tort.
I look forward to see you guys again,
Ed
 

NaH2O

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Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
I moved this thread to Anthony's Forum.

Anthony, could you post on the best way to ship corals or carry corals for things like Frag swaps & trading?
 

Anthony Calfo

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Messages
1,183
Location
Pennsylvania
Thanks Nikki :)

Indeed, shipping and handling corals is a serious issue and darn near an artform. For extended transit in particular (as with export from the country of origin) it is a life and death matter in the hands of experienced (or not) shippers.

One thing I always tell farmers/fraggers that are making a habit of shipping/trading is to run a simpe trial... and repeat it seasonally as necessary. Take your styro box... fill it with the number of bags and measures of water that you would use with live corals, fishes, etc... tape the box sealed (this is crucially important with ALL styros... tape the lid seam(!) CLOSED to protect against heat loss/influx) and add heat or ice packs as suspected (1-2 typically). Then kick this box outside or in your unheated garage to simulate the lack of climate control it will receive in the hands of shippers (overnight couriers, warehouses, cargo vehicles, etc).

Then check the temp of the box/water at intervals... 6hr... 12hr... 24hr... 48 hr to see how well the temp holds up under simulated conditions of transit (or delay as with the 48hr + check)

Besides taping a box lid sealed (crucial!)..you'll want to most always do the following:

- always use a full box bag liner (insures better against heat loss/leaks - particularly in rough airshipped transit)

- never EVER use twist ties or the like to seal bags. Instead - use very tight rubber bands (practice this bagging technique in advance with the above trials to see how well your bags hold up over time and what they will look like to the person you ship to)

- for most animals not sensitive to air exposure, pack no more than 1/3 water to a bag. O2 saturation is far more important than extra water [ pack corals that can be shipped dry so... anemones too... this allows them to retain waste and not foul their own water/themselves... they ship MUCH better this way if you can insure temp stability. Some animals suffer air exposure though and these are species that have the shortest shipping tolerances]

- always use a cardboard box shell to styro for airshipped boxes. Much more durable rolling through belts/parcel-processing machines than styro

Hmmm... what else? Much more to say. Do ask if Ive forgotten something

A peeve of mine: aquarists that ship/send freshly fragged corals. Its really disrespectful and inefficient to livestock/corals. Please settle them for some days/weeks in advance at least and they will have better overall survivability. About the worst thing you can do is frag them (stimulating mucus) and then throw them in a shipping bag for extended transit. That so many live through it is testimony to their hardniness... but it is not conscientious animal handling :(

Some food for thought :)

Anthony
 
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