Ordering corals online?! Here's my experience
4/24/08: For years, I've heard from many of my online friends about the various corals they'd order online. I'd think about the money they spent on their exotic frags, and go about my business. To me, it is much more fun to go to the local fish store (LFS) and browse for the perfect new addition to my tank. I can study it closely, consider how it looks from all angles, and if I like it, buy it on the spot. Within the hour, it is acclimating in my quarantine tank, where it will be treated, dipped and later placed in my reef.
On Tuesday night t his week, I got an email from Zoanuts.com with their current specials. I get emails from a few different e-tailers but usually just look over the choices briefly and move on. However, this time I saw something I just couldn't pass up. Zoanuts was offering 20 Ricordia for $200. O-M-G, what a bargain! I've known Dustin (the owner of the company) for years, and in the past six months I've had the opportunity to see his corals in person at the Oklahoma City CRASE conference, the DFWMAS Next Wave Conference, and the recent Orange County MAX conference. Each time, I loved what I saw, but didn't pull the trigger. All those acans I could have purchased, all those SPS that beckoned to me... However, I digress. I immediately placed my online order, adding an Efflo frag that was also at a great price, and was quickly notified it would ship the next day. On Thursday morning at 9am, UPS was pounding on my door to let me know I had live corals waiting to get in.
The box was in perfect condition, facing right side up. I brought it inside and grabbed my camera for y'all.
I received the 20 Ricordia in 5 or 6 triple-bagged bags, and the efflo piece came in a much larger bag. To the touch the water in the bags felt like they were around 76F, which is perfectly acceptable. All were temperature acclimated by floating those bags in my sump.
The Efflo was placed in my quarantine tank to soak in Interceptor for 12 hours. After that, I'll dip it in ReVive for 5 minutes, then place it in my tank. I know the picture above is horrible, but the main reason for that would be the refugium lightbulb I have over that tank. Tiny green polyps appeared along the rim (inset), and the coral was sold as purple rimmed. I can't wait to see it under reef tank lighting. I'll add a new picture very soon.
The Ricordia were soaked in a bowl of tank water with two drops of Tropic Marine Iodine for 15 minutes, then glued to some rocks. Every ricordia came attached to some rubble, making the gluing process easy. They were then placed in my angled tank.
All these pictures were taken within 5 hours of their arrival. All 20 ricordia appear to be very happy, colorful, and now it is up to me to keep them healthy.
I had a great experience with my very first online coral purchase and wouldn't hesitate to do so again in the future with Zoanuts.com.