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Old 03-08-2008, 11:04 AM   #1
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Coral Handling/Care

Shopping for my first corals. And I am wondering about if corals need acclimated or Quarantined. When I get them in the mail can I just drop them in the tank. Or is there a process to go through to acclimate the coral? During shipping do the corals go dormant how do they handle the 2day shipping process. Can they go into shock. Has anyone ever had some kind of coral die between the shipper and your tank?? Do I have anything to worry about?
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Old 03-08-2008, 04:41 PM   #2
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When getting them online you can either have good or bad experiences. It`s really a bad time to ship them now in the winter. They will not be able to handle the cold. Esp on a 2nd day shipping. You will really need to do a long slow drip acclimation. Who did you buy them from?
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Old 03-08-2008, 06:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by melosu58 View Post
When getting them online you can either have good or bad experiences. It`s really a bad time to ship them now in the winter. They will not be able to handle the cold. Esp on a 2nd day shipping. You will really need to do a long slow drip acclimation. Who did you buy them from?
haven't bought any yet. Just trying to understand how corals respond to the shipping process. And trying to understand the coral acclimating process.
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:56 PM   #4
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I sell and ship corals all over the country. The key to acclimating a shipped coral is to get the water to temp. Most of the time a seller will ship using heat packs if it is cold in your area.

This is how I handle corals that have been shipped:

Open the bags as soon as you get them out of the box. They will need O2. Float the bag in your tank letting the water temp equalize. During the floating period put some of your tank water into the bag. When the bag gets too full pour some of the water out of the bag (not in the tank) and repeat the process until you have pretty much done a water change in the bag. I do not recomend doing a slow drip when acclimating corals or fish for that matter. Water temps drop, ph will drop and O2 will drop in the container that you are slow dripping in. I have had success with the corals I have sold and shipped with this method. The faster you can get the coral into your system the better the chances are that it will make it. Make sure to inspect the coral after opening it to make sure that it is alive. You will know if it isn't, as soon as you open the bag it will smell very bad!

I don't suggest 2nd day shipping with corals or fish, overnight is the way to go!
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:06 PM   #5
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Corals can be very forgiving animals and oftentimes the following tend to be the main factors in shipping them: the care taken in handling and packing them, shipping weather, and the type of coral being shipped. If packaged correctly the majority of common corals purchased have high survivability, but ime sps corals have the added protection of a hard calcareous skeleton, which provides some cushion while in the bag. LPS and soft corals do rather well if suspended by styrofoam to allow oxygenation and keep from settling where tissue can be damaged and/or just rot. Many palythoas, zoanthids, mushrooms, and gorgonians do quite well just sitting at the bottom of a well-prepared bag.

Once you receive the corals make sure to check temperature, pH, and salinity so you can determine what type of acclimation is needed, if necessary. When I acclimate I prefer to float the bags for 10-15mins for temperature equalization and an hour flow-through drip; however, if the bag looks tinted (usually brown due to coral "stress") I will assess the corals health and either give a fast (non-restricted) flow-through drip or place the coral immediately into quarantine or its display. Sometimes you receive stock in very poor condition and judgment calls must be made, but this is where their resilience can surprise you. If any other questions feel free to ask
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:44 PM   #6
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I recommed a slow drip acclimation and then a bath in a product such as Seachem's Coral Dip.
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:45 PM   #7
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BTW Ziggy...why have I not gotten any of your corals here in Minnesota?
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:02 PM   #8
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You haven't asked for any
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:17 PM   #9
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My I have some corals, please?
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:15 PM   #10
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Hey Lando, get in line <g>.

So we have 3 answers and they are all different on acclimation of corals.
I agree that you want overnight shipping, never 2 day.

I have done both the floating bag with water addition method and the slow drip method. Both have worked. What has not worked for me was putiing a coral in QT for longer than a couple of days. The tank is not mature enouhg and I do not have emough light (196w PC light on a 30g) for corals used to MH lights. Getting the coral into the tank asap has worked.
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