Chop Shops :(

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SawCJack00

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Just throwing this out there to help other hobbyists. With Indo being open and so many shops able to get colonies in again, the chop shops have sharpened their bone cutters and are ready to take your money. Wild and maricultured colonies are very difficult to acclimate to captive life. I have about a 75% success rate, and many are much lower than that. Stores are now importing corals and immediately fragging them then selling them ASAP. More than likely that awesome rainbow Tenuis that you buy with the glue still not dried is not going to make it. I will NEVER buy a frag that has not begun to encrust. Doing so means it's not healed, and while it may survive and thrive, a healed encrusted frag has a much better chance of doing so. Don't waste your money on those fresh cut pieces. Buy aquacultured and you will have a much better success rate with your SPS! If you have questions on setup for SPS and how I have success with them, I'm always happy to help.. When I bring in wild or maricultured corals for brood stock they are in my systems for a minimum of 12 months before I frag them at all. this ensures that they have adapted to captivity and are ready for life in your slice of the ocean. The picture is of one of a maricultured piece that is now past the 12 month timeframe and has been successfully conditioned to captive life

Edit: It is important to distinguish between fresh cut maricultured / wild colonies and fresh cut aquacultured frags. While fresh cut of any coral will always have less of a chance to survive, fresh cut captive corals have a much higher survival rate than the chop sop methods I'm writing about.



EA Desert Rose 2.jpg
 
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paja3

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Just throwing this out there to help other hobbyists. With Indo being open and so many shops able to get colonies in again, the chop shops have sharpened their bone cutters and are ready to take your money. Wild and maricultured colonies are very difficult to acclimate to captive life. I have about a 75% success rate, and many are much lower than that. Stores are now importing corals and immediately fragging them then selling them ASAP. More than likely that awesome rainbow Tenuis that you buy with the glue still not dried is not going to make it. I will NEVER buy or sell a frag that has not begun to encrust. Doing so means it's not healed, and while it may survive and thrive, a healed encrusted frag has a much better chance of doing so. Don't waste your money on those fresh cut pieces. Buy aquacultured and you will have a much better success rate with your SPS! If you have questions on setup for SPS and how I have success with them, I'm always happy to help whether you buy from me or not. When I bring in wild or maricultured corals for brood stock they are in my systems for a minimum of 12 months before I frag them at all. this ensures that they have adapted to captivity and are ready for life in your slice of the ocean. The picture is of one of my maricultured pieces that is now past the 12 month timeframe and will be released this year. EA Desert Rose.

I initially posted this in my local club forum, but decided it is good info that can help all SPS keepers... so I'm also posting it here.


EA Desert Rose 2.jpg
Thanks for sharing Bill, many people don't understand just how many corals die before there is one that can adapt and be sold with longevity.
 
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SawCJack00

SawCJack00

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Exactly... sometimes people think that it is their fault , when in actuality they purchased a coral that was destined to die no matter what care they gave it. I'm not going to pretend that I don't have a stake in the game as a vendor myself, but if people think that their systems aren't capable of growing SPS because they buy a chop shop coral and it croaks, then they will give up on SPS when they shouldn't. I want everyone to be successful!
 
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lemonade

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I fear that this chop and hack for a buck will eventually deplete the reefs of the beautiful corals that we keep. I am in full support of aquacultured corals weather it be in our tanks/growout systems or cultured corals from the ocean.
Jeff
There’s very few, if any corals coming into the trade that are wild. Mariculture is just farming the corals in the ocean, that’s the only difference from aquaculturing them.

I feel there’s two viewpoints for this. I love buying chop shop. You can get all the high-end stuff for a fraction of the cost, and the added mystery of what the frag might turn into is fun.

Of course if you’re new to acros there may be some extra challenges to keeping these alive vs something that’s been grown and fragged in tank environment. You may have to wait longer at times before you see the colors a piece has that’s been acclimated to tank life. However, I don’t find frags to be really any different wether they are captive grown or mariculture. Colonies are another story.
 

90's reefer

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Yea I have seen this at lfs.
Small, wild?, colony comes in 10 frags the next day for $30 a frag.
Many of the frags dont make it if you visit the store every weekend.
Half get sold, they make their money, and many of the rest die over a period of time.
It is really sad to see new reefers that keep buying these over and over and having issues.
I have had pretty good luck with wild corals, about 70% or so, if I get them the day they come in.
After they have been in the lfs store I wont buy any until I see encrusting on the plug.
 
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SawCJack00

SawCJack00

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There’s very few, if any corals coming into the trade that are wild. Mariculture is just farming the corals in the ocean, that’s the only difference from aquaculturing them.

I feel there’s two viewpoints for this. I love buying chop shop. You can get all the high-end stuff for a fraction of the cost, and the added mystery of what the frag might turn into is fun.

Of course if you’re new to acros there may be some extra challenges to keeping these alive vs something that’s been grown and fragged in tank environment. You may have to wait longer at times before you see the colors a piece has that’s been acclimated to tank life. However, I don’t find frags to be really any different wether they are captive grown or mariculture. Colonies are another story.
Nope. Maricultured corals are grown in the ocean. Those conditions are completely different than captive conditions, and that is the point I'm getting at. Aquacultured frags have been in captivity and successfully propagated (sometimes for decades) and therefore have a much higher survival rate in aquariums. Stores are getting wild and maricultured colonies in, fragging them and selling the frags right away before they are even healed which in many cases won't happen because they will die before that. The success rate for those frags is extremely low. Stores that bring in Maricultured or wild pieces then keep them in their systems for a reasonable length of time to make sure that they acclimate to captive conditions are being responsible and not just chopping and grabbing the money with no concern for the hobbyists success. I have no problem at all with stores bringing in Mari pieces and "conditioning" them before sale or fragging, but stores doing the actual chop shop actions that I mentioned suck!
 
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SawCJack00

SawCJack00

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You do realize every lfs or person that sells “frags” are chop shops. That’s how they make their money lol
That's obviously not what I'm saying. I'm talking about newly imported Mari and wild pieces being fragged and/or sold before they are conditioned to captive life. This is simply a money grab with no regard for the success of the customer. Any respectable aquaculture facility will stand behind their products because they know that their customers are going to have success. That's not the case with a POS LFS or seller who frags and/or sells newly imported wild and mari pieces...
 
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SawCJack00

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Yea I have seen this at lfs.
Small, wild?, colony comes in 10 frags the next day for $30 a frag.
Many of the frags dont make it if you visit the store every weekend.
Half get sold, they make their money, and many of the rest die over a period of time.
It is really sad to see new reefers that keep buying these over and over and having issues.
I have had pretty good luck with wild corals, about 70% or so, if I get them the day they come in.
After they have been in the lfs store I wont buy any until I see the encrusting the plug.
This is exactly what I'm talking about. People buy these cheap frags and lose them, then think it's their fault that they can't keep SPS and never try again. This is bad for the hobby!
 

lemonade

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Nope. Maricultured corals are grown in the ocean. Those conditions are completely different than captive conditions, and that is the point I'm getting at. Aquacultured frags have been in captivity and successfully propagated (sometimes for decades) and therefore have a much higher survival rate in aquariums. Stores are getting wild and maricultured colonies in, fragging them and selling the frags right away before they are even healed which in many cases won't happen because they will die before that. The success rate for those frags is extremely low. Stores that bring in Maricultured or wild pieces then keep them in their systems for a reasonable length of time to make sure that they acclimate to captive conditions are being responsible and not just chopping and grabbing the money with no concern for the hobbyists success. I have no problem at all with stores bringing in Mari pieces and "conditioning" them before sale or fragging, but stores doing the actual chop shop actions that I mentioned suck!
I was replying to the comment about chop shops depleting the reefs. There's obvious differences in the conditions between aquaculture and mariculture. My point was that chop shops are not depleting the reefs, and the only difference between aquaculture and mariculture is that one is being grown out in the ocean vs a tank.

I guess it's just a difference of opinion, and experiences. I think lack of knowledge is more of the issue here. I'm happy to buy those fresh frags. For me, it's like, why would I want to give someone 3xs, 4xs, or even 5xs the amount of money so they can acclimate a coral, if I have the experience to do so myself? And not to mention starting with decent sized frags is a plus.

I do see where this can be an issue for new reefers, or someone lacking knowledge or experience in keeping Acropora, specifically wild/mari pieces. I just don't think chop shops as a whole are a terrible idea, and I'm sure there's hundreds of reefers out there who have purchased corals this way and are extremely happy with the $300 high end frag they got for $20 from a chop shop type vendors.
 
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ReefPig_UK

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This is exactly what I'm talking about. People buy these cheap frags and lose them, then think it's their fault that they can't keep SPS and never try again. This is bad for the hobby!

How many times have you read help threads starting with "i added this coral 24hrs ago, now half the flesh is missing".

The VAST majority of the time when a coral dies, it's not the coral, it's the tank / person doing it.
That's just bad form saying that chop shops are the reason people lose corals and is completely inaccurate.

Was reading a thread yesterday with someone who bought a bunch of SPS and didn't know they had to replenish elements. Countless threads of people thinking zero phosphates and nitrates is what we're meant to do.

Gimme a break.

"Chop shops" are the only way many people can afford this hobby. I've two maricultured colonies and they were £200/$270 a piece, a lot of people cannot afford this, but they can afford a $40 frag.
 
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SawCJack00

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How many times have you read help threads starting with "i added this coral 24hrs ago, now half the flesh is missing".

The VAST majority of the time when a coral dies, it's not the coral, it's the tank / person doing it.
That's just bad form saying that chop shops are the reason people lose corals and is completely inaccurate.

Was reading a thread yesterday with someone who bought a bunch of SPS and didn't know they had to replenish elements. Countless threads of people thinking zero phosphates and nitrates is what we're meant to do.

Gimme a break.

"Chop shops" are the only way many people can afford this hobby. I've two maricultured colonies and they were £200/$270 a piece, a lot of people cannot afford this, but they can afford a $40 frag.
Gimme a break!

I never said that this was the only cause of people losing corals or even the primary cause. Don't take what I wrote and misconstrue it with your assumptions. I specifically stated that chopping up a recently imported maricultured or wild coral, then gluing to frag plugs and selling them right away without allowing them to even encrust and heal is nothing but greed and is "bad form" on the part of the seller which often time leads to bad experiences for hobbyists who purchase them. I'm happy for anyone who has had success buying this way, but I can assure you that with 32 years in the hobby and much of that in the business side, I know for an absolute fact that properly aquacultured corals have a MUCH higher survival chance than fresh chopped mari's or wilds. Please note that it's important to make the distinction between what I'm talking about and even fresh cut captive corals. Fresh cut captive corals are aquacultured, and this is not what I am talking about.
 
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SawCJack00

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I was replying to the comment about chop shops depleting the reefs. There's obvious differences in the conditions between aquaculture and mariculture. My point was that chop shops are not depleting the reefs, and the only difference between aquaculture and mariculture is that one is being grown out in the ocean vs a tank.

I guess it's just a difference of opinion, and experiences. I think lack of knowledge is more of the issue here. I'm happy to buy those fresh frags. For me, it's like, why would I want to give someone 3xs, 4xs, or even 5xs the amount of money so they can acclimate a coral, if I have the experience to do so myself? And not to mention starting with decent sized frags is a plus.

I do see where this can be an issue for new reefers, or someone lacking knowledge or experience in keeping Acropora, specifically wild/mari pieces. I just don't think chop shops as a whole are a terrible idea, and I'm sure there's hundreds of reefers out there who have purchased corals this way and are extremely happy with the $300 high end frag they got for $20 from a chop shop type vendors.
You're correct that the hobby has little impact on the natural reefs compared to other human and natural impacts, and many more corals are trans shipped from mariculture facilities than wild pieces coming in. I'm saying that supporting this practice leads to a lot more coral death and poor hobbyist experience than aquaculture. I'm glad you've had success, but I assure you the vast majority of pieces that are sold this way die a quick death in captivity...
 
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ReefPig_UK

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Gimme a break!

I never said that this was the only cause of people losing corals or even the primary cause. Don't take what I wrote and misconstrue it with your assumptions. I specifically stated that chopping up a recently imported maricultured or wild coral, then gluing to frag plugs and selling them right away without allowing them to even encrust and heal is nothing but greed and is "bad form" on the part of the seller which often time leads to bad experiences for hobbyists who purchase them. I'm happy for anyone who has had success buying this way, but I can assure you that with 32 years in the hobby and much of that in the business side, I know for an absolute fact that properly aquacultured corals have a MUCH higher survival chance than fresh chopped mari's or wilds. Please note that it's important to make the distinction between what I'm talking about and even fresh cut captive corals. Fresh cut captive corals are aquacultured, and this is not what I am talking about.


but if people think that their systems aren't capable of growing SPS because they buy a chop shop coral and it croaks, then they will give up on SPS when they shouldn't.

People see pretty colours, they buy stuff, they haven't researched correctly and their tanks are completely unsuitable, either not mature, or they do not have the right equipment, or know how to use what they do have.
99.999999% of the time, a coral dies due to the person, not the coral.

Granted, I would never buy a true "chop shop", but again this is the persons fault.

People will sell their own mothers if they could make enough money, so lets not be pointing the finger at the vendors, at least entirely, the issue in the vast majority of cases is the people.

This is probably one of the most difficult, expensive and frustrating hobbies known to man, yet people think they can just throw sticks in a tank and it's all going to be fine. Nope!
 
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