Stop with the names!

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Jekyl

Jekyl

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Not sight unseen. But if names dont exist, I cant ask for AOIs, Twizzlers, and Purple Monsters. I just have to say I want the blue, red and green ones.
Asking for the colors instead of naming each piece will probably cost half as much. This was my initial thought.
 

MaxTremors

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Not sight unseen. But if names dont exist, I cant ask for AOIs, Twizzlers, and Purple Monsters. I just have to say I want the blue, red and green ones.
Whatever happened to just going into the LFS and picking out what you liked? Whether you call it by some made up name or not, the LFS either has it or they don’t. And even if you’re asking the LFS to special order something for you, it’d be much more accurate and probably less costly to send them a photo of exactly what you’re looking for. I can guarantee you the coral farmers where most corals come from, and especially a lot of zoanthid morphs, aren’t using these names, its
a lot easier for your LFS to match a photo or find the most similar thing than to wade through the name game where names are always changing, things get mislabeled/misrepresented/misidentified, or they aren’t labeled by name at all. Texting or emailing your LFS a picture of what you’re looking for is a million times easier and is more likely to end with you getting the coral you’re looking for than spitting out some silly name. We live in the information age where everyone has a computer and camera in their pocket, the idea that the names are somehow needed to classify or identify species or morphs of various corals is absurd. The only real reason for these names to exist is to drive hype, create a false sense of scarcity or rarity, and prey upon people’s FOMO (ties into live sales), with the end goal of increasing profit margins.

The largest driving factor of the name game is new hobbyists (people in their first year or two of reefing) and, to borrow a video game term, whales (or people who get obsessed or addicted to the collecting aspect, whether it’s cosmetic items in a video game or zoanthids, it becomes more about acquisition than actual appreciation or love of the items in question). And I’m willing to bet that like video game whales, when it comes to spending on these high end named corals, 90% of the sales are made by around 10% of hobbyists. Its this ‘gotta have ‘em all’ mentality, and there are companies that encourage and foster this kind of mentality and then exploit it.

I don’t know how we move the hobby past this, if it’s even possible, and I don’t expect people not to buy corals that they like just because someone gave it a stupid name. But I do think as a community we can and should stop fostering, encouraging, and defending the naming conventions and live sales, and stop letting vendors with questionable ethics drive the hobby.
 

Opus

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were talking about aquacultured corals, not wild colonies.
Since a lot of the names are generic this applies to wild and maricultured corals. Take dragon soul torches. They are coming in wild and being sold by that name. Even holy grails are coming in from wild/mariculture. I was looking at one recently at a LFS, $800/head. I asked the origin and he said we got them in from indo a couple of weeks ago. Sold all of them but this last head.
 

Cell

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Whatever happened to just going into the LFS and picking out what you liked? Whether you call it by some made up name or not, the LFS either has it or they don’t. And even if you’re asking the LFS to special order something for you, it’d be much more accurate and probably less costly to send them a photo of exactly what you’re looking for. I can guarantee you the coral farmers where most corals come from, and especially a lot of zoanthid morphs, aren’t using these names, its
a lot easier for your LFS to match a photo or find the most similar thing than to wade through the name game where names are always changing, things get mislabeled/misrepresented/misidentified, or they aren’t labeled by name at all. Texting or emailing your LFS a picture of what you’re looking for is a million times easier and is more likely to end with you getting the coral you’re looking for than spitting out some silly name. We live in the information age where everyone has a computer and camera in their pocket, the idea that the names are somehow needed to classify or identify species or morphs of various corals is absurd. The only real reason for these names to exist is to drive hype, create a false sense of scarcity or rarity, and prey upon people’s FOMO (ties into live sales), with the end goal of increasing profit margins.

The largest driving factor of the name game is new hobbyists (people in their first year or two of reefing) and, to borrow a video game term, whales (or people who get obsessed or addicted to the collecting aspect, whether it’s cosmetic items in a video game or zoanthids, it becomes more about acquisition than actual appreciation or love of the items in question). And I’m willing to bet that like video game whales, when it comes to spending on these high end named corals, 90% of the sales are made by around 10% of hobbyists. Its this ‘gotta have ‘em all’ mentality, and there are companies that encourage and foster this kind of mentality and then exploit it.

I don’t know how we move the hobby past this, if it’s even possible, and I don’t expect people not to buy corals that they like just because someone gave it a stupid name. But I do think as a community we can and should stop fostering, encouraging, and defending the naming conventions and live sales, and stop letting vendors with questionable ethics drive the hobby.


Sure, profits are part of it. But the greater driving factor is the continued emergence of new strains and morphs, particular with zoas. I think you are blowing things out of proportion a bit. This isn't some bane that is going to ruin the hobby. If anything, it's created more interest and demand, which ultimately is a good thing overall.

Are new hobbyists not true hobbyists?

I mean, you talk about exploitation, but I got a $5 Budgie Smuggler in a recent live sale so I guess I don't feel very exploited myself.
 
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Jekyl

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Whatever happened to just going into the LFS and picking out what you liked? Whether you call it by some made up name or not, the LFS either has it or they don’t. And even if you’re asking the LFS to special order something for you, it’d be much more accurate and probably less costly to send them a photo of exactly what you’re looking for. I can guarantee you the coral farmers where most corals come from, and especially a lot of zoanthid morphs, aren’t using these names, its
a lot easier for your LFS to match a photo or find the most similar thing than to wade through the name game where names are always changing, things get mislabeled/misrepresented/misidentified, or they aren’t labeled by name at all. Texting or emailing your LFS a picture of what you’re looking for is a million times easier and is more likely to end with you getting the coral you’re looking for than spitting out some silly name. We live in the information age where everyone has a computer and camera in their pocket, the idea that the names are somehow needed to classify or identify species or morphs of various corals is absurd. The only real reason for these names to exist is to drive hype, create a false sense of scarcity or rarity, and prey upon people’s FOMO (ties into live sales), with the end goal of increasing profit margins.

The largest driving factor of the name game is new hobbyists (people in their first year or two of reefing) and, to borrow a video game term, whales (or people who get obsessed or addicted to the collecting aspect, whether it’s cosmetic items in a video game or zoanthids, it becomes more about acquisition than actual appreciation or love of the items in question). And I’m willing to bet that like video game whales, when it comes to spending on these high end named corals, 90% of the sales are made by around 10% of hobbyists. Its this ‘gotta have ‘em all’ mentality, and there are companies that encourage and foster this kind of mentality and then exploit it.

I don’t know how we move the hobby past this, if it’s even possible, and I don’t expect people not to buy corals that they like just because someone gave it a stupid name. But I do think as a community we can and should stop fostering, encouraging, and defending the naming conventions and live sales, and stop letting vendors with questionable ethics drive the hobby.
Preach
 

dedragon

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This seems to be happening usually with specific acro strains in which we know we are buying a hardy piece and exactly how that coral should look in perfect condition (i dont buy super blue light sps from pics). Then we also have things that are trending, like gold torches, but most likely will die down in time when something else becomes the hot coral.
But dont your guys' stores also have $20 and $40 dollar frag sections with acroporas, montiporas, acans, hammer, frogspawns, etc in it? This is actually a question as a lot of stores in my area have corals for these prices, just not the hottest coral of the moment or an exclusive or slow growing coral, but still very nice pieces
 
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Since a lot of the names are generic this applies to wild and maricultured corals. Take dragon soul torches. They are coming in wild and being sold by that name. Even holy grails are coming in from wild/mariculture. I was looking at one recently at a LFS, $800/head. I asked the origin and he said we got them in from indo a couple of weeks ago. Sold all of them but this last head.

okay, people also buy Teslas.

99+ % of people are painfully stupid.

I avoid buying wild coral, but if I do, I expect it to be at normal prices. I don’t think people getting ripped off at a local lfs are relevant to aquacultured coral prices.
 

fish farmer

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This seems to be happening usually with specific acro strains in which we know we are buying a hardy piece and exactly how that coral should look in perfect condition (i dont buy super blue light sps from pics). Then we also have things that are trending, like gold torches, but most likely will die down in time when something else becomes the hot coral.
But dont your guys' stores also have $20 and $40 dollar frag sections with acroporas, montiporas, acans, hammer, frogspawns, etc in it? This is actually a question as a lot of stores in my area have corals for these prices, just not the hottest coral of the moment or an exclusive or slow growing coral, but still very nice pieces
Here's my take on this.

I tend to buy online, mostly from one online vendor who chops from colonies they grow, some are named, some not. Most of the zoas are named but it is usually ones that have been around a while. Most of their corals are cut to order so I never see wysiwyg's.

I buy what I like and think I can care for. As for just buying based on color...well, what shade of green? Is it green with a hint of aqua? teal? yellow? And depending on what lighting is used that can vary.

I could go online to WWC right now and probably find several green favias that I like, some may be GI joes, Toxic Monster, etc, etc. All with different color shades or patterns. My store sells blueberry favia, I think I saw it listed as something different at WWC.

I think what would really bother me is the name causing an increased price for something that is common.
 

reefinnewb

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I got into this hobby in 2005. There were no names, special color morphs, etc. You would walk into an LFS that dealt in saltwater and find a coral that would fit the theme of your tank and buy it for a nominal price. A hobbyist could post what frags they had and you would trade. Rarely would you buy frags off of another unless you didn't have anything to trade. I bought a rock of florida ricordias from an LFS that no lie had 40 of them on there. You couldn't see the rock they were on. 35 bucks. Now, you pay that for one. I get that inflation and collection laws drive prices as well, but holy hell. It has gotten bonkers. 3k for a Scoly!! GTF out of here with that.

As far as social media goes. The tanks are fun to look at but if you go chasing that, you'll end up broke. Sometimes I think these insta-reefers only responsibility is their reef tank. Don't go chasing what they have, buy corals base on YOUR tank, it's needs, and your enjoyment. Like another poster above, I'm not nostalgic but I really wish this hobby would go back to when I started (but keep the advancements in technology).
 
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