Where do corals for sale come from?

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FishyFishFish

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I recently bought some corals from a popular vendor that had some bad hitchhikers. When I complained I was told that they were probably on a big shipment that came in from Vietnam. This was a surprise to me as I had assumed that the bigger companies would grow and frag their own corals.

So this got me thinking, is this the normal way that coral vendors get their stock or is this limited to certain re-sellers?

I'm not against companies buying in corals to grow/frag but simply importing lots of corals to immediately re-sell doesn't sit too comfortably with me.

Do we know which of the big vendors import large amounts of coral (vs growing their own), or are they all doing it?
 

Tamberav

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I recently bought some corals from a popular vendor that had some bad hitchhikers. When I complained I was told that they were probably on a big shipment that came in from Vietnam. This was a surprise to me as I had assumed that the bigger companies would grow and frag their own corals.

So this got me thinking, is this the normal way that coral vendors get their stock or is this limited to certain re-sellers?

I'm not against companies buying in corals to grow/frag but simply importing lots of corals to immediately re-sell doesn't sit too comfortably with me.

Do we know which of the big vendors import large amounts of coral (vs growing their own), or are they all doing it?
It is common that corals are imported, cut up, and sold.

If you want aquacultured corals then places like Cultivated Reef, Marine Farmers, Boom Corals and so on grow there own.

You can usually tell because some corals are not really cultured in large numbers as much like plate corals, trachy, elegance, scoly, or larger corals, mushroom colonies, or corals attached to what is clearly cut rock from the ocean and so on. It is hard to explain how to tell tbh but over time a person has an eye for it.

Bigger venders likely sell both. It takes a ton of space to aquaculture and it’s just easier to import.

I guess another tip is places that culture corals often have the pics up all the time and just listed as in or out of stock and less WYSIWYG corals. When they have enough frags to sell... the stock image simply comes in stock again.

Places that cut up wild corals use WYSIWYG more often and when the coral is bought, the for sale image is eventually taken down. This makes sense as then next batch of wild coral may look different.
 
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reefinatl

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Piggybacking on @Tamberav who had an excellent explanation there is also mariculture which it's on beast. A lot of vendors sell those under named corals nowadays. They aren't in house aquacultured but they are grown in the ocean especially Indonesian stuff at large underwater growouts. Some will assign names to them based on appearance but they might not be all from the same exact mother colony. A lot of the euphyllias and sps are propagated in this manner.

 

o2manyfish

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First off be aware that very few corals come out of Vietnam. Vietnam supplies zoas, mushrooms, and man made asst coral colony rocks. There is very lil diversity in what ships from Vietnam. Each shipment looks exactly the same week after week.

Austrailian corals are all wildy collected pieces. This is your acros, elegance, scolys, neon green sinularia, rainbow lobos. There are no facilities farming corals in Austrailian waters.

As of last year Indonesia opened back up but without wild collected species. Everything has to be cultivated in the ocean.

Solomon Islands is collecting wild colonies.

This year is tough because so many of the smaller collection areas are unaccessible with the drop in flights due to COVID internationally.

There are very few big businesses that are truly selling all aquacultured corals, and not maricultured corals as well.

And sadly these days, anyone can build a website, take some nice photos, and create a virtual online following - and you don't know it's really a high school kid with a couple of 40g breeder tanks in a garage in Wisconsin selling frags he bought at the LFS in the $5 rack - But add some lights, take a better pic, come up some BS Superhero name and then put a $300 price tag on it... And Boom - Pimple Face Snot Nosed Corals is now selling aquacultured corals.


Dave B
 
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