Why do we miss indonesion corals?

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Sisterlimonpot

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I'd think the indo corals we loved would be available thru fellow hobbyists and frags. I just dont understand why the need for crazy greedy prices
I said it before and I'll say it again. There isn't a shortage of indo euphyllia. The indo ban just was an excuse to ratchet up the prices.

If I didn't take a break from the hobby, and if I didn't find it morally wrong, I could've retired off of all the euphyllia I had. I gave it all away.
 

John08007

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I didn't know there was a ban. I never understood why when I first entered into the hobby I'd go to the list and walk out with several cheap corals. Now I gotta decide which ONE I'm gonna get because the 15-30 good sized corals are gone.

What exactly is the ban for?
 

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sde1500

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I'd think the indo corals we loved would be available thru fellow hobbyists and frags. I just dont understand why the need for crazy greedy prices
Pretty simple really. It all comes down to growth. Do you think you can grow corals cheaper; indoors in fish tanks, lit with lights that you had to buy and use electricity to run, with water movement from pumps you had to buy and cost money to run, etc etc, or in a leased spot in the ocean, with flow provided by the tides and currents, fed by wild fish, and lit by the sun?

I said it before and I'll say it again. There isn't a shortage of indo euphyllia. The indo ban just was an excuse to ratchet up the prices.
You think we can aquaculture them for the same price and at the same rate that mariculture can? I'd be interested to know if you have anything backing up that statement. Sure, I'm positive there is some price gouging going on. But to state unequivocally supply hasn't changed is bold and probably wrong.

What exactly is the ban for?
No coral exports, of any kind, from Indo. Meaning no wild coral harvesting, but also no maricultured coral exports.
 

andrewkw

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Most people do not fill their entire tanks with super high end pieces. You may desire the rainbow bowerbanki most, but you surround it with "bread and butter corals". Some of these similar corals you can still get from Australia at much higher costs. Some you simply can't.

When Australia first opened up it was amazing. New corals we had never seen before, but we've now had them for 10+ years so the initial excitement is long gone. with Indo corals you never knew what you were going to find in shipments. Brown stuff, ultra grade - for the most part it was priced similarly. Of course if and when it comes back those days are gone, but the diversity could still return.
 

Opus

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Most people do not fill their entire tanks with super high end pieces. You may desire the rainbow bowerbanki most, but you surround it with "bread and butter corals". Some of these similar corals you can still get from Australia at much higher costs. Some you simply can't.

When Australia first opened up it was amazing. New corals we had never seen before, but we've now had them for 10+ years so the initial excitement is long gone. with Indo corals you never knew what you were going to find in shipments. Brown stuff, ultra grade - for the most part it was priced similarly. Of course if and when it comes back those days are gone, but the diversity could still return.
So Australia was off limits at one time? I thought I remembered correctly. In another thread I said it was until sometime in the early 2000's and I was told I was wrong, that it had always been open to coral exports.
 

andrewkw

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So Australia was off limits at one time? I thought I remembered correctly. In another thread I said it was until sometime in the early 2000's and I was told I was wrong, that it had always been open to coral exports.
I was actually just looking at some of my old photos so I can narrow it down to March 2007 is when Australia first opened up. Reef Raft Canada imported a trial shipment of roughly 30, what was then acantastrea lordhowensis. I bought this one :

firstaustraliancoral.jpg


I remember almost falling out of my chair when I heard the price : $800 retail! Remember this is a time where an indo colony would be $40-60 and frags were generally still free unless it was something crazy.

Somehow I eventually came up with the money and I had them frag it in store because I couldn't bring myself to cut it, but I also couldn't afford to keep the entire piece. Most of the trial shipment ended up going to the US. Canada got cites first, so it was very common to see US retailers shopping wholesale at Canadian reef stores (mostly reef raft but other places too).

I seem to recall people saying that a long long time prior there was some Australian corals but it closed and we were always under the impression that they could close at any time. However that was 10+ years ago. It's possible that was just marketing as the corals did cost up to twenty times their indo counterparts.

No one had ever seen a Duncan for example, and it was a surprise how much harder their skeletons were then say euphilyia.
 

Sisterlimonpot

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You think we can aquaculture them for the same price and at the same rate that mariculture can? I'd be interested to know if you have anything backing up that statement. Sure, I'm positive there is some price gouging going on. But to state unequivocally supply hasn't changed is bold and probably wrong.
That is an excellent point. Your question implies a line of thinking that too many hobbyist have adopted as normal. Your view and my view are going to differ if we approach it from separate positions. I'm not in this hobby to make money, I didn't start filling a tank with delusions of grandeur of someday becoming rich, that's complete opposite of what a hobbyist is.

I didn't stock a tank with the idea that what grows in the tank will offset cost of running my system, I guess many can debate that line of thinking as being a hobbyist.

Simply, I enjoy my tank. I love the challenge of fine tuning it and making the inhabitants happy and in return corals grow. Years from now, after said corals have become overgrown I can start pruning. Those will get offered up to other hobbyist to grow in their tank or auctioned off during club meetings.

I'm unique because I stepped away from the hobby in 2014 and didn't gradually follow the trend and watch prices slowly creep up. I came back to the hobby in 2018 and it slapped me in the face. After tending to my red cheeks and getting back up to speed, I started to scratch my head and try to connect the dots as to the reason why prices got out of control.

The overwhelming response was that indo was threatening to shut down, but that never quite squared for me. I mean it could be my geographical location and the hobby that I was immersed in as opposed to others. I lived in southern california and never once did I go to fish store to purchase coral nor did I turn to the internet. Every single coral I had in my tank was from other hobbyist. The most expensive frag I paid for was $30 (Oregon tort). We had stores like Vivid and Unique Corals in our back yard, but I never bought coral from them (Fish and drygoods... yes, corals no), the running joke was that those in other states were getting hosed by expensive online purchases. Now a days that's common place (the getting hosed part).

Now to your point, it's easy to conclude that if indo shut down then supply has dropped. But that doesn't justify selling a $10 euphyllia for $700-$1000. That's simply opportunists taking advantage of the situation with well thought out marketing. Maybe "well thought out" is giving too much credit.

I combed through pictures of my old tank and couldn't find any all my euphyllia, I think it;s just because they weren't photo worthy. here is a close up of the center portion of my old tank from 2012 (2 years prior to shutting it down), you can see a small colony of torch and frogspawn. on the other 2 sides I had larger colonies of hammers, trumpets, torches with green tip, brown tip (today they call it GOLD tip). Any time someone visited, I'd offer up anything from my tank.



With my hiatus the definition of a hobbyist has changed. And with the revolving door of new hobbyist starting up they don't know how things used to be, $800 is normal for them. I don't know where you fall into that spectrum, but I will never calculate the cost in which it takes to grow a coral so that I can slap a monetary value on it. Too many people have, and I simply choose to pass on an $800 euphyllia. I can only hope that people come to their senses and stop throwing their money away. Maybe then we will start seeing prices drop.

Let's get back to normal!!!
 

sde1500

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That is an excellent point. Your question implies a line of thinking that too many hobbyist have adopted as normal. Your view and my view are going to differ if we approach it from separate positions.
Not sure why you’re making that assumption of my view. As I never mentioned “my costs”. I’ve happily traded many corals, only money I’ve ever received is store credit.
But if one can harvest X number of heads of Euphyllia from the ocean and that suddenly stops, it’s pretty obvious supply shrinks. To make up that difference businesses are building out growing facilities. My LFS is, something like 13 growout tanks. Look at what WWC just opened for a coral farm. You think that’s cheap? You think those inputs, along with a still smaller supply doesn’t affect the prices? It pretty clearly does. It’s basic economics, your opinion aside.

Now to your point, it's easy to conclude that if indo shut down then supply has dropped. But that doesn't justify selling a $10 euphyllia for $700-$1000. That's simply opportunists taking advantage of the situation with well thought out marketing. Maybe "well thought out" is giving too much credit.
Again, your opinion doesn’t jive with basic economics. Supply tanked. Prices rose. They naturally find a point to settle on as the new equilibrium. Sure, hobbyists and businesses can undercut each other. But as I said, anyone growing out for profit has much higher costs than wild harvest or even mariculture.
 

Sisterlimonpot

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My LFS is, something like 13 growout tanks. Look at what WWC just opened for a coral farm. You think that’s cheap? You think those inputs, along with a still smaller supply doesn’t affect the prices? It pretty clearly does. It’s basic economics, your opinion aside.
I don't understand what you're saying. You say that my assumption of you is wrong, but you're justifying a jump from $10 to $1000 is due to a high demand because of a low supply. I disagree.

It may not be your view, but I would argue that it was the wrong approach to expand businesses. That's just going to increase the price of an already bloated economy. The fact that marketing deemed these corals expensive was probably the reason why those stores decided to invest in expansion (I hope that's not the only reason). So they will make more money to offset the cost, push hobbyist out of an already niche market and pray that those that stay will pay $2k for a single head of brown... I mean gold torch.

Again, your opinion doesn’t jive with basic economics. Supply tanked. Prices rose. They naturally find a point to settle on as the new equilibrium. Sure, hobbyists and businesses can undercut each other. But as I said, anyone growing out for profit has much higher costs than wild harvest or even mariculture.
Ahh, but prices rose because of a mindset of, "You want what you can't have". I'm not discussing economics, I'm talking about marketing. Marketings' job is to manipulate facts to sell at the highest profit. But that aside, I'm also thinking long term, what can the hobby as a whole sustain?

But on the topic of supply and demand, a hobbyist will grow xx heads of torch and give away 30% of them, then they grow xx and pass it along, eventually the market will be flooded and the supply goes up demand goes down, (there's nothing complicated with growing euphylia) we eventually go back to throwing the stuff away because you can't give it away. These businesses that expanded can't match those prices. To think that a long term solution is going to fix a short term problem of high demand is going to make these companies regret expanding in the first place because of a false premise that they are going to continue to command top dollar. It's only a matter of time that hobbyist equalize the gap. In my view, t's not sustainable for a business to expand solely to fill a gap that they can't turn a profit long term, they're going to be stuck in the red just on overhead alone.

The only way for these companies that are expanding their propagation farms are going to survive is to pass the cost to the hobbyist. Welp... I'll tell ya, eventually consumers are going to wise up.
 

ca1ore

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I'd think the indo corals we loved would be available thru fellow hobbyists and frags. I just dont understand why the need for crazy greedy prices
As long as there are people willing to pay crazy greedy prices there will be people asking crazy greedy prices. My advice when asked is to not play. I do not.
 
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sde1500

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you're justifying a jump from $10 to $1000 is due to a high demand because of a low supply. I disagree.
You can dislike the price jump, that's fine. There are a lot of theories in economics that can be disagreed with. Supply and Demand is basic enough that you really can't. No matter how hard you try.

It may not be your view, but I would argue that it was the wrong approach to expand businesses. That's just going to increase the price of an already bloated economy. The fact that marketing deemed these corals expensive was probably the reason why those stores decided to invest in expansion (I hope that's not the only reason).
There are more than just gold torches in the world, I'm really not sure why you're basing this entire thread around gold torches. I've seen estimates that Fiji and Indo combined supplied anywhere from 70-90% of all coral for the hobby. It is impossible NOT to see price increases due to the loss of that supply. Focusing on gold torch, since that seems to be the thing, they were already in high demand. And commanded a higher price. So the response to the drastic cut in supply is higher prices. You've stated earlier there is no shortage of indo euphyillia, but I haven't seen any details backing that up. You shut down all wild and mariculture exports of them from the source, there is now less, thus shortage.

pray that those that stay will pay $2k for a single head of brown... I mean gold torch.
Still not understanding how you think stores are basing expansions into aquaculture based on a single coral.

Ahh, but prices rose because of a mindset of, "You want what you can't have". I'm not discussing economics, I'm talking about marketing
I mean you're trying to, but doesn't make it right. I've already admitted that some of the price came from marketing, it always has. But brightly colored corals will always command higher prices than less colorful ones, its not that surprising. To flat out state the indo ban didn't cause higher prices through supply constraints, but the marketing based on the ban did is a ridiculous statement.

But on the topic of supply and demand, a hobbyist will grow xx heads of torch and give away 30% of them, then they grow xx and pass it along, eventually the market will be flooded and the supply goes up demand goes down, (there's nothing complicated with growing euphylia) we eventually go back to throwing the stuff away because you can't give it away. These businesses that expanded can't match those prices. To think that a long term solution is going to fix a short term problem of high demand is going to make these companies regret expanding in the first place because of a false premise that they are going to continue to command top dollar. It's only a matter of time that hobbyist equalize the gap. In my view, t's not sustainable for a business to expand solely to fill a gap that they can't turn a profit long term, they're going to be stuck in the red just on overhead alone.
Once again assuming expansion based on a single coral is completely nonsensical. The ban greatly limited the supply of all coral types, as even discussed in this thread.
 

Sisterlimonpot

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You're taking things literally trying to grasp at straws, the torch was simply an example. I love how people try to explain supply and demand as if that's the only variable.

Marketing is ruining this small community with false truths.
 

MnFish1

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I dont care whether a coral came from Indonesia or Australia - as long as I like the coral. The problem with the ban (and why people miss into corals) - is that it has driven up prices (of the Aussie corals)
 

MnFish1

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I don't understand what you're saying. You say that my assumption of you is wrong, but you're justifying a jump from $10 to $1000 is due to a high demand because of a low supply. I disagree.

It may not be your view, but I would argue that it was the wrong approach to expand businesses. That's just going to increase the price of an already bloated economy. The fact that marketing deemed these corals expensive was probably the reason why those stores decided to invest in expansion (I hope that's not the only reason). So they will make more money to offset the cost, push hobbyist out of an already niche market and pray that those that stay will pay $2k for a single head of brown... I mean gold torch.
Are you just making up numbers? I have been buying coral for a long time - and Except for a very small piece - I have not seen euphyllia for $10 - nor in any store I've been in this area have I seen one for $800 or $1000..

In all seriousness - your 'opinions' are the opposite of real economics. Its not 'marketing (alone)' that allows prices to be high - its also supply and demand. You seem to want to ignore that.
 

MnFish1

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You're taking things literally trying to grasp at straws, the torch was simply an example. I love how people try to explain supply and demand as if that's the only variable.

Marketing is ruining this small community with false truths.
And yet - all anyone has to go on are your 'literal words, 'facts and figures'. Supply and Demand are the only variables. Here is what (IMO) you're wrong about - Marketing INCREASES demand. Thus a higher price. The ban lowers supply. Thus a HIGHER price. Its ONLY about supply and demand/what a willing seller will sell for and what a willing buyer will pay.
 

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