Why the Fascination with Indonesian Corals?

nickkohrn

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I know that Indonesian corals used to be plentiful before the ban. Then, prices skyrocketed while the ban was in effect. Now that maricultured livestock is being exported from farms in Indonesia, I have noticed much demand for the Indonesian livestock.

Is the demand stemming from the inability to obtain once-common Indonesian pieces because of the ban, or is the demand stemming from something else, such as colorations and growth patterns that aren't found in corals from other areas, for example?

Indonesian corals are beautiful just as are corals from anywhere, and I understand why the demand is there for certain Indonesian torch corals. However, please excuse my likely-poor analogy, but the increased demand reminds me of the crazes that were once evident when certain toys, such as Tickle Me Elmo, were popular. I doubt that the demand for Indonesian corals causes physical fights, contrary to the demand of aforementioned toys, but the I don't see attributes of Indonesian corals being far more desirable than most other corals.

If you have bought Indonesian corals after the lift of the export ban, what was the initiator of your purchase? Was it because you saw something in the corals, such as growth patterns or colorations, that caused you to purchase them? Or was it simply because of the lack of Indonesian diversity in the hobby as a result of the ban?

Below are additional questions from @ScottB:
Is Indo the regional source for acros like Homewrecker, WD, Solar Flare, Orange Passion, Rainbow Mili, blah blah? I'd be super tickled if that were the case.

Anybody have a sense as to where these crazy colored sticks come from (besides photoshop)?
 
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cvrle1

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Everyone wants what they cant have. Forbidden fruit sort of a thing. I think it is also a case of FOMO, as how long before ban is back again sort of thought process. Finally, with prices skyrocketing, people are now trying to stock up, and cash in with fragging possibly. They want piece of the pie. No matter the reason, If prices go down thats all it matters to me
 

andrewkw

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Indo is the bread and butter. Yes it has some of the most beautiful corals but overall especially when you consider LPS Australian are more colourful. That being said they can't come close to touching the diversity of Indo corals. To clarify my colour statement the standard grade pieces from Australia are generally more colourful but the gems from Indo seem to be more unique a lot of the time. Also given we also lost Fiji and pre Indo ban there really wasn't much Tonga being brought in either it was Australia or bust in most cases.

Also Australia only started exporting corals in 2007 or 2008 I can't remember off the top of my head but I very clearly remember the massive lineup at Reef Raft Canada when they imported the first legal shipment from Australia.

For me I just want to get old familiar corals I used to have. Yeah they are going to cost way more but at least I'll get them or at the very least see them again. The old days are over and not coming back but when I think Indo shipment I still think 500,1000 corals coming in one shot. Where as due to cost and freight Australian shipments are generally smaller at least in Canada.
 
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ScottB

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@nickkohrn I appreciate this question. My initial guess is that reefers miss the availability of affordable COLONY SIZE SPS.

For the last several years, everything I bought were fancy-named/colored aquacultured acros FRAGS which I am happy to do. (Well OK, sometimes they are more like nubs, and that bugs me.) But I don't really have a desire to buy colonies.

I'd like to add a question to this discussion:
Is Indo the regional source for acros like Homewrecker, WD, Solar Flare, Orange Passion, Rainbow Mili, blah blah? I'd be super tickled if that were the case.

Anybody have a sense as to where these crazy colored sticks come from (besides photoshop)?
 
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nickkohrn

nickkohrn

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@nickkohrn I appreciate this question. My initial guess is that reefers miss the availability of affordable COLONY SIZE SPS.

For the last several years, everything I bought were fancy-named/colored aquacultured acros FRAGS which I am happy to do. (Well OK, sometimes they are more like nubs, and that bugs me.) But I don't really have a desire to buy colonies.

I'd like to add a question to this discussion:
Is Indo the regional source for acros like Homewrecker, WD, Solar Flare, Orange Passion, Rainbow Mili, blah blah? I'd be super tickled if that were the case.

Anybody have a sense as to where these crazy colored sticks come from (besides photoshop)?
I updated my original post so that your questions are visible more quickly because I think that they will help identify where some of the corals come from that demand such high prices. If they are Indonesian, then I can understand why they may demand the prices that they do, outside of their intense colorations.
 
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malacoda

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Before the ban, I think I recall a lot of folks expressing the opinion that Indo corals offered unique color combinations and growth patterns than Aussie corals. And at a better price.

In other words, some of the top-grade Aussie had better colors, but the Indos provided more variety.

Then the ban kicked in. And, as cvrle1 mentioned, it became a case of forbidden fruit: I can't have it ... so I want it more.

Now that the ban has been lifted, the mentality seems to have evolved to combination of: I want to get it before anyone else, and FOMO.

hot topic of discussion + limited supply = 'I've got to get it before I miss out' mentality to take hold

It's an age-old pattern.

Look at the Tulip Mania in Holland in the 1600s ... the dot-com tech stock craze of 1999 ... the U.S. real estate craze in 2006-2007 ... the bitcoin craze in 2017... or toy crazes you mentioned.

So, yah, because they've been talked about a lot due to the ban, and they're 'legal' again but in VERY limited supply at the moment, Indo corals have now become the reefing hobby fascination-du-jour.

As the craze begins to die down and supply catches up to demand, the prices will normalize and attention will shift to the next fascination ... perhaps super-ultra-gold dragon-soul bounce mushroom torch morphs.
 

fishguy242

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Before the ban, I think I recall a lot of folks expressing the opinion that Indo corals offered unique color combinations and growth patterns than Aussie corals. And at a better price.

In other words, some of the top-grade Aussie had better colors, but the Indos provided more variety.

Then the ban kicked in. And, as cvrle1 mentioned, it became a case of forbidden fruit: I can't have it ... so I want it more.

Now that the ban has been lifted, the mentality seems to have evolved to combination of: I want to get it before anyone else, and FOMO.

hot topic of discussion + limited supply = 'I've got to get it before I miss out' mentality to take hold

It's an age-old pattern.

Look at the Tulip Mania in Holland in the 1600s ... the dot-com tech stock craze of 1999 ... the U.S. real estate craze in 2006-2007 ... the bitcoin craze in 2017... or toy crazes you mentioned.

So, yah, because they've been talked about a lot due to the ban, and they're 'legal' again but in VERY limited supply at the moment, Indo corals have now become the reefing hobby fascination-du-jour.

As the craze begins to die down and supply catches up to demand, the prices will normalize and attention will shift to the next fascination ... perhaps super-ultra-gold dragon-soul bounce mushroom torch morphs.
SAY NO MORE well stated
 

LobsterOfJustice

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To make a car analogy, the indo ban basically took all Hondas and Toyotas off the road. So, yes there were other options, but the most common decent quality affordable price point was removed from circulation.

Im concerned now that people have shown they are willing to pay what used to be colony prices for 1” frags (this goes for SPS, LPS, zoas, all of it), that there isn’t much reason for price to come down. There are more people (aka more money) in the hobby now and the exporters and wholesalers aren’t stupid and will charge what people will pay.
 
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nickkohrn

nickkohrn

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I greatly appreciate the explanations that have been provided thus far. I got into the hobby in 2004 and simply bought corals from local hobbyists. It wasn't until the recent couple of years that I fell in love with SPS and began going all-in with them. At that time, the ban was in effect, so I didn't know any different. The discussions here are helping me look forward to seeing what becomes more available.
 

Phycodurus

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Interesting read today on BBC's web site re: the Indo ban and subsequent re-opening. I got back into the hobby in spring of 2018 (after a near 10-year break), so articles like this help me catch up on what was going on in the trade this last decade.

I'm left wondering about the extent of illegal coral harvesting in other SE Asian countries.


1582814369925.png


I can't recall every coming across a BBC business article covering the coral trade.
 

lapin

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I have a Tickle Me Elmo. It speaks English and Spanish. Didnt pay more than normal for it new.
I have some Indo corals purchased before the ban. I want some other similar ones but will not pay the higher prices. I get it, but wont do it.
 

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