Dry / Damp Coral Shipping Methods

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  • Graeme
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I just read this:
The Holding, Shipping and Transport of Corals, Part 1: Shipping and Transport by Eric Borneman - Reefkeeping.com

It seems this guy is saying he recommends shipping corals without water!  Erm, ok :undecided:  Might try sending a bit of the kenya tree without water, along with a bit with water and see how they both come out.  What do you think?
Last Edit: Dec 15, 2014 6:07:48 pm by i-CONICA
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Mike

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Reply #1

I've not read it in depth, just the two paragraphs about damp/dry shipping. It seems he's suggesting damp shipping is "almost" as good; saying if the success rates are as good when damp shipping, then the shipping cost saving could be well worth it. So it still seems like a riskier move, but could pay off.

I think softies stand a better chance than stone corals though, and he mentions acros being bad specifically. They're pretty much a sponge full of water. So wrapped in lots of kitchen towels and shipped in a plastic sealed bag with a splash of water, I'd reckon they'd survive.

I think zoas, gsp, etc are pretty much guaranteed to survive.

Commercial coral suppliers here would be reluctant to even attempt this method as people would be stunned by the apparent carelessness if they opened the box to find no water.

If it was shipped in a jiffy bag, though, I'm worried some curious RM staff would be squeezing the odd squishy sausage, not knowing it's alive and they're potentially killing it. So would a narrow cardboard tube like the inside of a roll of tin foil be a good idea to offer stiffness?

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HK_Fuey

  • Graeme
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Reply #2

I've not read it in depth, just the two paragraphs about damp/dry shipping. It seems he's suggesting damp shipping is "almost" as good; saying if the success rates are as good when damp shipping, then the shipping cost saving could be well worth it. So it still seems like a riskier move, but could pay off.
There's a lot more than two paragraphs about it.  He talks about shipping Acros using standard bags, breathable bags and the damp paper method.  Here's his conclusion:
Quote
Only once has the "damp" method of shipping not worked well for me, and I am currently trying to address whether there were other factors involved in that case.


I think softies stand a better chance than stone corals though, and he mentions acros being bad specifically. They're pretty much a sponge full of water. So wrapped in lots of kitchen towels and shipped in a plastic sealed bag with a splash of water, I'd reckon they'd survive.
Yes, softies and mushrooms slime a lot apparently (I've noticed this more with LPS though  :undecided: ), so he suggests that the slime messes up the water sloshing around in the bags, and so prevents gas exchange.  Damp breathable paper avoids this.
I think zoas, gsp, etc are pretty much guaranteed to survive.
Agree.
Which reminds me, I have GSP to frag.  Anyone want any?
Commercial coral suppliers here would be reluctant to even attempt this method as people would be stunned by the apparent carelessness if they opened the box to find no water.
I guess so.  It sounds nuts, but Eric Bourneman is very experienced, and a trusted name in the industry, so I feel I can trust what's written here.  Willing to give it a go at least.
If it was shipped in a jiffy bag, though, I'm worried some curious RM staff would be squeezing the odd squishy sausage, not knowing it's alive and they're potentially killing it. So would a narrow cardboard tube like the inside of a roll of tin foil be a good idea to offer stiffness?
Good point.  How about placing it in a small tuperware box, in a an offcut of PVC (we all have that), or even a tube for posting documents?  Anything that won't crush I guess.
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HK_Fuey

  • Graeme
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Reply #3

I'm giving this a go.

Yet again, I couldn't find anywhere that shows how to post using the damp method, so I thought I'd share how I did it, and we can see if it's a success or not. 

I've just posted a bit of purple kenya tree to Mike via Special Delivery (guaranteed next day).

The method I used was:
  • Prepare the box by putting in a layer of foil as insulation
  • Put a resealable plastic bag in the box
  • Use two sheets of kitchen roll, and soak it in tank water.
  • Give the coral a bit of a wash about to get it to close up, before laying it out on the paper.
  • Fold the paper around the coral
  • Put the paper/coral in the bag and seal it, leaving air in the bag, but a bit of space to fit the heat pack on top.
  • Put the heat pack in...I decided to put in on top so the coral would not be in direct contact, but I probably should have put a bit of polystyrene in between in case the box ends up upside down
  • Add some more foil
  • Put the lid on (I lost the one for htis box, so made one)
  • Tape it all shut
  • Post it - I prepared the package late in the day (about 4pm), as the special delivery deadline is 5pm, so it would have a few hours in transit as possible

Over to Mike to see if it survives  :wink:
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HK_Fuey

  • Graeme
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Reply #4

I meant to attach pics   :O

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Reply #5

Excellent, thanks Graeme.

Looking forward to tomorrow when it arrives.  :grin:
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Mike

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Reply #6

Well the parcel arrived. I thought I recognised what that little white box was for.  :wink:

I've not unpacked it yet, as at work, but might nip home at lunchtime to get it unpacked, as I don't want another 6 hours of it sat in a box spoiling it's chances.

 :glad:
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HK_Fuey

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Reply #7

Good idea.  Fingers crossed.
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Reply #8

I've just thought, as there's no water with the coral, there'll be no acclimation. I'll just be unpacking and plopping the coral into the tank...

That's right isn't it?  :undecided:

Either way it's looking at me like this right now, so going to race home and get it in the warm salty.  :glad:
Last Edit: Dec 16, 2014 11:53:01 am by i-CONICA
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HK_Fuey

  • Graeme
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Reply #9

Yes, I think so. 
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Reply #10

I saw that one guy put the coral in cold tank water, then slowly warmed that up.  Other than that, I'm struggling to find any info.
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Reply #11

I suppose you could leave the coral in the tissue, and slowly drip your tank's water onto it to allow it to soak through and merge, but for what good that'd do given the ordeal it's just been through I don't know.

It's at home now, in the tank. I'll see what it's like when I get home later. Lights are just ramping up, so it'll be morning for it.  :glad:

The heat pack was still warm, and the air inside the zip-lock bag and the wet tissue seemed to act as a good temperature buffer. I didn't measure it's temperature, but it felt roughly tank temperature...   :smiley:
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Reply #12

I sold the rest of my frags locally via a FB group over the weekend, and sent all but one off damp packaged.  two of the damp packaging people have responded to say the coral survived and has come out after 24hrs.  One guy came back to ask for more  :grin:  That's a bit different to posting it though, with the time out of water, air in the bag, and temperature all playing a part.

Glad to hear it was still warm.  That was my main concern.  I'm pretty confident it will pull through ok now  :kiss:
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Reply #13

Yeah me too. I'm going to place it somewhere tonight, and assuming it's opened fully tomorrow, I'll blow a cloud of reef paste over it to give it a good meal to help it along.  :grin:
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Reply #14

It's really good to find out that we can send corals out this way :)

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