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How to Ship Live Corals

Ship Live CoralsKeeping a salt-water aquarium is fast becoming a popular hobby among many individuals. Even if it is a tad more tedious to maintain, not to mention expensive, than ordinary fresh water aquariums, many hobbyists enjoy the diverse fish and coral species that they can add to their tanks.

Mariculture and coral farms offer hobbyists with an environment-friendly source of salt water fishes and corals which ensure that the organisms are not harvested from natural reefs. These companies give hobbyists the freedom of building their own marine ranks without harming the ocean.

While live corals are very fragile and temperature sensitive, they can be safely shipped as long as proper packing precautions are observed. If you are planning to ship live corals, here are some tips that will help you ensure that they will arrive unharmed and in excellent condition.

Only pack the live coral when you are about to ship it already. This will lessen the time it will spend inside a package which can be quite stressful for the organism.

Carefully remove the coral from the tank and place it inside a thick plastic bag with tank water. The coral should be completely submerged in water. Only pack one coral fragment on each bag. Tie the bag with rubber band, making sure that it will not leak. Place the bag in another plastic bag to prevent leaks in case the first one gets punctured. Secure the second bag with rubber band. Wrap the bag with 2 to 3 layers of bubble wrap and secure with tape.

Prepare a sturdy box that is 3 to four inches bigger on all sides than the bagged and bubble wrapped coral. Put a 3-inch layer of packing peanuts in the bottom of the box. Then, place the bagged coral on top of the peanuts, in the center of the box. Fill the sides of the bag with more packing peanuts. Place a heat or cold pack on top of the wrapped corals (optional as long as the temperature stays between 50-80 degrees F). Fill the box with more packing peanuts the rest of the way up. There should be no movement inside the box, otherwise, add more peanuts. Close and tape the box up!

Address and label the package and ship over night especially when the weather is above or below 50-80 degrees F.

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