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FAQs about the Business of Marine Invertebrate Livestock, Including Live Rock and Sand 

Related Articles: Stocking a Business, Open Letter to the Trade re Quarantining Livestock, Growing Reef Corals For Profit, Pond Service Business, Don't Sell Non-Aquatic Plants!, Live Plants & Macro-Algae (IZOO 98 Report), Marine Macro-Algae, Ornamental Marine Algae/How to Raise & Market It, Compatible Marine SpeciesMarine Fishes, Selection, Display in the Industry, Damsels, Clownfishes, Hawkfishes

Related FAQs: Livestock Business 1, Livestock Business 2Livestock Business 3, & FAQs on: Marine Wholesale,  & FAQs on: Wholesalers, Transshippers, Jobbers, & Sources For: FW Fish & Invert. Livestock, FW Plants, Pondfishes/Comets, Marine Algae, SW Invertebrates, SW Fishes, & From/By Source Countries, & Facilities: Collecting Stations, Holding Systems, Breeding/Aquaculture, & Research, Tradeshows, Crooked Dealings, CITES, Tariffs, Permits, Other Confiscatory Conventions, Moving Livestock, Growing Reef Corals, Tridacnid Clam Biz

Some Businesses Mentioned:  OFI, http://www.ornamental-fish-int.org/

All Seas. 310-532-7769 M Aquatics (AM4fish.com) Pacific Aqua Farms http://www.pacificaquafarms.com/ Quality Marine http://www.qualitymarineusa.com TMC/UK: www.tmc-ltd.co.uk Tropicorium, http://www.tropicorium.com/ Aquatic Indonesia, aquatic@indo.net.id  

End of an era..
(Deb Smith)
<Mmm; so... no env. impact study, public input coming?
A shame; my usual question: "Who is served"?
See you and Walt next mo. in LV. B>

Hi Walt,
I’ve just received the following. Please go to page 61.
All the best,
John (Dawes)
http://digitalmag.petproductnews.com/petproductnews/august_2018?utm_source=ppn_digital&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=PPN_Digital_201808&pg=60#pg60 >

Importing coral      5/7/18
Hi Bob,
<Hey Branko>
It's time for me to start importing corals. Im still in my preparation phase, so I have no coral related questions yet. However I have one exporter related. Mainly I was looking for exporters out of Indonesia
region, but due to recent coral export ban by there government I am forced to look elsewhere.
<Actually; as long as they have permits... exports of coral from Indo. are not banned forever.
Please read here re:
Could you recommend a coral exporter out of Malaysia or any other neighboring country that can legally export cites corals?
Kind regards,
<Unfortunately I don't know any outfits well-enough to endorse them in this way. Do you need, can you use a full can/LD-3, dozens of boxes; several hundred pieces? Instead, I would piggy back a partial order w/ someone not too far from you, your international airport and split a shipment from their known supplier. This is really an important step (becoming an importer); best to take in small, sustainable steps. Bob Fenner>

Exporters to the USA, SW lvstk.      3/18/13
I am in the process of fleshing out a new wholesale distribution operation in Michigan, USA.
<Have to have Customs et al. checked enroute/elsewhere>

I was hoping you could save me a lot of time, money and headaches by directing me to quality exporters that will be able to supply saltwater fish, corals and invertebrates. (Bali, Indo, Philippines, Jakarta, etc.)
<... how much volume can you justify? Enough to bring in full cans?>
I am currently using transship services from LA but I expect to have my own import license shortly and want to bring livestock in direct.
Kind Regards
Indoor Aquatics
<... I'd search on OFI's site re... and w/ other folks in the trade re reputations. The "A" players in the trade won't sell to you until you're established. Bob Fenner>
Re: Exporters to the USA     3/18/13

I am in the process of fleshing out a new wholesale distribution operation in Michigan, USA.
<Have to have Customs et al. checked enroute/elsewhere>
I have also applied for an "Designated Port Exception Permit" so I should be able to clear customs in Michigan.
<?! Never heard of this. Thank you for this input>
 I also have the ability to bring orders in under a friends import license who already has the exception permit and is willing to collaborate with me.  The worst case scenario being that I will have to clear customs in Chicago.
I was hoping you could save me a lot of time, money and headaches by directing me to quality exporters that will be able to supply saltwater fish, corals and invertebrates. (Bali, Indo, Philippines, Jakarta, etc.)
<... how much volume can you justify? Enough to bring in full cans?>
I will be looking to bring in as much as required and 20-25 boxes should be workable.
<<Need to handle twice this many in one go.... a full can. BobF>>
I am currently using transship services from LA but I expect to have my own import license shortly and want to bring livestock in direct.
Kind Regards
Indoor Aquatics
<... I'd search on OFI's site re... and w/ other folks in the trade re reputations. The "A" players in the trade won't sell to you until you're established. Bob Fenner>
I did take a quick look at the OFI site. Would you feel confident that these members would provide reasonable livestock? Sending thousands of dollars via wire with no idea if someone is going to take advantage of you is a scary proposition. I have tried to talk with some other people in the trade but most are very secretive and unwilling to share information. Using transship services I have found by trial and error the "lists" that provide good quality livestock but I'm not sure who they are in actuality. I am trying to go head to head with the other wholesaler in Michigan and purchasing direct is the only way I can see being able to provide livestock at a price that is competitive and makes a reasonable return on investment. Thank you for your time Bob!

KenN, source of Scarlet Red Legs - 11/15/2012
Hi Bob,
I am a big fan of this site, it is very useful!
We are a wholesaler in the UK and I am really struggling to find a source for scarlet red leg hermit crabs. I think they are from the Caribbean.
I just thought you may be able to help?
<Mmm, I know the next person to ask: Ken Nedimyer:
Ken? Bob Fenner>
Many Thanks,

SPS, from "Nam", elsewhere in the area
Hi Crew,
There seems to a lot of new coral coming from Vietnam and I am interested in what type and color of the SPS they have in comparison to Australia, Bali and Indonesia?
<Haven't seen much of this myself... But likely will compare well w/ these other locations in selection, and hopefully quality in time. Vietnam's record on Tridacnids, Seahorses... has not proven good as yet. Bob Fenner>

New mini carpet anemones /Nam   2/16/11
<Hello Ms Hanh>
I am Ms. Hanh - the Marketing Manager from Xanh Tuoi Aquarium in Vietnam.
We are having 3000 pc.s of mini maxi carpet anemones ready in store now. They are very nice colors: pink, purple, orange, red, blue and rainbow color.
We are selling $ 3.50/per and packing 100pcs/box. I am sending you pictures of them. Please check attached files. All our customers in Europe are buying many Mini carpet anemones from us. I hope you like them.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
<Thank you for your email but we are an informational site only. We do not sell any animals or products. James Gasta>
*Best regards,
Ms. Hanh / marketing manager
Xanh Tuoi Aquarium
Address: 121/4 Me Coc St, Ward 15, District 8, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.
Tel: +848 39805093 or +848 39807160 Fax: +848 39807161
emails:* hanh@xanhtuoiaquarium.com
xanhtuoiaqua.hanh@gmail.com <xanhtuoiaqua.hanh@gmail.com>*
cell phone:+84909836717*

Info On Wholesalers/Jobbers, corals biz  11/5/10
<Hi there>
My name is Joey Nichols and I am trying to gather all information needed in order to best educate myself on opening an online coral storefront. I've searched through your site and have found a lot of useful information, however some of it seems a little bit outdated and some of the links in the FAQs etc no longer work.
<Thank you for this input. Such tasks/work are in need of continuous revision, updating>
Anyhow, I'm mainly looking for some information about wholesalers:
How do they operate (minimum order amount etc)?
<All have their own standards, which, once you're accepted as a bonafide dealer they will relate. It is of considerable advantage to be a "larger" player... there are tens of percent lesser cost shipping and "paperwork" depending on the volume you're dealing in... and very importantly, the possibility of direct flights, your relationship with the airlines/carriers>
I hear that you have almost no say so over what corals you receive (like you may receive a box of poor quality, unpopular corals)
<Mmm, this is definitely not so... the "real" people in the trade even have wysisyg... >
I've heard a few mentions of "jobbers." If I understand correctly, these are people you hire to "cherry-pick" pieces for you. How can I come in contact with one?
<These folks abound... I really suggest you come out, visit at least some of these intermediaries... they are centered about the handful of (I take it you're in the U.S.) international airports w/ Customs facilities... Even haul out to the big/ger international trade shows... You're welcome to transit w/ friends and I to Aquarama this May in Sing... Many growers, collectors attend such...>
Who are some of the most reputable wholesalers?
<Some are listed on WWM:
the first block of links under "Livestock">
Thanks for your help and hope to hear from you soon!
Joey Nichols
Joe Knows Reefs, LLC
<Glad to assist your efforts. Bob Fenner, out presently visiting in Fiji w/ Walt and Deb Smith...
Re: Info On Wholesalers/Jobbers 11/09/2010
Thank you for your quick reply Bob! Especially considering you are in Fiji! Hopefully I will be able to visit such a place in the future.
<For sure>
As far as visiting the west coast, I will most likely be unable to do so for at least a few months. I hope there is some way I can seed and grow a relationship with dealers in the meantime. Being that I will not be able to make the trip any time soon, do you have any suggestions as far as locating a jobber in the mean time?
<Mmm, yes. If you have a business set up already (fictitious name, license...) call them...>
On the other side, the owner of my LFS has offered to introduce me to his distributor on the west coast via phone, and even offered me to piggyback orders with him to save on shipping and reap his benefit of having a 7yr relationship with these people.
<Ahh, a good possibility there>
Do you have any knowledge of or dealings with the people at "Eye Catching Corals" based out of PA?
<I do not. My dealings are not wide but deep in the trade... I retired many years back (94) but still attend the intl. trade shows, give business presentations (as well as hobbyist and the odd scientific), and have many wonderful personal relationships w/ friends who are still active in the trade. But these are the very-well-established "A" players. I barely know newer folks>
One last question...I intend to include on my site a section (and eventually an archive) of "Weekly Informative Articles." This will be an educational article on anything from water chemistry parameters to propagation to lighting etc.
<Ahh, good idea on many counts>
I hoped to be able to use writings from established icons of the industry (such as yourself..hehe) in order to provide customers with a well written informative from very experienced testers.
<I appreciate your offer, but I have no available time as a content provider>
Again, thank you for your time and enjoy your time in Fiji! Joey Nichols Owner Joe Knows Reefs, LLC
<Thank you. BobF, blurry from fish collecting all day... and Fiji Export biers!>

Australia corals  10/5/08 Dear Crew or Mr. Fenner, <Hallo> we are looking for a supplier of Australia corals. Do you know a big exporter of Catalaphyllia Blastomussa Plerogyra Euphyllia divisa Acanthastrea Duncanopsammia Lobophyllia???????????????? Many thanks for you reply. mit freundlichen GrüÃen / best regards, Dipl.-Ing. Sebastian Bollmann AZB Meerwasser ph: +49 34652 670141 fax: +49 34652 670143 E-Mail: azb-meerwasser@gmx.de Internet: www.azb-meerwasser.de <Mmm, will post for others resp. directly to you, but am given to understand that there is a shortage of supply amongst the few Australian collectors in business... I would look to co-import with another German or close-country from the area to increase your order size, achieve savings in volume for fixed and relative costs here, maybe try searching for a supplier through the OFI (http://www.ornamental-fish-int.org/members-directory). Bob Fenner>

Re: Australia corals 10/6/08 Dear Mr. Fenner, thanks for your reply. There should be a few exporters of corals, which supply to Germany, but I can't get any contact. Our import size of corals is between 400 and 700pcs, so I don't need to an co-import. <Agreed> The co-imports directly to the shops is competition enough and with co-import I'm to expensive. I though you could know some exporters. <Unfortunately, the few I'm familiar/friends with have no more inventory... No need for new customers> I already visited different trading boards, but no success. Thanks. <I concur with you. There is more demand than supply here. Bob Fenner> mit freundlichen GrüÃen / best regards, Dipl.-Ing. Sebastian Bollmann AZB Meerwasser ph: +49 34652 670141 fax: +49 34652 670143 E-Mail: azb-meerwasser@gmx.de Internet: www.azb-meerwasser.de

Re: Australia corals  10/6/08 Thanks for your reply. Maybe you hear something about an exporter of Australian corals and he could supply one more customer, so I hope you remember me and recommend me. <I don't know you to recommend you, but have posted and BCC'd your messages to folks in the trade re> We are a first class importer and don't need promotion for customers, like the exporters of Australia. I have enough customers and they get great animals from me. But I can't supply Australia corals at the moment! That is my problem. Nevertheless thanks for your time. best regards Sebastian <Understanzee. Bob Fenner> mit freundlichen GrüÃen / best regards, Dipl.-Ing. Sebastian Bollmann AZB Meerwasser ph: +49 34652 670141 fax: +49 34652 670143 E-Mail: azb-meerwasser@gmx.de Internet: www.azb-meerwasser.de

Marine Livestock, Whlse, Actinarian sel...   2-14-08 Dear Mr. Fenner, <Manie> I recently opened my retail outlet in Windhoek, Namibia and hope to specialize in marine aquatics in the future as I try to read up and gather more information in this field. I have received a copy of The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by one of my clients and was very impressed, needless to say I refer to it all the time and regard it as my marine bible. I wish I have been handed this book earlier as I recently landed my first marine shipment from Sri-Lanka and would have avoided certain species you refer to as unsuitable for aquarium keeping. My threadfins, raccoons, vagabonds, Klein's are eating well, but Regal Angel, Chaetodon collare, Chaetodon melannotus, Chaetodon plebeius, Chaetodon xanthocephalus, Chaetodon falcula are all not taking various foods I tried to offer. Lesson learned. I would like to ask your opinion on the green carpet anemone ( Parasicyonis A) as I was told it should not be in an aquarium as it releases all its stinging cells into the water if hurt or damaged killing fishes, is there any truth in this as I find it somewhat exaggerated? <Mmm, need to be sure of the actual species here... Some places this genus is given as a synonym for the Bubble-tip, Entacmaea... I would NOT sell/import actual Parasicyonis species for resale> Thanks for a great book as it will surely assist in my consideration regarding future species I order. Best Regards, Manie van der Merwe <Pleased to make your acquaintance. Please do familiarize yourself with our website: WetWebMedia.com, a collective effort at providing up-to-date information and inspiration re the hobby, business and science of ornamental aquatics. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Livestocking a store - 10/07/2007 Hello Again, We have spoken before and I am a frequent reader to the site that has really helped out quite a bit. So thanks for that :) <Welcome> First a comment on some of the tips you have given and some feedback on results. I asked months ago about getting in touch with a cherry picker/Jobber for regular stocking of a store that had been in business for over 15 years. You had recommended The guys at fish heads, and quality marine. <Both fine outfits> I see that QM is a supporter of the site so If feelings may be hurt feel free to delete post as needed :) <We post all> We were at the time only dealing with SDC, ERI, UWW, ORA. What happened was that our 1st order was a bell ringer so to say where the corals were simply amazing then tapered off to the usual ..ssssshhh...tuff :) When feedback was given there was no reason given just promises of better quality product in the future that was never fulfilled. Sad to say the least. I eventually did find a jobber in CA that was a pleasure to work with and the quality over the past 6 weeks has been getting BETTER!! crazy to think of !!! I don't want to mention any names on here as it offers competition to the market... sorry guys and gals! We on average spend about $5,000 per week and our jobber is now getting all of our business. <A good sized business for sure> The reason for the email today is that I am currently looking for a trans-shipper out of Australia. We have already set-up a piggyback with our jobber who is fine with it and promises not to open our boxes. We currently have on call about 4 trans-shippers but none out of Australia. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. <... Mmmm, do you have facilities for holding such shipments? I want to comment re all levels of dealing with collected livestock... transhipping, wholesale, jobber... in that the companies appraised are "only as good as their last shipment" typically... And secondly, that transhipping, even from generally excellent country/sources are Australia is fraught with perils... I would continue piggybacking if I were a sole retailer (as opposed let's say to a chain that can justify the volume)... Bob Fenner> Thanks In Advance :) Brian

Wholesalers... reef    7/20/07 Hello, <Hello to you also> First off I wanna say you guys have a great source of information on this site ive followed it for awhile and great job. <Thank you> Second off I have a couple questions and was hoping you guys could steer me in the right direction. Im in the process of starting an online retail business for Saltwater corals and cleaners (hermits snails shrimp etc.)... Im having a hard time finding any suppliers that will sell to the general jobber. I see a lot of people that sell online and don't have a actual store front... Again hope you guys can steer me in the right way for a distributor. <To be able to buy from wholesalers it is required that you obtain a business license, federal tax resale number, business bank account, business cards, etc. The first things to do is obtain these items and then build your online store. Once you have all of these and your online store is active the wholesalers will be happy to service you.> <Thanks Rich aka Mr. Firemouth>

Wholesalers in Miami    5/20/07 Bob, <Elsa> I've had my saltwater fish tank for about 10 years now. Absolutely love this hobby. My husband tells me I pay more attention to my fish and corals than I do to him. He's right!! Everyone that walks into my home goes directly to my tank and tells me how gorgeous it is. Anyway, I've just decided to be a stay at home mother and would love to start buying a selling coral. I'm working on getting my license and creating a name for my new venture. <Okay> I've bought many pieces of beautiful coral from this very nice lady which operates out of her home here in Miami. I know she goes and cherry picks her corals and brings them home. I don't want her to think that I'm trying to steal her business so I've been to shy to ask where she gets her coral from. I was wondering if you can tell me where I can go to buy coral in bulk for wholesale prices. <I would first try All Seas there in Miami... You can look up the address on the Net... Do just walk in, when you have your license... to fill out a resale permit card... Bob Fenner> Thanks Elsa

Cuban corals supplier   3/11/07 I heard there's a GREAT corals supplier in Cuba but I don't know is name or is address I was wondering if maybe you would know this information thanks! <Mmm, none that I'm aware of... But our country (the U.S.) is run by some small groups of "special interests" re Cuba... some former ex-pats and hangers-on, neo-cons (tired old white men and socio-paths too stupid to realize the counter-productivity of blockade, lying to, manipulating the public... whom in turn are too lazy, gullible... to do much re)... I would go there, look around in person, if so interested. Bob Fenner>

Offer of tropical fish Indonesia Hi... My name is Tita (Ms), I am marketing division of Aquatic Indonesia. on 2002 I received your mail about tropical fishes. are you still import live tropical fishes ? We have very large stock of freshwater fish, marine fish, coral and aquatic plant. And we have special offer price for some fishes. Please feel free to contact me for further information, we are ready to send you our stock list available. We are interest to make business with you and hope we have good relations business in near future Thanks and regards TITA Marketing division CV. Aquatic Indonesia aquatic@indo.net.id phone: +62-251-360715 / mobile : +62-813-10-58-58-35 Fax : +62-251-333786 <Thank you for your note. We will place your information on our site, www.WetWebMedia.com in the hopes others will contact you. Bob Fenner> Coral for Canada 1/19/05 I am in Canada and am interested in purchasing a large quantity of zoos and SPS corals (preferably aqua cultured) from a reputable wholesaler. <Aquaculture Wholesalers are hard to find on the East Coast. I think ORA ( http://www.orafarm.com/) and maybe Blane Perun's store "Farms at the Sea": ( http://www.farms-of-thesea.com/catalog/index.php)might be able to help you out if you haven't tried them already. Although you didn't say that you were on the East Coast now did you =) There is always the Walt Smith ( http://www.waltsmith.com/) and Sea Dwelling Creatures ( http://www.seadwelling.com/index.php) or Quality Marine ( http://www.qualitymarineusa.com/) on the West Coast.> I have yet to find a wholesaler in Canada and was wondering if you could recommend one in the US that would consider exporting to Canada. <There are some e-tailers in Canada. One in Vancouver, BC but I can't seem to remember the name off hand. Maybe they will write in. Good luck. Maybe Bob could add something here? ~Paul> Thanks. Nathan Myhill NGM Exotics

Coral for Canada 1/19/05 - Follow up Thanks a lot for your quick reply. I have been looking at Walt Smith's site, but there is no way I could possibly fulfill his minimum orders. Do you know anyone in the US who distributes his corals? Thanks. <I would contact them directly... or Pacific Aquafarms: http://www.pacificaquafarms.com/  to be more specific... ask them if they know someone (within easy driving distance of you or your airport) and ask them to contact that party re "piggybacking" an order... sharing freight costs. This is the best route to go. Bob Fenner>

Coral color change and Etail advice 4/28/05 I bought 3 blue ridge corals. At the time of purchase they looked baby blue, but now they are turning brown. Are they dyed? I sold one of them to someone because I had 3, and they were furious with me when they received it. They said it was totally brown. Mine in my tank looks brown over the top and blue underneath. They were all blue when I bought them. I refunded the money because they think we did it on purpose and threw a terrible temper tantrum. <I don't think these corals were dyed. Blue ridge coral never has blue tissue. It is always light to caramel brown. The skeleton is blue, so I suspect you saw some blue skeleton that was visible where tissue died.> We're trying to get started in a saltwater online business. We have accounts with Sea Dwelling, Underwater World, Segrest, and many others. The quality really varies in what you receive. <This is absolutely true. It takes time to build good relationships and to learn what each supplier does best. Hiring a "jobber" to go in person to pick your animals helps a lot!> For dry goods we have champion lighting and a few other but I don't think they offer very good wholesale prices. Any suggestions on dry and live good suppliers?  <You are dealing with some of the biggest already, but you may want to check Custom Aquatic for dry goods and Quality Marine for livestock (there are many others).> Also, we have tried no ick and kick ich for marine ich. Do you have any recommended brand? We have ordered more UV sterilizers. <The drugs/chemicals in No Ick and Kick Ick are not effective at the recommended doses. UV is the better solution in a commercial setting, however proper FW dips on arrival and quarantine are the best way to prevent outbreaks. UV is only effective when they are kept clean and the lamps are replaced often (every 6 months).> We got some corals in such as blue carpet and bright pink finger leather sold as purple hairy finger leather, and I\u2019m sure they\u2019re dyed because the water in the bag its colored! How long will the color stay in the coral will it fade soon? <The blue carpet is probably natural, but the pink leather is very suspicious. On future orders, tell your wholesaler that you won't accept dyed animals! The dyed colors usually fade fast, and the dyed animal often dies. Keep an eye on it so that it can be removed if it starts to fall apart.> I wouldn't want to sell something and then have a customer get furious, because some people are less than understanding. I want to try to have the best quality I can have and represent it honestly. Thanks. Any ideas and links to point us in the right direction are very much appreciated. Thanks again. Your site has got to be one of the most informative on earth! Right up there with an encyclopedia!  <Glad you appreciate the site and more glad that you have a desire to run a stand-up business. Beware that this business is very difficult, even for very knowledgeable and experienced people. Please do see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/AqBizSubWebIndex/Biz%20Index/Biz%20index.htm for good information about this business. Best of luck. AdamC.>

Acanthastrea Lord's  11/10/05 Hello - <G'morning> I have a small business in Chicago, IL USA and was looking to import Acanthastrea lordhowensis like the pictures I have attached. I was wondering if you could help me or point me in the right direction. Thank you, Michael Kleist Dark Lord Coral Company <Mmm, how big an operation are you? That is, how many pieces, boxes can you accommodate, afford at a go? If not many (not ten boxes, five thousand dollars...), I'd buy these from the "usual suspects"... Quality Marine, Pacific Aqua Farms, Sea Dwelling Creatures... others in Los Angeles. Bob Fenner>

Does SoCal have any good wholesalers? Is the Sky Blue? (AdamJ's much better title, resp.)  4/21/06 I do business here in Greenville, SC for the past 8 years I have  been in saltwater aquarium installations and maintenance, with only a few holding tanks to sell from.  My problem is that the suppliers that I deal with (Sunpet, in Atlanta, and Segrest Farms, in F) have been letting me down.  A quality shipment has been rare.  Maybe 10- 30% of the order seems up to par. <Sorry to hear that.> When I have gone in person to these wholesalers,  I always recognize that there are great finds, but these seem to be snatched up by the local stores who send someone in person, I guess before the shipped orders are filled. <Usually the case.> Are there any west coast companies that you can provide email, or phone #'s  for? <Your in luck I am familiar with the Southern California Wholesalers (as I live about 5 minutes from  them) and they are among the best if not the best: http://www.qualitymarineusa.com/home.html http://www.waltsmith.com/ http://www.seadwelling.com/ -These are all located on 104th street off of aviation, literally across the street from LAX airport in Westchester/Los Angeles, California, contact can be made via e-mail through their web-sites.> Any help is greatly appreciated <Sure-thing.> Keith <Adam Jackson.>

I'm looking for west coast wholesalers or suppliers (Bob's go)  4/21/06 I do business here in Greenville, SC for the past 8 years I have  been in saltwater aquarium installations and maintenance, with only a few holding tanks to sell from.  My problem is that the suppliers that I deal with (Sunpet, in Atlanta, and Segrest Farms, in F) have been letting me down.  A quality shipment has been rare.  Maybe 10- 30% of the order seems up to par. <Bunk!> When I have gone in person to these wholesalers,  I always recognize that there are great finds, but these seem to be snatched up by the local stores who send someone in person, I guess before the shipped orders are filled. Are there any west coast companies that you can provide email, or phone #'s  for? Any help is greatly appreciated Keith <Sea Dwelling Creatures, Quality Marine, Pacific Aqua Farms, Underwater World... or a few good selection services would be my choices to try here. Their contact info. can be found on the Net, industry "buyer's guides". Bob Fenner> LR Wholesaler Sel.   11/26/06 Justin, would you send me Eric Rood's email with his addy, placed currently in the Trayless Query folder? Bob F. <No problem, Bob. His email is XXXX@bellsouth.net, and the body of the letter is as follows... -JustinN> <<Thanks much Justin... Hey Eric! Am in Kona presently... in Holualoa> Bob, Your old friend Eric Rood here. A friend of mine is looking for a quality live rock connection for his retail store. Any advice? I told him I'd   check with you, I thought you & Peter were once working on something. Let me know. All things are good here, Tam says high and she misses you. Eric J Rood <I'd contact either Walt Smith or Dave Palmer at Pacific Aqua Farms and see what they say re becoming something of a regular customer... Otherwise, Eric Cohen at SDC has some spectacular quality, consistency in LR nowadays. Cheers, BobF> Wholesalers   12/24/06 Bob, <Jeff> I spoke to you at MACNA and Next Wave in Dallas. <Ah, yes> I own a small custom aquarium installation/service company in Tyler, Texas. I'm in Dana Point, ca right now and I want to get some livestock from the local wholesalers. Who do you recommend I visit in either LA or San Diego??? <There is nada in San Diego... a treasure in Los Angeles... I'd call on Quality Marine, Sea Dwelling Creatures, Underwater World, and Pacific Aquafarms on 104th Street in LA for sure... and a few other friend's places, depending on the specifics of what you're looking for... want to do in your biz... for instance, Tideline on Isis... for coral skeletons, sand, shells... Bob Fenner, who may go with you (live in San Diego half the year or so)... Do send along your itinerary of when you'll be in S. Cal.> Thanks!, Jeff Morley Lone Star Aquariums Re: Wholesalers   12/24/06 I forgot to mention I'm looking for some great looking saltwater corals, fish and clams. <Mmm, hit/drive 104th next to LAX. BobF> Just wanted to clarify thanks again! Jeff Morley Lone Star Aquariums Custom Aquariums & Service

Live rock (UK distribution) Dear Sirs,   My name is Martin Doyle, I am a director of a company in the UK dealing with Haulage, Import and Export. I also have an interest in Reefkeeping, and was wondering about the possibilities of shipping large amounts of rock from yourselves to my Holdings, with a view to selling on to fellow reefers throughout the UK. Can you tell me if this is already being done in the UK and also if you feel this would be possible to strike up a business relationship, as I personally feel there is definitely an opening for business here, and would like your views/feelings on the subject before I arrange to come over to visit you to discus the project further. Best Regards Martin Doyle 247International <Mmm, will send your note around to friends, associates in the trade to see if they're interested... are you familiar with Underworld and TMC in your country? Their drygoods and livestock are sold by a few folks there: http://www.marine-aquarium-supplies.co.uk/ Bob Fenner>

Looking to import marine livestock into Singapore Greetings from Singapore <Hello from southern California> I am a marine reef tank hobbyist and wish to seek your help. I'm very interested to import in Tridacna Maxima Clam and colorful SPS into Singapore for personal tank or group of tanks. LFS here in Singapore do not bring in these coral. Could somebody provide some CITES certified contacts whereby I can import those lovely coral. <For just your use? Gets to be a bit expensive per unit/specimen, but will introduce you here to my friend Walt Smith in hopes that he can arrange a shipment to you, and my friend Perry Chong of SG in hopes that he will assist you as well. Bob Fenner> Thank You Hon

Livestock wholesale sources hello. The site TMC is "down" or not available for five days. I'm tying to access because I need to make an import of live rock and stock to my country Portugal. maybe you can give the email of TMC to send them the request and the information about their site...thanks and answer please <Don't have their email, but there is a number posted on a review of their biz I penned here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/AqBizSubWebIndex/tmcpropc.htm And do look through our livestock links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marlinks.htm and Livestocking Business FAQs files: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/AqBizSubWebIndex/bizlvstkfaqs.htm and the linked files (in blue, above) for folks who can supply you. Bob Fenner>

TMC in the UK I'm Portuguese and I try to enter in tropic marine center and I don't have success. I have a company in Portugal that have to import marine live stock and I can't find a company in Europe that export live stock and rock to my country. Please help my find one. thanks answer  <Mmm, their site seems to be "down" for now: www.tmc-ltd.co.uk/aquariumproducts/ tropicmarintestkits.asp Try back in a few hours, or tomorrow... or give them a call: Tel: +44 (0)1923 284151 Bob Fenner>

Chicago Bali Transhipper search 7/9/03 I am trying to find the same  wholesaler Bryan Thompson (AKA Blowfishaquatics  buddy of mine) is looking at who is in Chicago. This wholesaler will allow you to transship from Bali or pick stuff out of their stock. Can you help? Thank you, Rob <the best way to find this or any such industry entity is through your merchant directories. If not already, do subscribe to Pet Business, Pet Age/Pet Supplies marketing trade journals. I like Pet Business best. Seek their annual directories for reference. Else try a PIJAC membership... great for resourcing. Hope to see you at once of the industry trade shows or conferences... MACNA in Indiana/Louisville this year: http://www.lmas.org  Anthony>

Marine Biz 7/9/03 Mr. Fenner, <Anthony Calfo in his stead> I write as I need some advise/assistance with marine aquaria livestock. I am (or at least consider myself) an experienced marine aquarist, and have been doing it as a hobby and operating a small high-end install/display business (peaceful, community reef tanks only), since about 1980, which I started in Vail, CO (keeping marine tanks at 8200', with 30% less O2 is an art in it self). I take great pride in my work and try to be as knowledgeable as possible. <good to hear> I do agree with the concept that we, as marine keepers have a duty to provide a high quality environment for our wards so they may live out their normal life spans.   <or longer as is often the case in good hands> My most outrageous story was when I was in one of our LFS a while back, there was a guy in there buying a Volitans Lion, a Picasso Trigger and a Snowflake Moray.  After he left, the guys at the store were laughing as he comes in every 3 months and buys the same 3 animals, and is trying to keep them in a 30 gallon tank!  That was the last time I set foot in there. <indeed... the feet are the best way to vote disapproval as a consumer. Carry your dollars away> I have learned, I read all I can get my hands on, and in the last decade have succeeded in not only keeping almost everything I set my hand to, but have done so well with some of my tanks that we have to regularly harvest corals (soft and hard), macro algae's, snails, etc., which we find new homes for, but I have a small problem I am unable to figure out. While I have no problem keeping some seastars (brittles and serpents), I have the black hand with Linckia and Fromia.  Every single one (about 5, I will not buy anymore unless I can figure out my problem) never makes it out of quarantine (everything gets quarantined for 4 weeks before it goes into any display).  They invariably develop "the rot", where they start to deteriorate a the tip of an arm and it progresses until the animal dies (and it drives me nuts to watch).  I have carefully selected the specimens to assure they appear healthy and do not have any visible damage or parasites.  Once it begins I have tried cutting off the arm well below the infected area to no avail.   <the first problem is the source of most of these animals on import (poor handling/shipping that dooms many from the start). Too many folks are willing to try a cheap Philippine or Indo Blue Linckia rather than spend for better specimens shipped in larger bags (as from Hawaii). The price diff and survivability are much different. A case of getting what you pay for. The second problem is that very few aquarists really are prepared to care for these stars. They are very hungry deposit feeders that need mature aquaria (over 1 year old) at a rate of one star per 100 gallons or more! Indeed... nowhere near as hardy or forgiving as the Ophiuroid brittle stars> Are there any decent texts that address disease in inverts? <there is more address of invertebrate pathogens in the academic literature... do tap your local college library of sciences. Have you also seen our new book on Reef Invertebrates?: https://secure.wetwebmedia.com/order_form.jsp http://wetwebfotos.com/store/nma-ri.html> Our tanks are kept at 78-80 degrees, sg 1.024, ph 8.3 (very stable) Ca425, Mag 1200, KH 12-14, Bor 2,  Str 12,  Na 10, (since I installed a plenum it went to 10 ppm and stays there even if I do not do water changes, which I normally do 20% on the display, 50% on quarantine filled from display, every 2 weeks), O2 5-6, Ammonia, nitrites, phosphates, silicates, copper all 0, I add iodide and iron supplements but never enough to get a reading with my test kits (Seachem), the quarantine tanks are filled from a very healthy and mature 400 gal display with a refugium, we use Hawaiian Marine salt, the water is RO/DI, they have lots of live rock and sand (except for the hospital tanks) with good copepod populations, protein skimmers,  UV sanitizers, excellent circulation, halide lighting, weekly supplements (both phytoplankton and amino acid/trace elements).  I have attached a photo of the display in my office (sorry for the poor quality, crappy camera). The only other animals I have any trouble with are Catalaphyllia and Helio-Fungia, neither of which I seem to get along with, <the common problem here is that they are never fed well enough in captivity. These are very hungry corals that get perhaps no more than 70% of their daily sustenance from the translocation of carbon from zooxanthellae. These corals need target fed organismally several times weekly with meaty fare> but do very well with many other stony corals, both small and large polyp, including Plerogyra sinuosa and gorgonians, several of my anemones have divided and grown like mad (I have a Macrodactyla doreensis that has gone from about 4" across to more than a foot in under a year). Any idea what I am doing wrong?  There is sufficient detritus for them to feed on <detritus is not even an appetizer for these two groups... they need course zooplankton like Mysis shrimps. 3-5 times weekly IMO for most> but I have yet to get one to last 4 weeks and absolutely do not want to be responsible for the demise of anymore, but have a couple of customers who would really like one. <Fungia is much hardier than Heliofungia... and beware that many elegants are now being collected in very deep water (purple tips) and will not tolerate bright light at first or at all (no MH)> My second question is, is there a decent, reputable marine livestock wholesaler out there, who can and will deal with the animals by proper names, not common names, and actually ship healthy, quality animals, and what was ordered.   <I like Quality Marine and Aquatic Marines (both LA)> Preferably one who also handles captive raised animals.  I get tired of crappy shipments with high mortality rates (in one case 50%, in the box just 6 hours), frequently the wrong animals (even if I give them proper name and a photo reference, I just received 2 Zanclus cornutus that were shipped as Heniochus diphreutes ).  I do not do enough business to use a broker, most require orders in the thousands per week or month, I do one every couple of months, just to fill my customers orders (I do NOT operate a retail storefront, and do not want to!). <you really need a jobber to hand pick from QT stock... well worth the money spend (lower mortalities and much better cherry picked animals. Do look at AM4fish.com and chat with Erik> I await your reply.  You may call if that is more convenient for you or if you have any questions. Please feel free to forward this message if you feel it necessary. Most sincerely, Mark Simon <best of luck, mate. Anthony>

Glad to meet him at "Aquarama Show 2003" in Singapore Hello,  Bob & Anthony, <Howdy> Your webpage is wonderful and excellent information both for hobbyists as well as trade/business friends.   I have got to know you through Barry of ClamsDirect who also introduced us to Walt Smith & Sea Dwelling Creature & others. <Oh, yes>   But for past months have been very busy with my Marine Fish & Corals Business in Singapore.   We are an importer, exporter, wholesaler & retailer of marine fishes, invertebrates, soft & hard corals, live rocks & Tridacna clams (all with CITES Permits) from neighboring & Pacific Countries for only 2 years over.     Most of our Hard Corals (with CITES Permits) are from neighboring countries and Vanuatu.  So far we still have bring in shipment from Walt Smith as the market in Singapore is too small and that already there are about 3 local importers who brought in their orders from Walt Smith, it's like fighting for a small piece of cake.   In fact, Smith & his staff Devi had given us a call about 3 months back about placing an order with them and are considering so maybe in the next few months just to cater for our overseas customers.  Do you think if we will to place order with them,  you can assist us by giving  them a word of giving us 'rare or special' species of the corals just like what Edwin brought in his shipment,   appreciate very much for your kind words. <Do just mention this to Tim (McLeod) there (Fiji) re what you're looking for. I'll cc them here> Glad to know you will be attend the "Aquarama Show" in Singapore on 10th October '03 and our great honour & pleasure to welcome you. <Actually, we'll miss the show this year and be in the Marquesas instead>   I think you might be very busy meeting trade friends & hobbyists from various countries as well as  Edwin (the new LFS)   &  Perry Chong.      We will be definitely there and of much pleasure if we can invite you & friends to our premise and seek your professionally advices on various subjects.       <Sorry to miss you> By the way,  will be glad to know Perry Chong as well,  appreciate if you could introduce us to him or maybe in fact we already know each other except does not get to know each other names. <Yes. Will cc Perry here as well>      And as for Edwin, we know each other for quite something since he was our walk-in customer 2 years back and he has just started his shop about 1 month ago and last week  come in a shipment from Walt Smith. Could you kindly also advise us, what if we do not have a website for our company, is it possible to put an advertisement at  your webpage and how much is the charges,   sorry have not really go through the pages at related webpages as recently extremely too busy. <Will cc Mike Kaechele who handles the bulk of our "ad sales"> Meanwhile, we look forward to your favourable reply of visiting our premises and your great advices, suggestions & comments, please let us know your decisions so that we will arrange a few vehicles for the  pick up.     Appreciate if you could kindly pass around or introducing our company to your trade friends and hope you can cast your net further with more recommendation of exporters & importers to us. <Will post your message, BUT do consider making/having a "good" website describing your business (and images!) so others can find you> Hereby attached our introduction letter of our company & name card for your kind reference and comments. Sorry for not able to write good sentences and express yourselves. Thank You  & Best Regards Steve Benjamin Chong ---- HP 065 - 98178144 New Trio Fisheries <Be seeing you, Bob Fenner>

Artificial corals & fish Guys, I am looking for leads to some ethical importers of marine fish for a friend. Fe Baskin is the widow of Dave Baskin who was the creator of the ASI ReeForms corals ten years ago. They had set up a collection station in the Philippines and were just starting to ship fish and inverts when he died of stomach cancer early this year. Her family operation is currently shipping limited numbers to Holland but would like to start exporting to the USA. Originally they were collecting for custom exhibits. Of course it is all net collected and they are working with Ferdinand Cruz who has been working with the net collection training and has spoken at Marine Ornamentals on the Philippine situation. Her description of their operation is below. Any help would be appreciated. Regards, Tom <Tom I will circulate amongst friends, associates in the trade I consider of excellent practices in hopes they can/will contact you. Bob Fenner> From: Fe Baskin Hi! Tom, Thanks for the reply I was so upset and busy it takes me few days to recover. Any way we are using MAC guideline even if its ridiculous How can you ever trace a single damsel fish? But I have no choice so I will work with them its all lip service anyway. More of WWF propaganda. Our weekly output will be 40-50 boxes a week but We will have stock in the field instead for the next shipment. I am shipping to Holland . Our client provide list of fish beforehand so we give the list to our collectors and we don't end up collecting fish that are not needed. That's the advantage of the field operation its a pain in the neck because we end up taking care of the fisherman but the control that you can get is worth it. We will have the stock of fish ready for shipment but the same amount will be in the cages ready to be shipped when we give them the signal. Also the Island where we operate we can collect all year round and the variety is there. No fancy blue face (seldom seen and fisherman usually said they are big). The supply will come all over the Island but mainly in Mindoro Island where our operation will be located. So much invertebrates are available if there is a demand the buyer can tell me. Our buyer in Holland he is a nice guy like you! Have technology in the shipping and he come to the Philippines every 3 months he adopted a 28 year old Filipina. Paperwork are being process I will name the company DNB AQUATICS . What do you think? Our supervised collecting station in Mindoro Island we have cages in the ocean .Fish are not feed in the cages they stay there 3-5 days depending on the size. Another few days in the facility before shipping, we use individual small container per fish to avoid fin damage. Ferdinand will supply from Palawan, Bicol and Bolinao . We shipped fish in bags from the field less stress to the fish. We had a lot of hands on experience because we did it ourselves so many times. In the packing for shipment I got the best but they are part time in the beginning so I don't have a lot of overhead. I really appreciate your help I know you are busy . Thank you and regard to Terri , Lisa (hug her for me she is special) and kisses to the new born I can't wait to meet them. Bye! for now and Take care

UK Startup Dealer - 8/16/03 dear sir do you know of any one who can assist me in setting up a small import business of captive bred soft corals, I am mainly after importers addresses and phone numbers thanking you in anticipation of your help mark <From America, I'm not sure how best we can help you short of direction for you to find a trade magazine (in the US we have "Pet Business" and "Pet Age/Pet Supplies Marketing") or journal (or even contact PIJAC the industry lobbyist organization in your country). Please do browse the many links we have for aquatic business starting from the homepage at www.wetwebmedia.com. Also, be sure to make a business plan for yourself. Seek software like Business Plan Pro perhaps. Most businesses fail that do not write a plan. Best of luck. Anthony>

Florida Ricordea Hello,        I am hoping you can answer my question or at least guide me in the right direction. I am looking for a wholesaler that sales Ricordea. I am looking to buy several polyps to start a propagation system solely for as many different colors of Ricordea I can possibly find. Any help in locating one will be greatly appreciated. <I'd give Dick Perrin at Tropicorium, http://www.tropicorium.com/ a call/visit. Bob Fenner>

Looking for some exporter info for Mexico Bob, I have come across your name a number of times and was hoping you made be able to help.  I am looking for a source in Mexico who is able to export Turbo Snails in large quantities.  Let me know if you can help.  Thanks in advance. Dave <Mmm, do contact Leroy Headlee of G.A.R.F. re this: http://www.garf.org/ Bob Fenner>

Looking for industry contacts, specifically Dave Palmer Hello Dr Fenner, <Just Bob please, I have no doctorate degree or pretense to that title> this is Almarzouqi who talked to you in the phone a month ago and I'm the founder of NCPARS.COM (north central pa aquarium reef society) I was searching the net for contact information about transship companies and was looking for any contacts from Jakarta, Solomon island, Hawaii, marshal island and came across article and replies that you have to other people. I would like to know if you know anybody or have any contact that will be interested to ship corals and fish to east coast once a week or once every two week in a big quantity? <Yes, a few. I will BCC them here in hopes they will contact you> I have came across Dave Palmer's name and could not find any contact info and he is the one who gets Solomon island. <Now in Los Angeles. You may call him at 310-406-1235>   Any info you will give me will be appreciated and will help me a lot with my project that hope will be one of the big projects in east coast. I will be traveling to Middle east, Asia soon to get some work from there and I'm also working with Oman and the UAE to set a station there.  I did not want to call you pass 9 pm eastern time as I did not know what time is your bed time and hope to hear from you soon. Thanks ahead Almarzouqi <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Hey Dr. Fenner, This is Dr. Smith here. You have given this guy my home number. Dave's business number for PAF is 310 215 3474. Yikes! Cheers, Walt <Yowzah! Thanks. Will amend my ways and this number. Bob>

Livestock Contacts Intl. Dear Bob, good to hear from you. I found Dave Palmer a week ago and got 10 boxes of corals and fish from him to start on Saturday. I will appreciate if you can help me find some contacts with Bali, Jakarta, Kupang, Vietnam and other areas.  I know that you have good contacts and Dave was very nice and so his helper Sylvia. Thanks ahead.. Yours Almarzouqi <I will send out your request to others in the industry here as I usually do, that is Bcc'ed so that they can volunteer individually if interested. Bob Fenner>

Invert exporter in the Philippines 12/16/03 Good Morning Bob <Howdy> I was looking through your archives and found a mention of an exporter in the Philippines looking for importers.  It was called DNB Aquatics, and Fe Baskin is the owner.  Have you got a contact number or email address you can pass along? <Unfortunately no. We don't retain email addys, and his business doesn't show up in the "Buyer's Guide" issues... or the O.F.I. member directory...> We've got a small importing company here in Canada and  I'm looking for an exporter specializing in inverts from the Philippines.   I've tried one other company based out of Cebu for inverts but would to see what this company can offer.  Any help is appreciated. Best Regards Anne <Maybe Fe will see this and respond in turn... or another company. Would you like to list a means for them to contact you? Bob Fenner>

Buying corals wholesale 12/29/03 I have just discovered your site recently and learned a lot from it.  I myself have been a reefer for 8-9 years now.  To get to the point.  I have been getting coral out of Indonesia through Petsiam International and was wondering why you recommend getting them from Fiji .The shipments I get from Indo usually come in very nice with a surprisingly low mortality rate.  My usual mortalities usually come from airlines crushed boxes half froze etc..  I was wondering price quality shipping costs.  The corals I do buy I hold for about two weeks before selling them. If it is price and quality can you recommend some where a small wholesaler can buy from {400-700dollar minimum orders}.  me and my wife have a small operation 500 tanks mostly all freshwater dealing with small stores but slowly expanding. Any help or insight would help Thank you, Nathan Poyner P.S. keep up the excellent work on the site. <the difference is significant, my friend. Although you have had some good fortune getting few/small shipments from Indo... the overwhelming majority of dealers throughout the US do not have the same success/flight patterns, connections (or not) and conditions (time/temp) of transit as you do. And after you have been in the business long enough and handled enough volume (tens of thousands of pieces), the difference will be clear. Mortality and poor handling practices from Indo eliminate them as an option for most anybody that does not live near Los Angeles (the closest/best legal port of entry). All others really should consider other options like Fiji or simply buying from a wholesaler that tanks/QTs their specimens and have a good facility. This is the best use of a living resource if you will participate in the biz successfully and responsibly. Do find a good wholesaler in LA area like AM Aquatics (AM4fish.com). Best of luck, Anthony> Coral frag Business, looking for commercial importer Dear Mr. Robert Fenner, <Gunawan> Allow me to introduce our company, PT Pura Baruna Lestari, We are the commercially - operated coral transplantation farm in Indonesia. Here we grow corals on our ocean-based farm We are located in island of Sambangan, it's part of Karimunjawa  islands - northwest of Jepara, Central-Java, Indonesia. Sambangan island is a solitary, ± 10 hectare-island along with the two other island, Genting and Seruni forming a wide lagoon. Sambangan waters is still pure, clear and unpolluted, make it an ideal place for marine life cultivation. Currently we're cultivating various species  of coral, among them are Acropora sp., Montipora sp. and Pocillopora sp. in more than 30 subspecies in various colors. We're also cultivating various types of giant clams (Tridacna and Hippopus), which would be available by early 2005. <Sounds good> Now, we have coral frag ready for sale. Can you help me to look for USA importer. For more information can visit our website : www.aquamarinefarm.com <Will gladly introduce you to potential business associates here. I am bcc'ing a few here in the hopes they will contact you> Thank you for your help and best regard Gunawan PT Pura Baruna Lestari <Hope to visit your operation in future. Bob Fenner>\

Giant clam source Dear Sir/Madam, <Hello to you> We are from SongNam Co., LTD in Vietnam. Our company specializes in supplying  kinds of Tridacna, Crocea, Maxima, Squamosa..that have two main colors :green& blue. Besides we have a lot of Marine Fishes, Soft Corals anemone, live rock, sea-star &trifling-coral-Trifling-coralish used to filter water in tank At present We have a large farm to be located in a Island. We can supply them with the large quantity, beautiful color &strong. If you need to buy them, please contact us by mail: info@songnamco.com Best wishes to you <Thank you for your note. Will share, post on WetWebMedia.com. Bob Fenner> Huy Khanh

LFS looking for Bali corals - 3/30/04  Hi, I was contemplating starting my own LFS, <Good on ya!> and I was interested in carrying those Bali Aquacultured SPS heads. <Ooooh, wanting to enter the fray, eh? Well, this Bali coral fad is becoming a big deal, limited stock and CITES permits seems to limit the export of these corals lately. LFS' starting to fight over the limited available animals not to mention guarding their sources as if they were gold. The only place I know that seems to get regular shipments of corals from Bali and Jakarta is here: http://www.golden-ina.com/index.html> Do you know who I can contact to see what costs would be for such an endeavor? <Start with Golden Ina. I am sure there are many others but I am finding it very difficult to ascertain if the corals are indeed truly from Bali and the numbers/email of the wholesale dealers. If I hear any more I will be sure to post it in our forums and on the FAQs. Bob? Anything to add here? ~Paul> Thank you. Lawrence Lau

Re: Advice for starting curing system  Anthony Calfo here my friend. Steven Pro forwarded your query to me for a shared opinion.    I do indeed have great experience curing live rock having moved moderate to high volumes of reef products as a wholesaler and retail for most of the last decade (moving almost 1000lbs of live rock weekly at the height of it all).    Live rock sales can be a fun and reliable source of income. It certainly is a staple in the industry. My first piece of advice is to not get greedy with profits... enjoy high volume sales and loyal referrals for delivering a good product at a good price.   Some of the critical factors to curing live rock on a large scale include:    VERY aggressive skimming is crucial!!! Two skimmers per system is minimum (cleaned alternately so as to never interrupt skimmate production). Large homemade Nilsen style countercurrent skimmers may be just fine if you need many and cant afford or don't want to invest in quality commercial units. The organics are so high in a curing system as you can imagine that even mediocre skimmers can perform reasonably well. Still... Aqua C is a great brand.    Scrubbing (if necessary) and rinsing live rock on import BEFORE placing in your holding systems is CRUCIAL.    Suspend curing rock off of bottom of tank and move water underneath (allows sediments/particulates to drop).    Very strong water movement can make or break a curing system. No such thing as too much nearly so.    The sand filter proposed is likely to be a big mistake (too fine, too much nitrification... we want organics skimmed out [exported] NOT nitrified=nitrate by a sand or trickle filter.    Plan for at least a two week curing process (and reserve of product in inventory). Some shipments will be ready sooner, some longer.    Little or no light is recommended during curing (reduction of suffocating diatom growths). All plant growth should be scrubbed off on import (as virtually all will rot... but rest assured it will regrow AFTER curing from seemingly nowhere with good water quality, light etc in customers tank. Best regards, Anthony Calfo

Live Rock Collecting Bob, <Hello> My name is Eric Hall and I am a Life Support Systems Operator at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. I was referred to you by Eric Rood who I know through a mutual friend. I have two very interesting scenarios that I would like your feedback on. I have been approached by a very small time Live Rock collector named Louis Wright to help him with a challenging venture and I would like your opinion of its feasibility. A few years ago he started a company called Ocean Life International and has recently collected 50 tons of Live rock from the Marshall Islands. This was his first attempt. His crew was terrible and they were very inexperienced and very negligent and ran into tremendous problems. As a result the Live rock came back in terrible shape. He has been unloading it at base rock prices as a result just to get out from under it. Lou also caught a lot of heat from the major wholesalers here in the LA area for the new competition. Since then he has vowed to correct his mistakes. Now he has come to me and an Aquarist from my aquarium to help him get a second batch of rock from the MI and keep it in good shape. We have purchased a 150 foot ship, a professional crew to handle the boat and are in the process of retro fitting the ship to keep the rock alive on the 20 day voyage back from the Marshall Islands.  <Interesting... lots of pitfalls to be avoided...> Lou has agreed to only sell to the wholesalers to keep them from being too upset with his efforts. We want to collect 300,000 pounds per trip. <Mmm. What do you figure your net landed cost per pound to be? Are you familiar with the "players" in the field, going rates for this product?> We obviously are not going to be able to unload that rock all at once as the demand is not that strong, so we want to build a large scale holding here in Los Angeles to keep the rock in good shape until it is needed by area wholesalers. <Very expensive... to move, operate such a ship, process this much material facilely... many logistics, legal challenges... Holding the rock is not likely to be economical> The second scenario is that Lou was recently approached by the owner of Sea Dwelling Creatures (They are long time business associates) out of Fiji to possibly provide an economical alternative to the airlines to transport the rock to the US. Apparently the airlines have just raised there shipping charge $1.00/lb. <What? I haven't heard of this as yet... the Pacific Airlines rate recently was more like less than this a kilo...> SDC would like him to bring the rock back and hold it until needed. <Have you spoken with Eric or Scott Cohen yourself re this?> Eric Rood told me that you are familiar with Walt Smith and his operation in Fiji. Is this something that would benefit Walt? <Will cc him here re. He can/will contact you if so> We are trying to help everyone save or make money while making some of our own. I know this seems off of the wall but anything you may be able to offer from your personal experiences would help me make sound decisions. If possible I would like to talk to you. I can be reached at (562) 439-XXXX or I can call you if you like. Thank You. <Much we could discuss... let's leave it to folks in the trade to respond to you at this point. Please re-contact me in a few days If I can be of assistance. Bob Fenner> Eric

Coral Wholesaler Thanks for the info Bob <Anytime my friend. Your success is mine as well> We plan to start small and slowly work into a larger operation. Right now my partner and I are looking at wholesalers that are working out of Indonesia to see where we could buy from. So far we are looking at 500-1000 dollar min orders. Do you happen to know who is running trustworthy operations in Indonesia? <I would actually not go this route. Look instead to buying from Fiji and fragging, raising the corals from there... much more reliable, consistent supply. Do contact Walt Smith at WSI, Pacific Aquafarms and Scott Cohen at Sea Dwelling Creatures (scottcohen@seadwelling.com, PAFarms@earthlink.com) re establishing relations. Well be chatting, Bob Fenner> Thanks again for your time Alex Gawura

Clam business. Hey bob just a small update. Dave Palmer has gotten in touch with me and says he would supply me with clams as long as I order 50 at a time so that I could get wholesale prices.  <Outstanding. Dave is a person of tremendous experience and integrity in the industry> Below is a copy of the email he sent me. It is a little confusing to me so I asked him to give me a rough estimate of how much money I would be looking at for 50 clams, just to give me an idea as what to expect. <Good idea. Always appropriate to ask questions. Clarity is pleasurable> Quote "You do not need any import license or such. The clams come into L.A. on Thursday afternoon and we forward them to you for arrival at your airport Friday morning. You probably should have the water changed by us before forwarding but that is up to you. <Yes, good idea on the water change if there is going to be more than another 8-10 hours or more delay before your receiving in PA> 50 clams would probably be the smallest number that I would want to sell and it may need to be a few more depending on how many it takes to fill the last box. <Very important... to buy minimum plus orders... the cost per unit is the lowest in this fashion... don't buy anything you have to "sit on" for more than a few weeks> We sell Crocea both first and super grades, Maxima, a few Squamosa, and a few Hippopus hippopus clams. Prices vary depending on size and color. You pay the FOB island price plus 3.85 per kilo for freight from Solomon's to L.A., 10.00 per box for box and packing charge, 7.50 per box for fish and wildlife clearance in L.A., and 5.00 per box for the cites document charges. The clams will be sent to you freight collect from L.A. so you will pay the L.A. to your airport charges at your airport. <Very reasonable> That is about it. Let me know when you are ready for clams and I can let you know what stock is like and what prices are. Best regards, Dave Palmer " As far as plans for the tank setup I have a few ideas. I was going to do a 8' long by 4' wide by 12" deep.  <Make the overflows (likely to sumps/totes below) adjustable so you can raise/lower the water depth.> I feel no need for greater depth as this is for ease of use and profit, not display. My idea is that this tank would be about 240 gallons and allow me to grow as business increases. I would only have to light one section of the tank at a time. When I need more light simply add a section above the new stock.  <Sounds good> It would also mean easier filtration, i.e. one sump, one calcium reactor, one large skimmer. I checked on acrylic prices and I can get a 4' by 8' sheet of 1/2 acrylic for about $250.  <Half inch? No need to be this thick... Please contact Anthony.C... I'll cc him here re... I would make your first units out of glass probably... or thinner acrylic (1/4 inch likely, braced at the top)... but keep costs low... look into the polyethylene totes I mentioned re the supports for underneath/sumps... Ask about (the club, stores, service co.s) for "used gear"... there are likely a bunch of suitable containers, pumps, what have you laying about that will do fine for little money> Two sheets of acrylic can build the tank for about $500. I do not believe thicker than 1/2" acrylic would be needed with only 12" height.  <... could be three feet tall... I would only make eight inches deep...> I will put a few braces across the top of the tank, for support maybe a 4 or 5 inch brace every 2 feet or so. This 4 feet by 8 feet tank would allow me access from all sides never having to reach more than the standard 2 feet of a normal tank. Plumbing would also be easier than to plumb multiple tanks together, and keep adding extra pumps and filters. I could also go the Rubbermaid 300 gallon trough route. It would be cheaper, but I am not sure what would be best. Or I could go with multiple tanks and keep adding another tank and plumbing them together as I grow. <Many possibilities> I am getting started on developing a website to sell the clams across the U.S. I have a basic knowledge of developing a website and have a friend who does this for a living so I am sure he would be willing to help me with all the hi tech stuff. (i.e. charge me) ha ha. <Ask about in the club... become facile at doing the ongoing work on the site yourself> I do appreciate the help you are providing. The people that you forwarded our last email to could you let me know what each of these people do? Or have to offer? This way I know who to bother for what I need. <Mmm... It's better for them to come forward, identify themselves as they, their companies have time, interest my friend. You will understand this in the coming years. Bob Fenner> Endless thanks Rob Huss

Clam Business!!!! Hey Bob, Just wanted to say again that it was a pleasure to meet you in Pittsburgh this past weekend. I really enjoyed hanging around with you and the fish geeks as my wife calls us). Anyhow I have been hot and heavy on coming up with some plans to start selling clams.  <Very good. You have all going for you here... a good background in the theory and application of captive husbandry, a great location for this business... and a true burning desire for being successful at it> My wife is possibly as excited as I am. So what kind of info and assistance can you provide to help me get setup?  <Mmm, all sorts. The best things to do at this point are categorically to talk with friends in the trade who can/will be your suppliers. I'll cc them here, asking that they talk with you re the enterprise. At the same time, start drawing up plans (you mentioned conversion of your garage) for your physical plant... talk with others in the marine livestock trade re inexpensive gear including tanks, lighting, calcium reactor or other mech. for supplying alkalinity and biominerals. And lastly, develop a marketing plan... who are your customers? How do you intend to reach them? How will they know what you have? Do all this on paper... such that if you had to present it to a bank, they would understand our industry, your desires> With a new baby coming my wife is excited about the possibility of helping out with the clams as it may help replace her lost income from staying at home. Any suggestions and advice will be greatly appreciated. <A step at a time. Do contact me/us as the project unfolds.> Also you said you would be able to provide me with some contacts for vendors to pester about donations for the club to help us grow. <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/adtrackdb.htm> Once again thanks for your efforts, your book CMA. is the reason I even have a tank at all. And if anybody pays me a compliment, it is a compliment to persons like yourself who help this hobby become a passion and a lifestyle to so many. Thanks again, Rob Huss <Thank you my friend. Bob Fenner>

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