Hi from the UK

Discussion in 'Welcome!' started by RobMcC, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. RobMcC

    RobMcC Supporting Member


    I'm possibly moving to the Bay Area from the UK later this year, which sadly means I have to shut down my two reef tanks. But before I sell everything off I have looked in the costs and paperwork to ship over certain corals in my collection, as I have some rather nice pieces that I have had for years and I would really rather keep, particularly some nice large SPS (SSCs, nasutas of various colours, now XXL ice fire and hawkins echinata, some unique and/or large hyacinthus also quite a number of unique blastos, along with full colonies of 'ultra' acans.

    My question to those local to the bay is are there many shops that regularly stock blastomussa that aren't just red or red and green? If not should I pay to ship mine across (cost will be about $1500 to $2000 to ship a select few colonies). If there are shops that stock unusual ones regularly, what price are they typically (nice colony here is about $100 to $120)? To give an example of the kind of stock i'm after please see the youtube clip from a local stockist, posted yesterday, starting at about 40 seconds in (I hope this is okay as it is a shop in the UK, hence is not any competition to the nice folks who run LFS in the bay area and sponsor this forum)

    Any and all advice greatly appreciated!

    denzil and neuro like this.
  2. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Well I've seen different than red/green blastos in the past, granted the red/green ones are more common. But ultimately I'd guess there might be a difference in types of corals (and fish) that we get, never been to the UK so can't tell what the nature of your LFS are. There are a good number of options if you live in the right area, if you live in San Francisco then not so many options, if you aren't Mr Moneybags that can afford to live here and live in the South/Southeast Bay Area then you have more options. If you are planning a pre-trip to take care of living arrangements before officially moving you could do a run of stores to see what's available. Unfortunately I do live in San Francisco, and don't get to said LFS very often so I couldn't tell you what type of stock they have now.

    $2k to ship your colonies though... yikes. Is that due to the paper work/permits? Have you tried talking to a LFS or business about shipping for you, might be cheaper? *shrug* My view on the subject is that paying that much to ship corals that aren't guaranteed to survive is a very risky bet, especially if your focus is getting your living arrangements in order, last thing you'd want is to think your tank is ready, pop a coral in and bleh... death.

    Overall I think you'll find plenty of nice stuff in this area, maybe not exactly what you're looking for but good stuff never the less, prices may be more depending upon what you want. And ultimately if you want a particular coral you could have shipped to you from within the US (no VAT!) and it won't cost $2k
  3. euod

    euod Supporting Member

    Save your money, those are bread and butter stuff here. If you can bring corals from Persia, now we're talking.
    Enderturtle likes this.
  4. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Guest

    Yeah I'd have to say the corals in that video are usually seen at the local fish stores here. Blastomussa outside of red orange and green? , those blastomussas will show up at our local fish stores now and then but expect to pay more for them. Red and green blastos are common here.

    Good luck on the move! :)
  5. RobMcC

    RobMcC Supporting Member

    Thanks for all the responses.

    Yep, that was kinda my thoughts. The cost arises from both paperwork and freight, as the UK probably takes CITES paperwork more seriously than any other country and you have to pay approx $110 per genus shipped, plus other fees. If you get the paper work wrong the consequences can include jail time, plus you can only ship from one of two airports accredited in UK with a live animal Border Inspection Post (authorised for imports of fish and invertebrates) to import/export endangered species and the packaging mandated on the UK government customs website is quite specific and not cheap. The actual shipping though is the bulk of the cost (London Heathrow to LAX ain't cheap for 24 hour delivery of approx 100 kg of water) - I have some acro colonies that are now huge and at this size they don't ship well unless in a huge bag, packed with oxygen, which works out as incredibly expensive per coral shipped. I'm inclined to sell everything here, as although my brother-in-law offered to set up a reef tank at his home and collect them, I fear after paying all that money many corals would die, either in transit or due to immaturity of a new tank. I'm just sad to see corals I have grown for years and years go to a new home, I guess.:(

    In terms of bread and butter corals, the reason I even asked the question is that I did a tour of shops around the south of the bay, from San Mateo round to Milpitas, last year and I was a little disappointed with the stock at most stores. But as I said it could have been an off week as, on my last tour five years ago, they all had pretty nice stock. I did visit three very nice shops in Sac Town though. :)

    I of course realize that shops can and do get the same corals in the US as the UK (there are only so many Aussie and Indo coral suppliers). In terms of a particular coral, yep you can get anything for 2k, but from a look on divers den right now I totted up the value of my stock on a like for like basis at approx $6000. Unfortunately the reality of the logistics of shipping is just a fantasy. :(

    Oh well, it's always nice to set up a new tank. :):D

    By the way on a practical note, and this may be a silly question, but do you need to have an acrylic tank in the bay area, due to earth quakes or are glass tanks okay (the thought of 200 gallons of saltwater and huge shards of glass is not something i want exploding in my living room?

    I better just hope the hobby doesn't get banned in the US later this year like some folks seem to think it may...:eek:

    Thanks for the responses.
    neuro likes this.
  6. rygh

    rygh BOD

    Good decision. The selection is pretty good in a few spots, and a lot of BAR members trade some
    rather nice pieces also.
    Not everyone has acrylic aquariums here. Key is a very good stand!
  7. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    The last earthquake of any consequence was in 1989 if that's any indication.

    The only reason I have an acrylic tank now is the price (free), otherwise I definitely would go glass just for the ability to hit it with a razor blade to clean it after a long spell of neglect.
  8. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    edit: Double post.

    As to the shops, if you went just from San Mateo to Milpitas then I can see why you may not have seen much good stuff. I'm not sure if Neptune was up when you went, they have some nice looking stuff, then there's Reef Raft (or whatever they changed their name to, California something something) and of course Aquatic Collection. But like any store you may or may not see good stuff when you go.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  9. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    I know you wanna keep the colonies, but maybe you could save quite a bit by making frags and sending more mange able sizes pieces? Paperwork still sounds daunting and expensive, but way less water weight.
  10. denzil

    denzil Past President

    Welcome to BAR!

    Personally, if it were me, I would do the frag route as @Coral reefer suggested or just start fresh when you get here. Moving to the Bay Area is a hassle in itself and the less you need to worry about, the better.

    You can easily visit any of our LFS sponsors and I'm sure you'll at least find what you need/want. :)
  11. RobMcC

    RobMcC Supporting Member

    Thanks all for the advice. I'll probably be in the bay in 4 weeks or so for a look around anyway. For my tank I think I'll just start afresh, but take my equipment that works on 120V.

    Just gotta find a job now....
  12. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    Depending on where you will be the best two stores are neptunes in milpitas and aquatic collection in Hayward. Diablo corals is foliar ther away and has a good selection of corals, but not so many fish.
  13. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    That should be a primary thing to worry about above finding a good LFS, especially considering how expensive it is to live here ;)
  14. RobMcC

    RobMcC Supporting Member

    True. I live in the London area now though, which is even more expensive than the Bay Area, so luckily there will be no shocks!
  15. RobMcC

    RobMcC Supporting Member

    If I'm in the bay area in a few weeks, which LFS are best to visit (I think I'll only have time to visit two, max)
  16. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Guest

    Neptune Aquatics in San Jose and Aquatic Collection in Hayward. For sure!!!
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
    Coral reefer likes this.
  17. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Guest

    This ^
  18. RobMcC

    RobMcC Supporting Member

    Great. I'll check them out. Thanks.
  19. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    If you are going to the two above (great stores btw), you should also stop by our new sponsor, California Reef Co. in Fremont. It's in between the other two.

    Enderturtle likes this.
  20. 650-IS350

    650-IS350 Supporting Member

    Besides the LFS, I bet they're some serious collectors here in the bay area that have some stuff that could replace stuff you lose on the move. Or stuff that you never had before.

    Depending on the specific coral be it LPS / SPS / Softies you'll find a serious collector here that you can also source corals from if the LFS currently doesn't have and don't want to wait.

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