News / Company News / Bob's Picks (04/30/10)

Bob's Picks

I was just looking at a coral shipment we received the other day from our supplier in Tonga and was marveling at the array of colors and the uniqueness of each piece. It reminded me how difficult the job of a wild coral collector can be and all of the challenges collectors face. Judging from all that I hear within this industry I worry that many hobbyists and store buyers arent aware of how difficult collecting can be and even more so how hard it is to find that perfect piece that everyone is after. First off there are the usual roadblocks that can wreak havoc on a successful collecting expedition such as inclement weather, exceptionally rough seas, low visibility, etc.. The successful collector usually has his areas that yield good specimens noted not every dive site is a treasure trove full of gotta have pieces. For those unfamiliar with the process, Ill try and give you a snapshot of a typical dive. Picture hundreds upon hundreds of Favia coral, yet the majority of colors are your standard brown or green. After searching for a short while you eventually spot a piece that has great color only to find you have to reject the piece as it is too large. You move on and soon come across another coral with good color wedged within a crevice, although upon closer inspection you come to find that it cant be collected without the specimen suffering extensive damage. Time is limited, with each breath of oxygen you take you are spending hard earned cash trying to find your next coral. Yet you prevail and finally come across a potential specimen that has the right color, the right size, good coverage, and nice shape as well. Gingerly, you chip away at the rock to remove the piece without causing damage to the coral and without too much disruption to the reef habitat. The piece is removed and now the real work of transporting this gem safely back to the export station comes into play. This process is repeated until you have filled your collection container or your air is running out. All this work for an item that continually seems to depreciate in price as pressure to reduce pricing is forced on them all the way from the retail environments. The life of a collector is not nearly as glamorous as one may think and it is actually quite often just the opposite. While the scenery is typically quite spectacular, It certainly isnt an easy job.

Next week, Ill pick up where I left off and try and paint a picture of the completion of the collection/export process for coral.

A limited quantity of Orange Regal Angels (Pygoplites diacanthus) from our Short Supply Chain in the Maldives arrived this week in great condition. Be sure to get one while supply lasts.

From our source in Sumatra we have an excellent selection of Yellow Belly Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) in stock. We have a tiny size for the smaller aquaria all the way up to an XL size.

Our SSC MAC certified supplier in Fiji has been sending over some exceptional Black Leopard Wrasse (Macropharyngodon nigrosensis) that are simply awesome. Try one out.

We received some Adult Orange Shoulder Tang (Acanthurus olivaceus) from Indonesia that are quite superb. These large size specimens are displaying a truly vivid orange shoulder.

On the wild LPS coral side from Indonesia we have a huge selection of Green Bubble Coral (Plerogyra sinuosa) in stock looking nice and happy!