[Coral-List] Acropora transport and thermal shock

TDWYATT at aol.com TDWYATT at aol.com
Thu Feb 3 22:18:18 EST 2005


I am assuming you're dealing with cold shipping in the northern hemisphere 
during the winter.

Ship overnight in a styrofoam container using your shipping method of choice, 
however, in the coral reef hobby, shipping wet using a bag of 50% water/air 
with the specimen rubber-banded to a styrofoam block (enough to float it upside 
down) and using one of the disposable chemical heat packs wrapped in a piece 
of newspaper and taped to the underside of the styrofoam lid of the shipping 
container works well during the cold weather.  For the heat ack, see products 
like Super HotHands by HeatMax, in the USA at P O Box 1191, Dalton Georgia, USA 
30722  1-800-432-8629 or check www.heatmax.com )  These heat packs are used 
by outdoorsmen in the winter to keep their hands warm.  Once activated, these 
last 18 to 20 hours, and are enough to prevent the temp drop you may be seeing. 
 I have had packages of frags get accidentally diverted for 48 hours and had 
pakages still arrive with warmth in the package.  Good insulation and shipping 
at the last minute for OVERNIGHT DELVERY seems to be close to 95% effective 
for the US shippers like FedEx and UPS, but I cannot speak for outside the US 
shiping areas.  When I acclimitize incoming specimens, I open the bags and 
place water and specimen in a pticher and begin to drip tank water into the 
container with an airline (1/8th ID flexible lastic line) with a single not tied in 
it so that it delivers around 400cc/hr (20 drops=1cc)  I also place the 
specimen container so that it can overflow into a drain ( so as to not add the 
shipping water to the specimen tank), but done so that there is a bath around the 
container to minimize temp loss (I imagine that another styrofoam container 
would work as well though).  This usually brings the specimen up to tank temp and 
salinity/pH, etc within 3 to 4 hours unattended.  Set an alarm clock and 
check back in 4 to 6  hrs, specimens treated this way have very low loss rates 
(less than 5% in my group, and not all those may have been acclimitization 
problems), I have not lost ANY winter shipments this last two years using this 

This usually involves fewer than 10 colonies per box (or multiple stony coral 
fragments) where overall package size is less than 80cmx40cmx40cm.  You may 
want to check with some of the  hobby supply importers for their methods on 
shipments to the west USA coast from Indonesia for larger quantities.

Hope this helps.


Tom Wyatt
tdwyatt at aol.com

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