Have you been thinking of adding corals to your tank? The ability to jazz up your tank with corals is one of the key differences between freshwater and saltwater tanks. Their dazzling colors and unique shapes make them showstoppers in every sense of the word.
Regardless of whether you’re a newbie to the hobby or a novice, buying corals online allows you to access a greater variety of corals from different sellers, as well as benefit from their combined expertise. If you’re thinking of taking your hobby to the next level by buying corals from online sources, here are our top picks!
Top Online Sources for Quality Corals
1. World Wide Corals
World Wide Corals understand the risk that can come with purchasing corals online, which is why they’re fully committed to transparency at every step of the process. The store offers its customers a complete view into their facilities and aquaculture practices, and also provides hassle-free 10-day guarantees on all live coral purchases.
The range of corals on sale at this Florida-based store is mind-boggling. From entry-level Green Birdsnest corals that cost $10 to a uniquely-colored, $3,500 Magic Mountain Acanthophyllia, World Wide Coral truly has something for everyone – regardless of their levels of expertise and budget.
The range of services provided by World Wide Corals also extends to tank setup and maintenance, which is a crucial component of keeping your corals healthy. This is an excellent service to consider if you are based in the Orlando area and would appreciate professional input on your tank.
To round up the list of impressive services they provide, World Wide Corals also offers phone ordering services for customers who have disabilities, making for a truly inclusive experience. The devil is in the details when it comes to customer service, and this store certainly delivers.
2. Cherry Corals
Cherry Corals prides itself on being a small company with only one purpose – to bring customers the best, “hottest” corals they can get their hands on. This store propagates and sells their own corals, as well as wild corals that are brought in on a weekly or bimonthly basis. Their rigorous screening process ensures that only the finest coral specimens end up for sale.
The specialized nature of their operations allows Cherry Corals to stock an impressive variety of corals. With close to 1000 corals for sale on the site, hobbyists are virtually guaranteed to find the perfect specimen for their tank.
One thing to note about purchasing from Cherry Corals is that they assume “intermediate to advanced reefing experience.” As such, their live arrival guarantees do not cover issues related to general care, though their team is more than happy to clarify any doubts or questions their prospective customers may have.
In short, Cherry Corals is perfect for individuals who enjoy a transparent, niche shopping experience from an established small company. If you already have some experience with reefkeeping, this is the site for you!
3. Pacific East Aquaculture
Pacific East Aquaculture has over 20 years of experience in the coral farming business, allowing them to produce the finest coral specimens for their customers out of their location in Maryland. To cater to the needs of different coral species, they have an outdoor greenhouse filled with natural sunlight, as well as an indoor coral farming unit outfitted with LED grow lights.
The team behind the store is passionate about the hobby and eager to do all they can to educate the next generation of reef keepers. They routinely host visitors to their facility, and their customer service team is ever-ready to address any questions one might have about keeping healthy corals. The website also contains comprehensive information on reefkeeping, under “Reef School.”
Like most reputable sellers, Pacific East Aquaculture offers a wide range of different species at different price points. This guarantees that both beginners and novices will find something that meets their needs. The store also carries equipment and accessories to support the hobby.
All livestock orders are shipped out via priority overnight shipping, and come with a 100% worry-free live arrival guarantee.
Unlike most sources on this list, Petco does not sell live corals, but they do offer a vast array of live rocks and artificial corals for enthusiasts to choose from. Artificial corals are a great option for individuals who want to introduce the look and feel of an underwater coral reef to their tanks, without necessarily investing in live corals or the equipment needed to keep them healthy.
Another perk of buying rocks and artificial corals is the lack of a need to verify its source. With purchasing live coral frags, a chief concern is making sure that they come from legal sources.
Even when corals are legally sourced, many aquarists feel compelled to ensure that the coral types aren’t endangered or near-extinct. Artificial corals eliminate these considerations from the equation, making the decision-making process much easier and straightforward.
With rocks and artificial corals, there is no need to worry about them getting killed in transit. Even then, Petco offers a generous and fuss-free returns policy. Buyers can opt to return in-store, at a fulfillment center, or by shipping it back to the return address. They are entitled to a full refund as long as this is done within 60 days.
Amazon has made a name for itself as a repository for everything under the sun, and it comes as no surprise that you can buy saltwater coral frags, as well as live rocks on the platform. A quick search reveals over 1000 search results, many of which come with live arrival guarantees to give prospective buyers some peace of mind.
In addition to live corals, you can also purchase reef LED lighting and coral food on the site, which makes Amazon a great option due to its convenience and wide variety of options. However, the downside of buying from Amazon is that seller reputability and reliability can differ dramatically across the platform.
See Also: How To Make Your Own Reef Light Kit
Buyers who do not vet their sellers before making a purchase run the risk of getting live corals that are dead on arrival, or worse still, illegally sourced. You also run the risk of buying from sellers who don’t offer live arrival guarantees.
Therefore, it is necessary to do your homework before you buy on Amazon. Do that, and you’ll reap the many benefits of shopping from this vast online marketplace!
What Is A Coral Frag?
A coral frag is a small piece of coral (frag is short for fragment) that is typically sold at reef and fish stores. They are a popular choice among aquarists because it is satisfying to watch a coral frag grow into a full-sized colony.
Fragging is the process of breaking a large piece of coral up into smaller pieces for propagation, which you can learn more about here.
What Is The Most Expensive Coral?
With its dazzling array of bright neon colors, the Purple Monster Jawbreaker Shroom is the most expensive coral in the world by a large margin. A single polyp of this impossibly rare mushroom coral can cost up to $10,000 dollars!
Although Discosoma sp. mushrooms are a fairly common species as far as corals are concerned, the specific color variation and patterns found on the Purple Monster Jawbreaker is what gives it this hefty price tag. As of 2017, there were only 5 Purple Monster Jawbreakers in existence, although more have been carefully cultivated since.
Can You Buy Dead Coral?
Assuming that the dead coral is legally sourced, you can absolutely purchase it and add it to your tank. Dead corals can be used to decorate saltwater tanks, though they should not be added to freshwater aquariums as they can raise water hardness.
Under some circumstances, aquarists may opt to add crushed dead corals to raise the hardness of water that’s too soft. You can also use it to raise pH in water.
Shopping for corals online can be a fun, rewarding experience for reef aquarium hobbyists – as long as they opt for reputable sellers. These sellers want you to be satisfied with your purchase over time, and will do everything they can to give you that experience. As a bonus, many of these sellers make excellent reefkeeping buddies that you can discuss your hobby with!
Did you find this article helpful? What do you think about buying corals online? Let us know in the comments below, and please do share this article with every reef keeper you know!