There isn’t a whole lot on the internet about this saltwater company. I thought I would post my experience here to help others. Here is a complete review starting with unboxing and ending with how the corals look.
This company lets you ship fish and corals from other countries via air freight. This means less cost for a lot of things! Here’s the catch; you have to buy a box minimum. Boxes are large. Really large. My coral box had 28 pieces and weighed 46 pounds. I paid $900 for the Vietnam ultra combo and another $93 in shipping fees. It’s a big upfront cost compared to buying small frags.
The box came and I was very ecstatic about getting it. Bottom of the box was mostly dry which was nice. I would not have been shocked if it was wet as a bag may have popped in shipping. I brought a towel just in case too.
When I opened the box it became clear why it was dry. A styrofoam cooler with thick plastic wrapped around it.
I opened the cooler to find 3 large heat packs, still warm by the way, with a bunch of newspaper. This is great because newspaper makes for good insulation.
I unwrapped the papers to find my prize – a bunch of small baggies! I was really glad they shipped each coral into individual bags.
Each bag had a newspaper filled bag wrapped around it. That’s right, they had insulation bags around the coral bags. I did not get a good picture to show the double bag system but it was a nice touch. I put the bags into my quarantine frag tank to temp acclimate while I got the dip ready.
I opened the bags and dropped the corals in groups into my dipping bucket. I should note here that the bags were not labeled at all so each bag was a mystery.
After a dip they got a rinse then put into my quarantine frag tank while I started dipping others. In the end I separated my corals in the tank based on the type it was. I ended up with 14 mushroom rocks and 14 soft corals.
I also want to note that these corals were very clean. I had very few pests or hitchhikers come off during the dip. The ones that did come off I put in a cup to record what I found. The crab was already dead when he fell off or I may have kept him. I did also get a tiny red shrimp I let pass into the quarantine system for further observation, as well as some feather dusters.
Later in quarantine I found a baby serpent starfish and another dead decoractor crab.
While it was packed well, I was also disappointed. I was supposed to get some zoas, some shrooms and some soft corals. I did not get any zoas on this order though.
After talking to Mitch a bit I learned that Vietnam was all signed off to export zoas but was greeted by the custom officers at the airport telling them otherwise. They had to remake the boxes on the spot in front of the officers even. I was offered a deal on a box of zoas which I will take for compensation. In my book things were made right especially given the circumstances were out of our control.
I will continue to order from LivestockUSA and would still encourage others to as well. I think what happened on my order was a fluke. Even still the pieces that did come in were pretty stellar. I have never seen mushrooms like these before and the soft corals, once blown up, were actually quite large. I plan on taking lots of frags from the corals that survived my mistakes and selling them later. For more information about how it went after acclimation check out my other article here https://mountaincorals.com/2019/12/02/my-first-experience-transshipping-corals/