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  1. #1
    Senior Member Zookeeper's Avatar
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    Adventures In Frag Trading

    *WARNING* Grab yourself a beer before sitting down to read this, it is long.

    So I tried trading some frags with Azonic this week, who resides in Newfoundland. The idea was that he would buy a small thermos, send me a small frag of zoos, and a few mushrooms, and I would send the same back to him.

    I create this thread so that others can learn from our errors
    However, I think this method does have merit, and I will try it again, and would recommend it to others.....with a few modifications.

    Azonic freshly cut three red mushrooms, put them in a bag, and put that bag in the bottom of the thermos. On top of that he put a circle cut-out of filter media, and than on top of that the small zoo frag rock. He then filled the thermos with water, sealed it up, packed it in a box with packing peanuts, and shipped it off via UPS on Monday.

    I received the box on Tuesday morning, and to my dismay, the water was cold enough to drink. No acclimation, the frags went strait into the tank. The frags were very shriveled and I was very concerned whether they would make it all, and I was also concerned about sending frags back to him that may very well die needlessly. However, I was not scheduled to ship to him until Thursday, in in the meantime, the frags all perked up nicely. The mushrooms will definately make it, and one of the zoo polyps looked opened about 1/3 of the way today (Friday).

    Now, for the trip back, I stopped at Canadian Tire and picked up some of those heat packs that you put in your gloves in the winter time. I packed everything exactly has Azonic did except that I taped the heat packs to the thermos before packing back in the same box. My thinking here, was to retard the slow cooling of the thermos.

    *Tip #1: When you call the courier company, they will ask you what is in the package. DON'T tell them it is anything live, as they will not accept it".

    So, after learning tip #1 the hard way (cause I'm honest ), I shipped FedEx on the way back. Azonic recieved the package the next day, and below is a excerpt from a private message that he sent me:

    "Umm....Did the inside of the thermos stink really really bad when you opened it? Because when I opened the top there was a rotten smell that came out of it. the zoo's I found at the top of the thermos and they are in the tank and looking ok. But the mushrooms....I'm guessing they were in the small baggie in the bottom...well the water in that bag was completely brown/black...Nothing but slime and it stunk something fierce."

    So he got the zoos OK, but no mushrooms. Anyone have any ideas what went wrong with the mushrooms? I shipped him one attached shroom, one that I cut over a week ago and was fully healed, and one that was fresh cut.

    We are going to try this agian, because this is supposed to work, and I'm sure others will have some tips. We will however wait until spring.

    *Tip #2: Don't do this in cold weather. I'm sure my frags only barely made it.

    Anyone else have any tips for this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    When you taped the heatpacks to the thermos, were they near the shrooms?

    I'm wondering if the thermos "super heated", then "super cooled" within a small amount of time, causing stress on the shrooms...?
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Zookeeper's Avatar
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    Azonic reported that the temp of the water when he got it was 80 degrees, so I doubt that it super cooled, but the heating up part is possible I guess.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Hmmm... I suspect that the heat packs played a key role in what happened here... If the water was at 80 degrees after a full 24 hours in transport, I wonder what the temp was at it's peak, when the heat packs were still at optimum heating efficiency.

    But that's just my thoughts on this...
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  5. #5
    ijo
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    I think TM is right... heat packs should be in the same box but not touching any of the corals(in your case the thermos)... the heat given off by the packs should of kept the temp inside the box reasonable.

    The boxes I ship are made out of styrofoam with heatpacks on the inside but not touching any of the corals along with foam peanuts. All of this is in a cardboard box. I think I will start adding newspaper to help insulate better. Shipping in the winter is tough!!!

    IJO

  6. #6
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    last winter i order some hermit and a couple of other things from a online store in toronto and at my suprise the carrier put the box in the freezer by mistake and it stay there for 12 hrs
    when i pick-up th box the neex morning i was upset but everything make it alive due in part to the heat pad inside the box

  7. #7
    Senior Member Zookeeper's Avatar
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    IJO: The box we used was slighly smaller than a shoe box. How many heat packs do you put inside the box? The heat packs were touching the thermos, but I wasn't really concerned about it, since the thermos itself is insulated.

    Another question: If the heat was the cause, why did it effect the mushrooms so drastically, but not the zoos?

  8. #8
    ijo
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    A couple heat packs in a large styrofoam box is plenty... These things can really heat up.. once something goes bad.. everything else in that same bag will also go bad... and fast. Its kind of like a tank crash. I'm thinking 1 mushroom died and took the rest of them with him.

    IJO

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