Shipping Coral Fragments and Other Invertebrates


A good way to accumulate a large variety of corals and other reef organisms is through trade.  For example, a single medium-sized leather coral can be propagated, and traded with other reef-keepers intimately resulting in a wide variety of soft and hard corals not to mention other livestock.  An added benefit is knowing that your lovely coral now resides in the homes of others and possibly in a short time, will have spread to other hobbyists around the world!

Bagged Coral

Besides trading with other hobbyists living in your area, other possibilities include:

  • Your local fish store

  • Your local aquarium society members

  • Through other hobbyists online


Getting your delicate fragments and other organisms to other hobbyists intact is not a difficult thing to accomplish, providing that you use a little common sense as well as a little planning.

Some good guidelines to follow are:


  1. Always ship organisms in a boxed Styrofoam container.

  2. Always ship corals overnight

  3. Always pack organisms securely and upright

  4. Research weather temperatures in the departing and arriving cities - use heat-pacs if needed

  5. Always pack different species separately

  6. Always leave room in bag for oxygen


A good method utilized for shipping smaller coral fragments is to secure them to a small piece of  Styrofoam.  This will keep the fragment suspended upside-down and greatly reduce the likelihood of damaging the specimen in transit.


Small, unattached pieces can be shipped loose, though by themselves.  Larger pieces secured to a rock base should be stood-up in their bags and boxes should be marked accordingly.

Box labels should include the following basic information:


  • Live Organisms inside - Handle with extreme care

  • Extremely Fragile

  • This side up


When trading fragments with other hobbyists via online, it is a good idea to ensure that the person you are trading with also understands how to properly and safely ship these organisms