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Ocean Shells
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RightNearDaBeach
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Joined: 08 Mar 2005
Location: Oklahoma City

PostPosted: 2005.04.18(Mon)21:51    Post subject: Ocean Shells Reply with quote

Hey all,
Well, I'm here in Ecuador and loving it. The weathers hot and the sun is shining bright. Yesterday I went on my 5th snorkeling trip. If any of you ever come down here, you HAVE to do this. The water is gorgeous, the fish are awesome and they don't care if you swim with them right in the middle of thier school. I'm going to try to purchase an underwater camera so I can share with all of you the beauty I'm experiencing here. Anywho, I decided to bring back some shells and corals with me. (All legal, I've already looked into it). What I'm wondering is if there is any way I could bring them back and use them as decor in a saltwater I want to set up? Is there any disinfecting methods that would make them safe to use without endagering the tank with harmful bacteria? If there are any inputs they would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and I'll be writing soon.
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KDodds
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Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Location: Suffern, NY

PostPosted: 2005.04.18(Mon)22:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

1) Pulling anything from the ocean with any indication as to what you're pulling can be detrimental to the eco-system. It's doubtful a couple of small shells could cause long-term harm, but several species of fish, including some cleaner species, will use empty shells as "homes". As such, if you're going to collect, please at least do so from dried shells on the beach.

2) I hope you're talking about coral skeletons and not living corals. There is virtually no chance that any live coral collected now would make it through your trip back, wait until you set up a tank, cycle it, etc. If they're skeletons (this holds true for shells as well) in marine tank that is properly maintained, they won't retain the aesthetic value you see in them now. They quickly can become covered in coralline and other organisms.

3) Any pathogenic bacteria you'd bring in are unlikely to make it through the drying/shipping/storing/set up process. I would be more worried about what industrial run off might be present on the beaches, etc.
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Batman
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Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Location: Arcadia CA

PostPosted: 2005.04.19(Tue)7:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

Collected One or two shells should have been OK for the environment, but more than that could affect the environment. Well, chances are, your rocks are safe. You might want to just soak them in water for 3 days, give them a good scrub, and soak it for another week. This tends to remove any chemicals around, or atleast minimize it. If you're trying a new tank, put some hardier fish in. Don't just throw butterflies and angels in as they need a well aged aquarium.
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TheVillageIdiot
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Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Location: Roswell, GA

PostPosted: 2005.04.19(Tue)8:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've snorkeled on beautiful reefs many times and the temptation is always there to take some of the pretty stuff, etc... DON'T! Let the fisherman collect the live rock and the fish and the inverts, just enjoy the beautiful view. The possiblity of bringing home something you don't want in your tank is too great a risk to take... even if you leave the rock and/or corals out in the sun (in which case, you might as well just get them from an LFS, much safer) you still risk some sort of polutant being introduced to your tank... like kdodds said...
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juice28
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Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Location: iowa city, IA

PostPosted: 2005.04.19(Tue)9:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with above. Plus, if you really are talking about live coral, I guarantee that it isn't legal. Not only are there fines for disruption live reefs, US customs will not allow that material to cross borders. I know it's pretty, but it should just stay where it is!
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RightNearDaBeach
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Joined: 08 Mar 2005
Location: Oklahoma City

PostPosted: 2005.04.19(Tue)13:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys,

guess I should have been a little more specific. KDodds, all of the shells I found were up on the beach, and they were all dried out. Same with the coral. I didn't take any coral out of the water, but chunks of dislocated coral skeleton that had washed up on the beach. That is what I enquired the legality of. I wasn't about to take coral that was in the water still. I thought it was to beautiful to take out of it's home. So my new question is, now that I was more specific on where and what I have, is this stuff OK to bring home and put in my tank? Batman, you said just soak it in water and do some scrubbing. Is this still OK? There isn't any other disinfecting methods I need to do? Well, again, thanks for all your inputs, I really appreciate them.

RNDB
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TheVillageIdiot
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Joined: 23 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: 2005.04.19(Tue)13:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's a gamble... what type of development is going on around where you are? I'd soak it for a long time, a month maybe, changing the water out every couple of days... then let it bleach it in the sun for a while more... Smile
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RightNearDaBeach
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Joined: 08 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: 2005.04.19(Tue)16:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, funny you should ask, but these shells were found about 3 miles away from everything. This beach was secluded, no one else except the people I went with were there. There isn't even a building within 10 miles of this place. I would assume that these shells would be relatively safe, but washing them and sun bleaching sounds like a good idea. Thanks guys.

RNDB
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TheVillageIdiot
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Joined: 23 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: 2005.04.20(Wed)6:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

And while I'm thinking about it, buy one of those water proof disposable cameras (unless you have access to something better) and take some pictures and post them! Wink
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