You can access The Coral Centre website here https://thecoralcentre.co.uk/
Do I recommend these guys? Very much so!
Why I chose The Coral Centre
After spending hours trawling through eBay, looking for coral frags that might catch my eye, I came across The Coral Centre’s eBay page. I decided to go check out their website and quickly found myself adding frags to my “basket”.
The website is not the most sophisticated site I have ever used, but it does the job! The pricing and pictures are clear and the sorting function works well. My only real complaint is that I couldn’t find a way to “view all frags”, or “view all LPS” etc. I had to keep going into the menu and changing the type of coral I was looking at. Not a deal breaker by any means, but it would be nice to have a “view all” function on there.
The website is sizeable. By this, I mean there are hundreds of different frags and coral packs available on the site. I would imagine it takes a considerable amount of work to maintain the site and keep the coral stocking lists current.
What I did find interesting is that the coral that had caught my eye initially on eBay, I couldn’t find on the website. That could have been me missing it, or maybe they have two different stores one on eBay and one on their own website. Either way, I think it is definitely worth looking in both places.
As a result of not being able to find it on their website, I didn’t actually buy that coral, which means I will probably have to buy a load from their eBay store now too…!
Packaging & Delivery
My items from The Coral Centre arrived on time and very well packaged. Each coral was individually wrapped in a hard plastic container, and there was a heat pack (which is still warm 24 hours after delivery) taped to the lid of the box. Each frag was wedged into a polystyrene float to help ensure the frag arrived in tact.
The only issue I had was that the mushroom I ordered had detached itself from the plug, while irritating this was not The Coral Centres fault. These things happen with corals, it probably stressed during shipping and let go of it’s plug. I tried to re-attach it and failed, this morning when I went to look at the tank, the mushroom wasn’t where I had left it… it is somewhere in there, I just don’t know where!
From the care that had been taken with the packaging, I can see that every effort has been made to try and ensure the corals arrived healthy and in one piece.
The frags I received from The Coral Centre are by far the best mail order frags I have had so far. All of the frags had algae growth and the GSP had started to grow over the sides of the plug. This tells me that these corals had been well rested before sale, allowing the to overcome the trauma of fragging, before adding more trauma… shipping.
I had ordered a 10 head frag of an Acan, but the day before shipping Rob, from The Coral Centre, sent me an email explaining that they didn’t feel the Acan was healthy enough to ship so they had packed two different Acan frags into the box instead.
Was I upset by this? No. Not one bit. I appreciated their honesty & I would rather have a healthy coral shipped to me than one that I have to try and nurse back to health, if the shipping hadn’t of killed it. As it happens, between the two frags they sent me I ended up with more heads than expected, so they made sure I got the good end of the deal.
Withing a couple of hours, the majority of the frags had started to open up in the tank, and the next morning everything was open, bar a couple of the GSP polyps.
The number of heads/polyps per frag was more than fair. I paid as little as £4.50 for some of the Paly/Zoa frags and I haven’t received any frags with less than two heads/polyps. The pricing at The Coral Centre is by far the fairest/cheapest pricing I have seen from an online retailer.
I dipped & inspected the corals when they arrived, not a single nasty or bug to be seen. A couple of copepods, but that was it. Very clean!
While chatting about my order over email with Rob from The Coral Centre, he came across as someone who is genuinely passionate about the corals & conservation. He mentioned that they are expanding their premises which will not only help them reduce their frag prices further, but will help them further the work they are carrying out with Oxford University. I’m not sure what the work is, but I’m excited to hear about it when they release the results in the summer. By next year they hope to have around 50,000 coral frags!
Rob was polite and more than helpful throughout this transaction, and the transaction itself could not have been easier. I will have no problem at all recommending The Coral Centre to anyone who asks where the best place to buy frags online is.