You can access JBS Marines website here https://jbsmarines.co.uk/
Do I recommend these guys? I think I had a less than perfect service due to the current global situation, and I maybe brought some of the issues I have on myself due to the sort of items I ordered.
I would recommend them for SPS frags, but truthfully, I would get my Zoa’s from elsewhere.
Why I chose The Coral Centre
Being bored out of my brain during the Covid-19 outbreak, I figured I could treat myself to some coral to cheer me up. Wanting some fresh content for this site, I decided to try a new supplier. JBS Marines is always highly recommended on the forums & Facebook groups, so I thought I would give them a try.
The website is very easy to use & navigate. Adding corals to your basket for checkout is simple, and the running cost total at the side is very helpful for keeping track of your spending.
The pictures are good, clear pictures that show exactly what you would expect the corals to look like, and it is refreshing to see some of the pictures taken under white lights. I personally find seeing pictures under blues only very frustrating as it doesn’t give you the true colours of the corals.
The checkout was quick and simple, and overall I have no complaints about the website itself.
Packaging & Delivery
I’m going to give the delivery time the benefit of the doubt due to the current situation with Covid-19, I’m sure under normal circumstances their response and delivery would have been a lot quicker than it was.
As it was, I placed my order on Monday 6th April 2020, and the items arrived on Wednesday 15th April 2020. It is worth noting that there was a 4 day bank holiday within this time frame.
The only thing I think they maybe could work on a bit is the communication. I literally heard nothing from them from the point of order up until the day before they wanted to ship. I think an email saying when they were planning to try to ship wouldn’t have hurt.
The items arrived in a compact box with a heat pack. I’m always a fan of a heat pack, so I appreciated that extra effort. Each frag was individually packaged in a small vacuum packed back, with a small amount of water. Each of those bags were secured into groups of about 5 frags, then placed in 3 plastic bags.
I want to start of by telling you what I actually ordered, I think the things I ordered are part of the problem I have. So, I ordered:
- 3 way frag plate holder comes with 3 zoa frags which fit the holder
- neon green seratopora guttas on frag plug
- sps pack 3 x pavona corals and hystrix coral frag
- dead pool zoa pack of 3 zoas frags
- 3 way holder comes with apple berry hystrix, green monti & acropora efflo
- special offer 3 single holders comes with mix of 3 random zoa frags
I have absolutely zero issues with the SPS frags that have arrived, they are small, but that’s ok, they all seem colourful and their polyps opened up within a couple of hours of being in the tank.
The Zoa’s, well, they are not quite so good. To be honest, its now Friday 17th April, they have been in the tank for 2 solid days and only one of the fragged polyps has even begun to open up.
I knew there were issues when I opened the frags and noticed one of the plugs was completely empty, the polyp had detached itself from the plug. I tried to reattach it, but I don’t think that polyp will survive.
The polyps on all of them are tiny. More like just opened pups than polyps, which I can cope with, I understand I went for the bargain stuff, but I don’t think sending a full grown polyp is a lot to ask for.
The bigger issue that I have is that within 24 hours, 2 of the tiny frags had come off the frag plug because in my opinion, the zoa’s hadn’t been rested for long enough after fragging, before shipping them out. So I now have 2 empty frag plugs and one with a polyp I have tried to reattach, but more likely failed at. All three of these were the “Dead Pool” zoas. I am counting that as a loss on all 3 of those.
I know that Zoa’s and Paly’s can survive in my tank, I have some in there at that moment that are thriving, so I am reluctant to blame my tank on this occasion for the polyps not opening up. I am hopeful that over the next few days the remainder of the surviving Zoa’s will open up, it will be a nice surprise to see what colours I have been sent.
Update – As of Saturday 18th April there is only one green Zoa left. All 8 of the other polyps vanished. Of 9 frags only one polyp ever opened and survived.
I will update this if the remaining 6 Zoa frags actually open up.
I am happy with the SPS frags, but truthfully I will order Zoa’s from elsewhere in the future.
The home made frag holders are nice, I think they are perfect for Zoa islands, they are VERY white, but that will change with time and the frag plugs do seem to sit well in them. I wouldn’t put anyone off of buying those.
There was very little communication between me and the seller, so I can’t comment on their manners or customer relations.
In the interest of fairness, I think I will use them again once this Covid-19 nonsense is over, just to see if things are better then, but I will be sticking to SBS and maybe some LPS if they have anything that catches my eye!