Wonderful online experience...


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I try to do my fair share of shopping at various LFS's and some on line as well. I recently made a purchase from IPSF.com and I wanted to comment on it.

I had searched around and couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. I have recently set up two 30 gallon working/fragging tanks that share a 20 gallon sump. My goal for these tanks was to be totally non-reef impacting (within reasonable limits, otherwise we would have nothing). Hence, I wanted everything to be fragged from others tanks or capatively grown (not raised, but grown).

I had added a few frags (from ARC members) to the base rock and southdown sand and was having the customary diatom bloom. I really hadn't cycled the tank (didn't have the patience to use mollies this time :)

Anyway I ordered their Mix and Match special (9 items for 99 bucks). I got the wondermud (similar to garf grundge) and live sand activator. These primarily turn sand and base rock into "live" sand and rock (but, without unwanted hitch hickers). I got three different kinds of snails (though the strombus are actually conchs), some sand clams and a frag of <span style="font-size: 1+1px;"><span style="color: #000000;"><font size="2" data-gcupd="font-2"><!-- gcu-updated -->Anthelia Polyps. And I got a load of amphipods (imho, the key ingredient to any SW tank).

99 bucks included everything including shipping.

three days later (one to order and two to ship from Hawaii), it showed up. I got it shipped to my office (got there at 10am). I didn't get it home until 7:00pm. I was worried about the extra time, but had no choice.

WOW... The pods and snails (after acclimation)dropped immediately into the tank and went to work. I put the mud and activator in the sump. Critters came out of those as well. Then I spread the pods all around. Then I dropped in the clams and polyps (after acclimation of course) in one of the tanks.

I was pretty certain that the polyps and clams didn't survive. The polyps looked dead and the clams didn't move. I figured that is the price you pay for being half way around the world. But their WEB site said to hang with it and give them time.

Went away for the weekend (probably the best thing I could have done). When I got back all the clams had moved into the substrate (you can see the plumes that they blow up from time to time). and the polyps exploded. They are of the xenia family, but they dont pulse and they are a beautiful snow white. One has already spread to the rock it was placed on.

To say I'm happy is an understatement. I didn't need a full blown cleaning crew and I wanted the biodiversity while making sure it was non-reef impacting (again, with in reason)

Lots of folks have had different results online, but these folks (Gerald at IPSF) responded to my questions and every email. I told them the clams had died and he offered to replace them (he also suggested that I give them a little more time). He knew his stuff. I consider the survival rate to be 100%. Can't beat that.

Just wanted to pass it along...


BTW, I couldn't take him up on the offer to replace the clams. It just took them a while...

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I ordered from them in the past and had a similar experience. Very nice people, good product.