I don't have the greatest LFS in my area, so I've been ordering coral online from two highly reputable dealers. Both of my zoanthid frags from one dealer came in pretty bad shape. One had a bunch of algae on it, which I guess can be managed. The other was poorly mounted on it's plug--lots of super glue, tissue damage. Eventually I just fragged off a piece that looked healthy and tossed the rest. A candy cane frag I ordered from the same dealer looked great when I first got it, but a few days later, seemingly out of nowhere, it was covered in aiptasia. I was totally unprepared for this, so I just tossed the frag out. A few days later, I decided I wanted a new candy cane, so I tried a different website--again, these are highly reputable dealers. I got a truly terrible frag from them too. It was completely covered in different kinds of algae (including bubble algae), some off-white fungus-looking stuff, idk. There was some pretty bad tissue recession. I had to sit there for 30 minutes and manually clean off the worst of it (which just stressed it further). It's looking better now (you can see a picture in my build thread) but I'm still in the process of nursing it back to health. I'll probably have to take it out again to clean some of the places I missed. At least this one didn't come infested with aiptasia...
So what do all of these have in common? I didn't buy from the WYSIWYG sections. Apparently, you can't trust even the best websites to send you a quality frag unless it's the one you can see for yourself in the picture. Now don't get me wrong, WYSIWYG is not perfect (nothing is 100%), and you will still probably get frags that have one or more problems--this highlights the main reason to always quarantine new arrivals, or at the very least give everything a good dip. But a dealer is not going to put an algae/pest covered or damaged frag up for everyone to see, and if they do, then you will know not to buy it. Generally, while more expensive, the WYSIWYG section houses the best frags. So pony up a bit more for the nicest ones you see. You will save more money in the long run, and will have a better overall experience with the hobby.
Edit: To clarify, I have dipped every new coral arrival in Revive. I already quarantine and dip all new fish.
Edited by matt20, 27 March 2012 - 07:44 AM.