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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A lot of reef forums have this: a co-op where corals are traded among members for only shipping provided that they:

1. Do not sell the plant out of the co-op
2. Maintain it indefinitely. And if they can't keep it send the plant to another co-op member if no one else has it.
3. Never charge for more than shipping.
4. Give back to the co-op if you take from it.
5. Agree that all livestock handed out by the co-op is continually the property of the co-op regardless of membership.

The co-op is made to preserve coral/fish/invert species in the hobby and to make available species indefinitely and easily.

I'm wondering if anyone on this forum is interested in doing something like this?
 

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This is good idea, I belong to a "Fry Club" on another forum where you post what you have to get rid of and what you are looking for. Only cost is shipping and basically the same rules apply. Also there is limit as too how much one person can get so no one person is being greedy.

Id be interested in something like this.
 

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Could be worth it if we are going to maintain rare species or hybrids, or perhaps maintain large lawns of carpet plants for those starting new aquaria.

I think this will be a waste of time if everyone is growing R. rotundifolia and C. Wendtii.

Now, if it's a way that we can trade 2 square feet of C. Parva, for a pound of peacock moss, or maybe spread around some rare Cryptocorynes, then I'll set up 3 more tanks just to grow out plants.

At the same time, there are great forum members who sell unusual plants here on a regular basis, and it would be improper to make the plants they are trying to profit from available free to everyone. I believe this deserves some real consideration. So perhaps a membership of some sort would be required.
 

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If we do this what about rules - what kind will there be? For instance - I never had snails until I benefited from a RAOK here. Since it was a RAOK, I don't mind so much - and it made me learn about snails. But I really don't know about the various algaes, parasites, bacterias, etc that can hitch hike on plants.
As nice and beneficial as this can be, it would be cutting the throats of the sellers - how did your reef community handle that?
 

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monetary gain of one (or few) should be of consideration low on the list when contemplating doing something for the greater good and enjoyment of others.

i think a co-op could work. i don't think a free one would/could. I think it'd be prudent to charge a yearly membership fee that goes towards the purchase and cultivation of new and rare aquatic species. But a governing body would need to be set up like any other club to oversee things, fairly.
 

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monetary gain of one (or few) should be of consideration low on the list when contemplating doing something for the greater good and enjoyment of others.

i think a co-op could work. i don't think a free one would/could. I think it'd be prudent to charge a yearly membership fee that goes towards the purchase and cultivation of new and rare aquatic species. But a governing body would need to be set up like any other club to oversee things, fairly.
Doesn't that defeat the point?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think it should be on good will really...no membership fee. But we should create a private googlesite or google group and keep some spreadsheets on members and the number of things they have for trade and what they've accepted from other members. We should also put a month cap on the number of things they may take from the co-op.

What I think a good system to do is:
1. Create a google site with a few admins to accept members. (they check buyer/seller history on this site etc)
2. A spread sheet containing the real names of the members with the account names they use on the site associated with them. (this one is kept uneditable except by admins but is open to the public). People can only do co-op trades if they are on this list.
3. A spread sheet (or same sheet really) containing what they have up for trade and what they have accepted and dated of course. (open to be edited by all members)

And a few rules discouraging gaming the system like: The spreadsheet is saved as is at random times on a biweekly basis. Untruthful changes to the spreadsheet in your favor will be counted against you and can threaten your continued membership in the co-op.

As for screwing the the sellers on this site. I guess really we should be considerate of those people and try to limit the amount of trades of certain items. On rare crypts we should contact the original sellers and ask their permission to have their crypt enter the co-op. We could even as a club put in a fund to buy from them plants that we could distribute among members. Or maybe buy the "rights" to distribute their plants for free.
 

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I have only thought about this for 2 minutes, but maybe you would get 5 plants sent to you with your initial membership fee. You then have 3 months to send 5 plants to other members. At this point, you would be held to a 1:1 ratio of plants in and out. Any new species that you can introduce to the coop would get you 3 plants from other members. I think there would need to be a hub of sorts, where a few keepers would have tanks just for stock. Sounds like a fun project for some admin. to tackle over the approaching winter. As for sellers, they could be members too if they wish.
 

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The more I think about this, the more I think it may not work out all that well.

Something like this should exist to allow one to obtain rare or difficult to find plants that cannot be found through other means, not as a way to get free plants. As I read the posts, it sounds like many of the posters are looking to get plants sent to them, and few are interested in maintaining cultures to keep a supply handy.

Maybe it would be better just to start a free club in which every member keeps a profile listing all the cultures they are maintaining. Members can contact each other and arrange trades, sales, or beg for free plants, whatever works between the two members. Honestly, we could all just go load this information into our TPT profiles. The real kicker is just to get enough people setting up cultures to trade. If you have one specimen of some plant, it's easier just to sell it in the SnS.

I for one am not the least bit interested in having the plants in my tank belong to a Co-op when I have taken the time to grow them. I would not ask the Co-op for starter cultures either. I would obtain them myself and keep the culture going for trading.

I think what I would rather have is just a bunch of people keeping plants for trade, with a good listing of what they keep so it can easily be found. A plant trader's club so to speak. The handy thing would just be having all that information where you could look at it. Otherwise we are better off just using the SnS. Heck, as I stated earlier, we could just keep the species info in our profiles and just have a webpage or forum with every participants name listed.

To make something like a Co-op work would require participants to actively maintain decent amounts of each plant in tank(s) dedicated entirely to that purpose, not just trying to pawn off some clippings and asking for expensive rarities in return.
 

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I think this is getting way too complicated. It doesnt need to be this in depth. What about people just starting in this hobby and dont/wont have 5 species to trade in a couple months? I for one dont think all this spread sheet/ website stuff is necessary with someone having to take on the added responsibility of trying to keep track of all this stuff. Just go for the "Honor System". Of course this is just my 2 cents.
 

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Wow just seems way to difficult that it needs to be. lol Anybody heard of freecycle? Basicly do the same thing. If you take something give something back. Not hard to set up a yahoo group and run it like a freecycle where you have posts like wanted, offer, rec'd and such.

On freecycle everything is free but unless you live close to a person this will never be free cause of shipping. So essentially your still buying plants which you can spend a few bucks more and pick what you want in the s&s. Kinda not seeing the point of this now. lol
 
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