Made in Wisconsin: Rhinelander Coral - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

Made in Wisconsin: Rhinelander Coral

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Rhinelander might not be the first place you think of when you think of tropical sea life.

"It's interesting in the winter, because we actually get people from the next building to come in here because it's like being in Florida in the sun," said Kevin Kohen, director of liveaquaria.com

Liveaquaria.com is the water pet spinoff of the Foster and Smith website.

Here, they sell tropical fish and marine animals for home aquariums.

Some even exotic, like a $900 Japanese eel and a $2,500 Conspic Angelfish from New Caledonia.

But most of the floor space is devoted to coral.

Kevin Kohen's expertise in marine life stretches back to college -- where he learned Latin to properly pronounce names.

Live Aquaria has tens of thousands of coral pieces, and 35 species.

They take care when your coral is ready to be shipped.

They pump thick bags with salt water, fill the rest with oxygen… and even include hand warmers -- since many of their sales come during winter.

They've tinkered with the process so much, Live Aquaria has what they call an arrive alive guarantee.

"We make sure that those coral and fish are shipped properly, handled properly," said Internet marketing manager Gordon Magee.  "They'll be healthy when they get there and they will be alive and well. And we guarantee that."

It's a lot of work,  but they want to make the coral available so reefs around the world would no longer need to be harvested.

"We're a long way away from that, but that's one of the long term goals," Magee said.  "To raise reefs internally, domestically, so that they wouldn't have to be touched down the road."

Coral, made in Wisconsin.

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