Let's Discuss shipping
Shipping can be stressful. Not just for the fish, but also the hobbyist awaiting their arrival. That is why we strive to make the transition as easy as possible. We have been shipping fish for many years and have adopted a practice that we find is better suited for the fish to thrive in your aquarium. Along with the steps that we are about to discuss, we find communication with our hobbyists equally important. Once we have shipped your fish, we will email you the tracking number for the package. We monitor their transit until they reach your home. We may also recommend pick up at your local post office if temperatures in your area are extreme and could be dangerous if fish are left outside once delivered.
DID YOU know the #1 cause of toxic gas build up in shipping bags is caused simply by the fish breathing?
Ask most hobbyists what their biggest concern is in regard to shipping fish, and you will find that ammonia and toxic build up in the bags is at the top of the list. And that is usually because of their concern of fecal and urine excrement inside the bag while traveling. This is why it is important that the shipper purge the fish for up to 48 hours in order to clean the digestive tract and ensure a better water quality during shipping. This process does make a difference; however, carbon dioxide is excreted out of the fish's gills during respiration. As carbon dioxide builds in the bag, it then turns into ammonia. Over time, this buildup of gases can adversely affect the quality of the water in the shipping bag. Thus, affecting the health of the fish by causing tissue damage and making them susceptible to infection.
Because many species in our fish room require high oxygenated water, we use breather bags to ship our fish. (Fish with spines are shipped in regular poly bags.) Breather bags are watertight bags designed to allow the exchange of carbon dioxide gases and oxygen through the bag.
As long as there is breathable atmosphere outside of the breather bag, fish will not run out of oxygen. Carbon dioxide exits the bag at 4 times the rate that oxygen enters. This means that the bag is constantly purging the water of toxic gases and replacing the water with oxygen.
Another concern in regard to shipping is protecting fish from the elements and keeping them secure while in transit. We ship fish in a Styrofoam lined box that helps to protect from heat and cold. During extreme weather, cold or heat packs are added to keep the fish comfortable during shipping. During seasons where temperatures exceed 90 degrees and fall below 40 degrees, best practice may be to make arrangements for pick up at your local post office so that fish are not sitting out in the elements once they have been delivered.
A layer of paper insulation is added to the bottom of the box to provide cushioning and added insulation. The breather bag is then wrapped with a paper towel.
Once all of the fish have been bagged and wrapped, the remainder of the box is filled with paper insulation to provide added protection. Once filled, a piece of Styrofoam is added to the top of the inside to insulate. Once the Styrofoam is placed, the box is then sealed.
Once box is sealed, the shipping label is attached. We also label all of our boxes as LIVE FISH so that they are handled appropriately during transit. Please note that we will not deviate from labeling. Not only is it a requirement, but it also ensures a safer delivery.
As mentioned before, our designated shipping days are Monday and Tuesday.