10-26-2010, 05:42 PM
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There are many methods for shipping fish. Where you are shipping them to is always a consideration. If they are being shipped internationally, be sure to check with customs to not only find out about charges, but if the fish you are shipping are legal to cross borders and are legal at the place of destination. Customs can refuse to send something through and/or they can be known to mishandle the animals... not to mention quarantine periods that some require during the customs process.
If they are not being shipped internationally, that lessens the problem, but you will still want to be sure they are legal to ship and legal at their destination point.
Climate also plays a big part in shipping, as does weather. Extreme temps (cold or hot no matter) can be fatal for shipping, so be sure weather on both sending and receiving ends is appropriate and safe. Packages can sit in hot (or freezing cold in the winter) post office buildings and vehicles for 24 hrs or more, and the animals inside will be affected by these temps.
How to pack specific types of fish will depend on what species, what size, and where they are going (how long they need to be in there). There are a number of methods that are safe and tend to have pretty good results.
I would first suggest you contact your post office and other shipping companies in your area to get details from them. Not all postal companies/shipping companies will allow the shipment of live animals, and there is always a chance someone will look inside, so trying to "sneak it through" does not always work out and can result in dead animals that end up back at your doorstep. Many shipping companies can help you when it comes to packing, because it must be within their requirements, so a quick call to ask them about procedures and length of time to ship the package is always a good idea before getting into the specific details of how to pack your fish to get to their destination.
Expect to need a very sturdy box with styrofoam to line it, plastic bags big enough for the fish, enough tank water to completely cover the fish in the bag and double bagging, rubberbands to close the bags securely, and possibly heat or cold packs (can be found in most sporting good stores), along with styrofoam peanuts or small blocks to secure the bags and avoid them rolling around or shifting in the box. Be prepared to mark the box "live animals" or "live fish" and "do not drop, do not bend" "fragile" and other such instructions on the box for the postal carriers. Fed Ex is well known for their handling of live fish, and they do a pretty good job for most people... however, they tend to also be one of the most expensive methods of shipping.
Hope this helps... if you need more info, please ask.