Tips for buying fish online - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-20-2011, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Red face Tips for buying fish online

I'm new at fishkeeping and am looking to buy some fish online.

My local fish shops won't sell female fish, and also I fell in love with pictures of blue and black emperor fish (which I have yet to find in a store.)

Are there any tips to finding reputable sellers? How should I request these sellers to ship my fish?

Should I avoid buying fish online? I was mainly looking at and
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-21-2011, 04:44 AM
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Hello and welcome to TFK

Do you have an established (cycled) tank already? If you're starting to add fish you don't want to add too many at a time and have an ammonia spike. It would get really expensive to have fish shipped when you're getting 3 or 4 at a time.

You're really better off finding a local store even if it's an hour or so away. You won't need to make many trips there after your tank is stocked. Then if you want those fish that you can't find locally, get just those online.

A lot of folks like I've never had anything shipped live so will have to let others chime in.

Good luck.

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post #3 of 13 Old 06-21-2011, 06:00 AM
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I do a fair amount of buisness with a couple local fish stores and they will order fish for me if their supplier has the fish.(I'm a good customer)
I have used and have no complaint's. I would check reviews from other's who have bought fish on places like aquabid.
Maybe check to see if there are any local aquarium clubs near by where perhaps some local breeder's exchange,trade,sell, fishes.
I agree with previous post, make sure the tank has cycled, and that your water will suit the fishes you select with respect to pH,hardness,and temp. Keep fishes that like hard water in hard water, and soft water fishes in soft water.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-21-2011, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your responses! I haven't heard of so I'll be sure to check it out.

My tank is about a month and a half old. I don't think it has completed cycling yet because I'm still getting .25ppm of ammonia in the tank. I've been doing 30% water changes every three days.

Do you think it's safe to buy more fish? Or should I wait it out? I'm getting a bit frustrated with this cycling business!
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-21-2011, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry, meant to say half a month.
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-21-2011, 08:56 AM
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I would wait. Adding live plants can help though, if you're interested in that element of the hobby. Do you have any fish in the tank now?

I use aquabid, and my main advice would be to pay through paypal, and only from people who offer a "Live Arrival Guarantee". Most of the time, when people offer a guarantee, it means that if the fish die en route they'll send you free replacement. (You still have to pay shipping again.)

Paypal will also let you get a refund if they flat out refuse to send it. I ship fish, but right now all I have are plants and endlers.

When you're looking locally, I believe your fish is called the "Emperor Tetra". The emperor tetra, Nematobrycon palmeri, looks like this-

Originally Posted by Christople View Post
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-21-2011, 08:57 AM
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How big is your tank and how many fish do you have right now? Sometimes it takes a long time for a tank to establish and although it mY seem like half a month is forever its actually just a small amount of time. Do you have real or fake plants? If you can get lots of real plants that will take care of the cycle for you. Also if you know someone with an established tank see if they will give you some of there filter media or a knee high with some of there gravel in it that may help speed up the process as well. As for ordering on line I have bought fish from aquabid just be sure to check out the sellers feed back before you buy. Good luck with you tank.

Kindest Regards,

Keeping fish its not a hobby it is a passion!

I have a 55 gallon, 40 gallon, 29 gallon, 20 gallon tank, 5 gallon , and a 2.5 gallon all with real plants.
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-21-2011, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Right now I have 4 hillstream loaches, 3 xray tetras and 2 dwarf gouramis. I was hesitant to add any more fish after the xray tetras, but I've been bringing water samples to my local pet shop and was told it would be safe to add more.

(Now I'm starting to stop trusting their opinions. Should I have not added more fish?)

I've been doing 25% water changes every three days.

Anyway, the fish that I'm interested in are these blue emperor tetras that look like this:

<img src="" alt=""/>
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-21-2011, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Oh sorry, my tank is a 37 gallon.

I don't know anyone else who has an aquarium. I do have a tiny 5 gallon tank, but I'm wary of using that tank after I stupidly overstocked it and lost two fish. The remaining 4 glofish seem alright in that tank but I didn't want to take any chances.
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-21-2011, 09:21 AM
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Have you tried to see if your pet store is able to special order that particular fish in for you. Some of the big box stores may not, haven't tried, but my small lfs is able and willing to do special orders. It is worth checking out.

I learned when I first started the hobby that you can't trust the advice most of the time from the store. I had one guy try to tell me that I could keep four angels in a 5 gallon tank I did not know as much about angel fish at the time but it did not sound right. Went home did more research and found out that he was wrong. Couple days later when I was back at the store I let the manager know about it. Did not want to cause trouble for the guy but did feel that the manager needed to know that his staff needed to be better educated. Take the advice you get from the pet shop with a grain of salt and make sure to do your own research. Unfortunately most of the shops out there seem to be more interested in making money than what is best for the live stock they sell or their customer.
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