Challenges of mail order - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-05-2013, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Challenges of mail order

I have recommended a certain online vendor in the past, and I would still recommend them because I have been very pleased with them. However, there are a few hazards of mail order to make note of.

First, if you get the wrong thing, returning it can be a quandary. I received rummy nosed tetras instead of the rummy nosed rasboras I ordered and one fish I don't want (nipper) and didn't order. I trust the vendor will make it right, but as long as there are humans, there will be mistakes, and dealing with a mistake from your LFS is a lot easier than dealing with one from a vendor several states away.

Secondly, there is the problem of trauma to the fish during shipping. In this respect, please see the following video. To set it up: The UPS guy dropped off my overnighted fish, and I saw the box was very wet. Fearing the worst, I set up my camera and taped my opening it to document it. Getting to the platy sack that was busted was a disgusting surprise. Good news: Those critters actually survived! I will post a couple pictures of can see the bruising and the bloodied gills from their ordeal. It is kind of heartbreaking, but rest assured, they're getting good care now. (PS: Note also that I don't blink when I read the "rummy nose tetra" label, but that's excitement; I really had ordered the rasboras).

Opening the fish - YouTube
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Last edited by Granberry; 01-05-2013 at 02:53 PM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-05-2013, 03:34 PM
glad your platies are alright! they're beautiful. i loooove yellow

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post #3 of 10 Old 01-05-2013, 03:37 PM
Was this through Aquabid or a commercial site? I have long pondered ordering from one of the big commercial sites but haven't yet.
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-05-2013, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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It was through I say that with caution because I don't want anyone thinking they're not a good site, or that it's typical for this many mistakes to be made in one order. I am always very pleased with the fish I get from them, they always ship me more fish than I order, and I have never had a packaging issue from them in the past.

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post #5 of 10 Old 01-05-2013, 04:17 PM
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These fish were packed too tightly in such small bags, they should never ever ship fish with the bags stacked on top of each other, we use bags at least 3 times this size, there are 3 bags all inside each other for strength.
At minimum of 2 gallons to the bag, that amount of fish should have came in 3 containers if there is more than 1 bag in the container a partition must go in the box.
The water should be pure oxygenated and the water treated with stress coat to calm the fish ie. slightly anesthetized.
If live fish came into the airport in this condition we would not allow it to travel any further the fish would be taken out of the box,,quarantined for 10 days and repack them properly before being allowed to travel any further, the bill would be sent to the addressee on the box.
To see fish being transported in such a way and all the bags placed in loose like that, the company should be reported.
Rant over
I hope they have recovered OK.
Ray, Marine importers and quarantine center UK.
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Yellow Tang, Flame Hawk, Chromis, Clown Fish, assorted damsel, Rabbit Fish Other invertebrates: Cleaner shrimp, chestnut cowrie, royal urchin, blue linka starfish, snails, black brittle star

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post #6 of 10 Old 01-05-2013, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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I'm sorry about the bad quality video. I was using the camera on my phone, which I only got at Christmas and I am not used to using. I wish I had held the camera in a better spot so you could see the fish as they came out of the box better.

There are 10 rummy nose tetra in that little bag, and it did strike me that there should have been more water, but hey, what do I know; I just buy them, don't sell them! :) None of them have died. Last time I ordered fish from them, one of my swordtails was dead, and its bag mate died soon after arrival. Other than that, I haven't had any issues. Still, it does make me feel bad to see those bruises on the platies' gills. :(

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post #7 of 10 Old 01-07-2013, 04:18 PM
No worries, Granberry. It's good for people to know if a site is reputable or not. You've done a good job making clear that this was an unusual occurence and I'm certainly intrigued enough to check this website out.
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-08-2013, 08:49 AM
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Granberry, thank you for posting this. I have the site in question bookmarked and have been thinking about ordering from them. I greatly appreciate that even though mistakes were made, you don't feel as if it should hinder someones opinion of them as a whole.

I am also very happy to know all the fish are doing well, with your tender care.
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-08-2013, 09:41 AM
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I'm amazed that those Platys survived. I gasped when you pulled that bag out of the box

They're amazing little creatures aren't they?

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-09-2013, 09:57 AM
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If the fish they send are alive, alert and healthy, then the company are showing they can take care of the stock they sell.
It's a shame that they let themselves down by the postage methods that they use.

I know it is difficult to find certain species in your local pet suppliers or tropical fish suppliers, and you have to search with the postal type of stockist to achieve the results you wish.

It would be better to email or phone the company if you are buying larger amounts of stock to find out how many boxes they will be shipped in, If they say that they all will be delivered in one box it would be better to pay a bit more in postage for extra transportation boxes and ensure that the fish arrive happy and safely.

The Platys must have been very healthy to have survived this trip, so the condition of stock is not an issue, it is the method of transportation that was at fault, if this company changes it's methods of transporting the fish they will certainly have more customers using them.

200+ gal. coral display Aquarium

Yellow Tang, Flame Hawk, Chromis, Clown Fish, assorted damsel, Rabbit Fish Other invertebrates: Cleaner shrimp, chestnut cowrie, royal urchin, blue linka starfish, snails, black brittle star

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