Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   How to ship fish? (

Chrysolite 10-20-2010 09:30 PM

How to ship fish?
I didn't know what category I should put this into, so sorry if I screwed it up.

Anyways, my question is, how do you ship fish? Also, what company/mail service do you use? I live in ON, Canada, so if you know of any that operate here, that'd be great.

One more question... Is there any way at all to buy/sell fish if you don't have a credit card?

bettababy 10-26-2010 05:42 PM

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.

Chrysolite 10-26-2010 09:42 PM

Thanks so much for the info! :D

Mikaila31 10-26-2010 10:54 PM

what... I always sneak stuff through. You hit a red flag with USPS if you say there is anything alive in the box. But I have shipped dozens of boxes and have always received fish using USPS. Only time anything bad happened was I found a bad shipper who used those silly "breather bags" which I now always make sure are never used with my shipments. Anyway some very upset person from USPS called me wanting to know what liquids my box was leaking:-?. Fish can be tough to ship, proper packing is very important. Some fish can be shipped priority depending on species and weather. Others need express mail, since your in canada I would say it much to cold to ship with anything but express and you may need heat packs.

Chrysolite 10-27-2010 06:23 AM

About how much would it cost to ship fish using Fed Ex?

bettababy 10-27-2010 07:13 PM

You would have to call Fed Ex and ask them. They will figure shipping based on weight and size of the box and where it is going. You haven't given us any idea of what you're shipping, so its impossible for someone to offer you any idea what to expect for weight. What you are shipping along with how long it needs to be in the box will determine what supplies and how big a box, etc you will need.

Chrysolite 10-27-2010 07:29 PM

Kay, thanks!

kitten_penang 11-03-2010 02:37 PM

it depends on the fisheries need to get papers from them first before you can ship them over if your planning to getting fishes during visits to other countries or you need a LFS that has a import licence to import it for you. unless you want to use things like aquabid.they have their own people to do the shipping for you which is easier.

bettababy 11-03-2010 05:38 PM

It is also dependent on the species of fish and what countries you are dealing with. Each country has their own laws, rules, etc. Some fish are illegal to import, some fish are illegal to export, some fish are illegal to keep... it all depends on the country.
Each country also has its own customs procedures. The only way to find out all of this info that you desire is for you to call and inquire at the customs depts. of the countries you will be shipping from and to, and to contact the shipping companies for their procedures and to be sure they will indeed ship live animals.

You could also try seeking out someone who is licensed for import/export in your country. Those people will have a more specific list of details for any country they deal with. You may need to talk to more than one, as not every importer/exporter deals with every country.

Best of luck to you!

dfbiggs 11-04-2010 02:01 PM


Originally Posted by Chrysolite (Post 500988)
About how much would it cost to ship fish using Fed Ex?

With any mail systems (USPS, UPS, Fed EX) you can go to their online website to get shipping rates as long as you have an accurate scale. You can also print the shipping label from the online system and then you can schedule a free pickup if you use USPS. Most times it is a few cents cheaper to do it online rather than to go to the post office. It's pretty convenient... having to make a trip to the post office is becoming obsolete.

But of course learn how you need to ship it first properly before doing it on your own with the online system.

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