Jump to content

Pls Help: Shipping My Giant Oscar Trans-Pacific!


Recommended Posts

I'm active duty in Hawaii, and I'll be moving to the mainland USA next summer (2023). We bought a house that came with a baby Oscar Cichlid in a 30 gallon tank BUILT INTO THE SHOWER WALL..... 2 years later, he's already outgrown his 55 gal and is getting upgraded to a mansion tank soon. Fast-forward through my first time fish owner struggles, we now love this sassy Oscar so much, and couldn't imagine leaving him behind.

I've tried reaching out to pet transit companies, aquarium stores, and the department of agriculture here, but I'm not sure the best way to ship him to the mainland - "best" financially for me, and safely for him!

I'm thinking this, but need help with specifics!


He's about 12" long and still growing! 

- Styrofoam cooler in a box - overnight shipping.

- Double bag the fish in a giant plastic bag (not sure if there's a special kind of plastic, or how to get pure oxygen in there, or what pressure to fill the bag to)

- put StressCoat in the water? 

I would really love y'all's stories and suggestions! Please help me not kill my Oscar - we wanna have him for 20 years!!!











Edited by MorganKT
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oscar’s are amazing, I couldn’t imagine leaving mine behind. Sorry I don’t really have advice for shipping. A fish that size I’m sure will be a challenge and expensive. One thing for sure when you net him, you and the room around you are gonna get wet. 92BAC0E2-F24A-494C-A6C2-1DDDB99A0F4F.jpeg.eb26b3bdbc1db397373bbd64e038ef85.jpeg

Edited by Atitagain
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The experts in shipping big fish are Predatory Fins. They import and ship out very large fish on a regular basis. If you drop them an e-mail they'll likely offer you lots of good advice and maybe even offer to sell you some of the supplies you'll need. In general, you don't want to feed him before shipping. At least double bag the fish. There are super strong vinyl bags that can be used also. They're not common or easy to find, but they're pretty much bulletproof. Heat or cold packs depending on temps can be important. You'll often see small chunks of the Poly Filter material included with smaller fish. A full 4"X8" pad of the material might be a better option with a full-grown Oscar. A hungry Oscar might be inclined to eat the smaller pieces typically used.  There are fish anesthetics that can be used to calm a fish also. A local vet might be able to help you with those. It's doable. It won't be easy, but it's doable. Very large fish get shipped quite often with good results. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’d arrange with a reputable fish store on the continent to ship your fish to overnight. Agree on a “holding fee” in advance.

Unless anyone has a better plan, look into how Koi get shipped. Use huge, double bagged, 3-mil plastic bags designed tor shipping fish. My guess would be… minimum 10 gals. of clean, dechlorinated water.

You’ll want to use at least 95% pure oxygen in the bag. That can be gotten from a welder, etc. I’ve used “Boost” aviator oxygen for smaller bags, but you’ll want more. Maybe ask around base: who does arc welding??

I’d also put in something to absorb ammonia. Either absorbent strips, or liquid (Amquel, etc). 

That goes into a heavy-duty Styrofoam cooler (medical grade), and into a seriously reinforced box designed for the weight. You’re looking at an EXPENSIVE move.

Overnight ship to the store for holding. Probably best to insure, declare “Live Fish,” etc.

That’s how I’d do it. The idea about a calming medicine might help.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...