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Shipping fish, tips and techniques for newbies


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Ok, so I have never shipped fish, and until this year I have never even considered shipping a live anything in the mail. I find I enjoy breeding them though, sooo...Not trying to make a million, just need to make space and break even on food and shipping costs.

For those of you who have or do ship, a few questions...

  1. Is it worth it? Cost and failure rate to ROI?
  2. What are the most stress free methods? The most cost effective? Are those the same?
  3. Packing tips?
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16 hours ago, WhitecloudDynasty said:

Its not bad..buts shipping right now is nasty

Yeah, this is not an ideal moment to enter the market. But just thinking about "what if" as I look at my most recent cloud of EBA fry and wonder if I could single handedly flood the local Seattle market with this fish in only one hatch. 

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I've received about a half dozen shipments of fish, shrimp, snails and plants this winter and the only death was when USPS got backed up for a week in early December (lesson learned, nothing live in the mail between Black Friday and New Years).

Some have come priority mail, identified as live fish, identified as just "perishable," identified as just "fragile, this end up." I just received a big, beautiful package from Aquatic Arts via UPS next day air (paid a small fortune for that, too, yowch) and even then, they wouldn't ship it out until overnight lows here, there, and at the main UPS hub near them were warmer that 20F. But most ebay or etsy sellers have just been Priority Mail.

Some have been breather bags, some have been double breather bags, some have been double regular poly bags (including the Next Day Air, which makes sense). All have performed equally well in my experience.

I think, for an advanced hobbyist selling one or two species of tank-raised fish, some priority mail box liners, whichever bagging system feels better to you, and only listing fish for sale in the spring and fall, shipping at the beginning of the week and avoiding holidays should protect you pretty well. Most ebay sellers have a live guarantee, but for the fish only, and require a picture of any dead animals to give a refund and communication within a couple hours of first delivery attempt.

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@Irene I found that!! I am feeling much more confident now. 🙂 

I have 10 fry at the half inch stage, and about 40+ at the 3/8 inch stage, and I have resolved not to pull any more eggs no matter how tempting, lol. From now on, the only eggs I am going to pull will be from little fish that I have a better chance of offloading to a local store. And who knows? Maybe these will go somewhere local. I am just playing what if, because the idea of moving 50 midsized cichlids is intimidating! I resolved not to get convicts or breed angelfish for exactly this reason!! 

But they are soooo cute!

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