Just started this hobby 2 months ago -- now that my tanks and fauna are more established I'd like to start shipping some stuff out without them dying.
I did some searching but info seemed pretty scattered, so this is my attempt to put it all in one place. Please let us know what has/hasn't worked for you in the past, and any tricks you might have up your sleeve
Or cheap places to buy supplies?
: (1) envelope/box; (2) zip-lock bags; (3) heat-packs if shipping to cold destinations.
- Drain most of the water from the plants, but keep the bag moist. If too much moisture is in the bag the plants will turn to MUSH (and smell really bad)
- Paper towels can be used to keep the plants separated and intact (not to keep moisture in, again--rot)
- Make your cuttings as close as possible to shipping date (plan ahead, and don't leave the cuttings soaking in a tub for days)
- Blow some air into the zip-lock bag for padding, make sure there are no holes/leaks
- Write Perishable on the box
USPS Priority for most plants; First Class if very close or shipping moss. Print your labels online to save some $ / free delivery confirmation.
FISH / SHRIMP:
*Wrote a GUIDE here
(1) foam-padded box; (2) Kordon breather bags; (3) heat-packs if shipping to cold destinations.
- Use aged tap or recently-changed tank water; treat with a drop of Prime
- Fill bag with oxygen if possible, or use a bike/air pump for plastic bags; for Kordon bags air is fine
- Double-bag to prevent leaks
- Pad the foam-padded box very well with paper/airbags so the bag won't bounce around
- Use multiple heat packs in very cold weathers in different corners of the box
- Mark box FRAGILE / PERISHABLE, marking live fish will only draw unnecessary attention and cause delays
- Again, minimize time between capturing and shipping
- Do not feed fish 48 priors to shipping (so they don't poo and pollute the bag); Shrimp
doe not need to be starved
- Use multiple bags for multiple fish (i.e. don't put all your eggs in one basket, spread out bio-load)
- If shipping fish EGGS, pack the eggs with a RCS, the shrimp will actively clean off fungus, eat the dead eggs, but leave the healthy ones alone.
- Add some plants in the bag for shrimp to cling to (recommend moss)
Other Suggested Methods:
- Adding 0.1-0.3% aquarium salt to the bag to reduce osmoregulatory stress
The addition of salt will let them not have to spend as much energy to maintain their internal "water balance". Fish that have been shipped in a .1-.3% salt water solution arrive in better condition than those that were not. Adding salt the to tank at the same .1-.3% solution will also enhance the slime coat production on the fish which will aid in the healing of the fins and prevention of minor parasites/fungus.
- Adding tranquilizer to the bag to reduce stress during shipping (Hypno, Bag Buddies, Tranquil, etc)
[F]ish who have been kept in a large aquarium and suddenly find themselves cooped up in a small bag with lots of company, they panic and dart against the sides. Also they are frightened because there is no apparent bottom and probably too much light. All of this stresses them and many times [they] will die of fright.
FedEx/UPS Overnight (most reliable, most expensive) > USPS Express > USPS Priority (least reliable, least expensive). Print your labels online to save some $ / free delivery confirmation.