There is nothing crazy about that at all. Altums and a lot of the other wild-caught fish from the acidic waters of the Amazon require a lot of work and attention especially when they first arrive. . . .
A great seller will go thru these extra steps to acclimate and treat the fish, helping to ensure your success. Not just ship them immediately on to you.
I've been reading that Bev, owner of The Amazon Basement
, has been bringing in some wild Altums. She posts on the Apistogramma Forum
, and is a sponsor there w/ her own sub-forum:
Bev & Dale's website:
No affiliation, whatsoever; just a satisfied customer. I've purchased many species of dwarf cichlids from them. (Apistogramma, Dicrossus, Nanochromis & GBR - all great quality & no losses.)
If you're balking at the thought of spending $110.00 on some fish, you're not ready for the more exotic stuff. Stick to domestic, tank breed angels! (Or the tetras and barbs available at the big box stores.
$100 - $200.00 is nothing to spend for the rarer stuff. And sometimes - thru no fault of the breeder/importer - you're going to loose some fish. Good mail order suppliers will guarantee live arrival. But if a fish dies two weeks in, it's your
loss! Spending $150 once, is one thing. Sometimes you'll end up paying that $150.00 again a second time - if you really
want and are determined to keep certain fish!
I now always hedge my bet when ordering fish. If I want to breed a certain species, I no longer order just one pair, or one trio. I get a few extra. If I'm lucky and all survive, first shipping, then acclimation into my tanks, (establishing pecking orders - male/female aggression). Then I'll pass on the few extra to the monthly fish club auctions.
In the case of schooling fish, don't get just six. I'd get seven or eight, on larger species. Or up to a dozen on smaller species, ie, cardinal tetras. Often times the cost of the extra fish is less than the cost to pay again for overnight express shipping. (Overnight generally runs $35.00 - $45.00 per box.)