Shipping on substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-29-2004, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Hi gang,

The move is almost done! We drained the tank this morning and it will be moved to it's new home on Saturday. Yay! All I can say is it sucks moving with snow on the ground.

Question:

Does anyone have any recommendations on the best online shop for Substrate? I'm interested in Eco-Complete and Tahitian Moon sand and my LFS's don't carry it. I see several sites that carry it but I was concerned about shipping costs. Anyone have any suggestions about the best site for low shipping costs but reliable and dependable? FYI I'm in Virginia.

Thanks!

Lisa
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-29-2004, 11:33 PM
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I've done some research on Eco-complete. Of the three places I checked, I believe www.drsfostersmith.com was the cheapest to ship (I think they only charge an additional $4.50 or something), but it's on back-order. It's $17.99/ bag there.
At www.petsolutions.com, it's $16.99, but you pay additional "actual freight charges" that are based on how far you are from where they are (in Illinois or Ohio?), and it looks like the LEAST you'd pay is $4.86 additional.
At www.bigalsonline.com, it's $20.99 a bag, and there are "additional shipping charges" for the it, but it does not specify how much.
Good luck!
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-29-2004, 11:38 PM
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If you do BigAls, you can call them up and show them the $16.99 from petsolutions and they will take 5% off that. It ends up coming to ~ $16.15 and for me shipping was $6.50/bag. So under $23 per bag. However, I'm in MN and thats what shipping was for me.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonder woman
I've done some research on Eco-complete. Of the three places I checked, I believe www.drsfostersmith.com was the cheapest to ship (I think they only charge an additional $4.50 or something), but it's on back-order. It's $17.99/ bag there.
Well, I called up Big Al's and the shipping to where I live in Oregon was outrageous to the point the order taker said it wasn't worth it for me to buy it. So, I called up drsfosterandsmith and their shipping is a flat additional rate / bag to anywhere in the continental US, but as you said the item is on backorder. I took the plunge anyway with them since the order taker said that 22 were on backorder but 33 were to arrive, therefore allowing for the 6 I wanted.

So, my fingers are crossed...
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 05:16 PM
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Hmm.... you could have gotten it locally for around the same price or maybe even a bit cheaper and not had to wait. I live in Portland and know one LFS that stocks it as does Robert at Aqua-Botanic in Salem.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-31-2004, 02:39 AM
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Just to let everyone know, I ordered 5 bags of eco-complete from DrsFosterSmit.com and got it last friday. Well, every single bag was busted and the "black water" had leaked out. I made a fuss with the FedEx person and they said that was how they got it.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-31-2004, 02:51 AM
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Must be something with the Eco-Complete bags. I had one break while it was lying on my kitchen floor.

Mike

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstemple
Just to let everyone know, I ordered 5 bags of eco-complete from DrsFosterSmit.com and got it last friday. Well, every single bag was busted and the "black water" had leaked out. I made a fuss with the FedEx person and they said that was how they got it.
Well, my order of 6 bags from DrsFosterSmith was scheduled to arrive today. So far I've received 1 box containing 2 bags and I'm not happy because the box the FedEx guy left at my door was a plain white box with a handwritten label with my name and address. There was no other info on the box. The 2 bags of eco-complete in the box were both ruptured and had lost all the water inside, and whatever packing sheet the good Drs probably had in the box was not there either. It was pretty obvious that FedEx had repackaged it in a hurry. I didn't even get a chance to complain to the FedEx delivery person because before I got to the door they had already started driving off in their truck - guess they didn't want to hear my complaints!

If the local places I could have gotten it from weren't out of stock on it I would have gotten from them. Now it seems, with hindsight, that it would have been better to have just waited until the local places got it in again.

Bummed out...
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 10:40 PM
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Sorry to hear about everyones' problems with getting shipped Eco-Complete. I'll keep this in mind when I buy some, and spend the few extra $$ to buy it locally (or wait until I can). In Drs. Foster & Smith's defense, I have bought several products (over a period of time) from them (including a glass heater and a 36" glass aquarium cover), and have received everything in mint condition, expertly packaged, with official packaging and labelling.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 04:21 AM
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I just did a substrate change to eco-complete. After reading these posts I decided to pay the $25 a bag at an LFS. It took quite a few phone calls to find a place put is was worth it. I got three perfect bags (two were in the original shipping box from CaribSea).
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 10:54 AM
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Have any of you complained to Drs.Foster&Smith about what happened? :?
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raul-7
Have any of you complained to Drs.Foster&Smith about what happened? :?
Of course. They are "looking into it" with FedEx and said that they would get back in contact with me today to let me know what will be done. If I receive no word from them today I am going to call them back and cancel the order since I've received no usable items.

Then... I will wait for my LFS to get the items in.

Sigh, that 72g bowfront tank is looking rather sad - ready to go but can't for lack of the substrate :cry:
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-13-2004, 02:23 AM
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Update: The 2nd box with 2 bags of eco-complete arrived via FedEx Ground today. Guess what? Yep, both bags ruptured - no more "black water" in them.

Ok, so I called DrsFosterSmith.com support, explained the situation and that I had no confidence that a reship of more of the same item would arrive in anything other than ruptured condition. Net result is that they were very good in crediting my chargecard account and wiping out my order. They were so good about it that I will probably order other items from them in the future, just not eco-complete.

I have a theory about why they are getting ruptured (the theory may be all wet): It's possible that since the bags are getting shipped via ground across the northern US and in unheated trucks, that with freezing temperatures the contained water is icing up and bursting the bags. I wonder if shipments in summer suffer the same fate?
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-13-2004, 04:29 AM
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I doubt they are going to freeze in the summer. At least I hope not.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-13-2004, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
I doubt they are going to freeze in the summer. At least I hope not.
Hey, well who knows... maybe they ship it in reefers (ie: refrigerated trailers) in the summer :-)

Actually, I was just stating that because it would have been a good corroboration - if no leakage in summer, then perhaps the freezing theory held water (yeah, yeah, bad pun). If bags leaked in summer, then perhaps the bag is just a poor design for shipment...
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