Thought I might get more responses on this area of the forum.
I know there is a lot of information about shipping fish out there on the internet and even on this forum, but not so much for shipping BIG fish, plus I have a few questions I can't find answers to.
I'm shipping a school(6) of 7" Eartheaters from California to Minnesota. We're doing 2-day Priority EXPRESS shipping at the cost of about $150. They will be bagged individually in 12x24" bags, filled with just enough water to cover the fish(about 4 or 5 pounds each), making it about 1/3 water and 2/3 pure oxygen. I'm renting an oxygen tank from a local welding supply. Each bag will then be inverted and bagged again, so that they're double-bagged with no corners in the bag. They're being shipped in a 26Lx18Wx13T cardboard box with a styro box inside of that. I will be adding heat packs since it's winter. They will be dropped off at my local USPS store around 4pm - the latest they accept shipments is 5 PM but since I don't know my way around my new town yet I want to give myself an extra hour in case I get lost. I get lost really easily.
So I have a few questions I was hoping you guys could help me out with...
I practiced bagging one Geo so that I could weigh the bag and est. shipping weight. When I dropped the fish into the bag of water it FREAKED OUT and started splashing around, which put a few small holes in the bag(they have somewhat spiny fins)...When I inverted the bag and added the second bag, the holes were sealed up and there was no more water leaking. After that the fish was calm...however I'd really like to avoid the fish putting holes in the bags when I first drop them in, if possible. How can I keep them calm when bagging so that they don't flip out&puncture the bags?
I'm renting an oxygen tank from my local welding supply, but I don't know what size tank to rent. Will their smallest tank, 20cubic feet, definitely be large enough? I would assume so but I'm not sure.
I've read a lot of conflicting information on heat packs. Since I'm using a large box I know that I will need at least two of them. So I'm wondering, how many heat packs should I use(taped to the top of the styro box & wrapped in newspaper), what time length(20 hour, 60 hour, 70...?) should I use, and where can I get them from?
This is all I can think of right now. Would really appreciate advice from anyone who's had experience shipping, I'm very nervous as this is my first time & REALLY need it to go well.