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is usually $36.99

Or only $17.99 to Southern California.

on Orders totaling $169.99 before taxes and shipping charges. 

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Details about Shipping
Live Tropical Fish and Goldfish
This page contains more details about how we ship live Tropical Fish and Goldfish.

Customer Comment


I have never purchased fish over the internet so I was curious ... the ones you buy at the stores can only be in the bags for about 1 hour, how are they packaged to survive a 24 hour trip?
Thanks again!
-Chelsea G.

Reply. Hello Chelsea. Thank you for emailing us your question. We have been shipping fish all over the world since 1969. (Note: We no longer ship outside the United States.)

In the beginning we learned a lot from some very knowledgeable people who were happy to share what they'd learned with us.

  Ship only really healthy fish.
  Ship in fresh clear aquarium water. Not in tap water.
  Most bags used to ship fish are not the right type of bags. We use special bags designed for shipping live fish. 

When you get your fish from us, look carefully at the bag and the metal clip that seals the bag, and you'll see that we use special bags.

  We have several different sizes of bags, and we pack each fish in the right size bag for that fish.
  Fill the bag with only about 25% aquarium water.
  Usually we fill the rest of the bag with pure oxygen, but air breathing fish such as Bettas and Corydoras Catfish are shipped with air and not pure oxygen.
  We single bag many of the fish. One fish to a bag.
  Seal the bag with about 1 or 2 inches of slack.
  Put the first bag in a second bag in case the first bag leaks.
  Ship inside a corrugated cardboard carton with a StyroFoam liner inside the carton to protect the fish from rapid changes in temperature.
  Be sure the fish are in complete darkness during shipment.
  Give the person receiving the fish information about how to prepare to receive and acclimate the fish.
  We pack and ship in the late afternoon and the fish arrive the next day usually before noon. This means the fish are in the bags the minimal amount of time, which is usually less than 24-hours.
  Almost all the fish that we ship arrive alive and very good condition.

Occasionally I visit a pet store and see 25-feeder goldfish going into a small bag that is mostly full of cloudy water, with only a small amount of air in the bag.

I worry that the fish won't make it to the car in the parking lot, let alone survive an hour in the bag for the trip home.

Incidentally, not all shipments take 24 hours, many times it takes less than 18 hours and sometimes as long as 36 hours.

This is a long time for the fish, and they must be packed just right to ensure a safe trip for them.


Chelsea, we hope that answers your question, but here is a story about shipping fish that we hope you find interesting.

Back in the 1970s we were raising lots of cichlids in our parent's basement.

We had advertisements in both TFH Magazine and FAMA Magazine every month, and we got fish orders from all over the world.

In particular we had a very good customer in Europe (but at the present time we do not ship outside of the United States), who bought lots of cichlids from us.

After they'd get a shipment of fish from us, they'd write back saying that the water in the bags was clear, the fish were just great, and they wondered what we put in the water.

In particular they really wanted to know what tranquillizer we used.

They had tried adding Sandow 222 or some such stuff to their shipping water, and it didn't seem to help the fish.

But it was obvious to them that we had found something really good to put in the water to preserve the fish.

We wrote back several times and said things like, "No, no, we haven't got anything special that we put in the water, no tranquillizers, no drugs, no chemicals, just good water, good fish, carefully packed, etc., etc."

But they were sure that we had a secret, and apparently it bothered them that we wouldn't share the secret that we didn't have with them.

Finally one day they phoned me with an ultimatum, "Tell us what you put in the water, or we won't buy any more fish from you."

I tried to make sense with them, but it didn't work, and we lost one of our biggest customers.

Our father was very good at business, and I told him this story. He said that we were just young and learning about these kinds of things, and though it seems very important now, it won't be very important in the long run and not to worry too much about it.

He went on to explain that one of the big faults that many people in business have is that they think there is something magic, like Sandow 222 or something else, that they can add at the last minute that will "fix" things.

This searching for a "fix" prevents them from learning how to get things right in the first place.

To do anything well it's important is to find out what the crucial factors are, then to focus on doing them right each time, and finally to develop a process that ensures that those crucial factors get done right each time.

Over the following years I found out that this advice from my father applies to a lot more than how to pack fish.

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