Transporting Those Fish.
A Few Pointers
Shipping fish can be a daunting and worrying thing at the best of times, but if done correctly, then your fish should arrive at their destination safe and sound.
Many fish are lost in transit due to ..
Incorrect packing... Stress, due to bad packing.. Ammonia poisoning due to too many fish... Bags that are not sealed correctly.. No heat packs.. so fish are cold on arrival... Late pickups... Too many to a bag... Punctured bags through spiney fish.. and sometimes poor courier service.
Know what you are doing.
Various fish will need transporting in various ways, so consider the situation that the fish is going to be in for perhaps the next forty eight hours.
You can NEVER have too much insulation.. so use the correct containers and packing.
Large fish may need to be bagged up singly.. whereas some of the smaller fish can go six to ten in a bag.
Do a water change the day before you intend sending the fish.
This will ensure decent water for the trip.. as ammonia levels can build up quickly in the bag during the trip.
It is a good idea not to feed the fish for 24 hours before you send them to prevent waste and further ammonia building up in the bag.
Ensure that no fish waste is added to the bag if possible.
Fish need air and space.
If they are say.... Adult Guppies... then you could "possibly" get eight or ten to a bag (300x450 size) for an overnight trip.
Use good quality fish bags if possible with the rounded corners.
The shipping box.
You would need a suitable styrene box.. plus a heat pack if the trip is a long one.
Most of these "Heat Packs" generate heat when rubbed vigorously.. so avoid doing this until the very last moment before you finally seal the box.
Fill the bag with approx one third water.. then insert an air line from your air pump into the neck of the bag and twist to create a seal.
Allow the bag to inflate... then twist the neck of the bag some more and pull out the airline while keeping the bag fully inflated.
Fold the neck of the bag over firmly and hold in position with two good strong rubber bands...
MINIMUM 100mm (4") allowance for twisting and folding over.
There should be no air leaks.
Crumple up some newspaper and place in the styrene box, then add the bag or bags, packing each so that they can't roll around.
Add the heat pad if needed, but don't lay it directly on the plastic bags.. just pack it so that the heat can circulate.
Coldwater Goldfish etc:
As above, but ommit the heat pack.. plus one or two fish per bag only... depending on size.
Plecos... Spiney Catfish etc:
Use Tupperware containers.. one third water.. two thirds air.. plus heat pack in most cases.
Adult Swords.. Cichlids etc:
One or two per bag.. as above.. depending on size.
ONE per bag always... plus heat pack.
Just pack loosly in wet newspaper and place flat in a poly bag.
Seal to avoid leakage. Post in a bubble pack type envelope.
Another method when packing some of the more fragile type plants... (thanks Cyberfin).. is to place them in a partially inflated plastic bag.
The air will cushion them from being crushed. No water except what is on the plant when removed from tank, as sloshing water can damage. If the bag is sealed properly it will remain relatively humid within.
Mark the box CLEARLY with the name
LIVE FISH... PLEASE CONTACT ON ARRIVAL..
and phone number if they are being sent to a collection point... like a service station or somewhere.
Contact The Person:
Contact the person as soon as you send the goods.
Inform them which service you have used, and when to expect deliverery.. AND WHERE.. in most cases, as many courier services will not deliver to home addresses.. but will drop parcels at a selected pick up point.
If in doubt... DOUBLE BAG ALWAYS
Some add a couple of drops of "Stess Coat" for the trip.
Some also recommend "Amolock", as it locks up any ammonina into a non toxic form.
Take care here and follow the instructions if you use these products.
Snails and such can be packed in a simple small strong cardboad box with bit of wet plant.. but they won't need a lot of water.. just a cupful perhaps, and the bag can be much smaller... plus the heat pack will not be needed.
Not a lot of carriers will transport fish these days.. and the cost can vary tremendously.
Look at paying around $18:00 for a local overnight trip.. and triple that for some areas... but this depends on the carrier.
Try NZ Post... they are pretty good.. but not ALL branches will handle live stock.
Hope this helps