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FAQs about Mail-Order/Internet Marine Livestock Stocking

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You must compare... net landed price, service, quality... sight unseen possibly...

Fish Industry Question; also lvstk. sel. f', SW      4/6/17
Hi Bob-
Gabe from the crew here. Had a question for you about an online retailer and thought you may be able to help. Have you heard of LiveRockNReef.com?  
<I have not; no>
Talked to one of their divers yesterday, turns out they go out and catch things and ship them the same day.
<Mmm; a few outfits do this... A poor idea... they all go out of business w/in a year or so... due to issues related... massive mortality, DOAs. Too much stress, deaths from lack of rest>
Please let me know what/if you know about them and if you would consider them if you were in the market for some hard-to-find fish. Feel free to email me with your Hotmail if you need to.
Gabe Walsh
WWM Crew
<Mmm; what sort of guarantee/s to they offer? I would quarantine everything brought in thus.
Bob Fenner>

Shipped fish suffering    3/25/15
hey Bob-
I shipped some fish in from the Caribbean. Shipping only cost me 45 dollars ups overnight.
<... only>
Everything looks great , except for large black angel (Resting on the bottom) and large Atlantic blue tang. They looked iffy on shopping bags, and so I drop acclimated for 2 hours.
<.... what they do at times>
In my tank, the Atlantic blue is swimming upside down, sideways, near the surface, and at times bobbing at the surface.
I am in contact with the seller, however I do not like watching animals suffer. The shipper is telling me to give it time, and it should straighten out.
<He's, they're right>
How much time would you give it before thinking of using clove oil or another with euthanasia product.
<All the time in the world. B>
Shipped fish    3/25/15

hey Bob, thanks for the fast response, much respect.
It was 40 to ship 70 pounds of boxes over night,
<Wow! How many organisms?>
to my house; not to the airport. To me that seems very fair.
Fish seem to still be doing the same. I shut my powerheads off, seems they enjoyed floating around only to get stuck in them.
The symptoms I listed , does that sound like ammonia poisoning, lack of O2, or just flight stress?
<Likely ammonia burn mostly... see WWM re Guerilla Acclimation... for biz>

Thanks, and have a good evening
<Off to cook, serve at the Green Flash HHH. B>
Re: Shipped fish    3/25/15
Roughly 17 organisms.
<Wow! That's a BUNCH>
70 lbs worth of water, including a few big Angels (6 inches or so)
<... do you have room for all this?>
a few bigger tangs, a few large sponges and a ten inch stop light parrot fish.
<.... a poor choice. Viride's of this size rarely adapt>

All fish with exception of two acting strange came in beautiful.
(Ps this guy, who seems very honest, said with his ups discount, shipped this order for 340 overnight. But his flat rate shipping of 40 is what saves the consumer) I could never justify 340 in the fish let along just the shipping.
I highly recommend this guy ( foxy tropicals ) for anyone looking for Caribbean specific fish.
<Ah, good>
I read that gorilla article a long time ago, couldn't find it today so that is why I asked.
<Use the search tool, indices... Guerilla...>
I see some people advocate bag floating for temp acclimating, and dropping fish in, no dripping. This seems in attempt to not arouse ammonia with rising ph.
<No.... read>
What is the green flash? Jersey guy here who doesn't make it out much.
<A local brewery; the Hash House Harriers... we have a monthly run there>
Thanks again for all you do.
<Cheers (and the reading as usual) B>
Re: Shipped fish
Good morning,
To answer some of the questions and make a few points:
1. Do I have room for all these organisms? No, some of these fish, went to the guy who bought my last tank. I myself have two big tanks for the bigger fish I ordered.
2. When looking for that acclimating article, I typed "gorilla" acclimation. Forgot about the other spelling for it.
3. The parrot, when speaking with this diver, said once they stop feeding, it's hard to keep them. But getting direct from ocean, with minimal airport and facility stops, he says improves your chances. We shall see I suppose, I can tell you he started pounding algae, krill and clams within 6 hours hitting my tank.
<.... Sparisoma... see WWM re...>

4 I spoke with this guy about the two who have yet to improve (black angel, atl blue tang) he said if they don't make it, he will replace them no problem.
<Fair of him>
Not a whole lot is said about what a parrot should actually eat as a staple once they are eating. Most places warn to stay away, any guidance would be appreciated.
<NLSpectrum pellets, large/r size, sinking.... and the reading>
And lastly, of all the fish I bought, my favorite is the 20 dollar pork fish (Anisotremus virginicus).
<A neat, and beautiful species... And good to eat>
Neat, confident personality, typical aggressive water column feeding and nice colors too.
<Best in a small group in a large system>
I think my days of the 200 dollar tusk fish, and 200 dollar achilles tangs are behind me.
Thank you
Re: Shipped fish
Hey Bob.
Came home from work to see the atl blue tank succumb. He was on bottom, and looked as if someone dipped acid on his body, welts, discoloration and just overall ugliness on the body. Sorta like someone used paint removed on a car.
Does that sound about right to ammonia toxicity?
Instead of getting another one, I may opt to use the credit towards something else. Perhaps a blue hamlet , some high hats or a few small grunts.
Seems to me like the atl blue tang doesn't ship well.

Thanks, Bob
Re: Shipped fish     4/2/15

Hey Bob-
Just a follow up, placed another order in to same diver in the keys. 14 fish, one loss, all looks great and ate within 24 hours.
<Good service and survival rate>
For the price of shipping (40 to your door) I am upset I didn't know about this years ago.
<Mmm; not for everyone....>

The one downside is having a Caribbean biotype tank, however for the cost, and more importantly, healthy fish, seems to be a very good resource to have.

Fish questions. Buying marines from collectors direct       3/17/15
hey Bob,
I have been looking for better, more cost effective ways to fill my tank.

Knowing wholesale places such as quality marine or seacrest <Segrest> farms won't sell to me, without fish business, I found a diver out of the Florida keys, who does wholesale and hobbyist like myself.
<Mmm.... there are downsides; expenses... >
He has a surgeon fish, Acan. Bahianus, as well as the Atlantic blue tang.
I have read your article on tanga, but wanted to see what I am doing is crazy. To me, I would think it's better to get fish right from source, diver, rather than go from source, wholesaler, pet store than me.
<Not necessarily; no>
Is it too good to be true, should I expect an abysmal mortality rate?
<Can't say; likely variable>
I plan on getting these fish in next week, qt with Prazi and Cupramine two weeks, and directly into my display.
I suppose I am asking because why aren't more people doing this?
<It's not cost nor time-effective mostly>

I guess Caribbean species don't appeal to everyone? I have always like the two tangs from there.
Any input, evaluation in my craziness would be appreciated.
<Try it and see... the same as all types of businesses that utilize "distribution" by other parties; there are costs to be born... "You can get around distributors; but you can't get around the cost of distribution". As my former boss, Larry Asselin told me at PetCo. BobF>
Re: Fish questions      3/17/15

Ah, yes he fine print.
<... the net landed cost>
Well From what I have found in speaking with this gentlemen, a large gray angel runs $45. (Lfs runs $120) an Atlantic blue , is $38, in store for about $80.
<.... plus shipping, bagging/boxing.... your time waiting, picking up....>
Of course those two alone wouldn't offset shipping cost (between 60 to 80 to local airport.) but if I chose a few others, I would think I'm still ahead.
<.... what re not seeing the livestock till you get it? Incidental losses?>

In speaking with this distributor/catcher, he sells a lot of fish to California wholesalers. That means florida, to Cali, back to east coast to me on New Jersey, cost aside I would think there's a lot less stress involved.
Never mind, where my local guy does get in good fish, but then places them in same tank as fish from Philippines, etc.
Boggles my mind, doesn't add up, would think this is a no brainier...hey Bob doesn't all this make you want to start another fowlr of your own?!?!
Thank you
Oh and the name of business in keys is toms Caribbean tropicals.
<Don't know them>
And is that Acan. Bahianus and Atlantic blue tang good fish in long run?'I like the look of Caribbean fish, I suppose since that's the only place I have dived, I am bias.
<Please run your writing through grammar/spelling check before sending. B>

Cold Shipping Water -- 1/8/10
Yesterday I received a package of 4 frags. They were as follows: Acropora valida, Montipora capricornis, Seriatopora stellata, and Acropora tenuis. When the package came in, the water was very cold. I would say somewhere along the lines of grabbing a glass of ice water. I do not know the exact temperature of the water as my thermometer only reads to 66 but I do know that it was less than that and if I had to guess I would say the temp. was in the 40's. Would this low of a temp. kill these corals overnight?
<It certainly can, it is extremely stressful to them.>
It seems to me that this would obviously kill them but I need a second opinion. The Montipora is in bad shape, the center of it has about a nickle sized circle that was mucus and bleached out overnight. The has flesh just peeling of it about half way up. However, The looks perfect, nice and pink and the polyps were even opened up today. The jury is still out on the , it hasn't lost any of its flesh but it is brown and no polyp
extension yet. Thanks in advance, Terrence.
<I would take photos to document progression if you can, check the guarantee policy from the place they were ordered and contact them ASAP. A reputable shipper will pack these insulated, even with heat packs depending
on where they are going this time of year. It has been a fairly cold week nationwide, these should have been packed accordingly. Welcome, best of luck here, Scott V.>

Etailers-VS-LFS 4/16/09
Hey guys--
<And gals!>
I'm an employee at a LFS,
<Glutton for punishment?.>
and a reefer FANATIC.
<Heehee! Me too!>
I have 3 thriving reef tanks--an SPS, a softy/LPS and an anemone biotope.
<Ahh, I like!>
I've always had good experiences with your staff,
<Glad to hear.>
but something really rubbed me wrong when perusing the FAQs today.
I read how one (at least, maybe more) crew member recommends online retailers over your local LFS.
<Each crew member is entitled to their own opinions and are free to express them here.>
While I understand frustrations with under-educated employees,
<Oh yes, can't tell you how many times I hear things and cringe.>
a good LFS can be a FANTASTIC resource.
<I would whole-heartedly agree and hopefully the hobbyist has one at their disposal. My closest is nearly an hour away.>
I spend hours daily detailing the intricate chemistry of the closed system marine system and the delicate balance of the animals we keep. Your crew frequently chastises LFS's for perpetuating the import of
specimens doomed to die,
<Yes, and I am in agreement here, but understand that the LFS is often at the mercy of the livestock supplier and much is out of the control of the LFS.>
but you rarely praise those of us who pick only hardy, healthy specimens who are likely to thrive in captivity.
<Likely due to the expectation here, that the LFS would chose to sell healthy specimens likely to fair well in captivity.>
I feel lucky to be able to personally monitor the sale of these amazing animals and never sell an animal to a person who I believe will be unable to keep it.
<You are to be commended. I know this is not always easy.>
You cannot say the same for any online retailer.
<No you can't.>
So, before you send people off on their own, give them a chance to find those of us who are really
<I am in agreement here.>
Local reefing forums are a great resource for asking about the best retailers in town.
Thanks guys, and stay gold. I answer a lot of the same questions you loathe, and I know what dedication it takes to not get too jaded...
<Can be taxing at times, but is for the betterment of all.>

Online fish retailers  12/30/08 Hi there! <Hello Nick, Minh at your service.> I've got some questions about buying fish online. I currently buy from couple local retailers every now and then, but they really don't have much to offer & the fish aren't that healthy. However, when I look at some of the major names online like Liveaquaria and Petsolutions I see that they have flat rate shipping fees of $35! Are there any reliable online retailers that offer free shipping for certain order amounts or that have shipping fees more along the lines of, say, $10-$15? <With various shipping carriers now offering very affordable and reliable expedited shipping options, the deals in shipping and live goods are abundant with many companies. However, when dealing with online purchases of livestock, one must be careful in selecting a reputable company. Discounts in shipping and livestock costs that are usually too good to be true, usually are too good to be true. As a consumer, you will have to weigh several factors. First, consider that discounts given in shipping/handling costs may result in poor or improper packaging. For example, companies may try to save money in shipping weight by using less water or heat packs during the winter or cold packs during the summer. Any of these cost saving measures will induce stress on the specimen and increase the likely hood of DOA (dead on arrival). Also, when considering the cost of the actual specimen, higher cost may not always translate to higher quality but it is usually the case in my experience particularly in captive raised or aquacultured specimens. In short, please be careful of any enticing deals that may be too good to be true. If shipping and handling cost is a concern, perhaps you can get with a local aquarium club to organize a group-buy to either split the shipping charge or get enough orders in to qualify for a shipping discount. Some clubs can be found here: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=80. Here is a short list of some aquarium ecommerce companies that have provided great customer service and products for me in the past: -Drs. Foster Smith/Live Aquaria (http://www.liveaquaria.com/)  -Dr. Mac/Pacific East Aquaculture (http://www.pacificeastaquaculture.com/) -Saltwaterfish.com (http://www.saltwaterfish.com/)> Thanks, Nick <You're welcome. Cheers, Minh Huynh>

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