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cardinal tetra shipment

I used to work in a wholesale business for ornamental fish.
Cardinals arrived in bags of  200 in  about 3 gallons of water. Out of a
shipment of 10 bags about 3 or 4 bags would have nothing but dead fish and
smell terribly when opening bag ,  another 2 or 3 bags would have less than
half alive and a few bags with minimal losses. I estimated the total loss
upon arrival higher than 50 % . Once in the large distributor holding tank
the veterinarian of the business took over, the fish were acclimated and
only a few extra fish would die.
The rest survives. Some of  the purchasing pet stores suffered heavy losses
at their stores. Our vet contributed that to bad water quality and stress
at pet stores. The wholesaler does not sustain heavy losses on the fish he
received in reasonable conditions.
Pet stores with good water practices never complained.
Transfer times and customs are the main killer. I used to get the fish from
the airport and when unlucky the custom duties or just the waiting line was
so long  that more fish would die in transit. It even took bribes at
certain borders to get the fish across Europe. ( you have to know the
fishgeek among customs people and leave a nice easy to grab  bag standing
on top of all packed fish)  Fortunately transport of goods in Europe is not
subject to border checks anymore and transport times have significantly
reduced since the nineties. 200 fish in 3 gallons does not last long, but
it seems the best solution financially. ( Water is expensive stuff to carry
by airfreight!

suisoman Dirk