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please forward to the group ...shipping fishies
A beginners guide to sending fish to new homes in far away
2213 Prytania Circle
Navarre Fl 32566
Ok, OK you have done it .You have just collected the hidden,
secret spot of your favorite fish and shockingly have too
many excellent fish. Maybe you have done even better and
your favorite fish has spawned and you have fry coming out
your ears. Great , at first you panic then you dig out a
NANFA trading post and decide I want to send my fish to
Miss. Jones in Portland Oregon ! Sounds good so far. Miss.
Jones being a trusting sort sends you a box full of aquatic
plants that you have wanted for years. You are in heaven !
Suddenly you realize you have a problem you owe Miss. Jones
some fish but do not have the foggiest idea how to get them
to her ! Relax your friendly host (me) will walk you through
the whole thing.
You need to ship fish ? Well first off you need to get a box
and some bags. Here is the place where a friendly pet store
owner can make your life easier. Let's say you ask your
local pet store owner Hans "Sir, do you have any extra boxes
or bags I need to ship some fish". Hans looks at you in
disgust and says " Why do you need to ship fish, you don't
buy fish here so where did they come from? You are a bad
person get out of my store." So you slink away vowing never
to return. On your way home you get a brainstorm and stop at
the local Piggly Wiggly grocery store and purchase a box of
Glad freezer bags for $1.29. You notice CHEAP styro coolers
for $1.99 and snag one of those too.On your way out you talk
them into giving you a cardboard box that once held Pampers
diapers. OK , fine you are in business.
Or what if instead old Hans had said "Boxes ? You want Boxes
? Yeah I got a pile of them in the back help yourself and
buy something will ya? " So you do a purchase bags from him
at a nickel a piece and vow to buy all your hardware from
your new buddy Hans. Who by the way loves to collect, and
tries to talk you into taking him with him next time you go
(that is a different story though !).
So either way you heading home with the right stuff in your
car and fear in your heart about shipping those fish. You
wonder how can fish survive in this little box for a long
trip to Oregon. A tear wells up in your eye when you think
"I could be sending my babies to there DOOM , oh whoa is
me." Relax fish are not people and they can tolerate a box
very easily and with little stress.
You have picked your fish out and are ready to start packing
. First rule of packing is less water equals more fish !
that means put the absolute minimum amount of water in each
bag. Fish do not breath water they breath air. If your bag
is full of water and not air you will have a very heavy box
of stinky water arriving in Oregon and a very angry Miss.
Jones opening them. So put about an inch of water in each
bag sometimes more sometimes less depending on the size of
the fish. I like to put just enough to fully cover each fish
. Never any more. Then I blow the bags up to a squishy soft
consistency. If you blow them up too hard, the pressure
change while on an airplane can burst the bags open . Rule
number two is, more bags equals more fish. What this means
is it is far better to have 15 small bags with 1 fish in
them than two large bags with 8 fish in them. If a fish dies
you will limit the damage to his buddies if they are not in
the bag with him !
So now you have packed up these fish just so and have all
these cute little bags on the floor what now? Simple, place
them in the Styrofoam box and put a bit of newspaper in
there to cover any gaps and tape the box closed. I use 2
inch wide packing tape as it adds support to the box. Then
place the whole thing inside a suitably sized cardboard box
with a bit of newspaper to cover the gaps label it and write
live fish on the sides of this box. Tape it shut and you are
ready to go to the post office. Maybe Hans gave you a
cardboard and styro all in one if so skip a step and head to
the post office!
The post office you say ! Why not UPS, Fed Ex or one of the
other carriers? Because they often do not allow the shipping
of live animals and they are always more expensive. So you
lug your large ugly box up there all labeled up and the
postal clerk says " I am sorry but we can't ship LIVE fish
." You however have read this article and are prepared and
reply " M'am in the domestic mail manual section 124.632 it
states you can ship non venomous cold blooded animals via
the post office." "Oh "she says, looks it up and says "Never
mind !" and your fish are on their way. Wait you say, what
if I was shipping to another country, say London England is
that legal? You would recite the same sentence except add
".....the international mail manual states in section 139.1
that the shipment of non........" You get the picture.
Anyway she says oh and ask "how would you like it shipped?"
The correct answer is priority mail. Most packages are there
in 2 days and it is so cheap you can't beat it. So you cough
up about 10-12 dollars and head home and wait. The best
thing is next time you ship fish the postal employees will
all know you are the fish person and will be glad to help.
Two days later you get a call from Miss. Jones in Oregon
thanking you for your cool fish and all is well. You are
happy, your fish are happy and Miss. Jones is happy. Life is
good. I have used the same setup to send fish all around the
world with waits as long as 14 days with a higher that 80%
survival rate. So do not be afraid to ship fish , be afraid
of taxes , death , environmental apathy but not shipping
fish. Until next time good luck and good fishing.