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Buying fish online

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Fish Addict
Feb 5, 2003
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London, UK
Having today received the first fish I have ever bought on-line I thought I'd start a thread so we can all exchange our experiences of purchasing fish on-line. One thing to remember - if you had a bad experience with a particular company be VERY careful what you post as we do not want to get the forum or the mods in any trouble. Don't post anything which could be considered libellous or offensive to any company as they tend not to like it!!

I purchased 2 Scarlet Badis and 3 Botia Striata from Tri-Mar in Cornwall last week (I was after the Badis and added the Botias to make up the numbers :) ). They have a web site here with recent stock list, but they do not take orders on-line. I phoned up to place my order and spoke to Paul who was very helpful. He took the details of what I required and made sure they were available then took delivery & card details. We discussed delivery and due to the proximity of the weekend we decided to wait until the beginning of the following week to avoid any risk of the fish getting stuck in a depot over the weekend.

The fish were packed and dispatched yesterday and arrived just before noon today. They were double-bagged with a good quantity of water and well surrounded by newpaper for insulation. This was all packed inside a polystyrene fish box with lots of 'Live Tropical Fish' warning labels on the outside. There was also a heat pack in there to make sure the fish didn't get too cold.

After unpacking I checked each bag and the fish inside seemed absolutely fine - exactly what I had ordered and they looked active and as happy as can be expected in a bag :) . They looked no different than fish I have bought home from LFS where they have only been in the bag for less than an hour. The water in each bag was obviously not up to full tank temperature but was still a lot warmer than ambient temp so the packaging, etc. had done its job.

I spent an hour acclimatising the fish before releasing them and they seemed very happy swimming off into my tank.

All in all I would have to give a big thumbs up to the service from Tri-Mar.

So come on, tell us of your experiences.

Cheers, Eddie
Sounds like you had a good experience Eddie... :thumbs:

Did you have to wait in for a morning/day to recieve delivery??

What were the costs like?

Personally I'd like to view what I'm buying first - if there is something specific that you want any good lfs should be able to locate it for you and they then take the risk on quality, shipping etc. jmho...


Yep, had to wait in for a before noon delivery - the worst part (other than the anticipation) was having to watch daytime TV :)

Costs were not too bad - £10 for delivery of up to 10Kg. As they do dry goods over the internet as well you can get quite a lot of stuff included in one package. The prices are not bad (compared with London anyway).

I agree that it is best to view the fish but sometimes you cannot get what you want from your LFS especially if you want something a bit rare. Also some LFS will charge you an arm and a leg to get specials in for you so ordering online can work out cheaper.

I will still buy the majority of fish in person but I think its worth discussing the pros and cons for buying online on the forum for the benefit of anyone who is considering it.

Thanks for the input :thumbs:

Cheers, Eddie
I've heard buying online can actually be less stressful for the fish as it cuts out the middleman ie the lfs, and reduces the time they have to spend in transit.

This sounds like it makes sense but does anyone know if this is true?
I've bought and sold several fish online without much trouble except for one incedent. The guy sent two fish out through regular mail and it took 4 days to get to me. Of course one was dead. He assured me he would send a replacement out for next day delivery and it took 3 days to arrive.
Most people want their fish to arrive healthy and do what they can to prevent d.o.a.'s. You just have to be careful who you deal with.

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