How many of you order fish over the internet?

plebian

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Seems expensive and only worth it if you are buying fish in large groups?
It depends. In my case it's a four hour drive to the nearest LFS. I can place an online order and expect delivery the following day for a very small shipping fee. Totally worth it.

It also depends on the quality of your local LFS. There are few I would trust with providing healthy, disease free, high-quality specimens. Depending on where you live, you may only have one LFS. Online, you can pick and choose from dozens.

Doing some research with respect to the seller's reputation is of course essential. On the other hand, if you're one of the lucky ones with an excellent LFS that provides a good selection of quality fish, there's absolutely no benefit to purchasing online.
 

Crispii

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On the other hand, if you're one of the lucky ones with an excellent LFS that provides a good selection of quality fish, there's absolutely no benefit to purchasing online.
Unless you want a specific fish and your LFS can't source them. I'm one of those lucky people who have excellent LFS that is literally a 10-minute drive. My LFS is one of those fish stores that can source a lot of uncommon and/or rare fish in the hobby. However, I have been constantly asking my LFS to get certain species of killifish species for me. Of course, they couldn't source any for me and I've seen the ones I wanted on online sources. Instead of waiting for my LFS to get them, I decided to jump in and buy the fish online.
 

jaylach

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Dan's Fish
is also a great on-line source that gets all their fish (as I understand) from private breeders. Again not cheap but I am fortunate in that their warehouse is right next to my apartments so I don't have to pay any shipping charges.

If you intend to add any live plants
is a good source from which I got all my plants and wood. On the downside I will say that I did have some pond/bladder snails hitch a ride on some plants but since some of my fish eat snails it wasn't an issue.

There is also a member here that sells and ships plants but I'm drawing a blank on who it is... Ah, I remember. It is @connorlindeman
 

GaryE

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It's a free market, so expect problems. It's really important to get info on who you can trust in online fish buying. A lot of sellers have pretty poor sources for stock. If I were in the US, the ones referenced above are good ones who have built reputations.

I went to see a Canadian online seller this Wednesday, and was impressed. He had a bunch of Corydoras not on the list because numbers had dropped with sales or he didn't have photos yet, but they were healthy and fairly priced. It is always better when you can see the fish and evaluate how healthy they are.

I buy online when I can't get the fish I want locally.
 

jaylach

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Oh, here is an outfit that I actually did the shipping and everything but only one fish, my rope. The packaging was quite good with my rope fish arriving in a large water bag within a styrofoam cooler for insulation. Sadly Dan's Fish didn't have any in stock so I had to pay the high shipping.

Again, not cheap! My rope fish cost ~$26.00 but the shipping was ~$50.00. Quite often shipping can be higher than the cost of the actual fish but NEVER trust an outfit that will ship in any other way than next day air.

 

GaryE

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Within Canada, in season, a lot of companies use the bus lines for quick overnight shipping. It's good for sellers within 5-6 hours of you, or in the same bus company served region. It runs about 1/3 the cost of airport to airport. You drive to the depot.
With overmight air, you have to be close enough to the airport to drive to it. That, for a standard fish box, is a hair over $100. I'm talking 4 or 5 species - expensive. To go by private courrier, next day, add $70 to the airline cost.

Fish costs have shot up because transport from the place of origin can have quadrupled in some cases. The problem is that fish of interest land in large centres, and if like me you live in a smaller place, you had better be prepared to spend or drive.
 

wasmewasntit

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I buy my fish online all the time. I have, in the past made the mistake of buying from appeared to be a reputable firm and the fish (along with my bank balance) suffered fatally.

I now have two suppliers who I have stuck with for several years and have had no issues with.

After learning the hard way, I chose my supplier very carefully by asking pertinent questions and requesting details such as date stamped photo's of their holding/breeding facility/aquariums, asking for copies of their local authority licence, their transportation details (both for any imported/wild caught fish and their shipping firm to customer). I asked about bloodlines in their breeding stock and their procedures regarding a specific species exhibiting a health issue - do they still sell them or withdraw them...and other awkward questions like that

The two I use had no issues in being totally open about themselves, sent copies by email of various photos and documentation...ALL of which can be easily verified by contacting their licencing authority.

People might say that it is a very faffy way of doing things...but as I see it, a good livestock supplier will be only too happy to tell you everything about themselves and their practices. Only those with something to hide will be hesitant to answer questions or provide proof that they sell and breed and transport fish humanely.

When buying livestock online never be afraid to ask pertinent questions about the fish, how they have been bred, how they were transported to them and how they intend transporting them to you....and ask for copies of their licences too so that you know they are legally legitimate. I would do that with eBay sellers as well as the online LFS. You can never be too careful.

If the seller or LFS is hesitant or skirts around answering questions or flatly refuses, then go find someone else.
 

GaryE

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@wasmewasntit Just a point - the original poster is in the USA, and there is no licensing or regulation there, to my knowledge. In the UK, you can ask for the info you did. Sellers have a degree of accountability. In the US, it's buyer beware and the only reliable sources you can ask are friends.
 

jaylach

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@wasmewasntit Just a point - the original poster is in the USA, and there is no licensing or regulation there, to my knowledge. In the UK, you can ask for the info you did. Sellers have a degree of accountability. In the US, it's buyer beware and the only reliable sources you can ask are friends.
I would say that it still applies in the U.S. as a good supplier will freely give info no matter what country. If they were not open and acceptable as to questions I would not deal. For instance the place I get my plants and wood on-line. The rep I deal with and I communicate fairly often via email and just chat about fish and plants. He has actually ordered some Panda Garras for his wife as part of a Christmas giving on my description and recommendations. We don't even go through the site to communicate as he admitted to missing some and he sent me his direct personal email address. This is a person that I will deal with as it is obvious that he cares about what he is doing and his customers.

There are good and bad sellers no matter where you live. Most that have a bad experience totally blame the seller refusing any responsibility but that puts part of the problem on the buyer. Did the buyer look for negative reviews? I don't mean reviews on the seller's site as these can be manipulated. I mean looking for reviews from an independent site. Before I buy anything on-line I do a search on the seller as to reviews I seldom look at the 4-5 star reviews as they mean nothing other than the product worked. I pay attention to 1-2 star reviews as I want to know where people have had issues.
 

TwoTankAmin

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Almost every fish I have has come from one of several sources which meant they were shipped to me.
1. I have bought fish from breeders.
2. I have bough fish from wholesalers.
3. I have bought fish that I worked with others to import.
4. I have only bought a very few fish from retail brick and mortar stores.
5. I breed some species and do keep some of them for myself or use them to trade for things I want.

As noted above shipping is expensive. And the truth is we do not pay to ship fish, we mostly pay to ship the water they must be in to stay alive. So when it comes to buying fish delivered to us there are really two issues. The quality of the fish and the skill of the shipper to insure the fish are likely to arrive alive.

I can also say that over the last 22+ years I have seen almost no retail locations from which I would buy fish. This nyumber is not 0, but it is low. But my situation is somewhat different than the average hobbyist. I have 20 -30 tanks running and can buy fish in qualntity. When I wanted cardinal tetas in a 75 gal., I bought 65 not 6. This means i paid a lot less. When I got my first tank, this was not possible to do.

Perhaps the most important consideration in acquiring new fish it their health. Here is how I put it. One live healthy fish is worth at least 3 DOAs. If you have a quality fish store within an hour or two drive, shop there. When you cannot get what you want from a store, look online. Perhaps one of the best ways to connect to good sources for new fish is if you have a local aquarium club you can join. You will instantly become connected to some very good sources of fish as well and good information about where fo find them. There are always members who are breeding a variety of things.
 
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GaryE

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I picked up 3 Corydoras species when I visited the seller. I could have gotten 6, but I needed to see how they stood up to his packing and shipping skills. He prepped them for a long trip, and they were 30 hours in the bag. He passed the test. I'll buy again.

A lot of online sellers buy from the same cost cutting farms the chains do, so you are not ahead. The fish arrive in the country and are sold to various buyers. The online seller has lower overhead, and may be cheaper, but it isn't necessarily the stores that cause the health problems.

I will never put a fish from a Petchain, or walmart, or any mass selling chain in my tanks. Disease is too expensive to cure, when it even can be cured. The one and only reason I checked out the guy I bought from this week is he claimed to buy only from the source countries for the species. Peruvian fish came from Peru, not Malaysia.
 

The603

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The my LFS's in my area really don't have much to pick from. I also was very leery about ordering livestock online.

I have ordered fish from Aqua Huna twice, both times I placed the order on Saturday, my card was charged on Sunday, they were shipped on Monday and at my home on the east coast on Wednesday. They were well packaged in a small Styrofoam container, with a heat pack that was still warm.

All of the fish were alive and are doing fine to this day. This was my experience, and will order from them again as needed.
 

emeraldking

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I'm not a huge fan of ordering fish online, to be honest...
 

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