So… why’s it???

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Magnum Man

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Tank of the Month 🏆
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Jun 21, 2023
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Southern MN
I just got this year’s shipment of Tilapia fingerlings… $100.00 worth (50 of them come in an air permeable bags with no air in the bag, and with this type of packaging, they can ship postal 3-4 day’s shipping… I could buy a $300-$400 dollar discus fish, and it’s coming in a conventional manner bag with air, and this needs next day shipping… why is the aquarium industry so far behind on packaging
This is the bag 50 Tilapia were shipped in, no air in the bag…
Fish are normally sent by air and air travel costs more per kilogram. The heavier the item, the more it costs to ship. Having bags of fish that have 1/4 water and 3/4 air reduces the weight so it costs less.

I thought you were breeding your own Tilapia?

I hope you quarantine the new arrivals so they don't introduce anything to your current stock.
I only ended up with one batch of fry, like 8 fish on their 1st batch, then the male killed the female… so I raised those 8, and since my outside tanks aren’t quite ready, I gifted those to a buddy, they ranged from 6 inches to 8 inches… coincidence or not, all that batch were females so I kept 1 male and one female again… the ones I have away both male and female, went to an ornamental pond… if they have babies by fall, I’ll get those back, and they’ll butcher the adults… I’ll be more prepared come this fall…

As far as the bags, both were domestic shipped just seems strange that the cheaper fish have the new bags
Breather bags? They're what I used to bring fish back from Africa. They cost much more, but that's relative. They work much better, and they reduce shipping costs.

Our hobby is conservative. In many ways, we're stuck somewhere around 1975.
THAT must be why my fish insist on wearing polyester leisure suits and listening to Captain and Tenille.
Hillstream loaches, eh? They aren't snazzy dressers.

In the 50s, Discus were called "Pompadour fish" because their head shape looked like the hairstyles of TV evangelists or rockabilly guys.

I'm dating myself, but the Captain and Tenille were on every record club ad, and I still haven't ever knowingly heard them. They just never made it north. There was another band, Flo and Eddie, that were equally mysterious. Based on their ads people wanted to buy their stuff, but it could have been anything to me. They got zero radio play.
Eventually, I made a point of listening to the Grateful Dead, another mystery band of the era, but they bored me. There are many different decades in every decade, I guess.
Muskrat Love and other hits were indeed north, perhaps did not penetrate the land of the Fleur-de -Lis
Thought I made a big mistake…
I put these lil fish in one of my Tilapia tanks, until I get the outside tanks ready for them… there is 2 Tidal 75’s on this tank.. next day, all the babies were gone… I thought they must have gotten sucked into the skimmer portion of these filters… but last night, I put 2 algae wafers in ( recommended food at this age ) and they slowly started coming out from behind the heaters, and from the corners the sponge filters are in, until they were swarming the algae wafers… there are 50 of them, and they are about an inch long right now..

I was pretty worried, that I had sucked them into the filters
Many fish cannot be shipped in breather bags, I would not be inclined to ship almost any fish that tends to gulp air from the surface in such a bag. I would not be incline to ship lathe fishor fish with sharp spines. Since I cannot remember receiving anything in a breather bag and have never used thenm to shio, I did tome searching and I found this slightly "poor"information on the Aquarium Co-Cop site.

Thgey suggest using 1/2 inch styro which is not adequate in colder weather, it is a way for me to insure DOAS. Next they did agree with what I wrote above:
Use regular fish bags if you are shipping betta fish that require some air in the bag or fish with spines that may puncture a breather bag. Fill two-thirds of the bag with water and the remaining one-third with air. Seal the first bag with a rubber band, and then slide it upside-down into a second fish bag. Seal the second bag with a rubber band.

There are ways to minimize puncture risk. One way is to wrap the inner bag of two with newspaper. If the inner bag punctures, the paper gets wet and helps by acting to block the leakage some. One can also use 3 mil bags for both inner and outer or even a 4th bag. The thicker the bag material, the harder it becomes to knot and rubber band tightly. More care is need when packing for bigger pointier fish.

Next, the most important thing in a not-breather bag of shipped fish is not the water, it is the air. The absolute minimum I want is 50/50, but I prefer to be closer top 2/3 air.

One of the biggest issues shipping fish is that release ammonia into the water whenever they inhale. According to the science I have read"
These numbers indicate that an oxygen molecule is heavier than a nitrogen molecule. Nevertheless, an O2 molecule has a smaller diameter and thus, a lower volume than an N2 molecule.

So, does ammonia pass out of a breather bag? I could not find out on the Kordon site where I did a search for the word ammonia. They say other gasses can pass in and out, but do not say which ones. But i do know that as the fish travel the ammoniaint the bag water (for normal bags) goes up. Normally this would harm or kill the fish but there are two things that prevent this, when I ship and when anybody ships.

Ammonia exists in two forms in water, Most of it will be ammonium and only a smaller part will be the very toxic ammonia. How much is in th toxic form depends on two factors, The main one is the pH of the water and the secnmd less improtant (but nior irrelevant) is the Temperature. The higher either of these two number are, the more of the ammonia will be in the toxic form. So why don't all fish dioe from ammonia poisoning in transits?

The answer is that the fish also exhale CO2. Co2 in water creates some acid which lower the pH of the water. So while the level of ammonia is increasing so it the CO2 which counteracts the ammonia. I have no idea what happens in this respect in a breather bag.

My number two trick is I add a piece of Poly-Filter to every bag. This absorbs nasties including ammonia and organic waste.
(above line added by edit)

Next, I see it written that in a normal bag with all the air the fish gets tossed about. Well if you have a fish in a breather bag in a box going 50 miles and hour and the driver hits the brakws hard, the fish are not just sitting in place. The get sloshed about asd well. Whe I ship all the bags are padded for the most part. I do not want the fish bumping into hard surfaces.

Kordon says:

n comparison - using the Kordon Breathing Bags allows for no sloshing and no stress. The Breathing Bags are sealed with as little air inside as possible. Ideally only water touches the inner surface of the bag. No air chamber of added oxygen means no slosh-zone and turbulant travel for the fish inside. You can test this by laying a filled Breathing Bag on a flat surface and allowing the fish to settle down. Picking up one edge of the bag - you can roll it until it is totally reversed - upside down - yet the fish inside will not move at all. No sloshing, no jiggling... no stress. Less stress equals less losses or injuries during shipping or transfer of live fish.

So if the FedEx. UPS or other transporter drops the box the fish are going to remain in place in the bag? If you bleive that, I have bridge I can sell you very cheaply.

While I have never shipped in breather bags, I would think these are best used when shipping smaller fish. ANd for sure there are many fish that shuold never be shipped in one.

The kordon site shows 3 bags sizes. "
Item No. 50201 - Breathing Bag™ 7" x 14" (full case is 2000 pieces)
Item No. 50202 - Breathing Bag™ 9" x 16" (full case is 2000 pieces)
Item No. 50203 - Breathing Bag™ 12" x 19" (full case is 1250 pieces)

When I began shipping fish it was small bnristlenose pecos and that soon became 1.5 zebra plecos. The zebras at $1560 each back when were always individualoy bagged. I use 4 inh wide by about 12 inch long (when closed up) bags. No way that would make sence in a bag 7 x 14 inhces. Heavier and bigger than needed. I might ship several guppies, tetras etc. in a breather that size but not a single smaller pleco.

Finally, I shipped a bag of 6 bristlenose plecos in traditional bags. I am 35 miles NNE of New York City and the box was sent to Alaska in early April via USPS Express. The box was dropped at the PO early afternoon Monday and got delayed and it did not arrive in Alaska unti; Friday late afternoon. All the fish arrived alive and OK.

I am completely OK shipping using traditional as opposed to breather bags. However, I am not saying that one should never use such bags, They make sense for some folks for specific applications. But that is like evrything else in the hobby, very few universals and plenty of different ways to do things that are perfectly fine in some cases and not in others.

I do wonder about one thing. Nobody is perfect and sometime bags can tear or have a defect. I assume not 100% of breather bags will experience this now and then. But with just a single bag, wont this mean dead fish?

(edited for line added by edit noted above and for typos and spelling)
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