Tracking that package

GaryE

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10 days ago, I bought some Nothobranchius killie eggs, a group I haven't kept for ages whose eggs incubate for 3 to 5 months. So by mail, barring extreme heat or cold, they should be good.

They're coming from China, and tracking the package has been a travelogue. I feel like my eggs should be buying me tacky souvenirs at ever one of their 18 scan points so far. So many places I'll never see, all with exotic names. I know, probably all bland mailing centres with stressed out people under lousy lighting, just like here. They made it to an airport for international travel yesterday.

I hope they got me a t-shirt.
 

davros

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I guess if you were willing to pay those those thieves at dee-h-ell it would come pretty quick but at a co$t.
 

Rocky998

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10 days ago, I bought some Nothobranchius killie eggs, a group I haven't kept for ages whose eggs incubate for 3 to 5 months. So by mail, barring extreme heat or cold, they should be good.

They're coming from China, and tracking the package has been a travelogue. I feel like my eggs should be buying me tacky souvenirs at ever one of their 18 scan points so far. So many places I'll never see, all with exotic names. I know, probably all bland mailing centres with stressed out people under lousy lighting, just like here. They made it to an airport for international travel yesterday.

I hope they got me a t-shirt.
I would never order anything live across seas... Especially China lol...
 
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GaryE

GaryE

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This is my first egg order from China, but the guy has a great reputation and was a nice guy to deal with. Good sense of humour, and very honest answers to my questions. He's a serious hobbyist.

This can't come out right, but the only two places I won't buy from are Bulgaria (skilled breeders, but slow mail) and the US (packages don't get here). I have friends I trust absolutely in the US who have mailed me killie eggs, and the boxes have consistently vanished in transit. No sign, fell off the tracking - gone. Everything I order from Europe comes, and has come for many years without a problem. Most of my killies have come that way. Eastern Europe works really well.

The fish I generally like hatch in around two weeks, so I wouldn't order them from Asia. They really need to be here in a week or so. But these annuals take months to incubate, and are very odd fish. It's worth a try.

So 10 days to get on a mail plane. I'm thinking I should see these eggs at the end of the week. I hope. The less time they transit, the safer they are. I have never seen any of the species I bought, so I am looking forward to seeing what they look like, if they hatch and grow.

I've used courriers for multiple live pairs, and it has worked. But it is expensive, and the cost has shot up too high for me now. 2 years ago, I had great results working with a bunch of other hobbyists in France and here.
 

Colin_T

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The mail here is slower than snail mail now thanks to covid. It takes about 3-4 weeks to get a letter from town to my place and we're only 20km apart and in the same city.

There are also delays when processing any order from overseas and in particular China, again due to the pandemic.

We can't bring in fish eggs by post. They x-ray everything and have the sniffy dogs go over it. Then they take the package, open it by ripping the packaging to pieces and damage whatever is inside. Can't work out what the jelly blobs are so spray everything with poison. Then tape it all back up and deliver it to me 2 months later.

It's just as bad if you bring in rotifer cysts or daphnia eggs and they have an information pamphlet with them saying these are rotifer cysts/ eggs and only live in salt water. The commotion and bs associated with that was incredible. You would have thought I was smuggling nuclear weapons in. Everyone at the airport stops and lock down goes into effect. People looking at them and reading the paperwork. People calling their supervisors. Re-reading the paperwork. Asking questions about what are they. Then "we are going to confiscate them and destroy them". Three months later I get a phone call saying I can come and collect my rotifer cysts.

It's just as bad if we try to send eggs or fish out of the country. Vet certificates saying they are free of disease. Like most vets can tell if fish and eggs have a disease. Signed statutory declarations from you and numerous witnesses saying you have owned the fish for 10 generations. More stat decs saying the eggs are from those particular fish and you have again owned the fish for at least 10 generations. Then the airline needs documents to say the packages won't leak even tho they are triple bagged and put inside 2 big bags and that is in an esky that is sealed up. Then the couriers want paperwork done saying the bags won't leak and there is nothing dangerous in them. By the time you have done this you walk out the back, throw the paperwork in the air and shoot yourself in the head because the fish died of old age and you have to start again.
 
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GaryE

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I drool at some of the native fish of Australia, but getting to see them live is impossible for the reasons above.

In Canada, Customs will look at the packing, and refer to guidelines as to humane fish packing, if they even bother. I can bring fish in as long as I can prove I bought them. All I need is a bill from a pet store.
If I collect wild fish, I just need the permits from the country I caught them in, or to send them via an exporter in that country.

For eggs, I could technically get called, but I would only have to give the IUCN Red List conservation status and the fact they aren't listed for CITES. I respect the conservation laws and do my homework.

There's a list of forbidden fish with the ability to disrupt ecosystems here, but tropicals tend to die pretty fast in our waters, so things are a bit more relaxed. If some idiot releases tropical fish into waterways, Officer December tracks them down and kills them.
 

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I understand why people buy fish mail order and have them shipped. It is mostly to obtain fish that are unavailable locally and that may never be available locally. Yes, I get it , but I used to work in the air cargo shipping business and I saw how your precious packages are handled. Most of you would scream and break out in hives at the sight. I'm old school. I like to see what I'm getting before I fork out the cash. There's some Killifish I want and I can get them from Wisconsin. Wisconsin is one day by air from me and that's all the chance I care to gamble.
 
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GaryE

GaryE

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For any "ordinary", locally available fish, I would pay extra to buy it locally. Even a fish from a pet chain.

It's when your interest is out there a bit that mail order steps in. My last shipment of killies arrived with the side of the box crashed in, and several fish dead. When I buy eggs, they sometimes die in transit and leave me with a bag of nothing. But overall, I've found some real treasures. I rarelty buy a fish and just have it here. For me, you don't know much about a species in tanks til you've bred at least 2 generations. So anything I do buy online, if it survives, I get a lot of enjoyment out of keeping it.
 

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@GaryE says "you don't know much about a species in tanks til you've bred at least two generations".
He is absolutely right !
I have my Aplocheilus lineatus Golden Wonder Killifish in that way. I have the original pet shop acquired pair , fry from them and fry from those fry. You do see things you would not see like that. Little subtle things . Everyone should do this at least once with some fish. Pick one.
 

Rocky998

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@GaryE says "you don't know much about a species in tanks til you've bred at least two generations".
He is absolutely right !
I have my Aplocheilus lineatus Golden Wonder Killifish in that way. I have the original pet shop acquired pair , fry from them and fry from those fry. You do see things you would not see like that. Little subtle things . Everyone should do this at least once with some fish. Pick one.
What qualifies as a generation? Like batches of fry or let the fry grow up and get fry out of those fry?
 
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GaryE

GaryE

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I got a killie in 1992, and found out I probably had the last pair in captivity. I realized I had to learn fast, as these fish were new to me then.
For the first 3-4 years, I got at most 5 eggs per week. I got 37 males for every female. As I experimented, I figured out how to get slightly more females, and was able to distribute pairs in the hobby. This was before 9/11 when the US closed its borders to fish.
I moved to a different water source, and couldn't get males. I almost lost them. I did some reverse 'magic' and started getting enough males again.
Now I've moved again. The first generation here are one cm long and I'll know how they pan out in about 2 months. 30 years with one species, and they still puzzle me.


A new collection was brought back from the wild 2 years ago, after not having been found since 1989. The original habitats had been turned into palm oil plantations and the streams were gone. The collectors sent me photos of their wild caughts, and side by side with my fish - they were identical. I feel I was doing something right there, and that I have learned so much about fish breeding from that one species that I could still find them interesting in 300 years.
I could have bought them, looked at them for a couple of years, and moved on. I'm glad I didn't.
 

Naughts

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I got a killie in 1992, and found out I probably had the last pair in captivity. I realized I had to learn fast, as these fish were new to me then.
For the first 3-4 years, I got at most 5 eggs per week. I got 37 males for every female. As I experimented, I figured out how to get slightly more females, and was able to distribute pairs in the hobby. This was before 9/11 when the US closed its borders to fish.
I moved to a different water source, and couldn't get males. I almost lost them. I did some reverse 'magic' and started getting enough males again.
Now I've moved again. The first generation here are one cm long and I'll know how they pan out in about 2 months. 30 years with one species, and they still puzzle me.


A new collection was brought back from the wild 2 years ago, after not having been found since 1989. The original habitats had been turned into palm oil plantations and the streams were gone. The collectors sent me photos of their wild caughts, and side by side with my fish - they were identical. I feel I was doing something right there, and that I have learned so much about fish breeding from that one species that I could still find them interesting in 300 years.
I could have bought them, looked at them for a couple of years, and moved on. I'm glad I didn't.
That's amazing Gary!
Do you have photos? What is the species?
 

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