Buying Fish Online

Jrobber

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I have never purchased fish online, but I am thinking I might have better luck getting healthier fish and be able to choose different varieties. To those that have ordered fish online, do you have good luck with it?

I don't have a quarantine tank, and I would acclimate the fish as soon as I received them, but is it best to have a quarantine tank if ordering online? I am just curious about this seeing how the fish maybe pretty stressed from shipping?
 

FredBjammin

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I've never ordered fish on line either, but you raise a very good question, i.e. How do fish stores get bad fish in the first place, do they receive them that way?

I would think a cycled quarantine tank would always be a good idea.

Does anyone in this forum work for a pet store, that could answer this question?
 
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Jrobber

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My LFS worker told me they get the majority of their Angelfish from a breeder in Arkansas and they have to order at least 100 to get them. Makes me wonder what the condition these fish arrive in.
 

Meenu

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No matter what the source of your stock, quarantining is always best. If you don't, you risk wiping out your entire tank because of a sick fish.
 
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Jrobber

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What if you don't have a quarantine tank at the moment, would I ne better off buying fish locally?
 

FredBjammin

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It would be nice if these online sellers had a rating system for fish health. I know a lot of them say that they are guaranteed, but that doesn't help us out if a one sick fish kills off half of our tank.

Yeah, you might want to hold off until you get a quarantine tank
 

Meenu

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Local or shipped, you still want to quarantine. I know my LFS doesn't quarantine - fish are available for sale the same day the store gets them in, or the next day.

There are a couple of links for easy and cheap q-tank setup. Let me find them for you.

edit: Here, I've asked before - there are links in this thread
 

harpua2002

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FredBjammin said:
I've never ordered fish on line either, but you raise a very good question, i.e. How do fish stores get bad fish in the first place, do they receive them that way?

I would think a cycled quarantine tank would always be a good idea.

Does anyone in this forum work for a pet store, that could answer this question?
Generally, yes. A shop can do everything right as far as water quality, diet, etc., and still get terribly unhealthy fish from a supplier. I've seen this many times and am doing my best to avoid it myself.

josh11551 said:
Whisper owns a pet store let's see if I can't send her over
So do I, now.
My fish for sale have been in QT for a month now.
 

FredBjammin

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At Meenu: I know this a bit off topic. But I've always have had a cycle quarantine tank because started with a 10G, then moved to a 29G and 40G. So I have 2 cycled tanks that I can use for quarantine. But if someone needed to set a new quarantine tank, what would be the quickiest way to cycle it?
 

Meenu

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Keeping an extra filter running on one of your regular tanks is the best move. That way, you just transfer the filter over for the Q tank.

There has been some talk on here about using Nutrafin Cycle in a Q tank. Nobody on this site recommends cycling with that product, as it doesn't really work properly to let your tank complete the cycle. However, the theory behind this is that you could use Cycle in a temporary situation where you don't care about getting the tank cycled. You'd use it to keep the ammonia and nitrites from hurting the new fish until they are added to the main tank, and then break down your Q tank and put it away until next time. I haven't read where anyone has actually tried this yet, though. I think we've mainly just talked about it. Next time I add fish, I will probably try it.

Long response, sorry.
 

Betta Whisperer

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All the fish in my store are ones that I breed myself. I don't import any. But with that said I would definitely quarintine any that you get on line or in a LFS.
 

FredBjammin

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So in thoery, I don't need to keep Q tank running all the time, I would just have to raise the water temp, test the water and start up the filters when ever I would need to use it?

Let us know when you try this, please. It might save me some energy cost.
 

Meenu

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I'm not adding any new fish for at least a month.

In theory, you'd be able to set up the Q with the heater and filter, add the new fish and some Cycle (it introduces a terrestrial bacteria to the tank that processes toxins, but it dies off). You'd do water changes in the Q tank every few days, and add Cycle each time to keep the toxins processed. Cycle won't allow your regular tank to complete the nitrogen cycle, and when you stop using it, the tank can crash. However, in the Q tank, you wouldn't care about that.

I don't know if I am explaining this well enough to make sense. And Jrobber, if this is too off-topic, let me know and we'll move the discussion elsewhere - I just thought you'd want to see these answers too.
 

Meenu

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Hmm... before you guys really start listening to me, I guess I should give you my disclaimer: I don't have a Q-tank yet. Haven't needed one before. The information I am providing is based on research, not experience. Please don't send thugs or gangstas after me if it doesn't work out for you.
 

Jaysee

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FredBjammin said:
At Meenu: I know this a bit off topic. But I've always have had a cycle quarantine tank because started with a 10G, then moved to a 29G and 40G. So I have 2 cycled tanks that I can use for quarantine. But if someone needed to set a new quarantine tank, what would be the quickiest way to cycle it?
The quickest way to cycle a quarantine tank that is not continuously running is to have a sponge filter running in your existing tank. That way, all you need to do is fill the tank up with water, add the sponge filter and add the fish. The cycle will be immediate.
 

FredBjammin

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Jrobber said:
What if you don't have a quarantine tank at the moment, would I ne better off buying fish locally?
Sorry if we hijacked your question. Everyone here is going to tell you to quarintine your fish. If you buy local, look at the tanks in the fish store, if you see one sick looking fish, don't buy out of that tank. This might minumize your losses, but is still not safe unless quarintine your fish.

I have not quarintine twice, the first time was with 2 female swordtails (looked like a healthy tank) and I ended up losing 4 fish all togather. 2nd time I bought 2 weather loaches to help with my snails problem and that was on monday, so far, so good.

Like my driving school instructer said 12 years ago "Don't drink and drive, but if you do, eat a large meal first".
 

midthought

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This is all highly off-topic from the original post, so I hope it's okay by the OP...

What I did with my quarantine tank that I'm running right now for my female betta is I moved some of the ceramic cylinders (biological filter media) from my 29 gallon tank's filter into the QT filter. I also moved some river stones. The stones don't even fully cover the bottom of the tank, so for the most part it's still bare bottom. I used fresh water, treated with Prime, to fill it up.

I literally set up the QT while my new fish acclimated to the warm temps of another tank. Then when everything was ready in the QT, I acclimated the fish to the QT, slowly adding the water to her bag over the course of maybe an hour. Then I eventually let her out into the tank.

I'm monitoring the Q tank but everything seems fine bioload-wise. No ammonia or nitrite spikes and I *just* did a test. Also going to note that my betta buy was slightly impulsive. If I knew that fish was coming in the mail, I'd have my QT set up earlier to let it establish for a little bit (and I would feed it pure ammonia if I set it up too early, so that the bacteria don't die off without a source of food).

One note on Nutrafin Cycle. I've heard it around these forums (I'm not sure about elsewhere really) that the bacteria aren't the right kind of bacteria and hence they work short term but not long term. I used Nutrafin to set up a different tank (not my 29g) a couple months back and it's been stable since. It didn't crash when I stopped using Cycle, though there are others on this forum who experienced differently. I can't say whether the bacteria are wrong or whether some bottles are duds or whether the patent is different now than it was a year ago, but the consensus appears to simply be that Cycle doesn't work as reliably as you might like. Use at your own risk.

And to get back to the topic, all fish regardless of origin should be quarantined before being introduced to a tank with other fish. And even if that fish were fine at the place it was at (say, a perfectly nice breeder in Kansas), it might be stressed or even injured en route to wherever you are. It may not pick up ich or a random parasite, but that doesn't mean it won't develop a latent disease like columnaris or something else.
 

Meenu

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FredBjammin said:
Like my driving school instructer said 12 years ago "Don't drink and drive, but if you do, eat a large meal first".
This makes me realize that I am grateful I don't have to handle DWIs at work anymore.

Back to the original question... if it is a trusted seller, I don't know that local vs. online will matter much in the quality of the fish. However, buying from a breeder probably makes a huge difference.
 

midthought

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Meenu said:
This makes me realize that I am grateful I don't have to handle DWIs at work anymore.
Wow, I hadn't even seen that line. :shock:

Meenu said:
Back to the original question... if it is a trusted seller, I don't know that local vs. online will matter much in the quality of the fish. However, buying from a breeder probably makes a huge difference.
+1
 

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