I haven't tried it yet personally but am thinking about it. Only problem I could see would be the shipping costs if you aren't buying in bulk because it will always be overnight shipping which is around $20-$30 average here in the states. Other than that I would almost think it would be better because you could buy direct from breeders(unless buying from a local breeder). This makes it a one time move from the breeder to you. When you buy from LFS's most of the time the fish are being transported 3-6 times before it get to your home. This causes an extreme amount of stress on the fish. Picture a place like Petco or Petsmart....First they order from a breeder in lets say Asia. Then it gets handled to an Asian exporter, then to a US shipper, then to a US importer, then to a distributor, THEN to the LFS, and then to you when you buy it. That's a lot of hands on your fish you just bought for $10 with a 24 hour guarantee(not sure what your stores give). But if ordered online from a breeder it goes from their tank to the shipper to your house. Cuts down on a lot of the middle man.
I guess all in all it comes down to whether or not you want to pay the high overnight cost.....jmho.
Well Known Member
Some sellers on Aquabid give you the option of overnight or express (or is it priority?) shipping but usually only give a live arrival guarantee for overnight. I've been told by a breeder that fish can live as long as 10 days if properly packed. And I'm sure it takes longer than one night to get the fish from Asia to the local Petsmart. So I kinda feel like the overnight shipping is a scam because it's not necessary but who wants to take the chance, y'know?
Lots of people buy online all the time. Aquabid sellers are often private breeders but there are LFS that sell there too. Then there are sites like liveaquaria and That Fish Place that people have a lot of luck with. But for every good seller or site, there are always bad ones. Doing a search here for a site to get reviews is a good place to start.
Well Known Member
More than 10 years
There is nothing wrong with ordering fish online. There are only a couple of things that come to mind for me. One you don't see what you are buying. I know most people put pictures of the fish they are selling but that isn't always the fish you get shipped to you. Not saying they will send a different species but the size may be off. Some people think 1.5" is really 3" and so on. If buying from a site that has feedback I would check that, just make sure the person has a good rep, that won't prevent all problems but it should help in picking who to buy from. And the second thing is you can get a lot of fish online that are not avaliable to you locally. Its a good source to pick up new fish that are not in your area. The shipping cost is the thing to look at, even if you have to drive 20 minutes to a store you usually don't go to, it would be worth the drive to get something locally than to pay a $30 shipping charge in my opinion.
I used to buy fish online a lot. Most of the time they would all get to me alive. The few times when they didn't was when it was smaller fish like a breeding pair of guppies I ordered for the color and fin pattern. Even then I only lost the male.
I usually check the local fish stores before I go online for fish though. In the case of Mosquito fish they are only really available online and I have only ever seen a handful of sites that even sell them. Online can be really great in that aspect. You can find rare/hard to find colors and species that most pet stores will never carry.