Questions about shipping larger quantities of fish

ProudPapa

Fishlore VIP
Hello,

It looks like I'm going to be shipping 50 or so guppies. I've never shipped fish in anywhere close to this quantity before, so I would appreciate any advice from someone who has experience with it.
  • I'm looking at buying some 9" x 15", 9" x 18", or 10" x 20" bags from Amazon. Do either of these sound about right?
  • How many fish should I put in each (assuming USPS Priority mail, so shipping time should be around 72 hours)?
  • Should I pack them in water from the tank they come from, or fresh water from the faucet?
I may have more questions later, but these are all I can think of right now.
 

NearMeBettas

Well Known
Hello,

It looks like I'm going to be shipping 50 or so guppies. I've never shipped fish in anywhere close to this quantity before, so I would appreciate any advice from someone who has experience with it.
  • I'm looking at buying some 9" x 15", 9" x 18", or 10" x 20" bags from Amazon. Do either of these sound about right?
  • How many fish should I put in each (assuming USPS Priority mail, so shipping time should be around 72 hours)?
  • Should I pack them in water from the tank they come from, or fresh water from the faucet?
I may have more questions later, but these are all I can think of right now.
I would go for the 10" by 20" bags and double or triple bag them to prevent leakage.

One-third water and two-thirds air.

You could split the guppies into 3 or 4 groups and put in 3-4 different bags.

You will want to fast them for 2 days before shipping to prevent waste build-up in the bag.

When I ship, I do 50% aquarium water and 50% dechlorinated if needed fresh faucet water.

You can add some Indian almond leaves and stress coat to the water.

If possible, put a nice clump of a plant in each bag such as guppy grass, hornwort, or water weed to reduce stress and clean the water.

Shipping will cost more due to the weight as you may already be aware.
 
OP
ProudPapa

ProudPapa

Fishlore VIP
I would go for the 10" by 20" bags and double or triple bag them to prevent leakage.

One-third water and two-thirds air.

You could split the guppies into 3 or 4 groups and put in 3-4 different bags.

You will want to fast them for 2 days before shipping to prevent waste build-up in the bag.

When I ship, I do 50% aquarium water and 50% dechlorinated if needed fresh faucet water.

You can add some Indian almond leaves and stress coat to the water.

If possible, put a nice clump of a plant in each bag such as guppy grass, hornwort, or water weed to reduce stress and clean the water.

Shipping will cost more due to the weight as you may already be aware.

Thanks. That's a big help. I will get some stress coat, and I have plenty of guppy grass and pearl weed, so the plants won't be a problem.

So do you think three bags, with roughly 18 in each, would be okay? They're juveniles, not adults, if it matters.
 

NearMeBettas

Well Known
Thanks. That's a big help. I will get some stress coat, and I have plenty of guppy grass and pearl weed, so the plants won't be a problem.

So do you think three bags, with roughly 18 in each, would be okay? They're juveniles, not adults, if it matters.
Oh ya, those bags will work. It does matter because they are a bit smaller. Less bioload in the bags.

Also, I would ship them out on a Monday so they get there before the weekend. Sense Covid, they have gotten noticeably worse at getting there swiftly so it normally takes 3-4 days (USPS at least).
 
OP
ProudPapa

ProudPapa

Fishlore VIP
Oh ya, those bags will work. It does matter because they are a bit smaller. Less bioload in the bags.

Also, I would ship them out on a Monday so they get there before the weekend. Sense Covid, they have gotten noticeably worse at getting there swiftly so it normally takes 3-4 days (USPS at least).

I will try to ship on Monday.

I'm doing some research and see that there is Stress Coat and Stress Guard. I assume they're just similar products from different companies? Is one better than the other?
 

NearMeBettas

Well Known
I will try to ship on Monday.

I'm doing some research and see that there is Stress Coat and Stress Guard. I assume they're just similar products from different companies? Is one better than the other?
Same, different names. They both work well. :)
 

Chiz

Active Member
I would go for the 10" by 20" bags and double or triple bag them to prevent leakage.

One-third water and two-thirds air.

You could split the guppies into 3 or 4 groups and put in 3-4 different bags.

You will want to fast them for 2 days before shipping to prevent waste build-up in the bag.

When I ship, I do 50% aquarium water and 50% dechlorinated if needed fresh faucet water.

You can add some Indian almond leaves and stress coat to the water.

If possible, put a nice clump of a plant in each bag such as guppy grass, hornwort, or water weed to reduce stress and clean the water.

Shipping will cost more due to the weight as you may already be aware.
Just my .02 on shipping-- USPS offers the same Priority (1-3 day) in a cubic rate based on box dimensions, and the weight can be anything up to 20 pounds. I like to ship heavy, and have found this allows me to use larger bags and not worry about water weight. It is a commercial rate, so they won't give it to you if you go to the post office. But you can easily get it when you use one of the online sites to buy your USPS labels.
 
OP
ProudPapa

ProudPapa

Fishlore VIP
Just my .02 on shipping-- USPS offers the same Priority (1-3 day) in a cubic rate based on box dimensions, and the weight can be anything up to 20 pounds. I like to ship heavy, and have found this allows me to use larger bags and not worry about water weight. It is a commercial rate, so they won't give it to you if you go to the post office. But you can easily get it when you use one of the online sites to buy your USPS labels.

That's good to know. Thanks.

How does that work? I assume there's a chart on the website with the prices? Do I print out a label and tape it on, then take the package to the post office?
 

Marlene327

Well Known
That's good to know. Thanks.

How does that work? I assume there's a chart on the website with the prices? Do I print out a label and tape it on, then take the package to the post office?
I used to sell on eBay and would have larger and heavy packages at times. The USPS. com site should have all packing materials for you - larger boxes, rolls of Priority labels to stick on. If the person happened to pay through PayPal, it's easy to print out shipping labels through there, or I believe through the USPS site as well. Prices will be on there too. You might be wanting to ship out THIS Monday (OOPS it's Columbus Day - NO MAIL, just thought of that) but if you wanted to wait another week, they just might arrive. Materials are all free from them, it does help.

By the way, the boxes from USPS come in quantities. It's been a long time since I've done it and I didn't look at their site before writing, but I seem to remember getting 25 boxes of a size at a time. Maybe there are smaller quantities available, idk.
 

Chiz

Active Member
That's good to know. Thanks.

How does that work? I assume there's a chart on the website with the prices? Do I print out a label and tape it on, then take the package to the post office?
Yes, exactly. Using a site like PirateShip (for example), you enter the delivery zip code and then you get a dozen choices-- UPS, USPS, etc. You then pick the company and rate that works for you. If USPS cubic (or any other) rate works, you can buy a label right there. I then box them up late in the day, stop by the PO, and then leave it at the counter. Mine has a nifty spot for pre-pay, and I do that now that I'm comfortable with the process, or you can wait in line, they will give it quick scan and give you a receipt.
 
OP
ProudPapa

ProudPapa

Fishlore VIP
You can add some Indian almond leaves and stress coat to the water.

This may be a stupid question, but my philosophy is "It's better to ask a stupid question than make a stupid mistake because I didn't ask." How much Stress Coat? The directions are for multiple gallons. I assume just a few drops from a syringe, and the exact amount doesn't matter?
 

Zer0

Active Member
This may be a stupid question, but my philosophy is "It's better to ask a stupid question than make a stupid mistake because I didn't ask." How much Stress Coat? The directions are for multiple gallons. I assume just a few drops from a syringe, and the exact amount doesn't matter?
I wouldn't put the stress coat at all. It's an extra chemical that is not necessary. It can also negatively affect fish. Leave it out.
 

coralbandit

Fishlore VIP
Late to the game..
Fresh water and O2 if you have is all you need.
Know 1-3 priority has NO guarantee, and is not considered late ever or missing for 15 days.
Priority Express that cost more has a GUARANTEED delivery time and date .
10 minutes late and you get your money back whether the fish are fine or not.
Know the job of whoever delivers is delivery.
Your fish being alive is not their responsibility at all.
Good luck Glenn.
 

Marlene327

Well Known
This may be a stupid question, but my philosophy is "It's better to ask a stupid question than make a stupid mistake because I didn't ask." How much Stress Coat? The directions are for multiple gallons. I assume just a few drops from a syringe, and the exact amount doesn't matter?
I'd skip the stress coat also. Maybe 1 piece of an almond leaf. You've got this!
 
OP
ProudPapa

ProudPapa

Fishlore VIP
I thought an update might be in order. I bagged the fish up last Saturday morning. I used 10" x 20" round bottom bags, double bagged, with roughly 16 fish per bag (four bags total). I put four cups of tank water and four cups of fresh water from the faucet in each, which was a ratio of approximately one part water to two parts air.

When shipping I usually invert one bag in the other, but since these bags have round bottoms I didn't do that, and I was fortunate to find a box the right size so I could pack them all upright.

I took them to the local post office late Saturday morning, and I'm happy to report that the package arrived 1,300 miles away on Monday, with all fish alive and doing well.

Thanks to everyone who replied.
 

Marlene327

Well Known
People mention not shipping on weekends, but our mail moves every day. Excellent result!
 

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