Robust young adult fish (5 - 8 weeks old) are usually shipped, reducing possible impacts from shipping. The 5 - 8 week old males & females are at breeding age or are within 1-2 weeks of breeding. Also, non-gravid females are are selected by age (i.e. young females), so are not guaranteed as not gravid. Gravid females are usually within 1-2 weeks of dropping fry.
Shipping days: Mondays & sometimes Saturdays. This avoids having the package get stuck at the post office over a weekend.
Shipping preparation: Can take a few days, so shipping usually happens the week after an order is placed. About a day after your order is placed we will email a shipping ETA. Please check your SPAM filter / folder, as some email servers can direct them there.
USA (See shopping cart for non-continental USA rates, like Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Alaska, etc.)
For international, choose the "International Order" button on the Order page.
Acclimating Your Fish & Plants
Once your fish arrive, you'll need to acclimate them to their new tank's water parameters. The best method to acclimate your fish is the Drip Acclimation Method (see below). Once they have been acclimated and introduced into your tank, please feed asap, since in preparation for shipping, they are not fed for 1 day. With shipping time, this can be 2-4 days of no food.
Please note, shipping will blanch males a bit and both sexes may initially only pick at their food. This is pretty usual for about a week or so. After they have fully acclimated to their new environment, the males will display full color and feeding will be vigorous. Keeping them on a regular schedule (light, feeding, etc.) also helps in quick acclimation.
The Drip Acclimation Method: The concept is to drip the existing water from the tank the fish will live in, into a container with the new fish (and the water the fish came in). This allows the water chemistry to slowly change, reducing shock and fatalities. Directions:
Using a plastic sports drink cup (or something that can be easily cut to insert tubing), insert 3" - 4" of airline tubing.
When ready to start dripping, fill this cup with existing water from your tank.
Heat this water up a bit (5 - 10 degrees), as it will cool during dripping.
Put the new fish into a container with the water from the bag. Remove some water from the fish container so that only enough water is left to cover the fish (1" - 2" of water). Cover most of the container so the fish can't jump out.
Place the container with the fish below the cup with existing tank water and let the water drip.
Overall water chemistry and temperature should be similar to your existing tank when dripping is complete.
Once the container with the fish has at least 4 times the volume of water it originally contained, the fish can be "poured" into the new tank. (Double check that the temperature is close to that of your tank).
Here is a more detailed description, using water directly from the tank instead of a separate container: eHow - How To Acclimate New Fish