A R2R Care Spotlight: "Shipping Methods" (revisited)

ficklefins

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Well it is that time of the year again so we thought we would revisit an important aspect of sharing..... Shipping! The first shipping spotlight can be found here:

Shipping Methods:

In addition to the previously covered topics I wanted to introduce a few more items into the shipping spotlight that may help to answer some questions. I am going to need help from you zoa-heads out there to answer the following questions:

Where do I get shipping supplies?
Which is the best shipping company?
When should I use an icepack or heatpack?
When do I use a Styrofoam box?


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Shipping Methods



One of the most asked about aspects of Zoanthid keeping is "What is the best way to ship frags?". As with most things techniques change with the seasons and during the colder months there are more variables in the equation. Luckily for Club-Zoa members there have been some great threads started lately describing the traditional method and the newer method of damp shipping.

Traditional Method:

Damp Shipping Method:

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Traditional Method: Thank you Pookstreet for the following info and pics:

-Here is the box lined with 3/4" styro. You can get a 4'x8' sheet from HD for like $8 or so. (IMAGE 1)

-The heat pack is taped to the lid to keep it away from the frags as much as possible. I want to keep the interior warm, but don't want to boil the bags. (IMAGE 2)

-The zoa frag is rolled up in a smaller bag with slits cut into the sides to allow water to get in. (IMAGE 3)

-It is then double bagged with some water. (IMAGE 4)

-I usually put 2 more bags on top of that. Bags are cheap (IMAGE 5)

-All the frags are snuggly placed into the box. (IMAGE 6)

-Fill up the remaining space with peanuts, bubble wrap, empty blown up bags, etc. (IMAGE 7)

-And the lid goes on. Voila. Another package on it's way. (IMAGE 8 )



For full size images and more info click here Traditional Method:

********************************************************

Damp Shipping Method: Thank you Bryan for the following info and pics:

- Start with non-printed or scented paper towels. Greenwise paper towels are a safe choice as they are perfume & dye free. (thanks efishnsea) (IMAGE 1)

- Nice and clean styro lined box. (IMAGE 2)

- Line and pad bottom with newspaper so to reduce the frag bags from moving. (IMAGE 3)

- Label bags for customer with frag names, even in a trade this is a nice courtesy.
- Get out a dry paper towel and fold it over in half.

- Lay paper towel across water for 3-4 seconds to soak. (IMAGE 4)

-Gently squeeze out excess water, but leave slightly "drippy".

- Lay frag in lower section, preparing for roll up. (IMAGE 5)

- Gently roll up like a burrito.
- Once rolled, fold over end.

- Then fold over other side. (IMAGE 6)

- Drop into properly labeled bag.
- Fill bag with air to keep it full and secure end with a rubberband.
- Wash, rinse, repeat until all frags for order are bagged.
- Then place two bagged frags into a larger outer bag for added protection.

- I end up with 2 bags, each containing 2 frags. (IMAGE 7)

- Place into shipping box. (IMAGE 8 )

- Surround and cover/pad with additional newspaper.
- Get heat pack ready.
- A couple shakes and squeezes to activate, give the heat pack a little bit of time to heat up.
- Lay on newspaper to wrap heat pack, same burrito roll.
- Finish wrap and label heat pack with Sharpie.
- Place on top of packing, or tape to lid, your preference.
- Place lid on cooler.
- Tape up securely.
- Apply label and you are done except for dropping off at PO/UPS/FedEx.


For full size images and more info click here Damp Shipping Method:

********************************************************


Inverted Styrofoam Float Shipping Method: Thank you Vince (kigs) for the following info and pics:

- Cut out a 1'' x 1'' styro cube, 1/2'' thick works the best if you're using a small sized frag plug. (IMAGE 1&2)

- Push the 'tail' of the plug into the styro, but not too firmly because you don't want the plug to be loose in the styro. A drop of Super glue can be used for greater security or if the plug is too encrusted with polyps. (Thanks Steve (reefboy)!) (IMAGE 3)

- Just to make sure that the plug stays in place, tie a rubberband around the plug and the styrofoam. (IMAGE 4)

- Place the frag in a bag that will fit the styro at the top firmly, but not fixed. (IMAGE 5)

-Take a small sized ziplock bag to place the bags in just in case of a leak during shipping. (IMAGE 6)

- Fill the ziplock bag with styro corns to prevent the bag from shifting around during shipping. (IMAGE 7)

- Place the bag inside a styro lined box, and ship. (IMAGE 8 )


********************************************************

So now you know the basics of shipping, but where do those nice shipping bags come from? The list below will be an ongoing update with help from you people. Name some places and I'll add the links below and what you can find there so lets get this started:

Shipping Bags
When buying bags you have a few options when it comes to the thickness of the bag, the volume it can hold, and the type of bag (breathable).
How thick should my shipping bag be?
- Needs user input!

What size bags should I get?
- Needs user input!

Would I be better off getting some of the breathable bags?
- Needs user input!

Heat and Ice packs
When shipping you should always consider the weather at the destination to determine if you should pack heat/ice packs with you package. Most of the time this argument is off set by the fact that these packages are in Styrofoam boxes, a thermos, or are sitting in a warehouse/truck. So let's talk temperature and when we should or should not use heat/ice packs.

When should I use heat packs?
- Needs user input!

When should I use ice packs?
- Needs user input!


There are so many heat packs out there, how many hours my pack be rated for?
- Needs user input!

Styrofoam boxes and thermos containers
Some of the ways to reduce the impact on your prized corals is to ship in a Styrofoam box or a thermos. These items become very useful when you are trading and expect a return package.

Should I stuff my items into a Styroafoam box or a thermos?
- Needs user input!

********************************************************

Where to buy your shipping supplies


Shipping bags:
http://kensfish.com/shippingsupplie.html
- Various bag sizes

http://www.uline.com/Browse_Listing_107.asp?desc=Uline+2+Mil+Industrial+Poly+Bags
- Various bag sizes

Heat Packs:
http://kensfish.com/shippingsupplie.html
- 40+hr heat packs

********************************************************

Last but not least, when you receive your shipment don't forget to dip! For more information on the Zoa Dip click on the title below.
Zoa Dip

 
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efishnsea

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Great Info Everyone.....

I use Greenwise paper towels to wrap zoa's in. That way they are wrapped in a perfume, dye free pure paper towel.

Thats my two cents......
 
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ficklefins

ficklefins

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Great Info Everyone.....

I use Greenwise paper towels to wrap zoa's in. That way they are wrapped in a perfume, dye free pure paper towel.

Thats my two cents......
Thanks for the supplies list. The goal of this revisit is to touch on previous methods and to elaborate on the new. I will add a supplies list to the bottom of this this spotlight so that when people ask what type of "___" are you using we can just point them to this thread.

Keep in mind that a lot of these Club-Zoa Care spotlights are actually building blocks on each other so that hopefully in the future we can build on them and get to the point in which we have a continuous series of care guides to keeping zoanthids.
 

revhtree

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Sweet! This info is an invaluable resource. Chime in people if you appreciate this stuff! ;)
 
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Kigs!

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Thought I'd bump the spotlight... :)

This is what I've been doing if someone requests the 'inverted styro float' method.

Cut out a 1'' x 1'' styro cube, 1/2'' thick works the best if you're using a small sized frag plug.


Push the 'tail' of the plug into the styro, but not too firmly because you don't want the plug to be loose in the styro. I've seen some people super glue any space leftover between the foam and the plug to prevent the plug falling out during shipping.


Just to make sure that the plug stays in place, tie a rubberband around the plug and the styrofoam.


Annnd... voila, now your plug is floating. :) I've been using 2mill after Paul(mecold) suggested and it's a perfect size for shipping zoa frags.
http://www.uline.com/ProductDetail.asp?model=S-1430&ref=107


Take a small sized ziplock bag to place the bags in just in case of a leak durin g shipping.


Fill the ziplock bag with styro corns to prevent the bag from shifting around during shipping.


Place the bag inside a styro lined box, and ship. :)
 

kharn101

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question about the dip method, do we use fresh water for it, or do we use saltwater. It states that the PH needs to be at 8.2, so you toss some buffer into the water, but does the water have to be salt or fresh?
 

Kigs!

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i use tankwater (salt). freshwater seemed to stress them out too much, so if you're going to use fresh RO, you should lessen the recommended dosing period
 
Corals.com

revhtree

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Hey Kigs sweet stuff! We will have to add this to the info we keep if it's ok.

Thanks bro.
 

reefboy

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nice stuff just FYI you can also put small dab of super glue gel if plug is to encrusted with polyps to hold in place in styro.
 

Kigs!

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Thanks Steve! :) Rev, definitely that'd be cool :D

Jody, I actually learned the super glueing thing from you from my last shipment. I tried taking the alien eye plug out of the styro and it wouldn't come out. After few seconds of pondering, I went ohhhh.... super glue.... brilliant :lol:
 

follow3

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Here's a real goober question:

Do you need air in the bags with the frags? (asuming you use regular bags, not breathable)

Steve
 
Get Fish & Corals directly for the suppliers

revhtree

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yes all though zoa/paly's are more forgiving.
I agree, but I never leave any room for air in my shipping bags. I have done at least 100 shipments in the past year alone, and I dont think I lost any, maybe one or two, but dont remember.
 

BigBadZoaDaddy

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I love that info, i just had an issue from a guy that shiped me something and it came very bad. I linked him to this info, although he shiped a LPS not Zoas still good info for him and I don't have to pretend when I tell him that his method was BAD that I am the know it all, just link to here and said "SEE"

Awsome info guys, quick ? how long do ya think that they actually stay outside, everyone is afraid to ship cause of the HEat, do they actually stay outside that long? Wouldn't ya think they would either be in atruck in a building?
 

Azurel

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I personally don't think they are actually outside that long to be honest. I would say the longest time they are outside is when they are on the mail trucks. But here in Kazoo they deliver Express mail in a van that is not delivering regular mail. But if they were to sit on your door step for hours on end in the heat then it could be an issue as well......
 
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ficklefins

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Updates made to the shipping pictorial and links. Thanks everybody and keep them coming!
 

revhtree

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Dang Luciano your good dude! Thanks!
 

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