• For a Limited Time the R2R Partner Membership is NOW OPEN! Get some cool swag and chances to win part of over $20,000 in prizes! Click here for more details

Introduction

Dr. Reef

Always at your service
View Badges
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
2,815
Reaction score
4,871
Location
Tulsa, OK
Hello fellow reefers
My name is Mike (dr. reef), I am located in Tulsa Oklahoma.
I started keeping fish at very early age, starting with freshwater then moving on to saltwater. Soon after i got into saltwater i realized diseases and problems that existed in them. As a medical school student i got more interested in knowing what all these diseases were and how i could cure them.
Google was not even born then and internet was still in dialup and dsl stages. So i read a lot of books and somewhat material that was available online. Most of my medication practices came from general knowledge that i learned in medical school. I started trying everything i had heard of and known to help. Some medicines were just heard of and no experiments had been conducted. After many trials and error i came up with the protocol i use on my QT fish now.

I do this for fun, I have my own business that keep me busy and food on the table, This is a hobby that turned into a small garage business. At first i was selling cured fish to local hobbyist in Tulsa area. Then a couple of store owners, where i frequented, started to send me their sick fish to help cure and revive. That turned into more people knowing about me and thus i started getting requests and fish from all over Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and Texas. People from all these neighboring states started bringing or shipping their fish to me. I did that for about 15 yrs and then i ran into a person that was doing as well on larger scale than me and helped me setup few accounts at different wholesalers. He semi retired leaving all his clients and followers to me. That gave me a lot of new clients and expanded my services from local to US wide.
Now i am shipping fish to all 50 states, Hawaii included (just waiting on my permit to come back), Canada and few other international countries.
With R2R giving me an exposure to all off you, I am sure it will bring a lot more people to me and help promote healthy livestock.

As i mentioned i sell out of my house for now. I converted my garage into a full qt setup.
I get my qt tanks custom made from Concept Aquariums in Calgary Canada. These tanks have removable dividers for me to accommodate small to large fish.
image3.jpeg
20191224_220417.jpg
20191224_220503.jpg
1566862874996_image4.jpeg


Excuse my mess in some of the pics. Sometimes time runs short and i wish there were more than 24 hrs in a day. Following are a few pics of the setup as it was growing up in time, From few small qt tanks to many and scattered all over the place.

20181123_125640.jpg
20181123_130255.jpg
20200301_105303.jpg
20200301_105316.jpg
20200522_182514.jpg


There are few more tanks that i had to setup away from my normal med tanks. There are mostly invert tanks or high risk for airborne diseases. To keep them separate, I setup some tanks inside the house, Removing my gym and placing tanks all over in that area.

20191010_133939.jpg
20200301_105212.jpg


A few pics of the box that I use. This is my most common size, 11x11x11. It holds about 4-6 small to medium size fish. I have done very extensive testing on these boxes.
During winter, I put a 72 hr heat pack which keeps the temp inside the box/water at 78F - 80F for the whole duration of shipment.
I normally pack my boxes late in the evening, I have a special arrangement with FEDEX and UPS both, here at Tulsa Airport, to drop my boxes off as late as 10pm. I can start packing order about 7pm or so and by 10pm i can have 6-10 orders packed and ready to go.

20191114_195540.jpg
20200116_184918.jpg



I use heavy duty bags for shipping fish, These bags are filled with new saltwater then fish and then pump pure oxygen and hog tie them with a aluminum ring. I double to triple the bags so they dont burst or leak. Final bag is heat sealed so in case hog tie aluminum rings fails, water and fish still remain sealed in the final layer.

20200701_175857.jpg
20200701_180007.jpg



In summer I like to ship them to a hub instead so they are not sitting in the back of the truck riding around all over your city. Heat packs work well and stay warm pretty consistently and for long duration of time. While in summer i have to use cold packs and so far gel cold packs are the ones i have tested to be the best.
They stay cold and drop temp inside the box for upto 14 hours with ambient temp not to hot.

Following chart shows when i packed the fish temp inside the box was 76F on all boxes. I used 3 boxes. 1 with no cold pack, 2 with 1 cold pack and 3rd with 2 cold packs.
Ambient temp was 89F which dropped to 67F and back upto 88F over the course of 24 hrs.
Note: i bag and ship fish at night when heat is not a factor even in the most hot times of the year. With 89F ambient temp, these boxes were left out in the sun exposed on my back patio. Even the box with no cold pack remained within temp for 14 hrs before increasing slightly and took almost 24 hrs to catch up with ambient temp.
My shipping time is only 12 to 16 hours from packing to delivery and in most normal cases 14 hrs door to door.
Also this test is on the harsh side as boxes are not left out in the sun all day, they are in warehouses and vans/trucks and planes where temp is 15-20 degree less than ambient.

Temp Chart.jpg



I dont want to bore you with all these testing data, So lets talk about medicine and my qt protocol and where an how i buy the fish.
I have access to 8 wholesalers in USA and 3 importers (Bali, Indonesia, Philippines) and 1 diver in Hawaii. I can pretty much get any fish you may request. Although the times are not normal and we live in some crazy times i never thought i would see. Due to covit19 there are many problems and issues. First there was a ban on livestock completely which now is reduced down to few countries. Some wholesalers were closed during the pandemic. Supplies are getting better but still not upto the level where all livestock is available. Also due to these uncertain times the prices seem to be fluctuating. Some fish cost double to triple the amount they used to.

Once i get my shipments in, I physically inspect all fish for any visual sign of stress or disease. Almost 99% of the time i do not find any problems or issues. Most wholesalers are pretty good at keeping their livestock safe from major diseases making my work even easier. I start seeing issues and problems at retail level and most likely never on wholesale side.

After inspection, i immediately do a freshwater bath followed by a formalin bath (for some species that carry uronema) followed by a prazipro and metrozidole bath.
Them they go into teir respective tanks. These holding tanks are already at 1ppm cooper or 20mg Choloroquine phosphate depending on which fish is tolerant to either or. Over the next day or 2 i slow drip bringing the medicine to therapeutic levels. They stay in these levels for 14 days. Then i do a massive water change and using carbon, rid cp or copper altogether.
For next 14 days they stay in observation tanks with prazipro and metrozidole to take care of internal and external parasite. During all the time they are in my care, all fish are fed frozen mysis and brine 50/50 mixture along with metro,fenbendazole and focus mixed in food.
After their treatments i move them to retail tanks from where they ship out as soon as they are sold.


Some FAQs;
How do i place an order?
Please email me your wish list at [email protected] or use contact form on my website.

How do i pay?
I send you an invoice after i have located your fish, Invoice has a total amount and a minimum amount. That min. amount is your deposit required to hold that fish in your name. Remaining balance can be paid in payments or in full as per your choice as long as balance is 0 before shipping.

Deposit! what if fish dies in qt?
No worries, your deposit guarantees you your fish. If fish dies in my care, i start over again. Normally i order double to triple the fish one requests as a back up and assurance policy. If all make it through qt, back up fish goto sale on my website.

How long before i get my fish?
If i already have your fish in stock then not so long but if i have to find it and qt it then 30-45 days. I am redoing my setup and adding more tanks to where i will carry most common fast moving fish qt;ed all the time in stock so when order comes i should be able to ship it out next day or at least withing a few days.

Guarantee?
I guarantee live arrival only, In some cases i do cover fish for longer period of time.
I cant guarantee my qt protocol as no procedure is 100% safe. Also we treat for very major common diseases. There could be many variables that are at play which can effect health of your livestock. Prime example i have seen, clients added chaeto or frags or rocks from a non qted/cured source and brought some nasty into their tank.

DOA?
In case of DOA, We can do one of the following:
1. Issue refund for the DOA.
or
2. Send free replacement on next order.
or
3. Send free replacement alone if you pay shipping.

What do you feed your fish?
I feed frozen mysis and brine mix 50/50

What salinity do you ship at?
Unfortunately thats an odd one, When i receive my fish they normally are at 1.018. So i keep my incoming tanks at 1.018, For the first 14 days in cp or copper they remain at 1.018. then when i move them to observation tank, i do not use ato so with evaporation salinity start to increase. At the time near shipping they can be in 1.023-1.025 range. I ship in brand new freshly mixed saltwater aged 24 hrs.

Difference between Qt'ed Fish vs Conditioned?
Fully qt;ed fish have gone through all the procedures and treatments mentioned above and are safe to go into clients tanks. While conditioned fish are for people that dont want fully qt'ed fish or they have their own qt or simply dont qt at all and they can take advantage of cheaper cost livestock. On conditioned fish i can beat any online retailers price pretty much.

How do i qt my inverts?
I apply tank transfer method on inverts. For first 15 days they go through TTM every 3 days, Then i place them in sterile tanks for observation for next 15 days. these invert tanks are completely fishless and only carry snails and shrimp.

When do you ship?
I ship on Tuesdays 99% of the time. Its my day off from my other businesses, Plus Fedex and Ups only cover my shipments if shipped on Tues or Wed and shipped to hub due to covit delays.

What is shipping cost?
For most common size box which can carry 4-6 small to medium sized fish, rates are $65-70, step up would be medium box that can carry 6-9 medium size fish $70-75 and then a large box which can fit 12-14 fish can run about $80-100

Is shipping free at certain amount?
Unfortunately not at this point. I am not a big retailer and only a small time garage vendor so i do not have the good low rates from fedex or ups. Once i do show them high volume they do promise to reduce rates, at that point i will be more than happy to offer something.

Best way to contact?
Please contact me via contact form on my website www.quarantinedfish.us or direct email to [email protected]
 
Last edited:
OP
Dr. Reef

Dr. Reef

Always at your service
View Badges
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
2,815
Reaction score
4,871
Location
Tulsa, OK
So much for all the boring data and question answers, lets see some pics of fish i had had in my care. I also have a youtube channel that i update (been lazy lately). You can access it here. Quarantined Fish Channel

Excuse my unconventional methods like plastic ladles and spoons or colander. I know some with ask why i use these tools rather than nets. Well first off they are plastic and dont add rust from metals around the nets and also some fish like tangs get their fins stuck in the nets and some wrasse like to bite the net and get front teeth stuck. So these tools work very well avoiding injuries or rust.
Another reason is, these utensils have holes in them thus help in draining all the medicated water while transferring from tank to sterile water in bag to ship.

Lets see some pics. (some pics are cloudy due to meds in tanks)


20190831_062218.jpg
20190831_062220.jpg
20191022_171055.jpg
20191022_181809.jpg
20191022_181834.jpg
20191023_015502.jpg
20191023_015506.jpg
20191105_090304.jpg
20191106_072522.jpg
20200107_113441.jpg
20200107_121218.jpg
20200108_132235.jpg
20200108_133027.jpg
20200108_133058.jpg
20200114_133817.jpg
20200114_133822.jpg
20200115_182542.jpg
20200115_191839.jpg
20200115_192100.jpg
20200121_104227.jpg
20200121_104426.jpg
20200121_104806.jpg
20200122_233652.jpg
20200123_173551.jpg
20200128_162552.jpg
20200129_015716.jpg
20200130_054331.jpg
20200130_220639.jpg
20200214_152152.jpg
20200214_152338.jpg
20200214_164930.jpg
20200512_175415.jpg
20200520_135616.jpg
20200520_135907.jpg
20200520_140112.jpg
20200520_140612.jpg
20200520_140829.jpg
20200520_141846.jpg
20200520_154854.jpg
20200520_180401.jpg
20200602_191200.jpg
20200609_163629.jpg
20200623_125553.jpg
20200623_125727.jpg
20200623_130107.jpg
20200626_185651.jpg
20200630_151106.jpg
20200630_151120.jpg
20200717_152127.jpg
20200801_152431.jpg
 
Last edited:

TriggerFinger

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 12, 2018
Messages
2,605
Reaction score
5,087
Location
St. Louis
Wow! I was going to ask how you catch and pack 6-10 orders in 3 hours. Last week I spent nearly 2 hours catching ONE maroon clownfish. Could you provide some tips? My next fish to move will be a tiny hippo tang and I’m dreading it.
 
OP
Dr. Reef

Dr. Reef

Always at your service
View Badges
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
2,815
Reaction score
4,871
Location
Tulsa, OK
Wow! I was going to ask how you catch and pack 6-10 orders in 3 hours. Last week I spent nearly 2 hours catching ONE maroon clownfish. Could you provide some tips? My next fish to move will be a tiny hippo tang and I’m dreading it.
Its harder in established tank for display. You have rocks and formations you don't wanna move etc. In simple qt tanks is much easier.

First I drain the tanks to just few inches left and pull all the pvc out so you have no hiding spots.
In 2 inches of water its very easy to catch all the fish. I normally have all my bags ready with water in them. I have o2 tanks to fill oxygen with and a aluminum ring machine to clip/ring the bag and its ready for second layer with heat seal.
I can pack 1 order with 4 or 5 fish in 15-20 min.
 

Abhishek

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 2, 2016
Messages
2,919
Reaction score
4,314
Location
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Beautiful setup !! Amazing and so awesome for you to explain the process . Reading about it itself makes me feel like ordering a few from you :)

However I do have one question - you said about using formalin on species prone to uronema upon arrival . Am guessing it would involve Anthias ..

Have you ever had issues with longevity of lives of fishes upon being treated with formalin ? It’s a known carcinogen and coincidentally every Randall’s anthias I have dipped in formalin have died mysteriously after 1.5-2 years in captivity .
Hence asking about formalin long term impact on fishes ...

Regards,
Abhishek
 
OP
Dr. Reef

Dr. Reef

Always at your service
View Badges
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
2,815
Reaction score
4,871
Location
Tulsa, OK
Beautiful setup !! Amazing and so awesome for you to explain the process . Reading about it itself makes me feel like ordering a few from you :)

However I do have one question - you said about using formalin on species prone to uronema upon arrival . Am guessing it would involve Anthias ..

Have you ever had issues with longevity of lives of fishes upon being treated with formalin ? It’s a known carcinogen and coincidentally every Randall’s anthias I have dipped in formalin have died mysteriously after 1.5-2 years in captivity .
Hence asking about formalin long term impact on fishes ...

Regards,
Abhishek
Thank you for your kind words. i have heard of the same. I personally never faced that issue,
Unless some customers from 2 yrs ago can tell me if their anthias are still alive?
I have a group of 5 ignitus in my personal tank for 5 plus years ran through formalin.

Also i do a quick bath, not prolonged. Its a quick 10 min to 15 max. Then i drop them in a tank with metrozidole at high strength for 30 days.
I hope that helps.
 

Abhishek

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 2, 2016
Messages
2,919
Reaction score
4,314
Location
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Thank you for your kind words. i have heard of the same. I personally never faced that issue,
Unless some customers from 2 yrs ago can tell me if their anthias are still alive?
I have a group of 5 ignitus in my personal tank for 5 plus years ran through formalin.

Also i do a quick bath, not prolonged. Its a quick 10 min to 15 max. Then i drop them in a tank with metrozidole at high strength for 30 days.
I hope that helps.
Thank you for your insight . Must be something I have done wrong as you are way more experienced than I am . Must be that 20 min exposure was too much for the anthias .

Dropped you a pm and awesome to see someone who is so capable providing quality fishes to average hobbyists .

Regards,
Abhishek
 
Last edited:
OP
Dr. Reef

Dr. Reef

Always at your service
View Badges
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
2,815
Reaction score
4,871
Location
Tulsa, OK
Nice set up

With that late of shipping if I would pick up at the ups terminal the fish would only be in the bag for 14 hours or so.

Do you do local pick up? My parents live in Tulsa.
Yah anytime. let me know, save you all the shipping cost.
 

Do you have any "bully fish" in your tank?

  • YES (tell us in the thread)

    Votes: 205 58.9%
  • NO bullies just misunderstood...

    Votes: 120 34.5%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 23 6.6%

Online statistics

Members online
636
Guests online
2,579
Total visitors
3,215
Top