Not happy with LA - Tail Spot Blenny was dead on arrival, water in bag was 49 degrees F

4theluvofcoral

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Live Aquaria order finally arrived a little after 10 AM PST. Again, stone cold heating packs taped to top of styrofoam box lid(although they did use two this time), no air bubble bags but foam peanuts underneath fish bags. Fish bags were ice cold I'm guessing they are at least 40 degrees or cooler. Felt like something you pull out of a fridge. I can't see much since the bags have the black tint covering the sides and bottom but they are currently floating. Already started claim or notation process but we'll see how well they adjust to temp acclimation or if it will finish any survivors off...
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4theluvofcoral

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Again man... you can't blame LA this time for the extra day in shipping and the resulting cold heat packs! But I do agree with you; they could've closed off shipping earlier.
You don't even know what's going on and if you did you would know that I am giving an update because LA made a statement, on this thread no less, that they were changing things. Well, not much has changed and I don't know what good a heating element does if it's taped to the top of the lid above the bag, when fish are at the bottom. Fish don't hang at the top of fish bags. Their packaging style does not make any sense. If it were Spring/Summer months I can see it being ok to have it placed on top of the lid, but the fact that I pointed this out to them in the previous post suggests they have not changed anything except packing materials and fish bags...
 
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Cell

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Heat pack provides heat to the insulated container regardless of where it lies within. It's an insulated container.

I believe you dont put them directly against bags because that would potentially burn or overheat the livestock.
 

4theluvofcoral

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Heat pack provides heat to the insulated container regardless of where it lies within. It's an insulated container.

I believe you dont put them directly against bags because that would potentially burn or overheat the livestock.
No, that isn't true. Anyone who understands basic chemistry knows this. I have 18 hour heating packs the same type that they use to ship fish with and they do not get hot enough for what you claim. I know this firsthand because I use them for muscle aches and pains. Heat packs only radiate a certain distance because they only get so hot. In most cases, they are meant to still be able to be held with bare hands. So if you put it in an envelope and tape it inside a styrofoam lid box, your heat radiation is diminished. Now this isn't a closed system. Everyone assumes it is, but it isn't. Styrofoam is a good insulator, but if the outside temperature is much lower than the inside, it will counterbalance what a heat pack can do. Think about your walls. There is insulation inside the walls to help maintain your air temperatures, but if it is over 100 degrees outside and you only have a small window air conditioning unit, it will not keep you down in the 60s. The reverse is also true. If it is below freezing outside and you only have a small space heater in your house, it will not keep your entire house warm at 70 degrees. As the heat pack tries to keep the cold out, it will dissipate quicker because of the temperature difference. This is why most shippers put multiple packs in colder temperatures. Now in cold temperatures, a heat pad directly against a bag will not burn or overheat the livestock. Water doesn't have a great heat capacity. That's why hot water cools or freezes quicker than room temperature water. The greater the temperature change, the faster the change occurs. So if you have a bag in a container that is gradually getting colder, it will also lose the heat that was in the water and if the heat pack is not close enough, it will not stay warm. What you are saying is true in warmer temperatures, but when it is 45 degrees or less outside during transit, and the transit is greater than 18-24 hours with a 24 hour heat pack, the whole box including the water will be cold upon arrival. Just as it was for me today.

Now there is more to elaborate but I'm not here to give a chemistry lesson to you. There is more to shipping than just throwing a heat pack in an insulated box...
 

arking_mark

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No, that isn't true. Anyone who understands basic chemistry knows this. I have 18 hour heating packs the same type that they use to ship fish with and they do not get hot enough for what you claim. I know this firsthand because I use them for muscle aches and pains. Heat packs only radiate a certain distance because they only get so hot. In most cases, they are meant to still be able to be held with bare hands. So if you put it in an envelope and tape it inside a styrofoam lid box, your heat radiation is diminished. Now this isn't a closed system. Everyone assumes it is, but it isn't. Styrofoam is a good insulator, but if the outside temperature is much lower than the inside, it will counterbalance what a heat pack can do. Think about your walls. There is insulation inside the walls to help maintain your air temperatures, but if it is over 100 degrees outside and you only have a small window air conditioning unit, it will not keep you down in the 60s. The reverse is also true. If it is below freezing outside and you only have a small space heater in your house, it will not keep your entire house warm at 70 degrees. As the heat pack tries to keep the cold out, it will dissipate quicker because of the temperature difference. This is why most shippers put multiple packs in colder temperatures. Now in cold temperatures, a heat pad directly against a bag will not burn or overheat the livestock. Water doesn't have a great heat capacity. That's why hot water cools or freezes quicker than room temperature water. The greater the temperature change, the faster the change occurs. So if you have a bag in a container that is gradually getting colder, it will also lose the heat that was in the water and if the heat pack is not close enough, it will not stay warm. What you are saying is true in warmer temperatures, but when it is 45 degrees or less outside during transit, and the transit is greater than 18-24 hours with a 24 hour heat pack, the whole box including the water will be cold upon arrival. Just as it was for me today.

Now there is more to elaborate but I'm not here to give a chemistry lesson to you. There is more to shipping than just throwing a heat pack in an insulated box...
I'm not sure you are correct here. Try a quick experiment. Take your Styrofoam box add a heat pack to bottom and put a bag of tank water on it and close it up. Periodically measure the temp of the bag water. If I recall correctly those heat pads start out over 100 degrees and then drop down...you might find that at the beginning the water gets too hot for the fish...
 

JoshH

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I have 18 hour heating packs the same type that they use to ship fish with and they do not get hot enough for what you claim.

Most heating packs have a minimum surface temperature of 100°F, some upwards of 140°F. While I agree the top of the container might not be the best place for them, they certainly don't belong right up against a sealed bag with a live animal inside...
 

4theluvofcoral

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I'm not sure you are correct here. Try a quick experiment. Take your Styrofoam box add a heat pack to bottom and put a bag of tank water on it and close it up. Periodically measure the temp of the bag water. If I recall correctly those heat pads start out over 100 degrees and then drop down...you might find that at the beginning the water gets too hot for the fish...
Again, you're assuming this is a closed system which it is not. Only a contained environment that is not impacted outside the system at all meaning environmental factors have no influence. I live in Southern California and the weather is no where near the same as where it came to do what you suggest. On top of that the bags are layered. I don't know where you purchase fish from but I almost always have 3-4 layers of fish bags.

I mean if you really want to get into this gladly but it takes more energy to heat up water than it does air and that's if the air surrounding the water is free, which it is not. It's contained in plastic and most times it's multiples bags.
 

arking_mark

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Again, you're assuming this is a closed system which it is not. Only a contained environment that is not impacted outside the system at all meaning environmental factors have no influence. I live in Southern California and the weather is no where near the same as where it came to do what you suggest. On top of that the bags are layered. I don't know where you purchase fish from but I almost always have 3-4 layers of fish bags.

I mean if you really want to get into this gladly but it takes more energy to heat up water than it does air and that's if the air surrounding the water is free, which it is not. It's contained in plastic and most times it's multiples bags.
Running the experiment now...I was actually curious.
 

4theluvofcoral

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Took two small hand warmers, a Styrofoam box, and and large zip lock bag with several cups of tank water. Hooked up my GHL probe and am monitoring the temp...
Post pictures then. Ziplocs are a different polypropylene and as stated there are multiple layers and a single ziploc is not representative anyway. Your experiment is already flawed. You'd have to be in Rhinelander, WI on a truck and then airplane which cargo hold is not temperature controlled to do an accurate representation...This is all I'm going to say is there's too much oversimplification when it comes to experiments and this is not something that in reality can be duplicated in someone's home.
 
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Thales

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Heat packs are put on top of the styro lid for 3 reasons. 1) If they get wet they stop working, and they are more likely to get wet on the bottom of the box 2) they need air to work, and they get better access to air while not covered in plastic bags 3) if the bags are on top, they can over heat the bags (same reason you don't sit on a space heater). This is from thousands of shipments over decades and hundreds of companies doing the shipping.

I think anyone that orders live animals in the mail from the middle of November till the second week of January is nuts, even in a year without covid. You are really throwing the knuckle bones no matter how many heat packs they put in the box. YMMV
 

Thales

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Then they shouldn't sell, and if they do and are going to continue to ship during these times then they are dang well just as responsible especially if they know their carrier can't make the times necessary but it's in Fedex policy for live shipments to be PRIORITY.
Can you point me to where you found that FEDEX makes live shipments a priority? Thanks
 

arking_mark

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Post pictures then. Ziplocs are a different polypropylene and as stated there are multiple layers and a single ziploc is not representative anyway. Your experiment is already flawed. You'd have to be in Rhinelander, WI on a truck and then airplane which cargo hold is not temperature controlled to do an accurate representation...This is all I'm going to say is there's too much oversimplification when it comes to experiments and this is not something that in reality can be duplicated in someone's home.

Post pictures then. Ziplocs are a different polypropylene and as stated there are multiple layers and a single ziploc is not representative anyway. Your experiment is already flawed. You'd have to be in Rhinelander, WI on a truck and then airplane which cargo hold is not temperature controlled to do an accurate representation...This is all I'm going to say is there's too much oversimplification when it comes to experiments and this is not something that in reality can be duplicated in someone's home.
Chill out. This is just a quick experiment to see what happens with two small hand warmers, a bag of water, and a Styrofoam box.

Results for the 1st 40 minutes or so are a .5 degree rise in temp. From 76.2 to 76.7. There was a quick initial raise in the 1st 20 minutes or so and then it flattened out.

I decided to see if the hand warmers were still warm and the were not. I shook them up again and they got warm. So indeed we have a "flawed" experiment as the hand warmers seem to stop working when they don't have access to air, which is a key component to oxidization which is how they produce heat.

So putting these type of warmers directly under bags would probably provide initial heat, but may quickly cease to produce heat as the potential lack of oxygen would inhibit the reaction that produces heat.
 

arking_mark

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Chill out. This is just a quick experiment to see what happens with two small hand warmers, a bag of water, and a Styrofoam box.

Results for the 1st 40 minutes or so are a .5 degree rise in temp. From 76.2 to 76.7. There was a quick initial raise in the 1st 20 minutes or so and then it flattened out.

I decided to see if the hand warmers were still warm and the were not. I shook them up again and they got warm. So indeed we have a "flawed" experiment as the hand warmers seem to stop working when they don't have access to air, which is a key component to oxidization which is how they produce heat.

So putting these type of warmers directly under bags would probably provide initial heat, but may quickly cease to produce heat as the potential lack of oxygen would inhibit the reaction that produces heat.
...and in fact after shaking them up again temp has risen from 76.7 to 77 in about 10ish minutes.
 

JoshH

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So putting these type of warmers directly under bags would probably provide initial heat, but may quickly cease to produce heat as the potential lack of oxygen would inhibit the reaction that produces heat.

I wonder if the relatively "Sealed" nature of the styrofoam boxes themselves can reduce the efficiency of the heat packs as there is only a relatively limited supply of oxygen in a foam box. I can't imagine much oxygen penetration though the foam box itself especially with the lids taped shut as they so often are.
 

arking_mark

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I wonder if the relatively "Sealed" nature of the styrofoam boxes themselves can reduce the efficiency of the heat packs as there is only a relatively limited supply of oxygen in a foam box. I can't imagine much oxygen penetration though the foam box itself especially with the lids taped shut as they so often are.
I'm pretty sure that live shipments I have received in the past have warm packs...but I don't 100% remember.
 

arking_mark

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...and in fact after shaking them up again temp has risen from 76.7 to 77 in about 10ish minutes.

Shook the hand warmers one last time and temp has gone from 77 to 77.2... so a full degree in a relatively short time when we started this experiment.

Nothing conclusive, but I would draw the following from this:
1. Heat packs directly under a plastic bag of water may cease to work.
2. If they don't cease to work, they may over heat the water.

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