Online Fish Purchase & Sizes

Discussion in 'Fish Discussion' started by falconut, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. falconut

    falconut Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    I recently switched over to FOWLR and was looking to add a Majestic Angel. Unfortunately, I rarely see them locally, but there are plenty on several online vendor websites. So, I kind of have two questions if I decide to go the online route.

    1. Here is a list of the online sites, I've been looking at: Liveaquaria, Petsolutions, Bluezooaquatics, NYAquatics. I've been reading through so many reviews it makes my head spin. From them all I can gather is this: Liveaquaria seems to have the best customer service, condition of fish can be hit or miss. I ordered many, many years ago from Petsolutions and was happy, but they're the most expensive. Bluezooaquatics has them on sale now, but the size might be small. And NYAquatics has larger fish with the lowest prices and I'm in the free shipping area, but the reviews are scaring me.

    2. These are the sizes for sale.
    - Liveaquaria has Small/Medium in stock: 2-3/4" - 3-1/4" (just missed the 15%, darn).
    - Petsolutions has two sizes in stock: Small: 2" - 3.5" or Medium: 3.5" - 5"
    - Bluezooaquatics has Medium in stock: Over 1-1/5" - 3.5"
    - NYAquatics has two sizes in stock: 3" and 5"

    Are the size ranges typically pretty close to what you get?

    Any experience with purchasing fish from any of these places would be appreciated.
     
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  2. dansreef

    dansreef Well-Known Member

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    Just placed an order with Live Aquaria. Their guarantee is fantastic. If the wish arrive alive, and do well I will be very pleased. None of the LFS had what I was looking for....and that I could trust...and I got sick of waiting.
     
  3. falconut

    falconut Well-Known Member

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    Make sure to post back with your experience.
     
  4. Chris Wooten

    Chris Wooten Member

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    I have never personally ordered from live aquaria but one of my good friends recently did. One of the fish did not look good on arrival and it died the next morning. He called them to let them know and they didn't ask any questions and credited his account for the fish. He told me their customer service was top notch and has done a few more orders since with no issues.
     
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  5. norfolkgarden

    norfolkgarden Well-Known Member

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    Ordered half a dozen times from Live Aquaria fish and mostly Coral.
    Outstanding shipping packing and all the livestock was in great condition.
    Would not hesitate to order from them again.
    And their customer service is almost as good as Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus.

    Have not had the opportunity to order from any of the others.
    Purchased various corals and fish from about four other vendors online. Been happy with just about everything.

    P.s. with a few friends my nickname is grumpy man.
     
  6. lion king

    lion king Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    I've had good results with Blue Zoo and the sizes were very accurate, If they have a number of them in stock you can request the largest or smallest within the size range order, and they are good about accommodating you. what I don't like is their guarantee is for credit and doesn't not include the shipping price.
    I've only ordered from Pet Solutions once and the fish was super healthy, the smallest marine betta I've ever seen, but I did order a small one. I was pleasantly surprised and would order from there again.
    Liveaquaria has the best guarantee, but it sickens me, before the corporate change a couple years ago it was about 50/50 if they weren't DOA or knock knock knocking on heaven's door. Since then it's been 100% DOA, just received a DOA today, never again. The sad thing is it's a fish I've only seen there, a mombasa lion, I'll just have to wait for one to show up on Divers Den.
    The one I'm not mentioning is a sponsor here and bad news.

    The Majestic angel is a great fish, I have one in my 210. He is outgoing and very peaceful towards everyone, even a flagfin angel. They seem to grow rather slowly if that helps with your size choice.
     
  7. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Excellence Award SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    in my experience, the sizes are pretty much correct. My one consideration is that I have occasionally seen them send a fish a little larger than the requested size (presumably as a free upgrade), so if you want to be sure it is not larger than the one you are purchasing, maybe include that in the order notes.
     
  8. falconut

    falconut Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking for the largest in this price range, so that upgrade would be welcome.
     
  9. dansreef

    dansreef Well-Known Member

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    9:30 am CT

    I just received my order from LiveAquaria. All fish and inverts came in looking great. I was concerned as the coldest weather since April rolled in overnight....go figure. I tracked the shipment with UPS.... got a notification from UPS that the delivery would be delayed due to a mechanical issue when it arrived in Chicago. Got a further notification that it was out for delivery an hour later. The box arrived on the front porch.... upside down.... even though it says this side up with arrows.... oh well... As I think is often the case.... how stuff is packed and shipped is a big factor....as is how long they sit on a front porch.

    The box was well packed with a heat packet. None of the bags were too cold.... but you could feel it wasn't super warm either. I unpacked and floated all in my basement sump.... and inspected what I could through the bags. After about an hour in the sump, I moved fish to a 5 gal bucket and began a drip acclimation. For those who want to bash... I do not QT fish. I know it is a risk. I have had some issues in the past and am of the opinion that the less stress you can provide the fish the better. As soon as salinity matches.... I will move the fish into a darkened display tank. That should put the existing inhabitants into an early day down mode... I hope and give the new fish some time to adjust. I have some treated food ready to feed later. Will bring up some lights later this evening.

    On inspection of the fish are plump.... nothing that would concern me at this point.

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

    Had to step away for a call as I was writing this.... Well.... salinity is fully matched over a period of about 90mins and the fish are eager to get out of the bucket. I moved them to the darkened display as planned. The new fish are chasing the existing fish around the tank... I think they are looking for safety in numbers. Well... this is freaking out the existing fish ( rabbit, naso and a yellow tang. The anthias are all tucked away for an early slumber)....and so there are some flashing and chasing back and forth. I am hoping a darkened tank will allow for them to settle down more than with lights on.

    The fish I bought were a male blue jaw trigger and a convict tang...also got a green spotted dragonets that is being conditioned separately. The sizes are as I expected.... trigger and tang are both small/medium in size. Color on them is already great and as I said, both are plump and very healthy looking.

    I know it is early... and the risk is there....but it is my process....the only difference is this time around the fish came from LA.

    I hope this helps. We will see how all settles in. Will provide an update tomorrow.
     
  10. KMench

    KMench Well-Known Member

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    Bought from both LA and Saltwaterfish.com. LA order came with all fish looking well, shrimp was deceased. After adding fish to QT had an outbreak of ich among them :( didn't work out too well in the end. Lost a few. Just got an order from Saltwaterfish.com on Tuesday and everyone arrived alive and has stayed alive (4 fish 1 shrimp 1 conch). The butterfly's bag leaked, so he wasn't super happy but is doing great now. Got an ornate leopard wrasse who's still freaking out, had to help her back to the sand container in the QT, but she's still kicking...
     
  11. falconut

    falconut Well-Known Member

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    @dansreef - Glad everything came in looking great, the way it should be. I know they have great service, but I'd rather have a healthy fish as you did.

    @KMench - That's what I'm worried about. I don't work near home, so I'd need to take the day off and if there was an issue and another shipment, I'd have to take another day off. I looked at saltwaterfish.com too, prices were really good, but so many bad reviews scared me with them.
     
  12. KMench

    KMench Well-Known Member

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    lol, well. Funny story.... they actually held my order the first time because a fish didn’t pass inspection. You can choose your delivery date and even specify if you want Saturday for an extra five dollars. The fifteen day guarantee is nice for if any of the fish have problems. I’m a little worried about my ornate leopard wrasse currently. It’s highly unlikely that any of the online places will provide a seperate order to replace any dead fish, a refund or credit is more likely. l did get four fish, a shrimp, and a conch and they all came alive, unlike my LA experience when l had a DOA.
     
  13. dansreef

    dansreef Well-Known Member

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    Well..... 24 hours in.... and all three fish are doing well. The trigger did injure his mouth diving into his rock hiding place. I blame the dog for barking at the neighbor cutting his grass in 20 degree weather... which scared the crap out of the trigger... But all fish are eating and no signs of any other issues... *knock on wood* The other tangs do still chase the convict tang around....but this dude is wicked fast and maneuverable. They don't mess with the blue jaw... Hopefully he gets more comfortable... as he is pretty skittish.

    Would I order again from LA... Yes. So far so good!

    image-70754.jpeg
     
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  14. KMench

    KMench Well-Known Member

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    No QT?
     
  15. ca1ore

    ca1ore Well-Known Member CTARS Member

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    Exactly my experience as well. Usually as described, occasionally larger.
     
  16. dansreef

    dansreef Well-Known Member

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    Nope. No QT.

    I know... I know... Everyone can now get all up in arms and tell me how terrible that is. I have been in the hobby for more years than I would actually like to admit. I have never QT'd a fish.... coral or invert. Am I playing "Russian roulette" with my tank... maybe. Would I recommend it to someone else... no. It is just the way I roll.

    BTW... I know quite a few reef keepers who don't QT. The train of thought runs this way... I know, I know... this will get some people all fired up... The less stress you put on a fish... the better the outcome will be. Less stress by putting them into an environment where they can quickly adjust to, eat and be part of an ecosystem.. and thrive. Can they still bring in ich and other parasites... sure. Have I lost fish.... Yes. I have. Will I lose more in the future.... probably. So does a lot of people who QT.

    My strategy... I buy from a good source. This is the first time I bought from LA. I honestly was a bit nervous.... still am. But so far so good. If they were not in good shape... I have another tank I have running that I could have put them into. I think putting fish in a sterile glass box can cause a lot more undue stress on the fish... A lot of chemicals then get dumped in... that may or may not kill off parasites. I know of people who have QT for weeks, introduced fish into a display and bam.... an ich outbreak. It happens.

    I have some LFS that I also trust. I know they QT and observe fish and wont sell to me unless the fish are healthy and eating. Buying a fish from any source is a risk. I am very selective....usually. LA like I said is a first for me.

    It works for me.
     
  17. dansreef

    dansreef Well-Known Member

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    It has been a few days and I thought I would update you on my LA purchase. All three of the fish are doing really well. They are eating like pigs and settling in well to their new home. As I mentioned in my previous post, I do not QT my fish. I haven't ever done so over the many years I have been in the hobby. As a result there is always a risk of a bad outcome. I have heard nothing but great things from LA. I have not been disappointed. All three fish are exactly what I was looking for, bought and were completely healthy...and are to date.

    One issue I had was my blue jaw is very timid. It has taken all of the last few days to settle into the new environment. On day one, he dashed into the rockwork to escape something and rammed his nose into coral or rock. This injured his mouth. I have been watching it like a hawk, as I work from my home office. His mouth looks great today... getting better and better. His appetite is voracious as triggers usually are. His personality and comfort in the tank and the other inhabitants is really stating to show.

    All in all, I am very happy with LiveAquaria. They delivered.

    I hope this helps the original poster and others who have asked me to post on my purchase experience.
     
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