What is the worst condition that you have seen a new arrival fish and have it survive?

Flyer

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Recently purchased a small powder brown tang and FedEx messed delivery all up. Was supposed to be here overnight and arrive last Friday morning however go figure was delayed in Memphis. The fish finally showed up today (Tuesday) and to my surprise it still had a little life in it (not much though). I immediately treated with stress guard as soon as I opened the bag and had a bucket of fresh salt water going with Methylene Blue, air stone and heater in it. He immediately was on his side and gasping for air after hand catching him out of the bag. Let him sit in the MB bath for 45 minutes and then moved him over to another bucket of just salt water. The way things were looking I thought for sure he would be dead by now. However now in the saltwater bucket with air stone while still looking bad he does seem more alert and seems to have a little more fight in him. My questions is has anyone had a delayed deliver fish like this look like certain death and make it?
 
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Sharkbait19

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I personally haven’t had much luck with near DOAs, but I have read successes with it. Before my days of QT I would put fish right into the tank (unless it was really bad) and the other fish didn’t help. Others were often too far gone and I didn’t have the proper supplies to help them. More my fault than the fish not making it.
FWIW, if the tang is still alive, I think he’s going to make it. He is clearly a fighter and the fact that he is doing better already gives me hope. You are doing everything right and I think he will be back on his feet (fins) soon.
 
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Flyer

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He was still alive in the bag after a 4 day delay?
Yes, barely. Was completely surprised when I looked in the bag and he was in there breathing heavy. I still would be shocked if he actually made it however he has been showing small signs of improvement over the last 3 hours. Went from hardly moving to swimming on side. Already named him miracle. :) Really sad as fish is just gorgeous. Will give him/her every possible chance to make it.
 
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Nigel35

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Yes, barely. Was completely surprised when I looked in the bag and he was in there breathing heavy. I still would be shocked if he actually made it however he has been showing small signs of improvement over the last 3 hours. Went from hardly moving to swimming on side. Already named him miracle. :) Really sad as fish is just gorgeous. Will give him/her every possible chance to make it.
Excellent. Keep us updated!
 

uhgster1

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I forgot a yellow watchman gobie during a move a few years ago. I thought he was dead and I found him in the overflow of my tank after I broke it down for the move. I bagged him and put him with some extra aquarium stuff and forgot about him again. By the time I found him he had been in the bag, outside, in 80 degree plus weather for over two weeks. He was skinny and pale but alive! I threw him into the tank and he lived on another two years. I named him Lazarus.
 

allsite

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Yes. I recently had a dottyback arrive motionless, bend in a U shape, face planted in the corner of the bag. I did the same thing with the bucket, minus the treatment and he was back on his fins in a few hours. Today is a week later and he looks perfectly healthy.
 

DHill6

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Arrived in cold water, mouth wide open, not breathing, looked dead. Drip acclimated for 45 min. Mouth closed, put him in dt and he’s been fine ever since. Court Jester.
 
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Arcite

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FedEx messed delivery all up
I have had nothing but issues with FedEx... USPS has delivered snails into our parcel locker... which is all metal and I live in Florida... Luckily I check the mail every day, I had snails sitting in a 100+ degree metal box for 3 hours. UPS is the only reliable shipper in my area.
 

blackstallion

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Recently purchased a small powder brown tang and FedEx messed delivery all up. Was supposed to be here overnight and arrive last Friday morning however go figure was delayed in Memphis. The fish finally showed up today (Tuesday) and to my surprise it still had a little life in it (not much though). I immediately treated with stress guard as soon as I opened the bag and had a bucket of fresh salt water going with Methylene Blue, air stone and heater in it. He immediately was on his side and gasping for air after hand catching him out of the bag. Let him sit in the MB bath for 45 minutes and then moved him over to another bucket of just salt water. The way things were looking I thought for sure he would be dead by now. However now in the saltwater bucket with air stone while still looking bad he does seem more alert and seems to have a little more fight in him. My questions is has anyone had a delayed deliver fish like this look like certain death and make it?
Last year, I purchased a YT online, FedEx overnight. Arrived several hours later than scheduled, with the outside of the box completely water logged! One way or another, I'm guessing his sharp fins punctured the bag sometime during transit and all the water leaked out, other than a very small amount on the bottom that just barely covered one of his gills. He was just barely alive, so I threw him into my QT hospital I had prepared. He was upside down through the night, but to my surprise he made it and is extremely happy and healthy to this day!
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Tamberav

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I had a blue star leopard arrive floating and in the QT tank it was so weak it would get stuck to the overflow. I had to ofc keep the pump off. It could not bury in the sand due to being too weak. I helped it into the rocks where it wedged itself. It slowly recovered its buoyancy and strength over the coming weeks. That was years ago and I still have it today.
 

ThRoewer

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I never had a fish pull trough after a weekend in the bag.

Worst was a LiveAquaria Friday delivery that arrived the following Wednesday because UPS didn't get it out in time on Thursday and then thought the animals should get their moneys worth and see a pit more of the US instead of just making the short hop from Ontario, CA to Oakland, CA. So they sent them to Kentucky where the shipment got first stuck due to the weekend and then experienced an additional delay delay due to bad weather. When the box finally arrived some of the animals were already in advanced decomposition and you could smell it before even opening the box. And the stench of decomposing anemone was really horrible after I opened the box.

One lesson I have learned the hard way: never have deliveries close to the weekend, especially not if the following Monday is a holyday.
The safest days for overnight live animal shipments to go out are Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday would be the very latest I would ever want my fish to be shipped out. If something goes wrong, at least there is still an option to get it delivered on the next day.
Friday deliveries are the riskiest due to automatically being delayed 3 days and Saturday deliveries have the highest amount of screw-ups.
 

Jay Hemdal

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Recently purchased a small powder brown tang and FedEx messed delivery all up. Was supposed to be here overnight and arrive last Friday morning however go figure was delayed in Memphis. The fish finally showed up today (Tuesday) and to my surprise it still had a little life in it (not much though). I immediately treated with stress guard as soon as I opened the bag and had a bucket of fresh salt water going with Methylene Blue, air stone and heater in it. He immediately was on his side and gasping for air after hand catching him out of the bag. Let him sit in the MB bath for 45 minutes and then moved him over to another bucket of just salt water. The way things were looking I thought for sure he would be dead by now. However now in the saltwater bucket with air stone while still looking bad he does seem more alert and seems to have a little more fight in him. My questions is has anyone had a delayed deliver fish like this look like certain death and make it?
I once had a commercial shipment be delayed for 24 hours. As I went through trying salvage things, I lifted up a bag with a garibaldi in it. The fish was upside down, barely breathing. As I watched, it twitched, its gills flared and it stopped breathing. I opened the bag and held the fish into a filter outflow for 10 minutes. It started breathing on its own and lived for many years after.

Jay
 

Arcite

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One lesson I have learned the hard way: never have deliveries close to the weekend, especially not if the following Monday is a holyday.
I agree 100%, I won't order a fish unless I can guarantee it ships out on Monday or Tuesday. Our local FedEx office the absolute worst and "holding" it at a facility for pick up doesn't even guarantee anything. I've had them put it on a truck while I was at the facility (and they were supposed to be holding it) and then they didn't deliver it on time or get it back to the facility before it closed... I hate our local FedEx
 

Calm Blue Ocean

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I once had a commercial shipment be delayed for 24 hours. As I went through trying salvage things, I lifted up a bag with a garibaldi in it. The fish was upside down, barely breathing. As I watched, it twitched, its gills flared and it stopped breathing. I opened the bag and held the fish into a filter outflow for 10 minutes. It started breathing on its own and lived for many years after.

Jay

Fish CPR!
 

zalick

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I once had a commercial shipment be delayed for 24 hours. As I went through trying salvage things, I lifted up a bag with a garibaldi in it. The fish was upside down, barely breathing. As I watched, it twitched, its gills flared and it stopped breathing. I opened the bag and held the fish into a filter outflow for 10 minutes. It started breathing on its own and lived for many years after.

Jay
While not reef fish, I’ve done a similar process with salmon/steelhead and other fish I’ve caught that weren’t breathing. Hold by tail, move back and forth in water until they are revived and then keep going until they pull away on their own strength. Pretty amazing to see!
 
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