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Old 05-05-2008, 01:22 AM
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Default Livestock Shipping How-To w/ Pics!

Ok, so it took me awhile, but here it is finally...

Alright, so maybe we only want to send a bag or two, and don't want to use one of those big and expensive to ship styrofoam fish boxes. So, we make our own!

Start with some 1" sheets of styrofoam. You can often find them for free if you go to places that sell appliances, office furniture or even cabinets and such as the sheets are part of the packaging. If you can't find any for free you can find some in building supply stores usually in the laminate floor section or rigid insulation section.






Cut it all up (I just use a steak knife) so that it lines the box tightly, including a lid.






Since a DIY styro box isn't water tight, Put a garbage bag in the box.




Add a layer of styrofoam packing peanuts.




Now it's time to bag up some critters! I double bag all bags, and put a layer of newspaper between the bags to prevent the critters from seeing eachother, or in the case of corals it prevents them from poking holes in the bag.

Start by getting a square piece of newspaper that is a couple inches bigger than the bag's width.




Fold it in half, and then on each end you fold it over so that it is just a tad smaller than the bag's width.




Put the folded newspaper into a bag, open it up, and put a second bag into the newspaper.




If you're shipping fish, just plop them in. If you fill the bag to the top of the newspaper you should be able to put up to a 4" fish in there ok...depending on the shape of the fish. A 4" wrasse sure, but not a 4" Tang. Fish ship better with oxygen in the bag instead of air, so it's a good idea if you have it available. Sometimes fish stores will allow you to use their oxygen.

If you're shipping corals, you need to prep them. If the coral is a branching type, or frags on a plug, then cut a disk out of the styrofoam sheet, poke a hole in the centre, and insert the frag plug or the stem. If it's possible use an elastic band to secure it. In the case of clams, brain corals, goniopora, non-branching euphyllia, bubble corals, etc that you can't attach to a disk, then just put them in the bottom with no disk. I like to make the disk almost as big as the bag so that it doesn't move around in the bag too much.

Here's a Monti frag on a frag plug inserted into a hole in the disk. It fits VERY snugly so it won't fall out:




Here's a Candy Cane who's skeleton is inserted into the disk (also very snugly) and an elastic band holding it, just in case.




Close the bag up, and put a double elastic on it wrapping it as tight as you can, then fold the end over and wrap some more. The bag should be TIGHT with air.

This one shows the disk with a coral hanging under it:




Put the bag into your box being sure that there is at least one layer of peanuts under the bag, and lots all around it. There should be enough that so that the bag will not move around. It's not a worry if there are no peanuts on the top because the heat pack will be there warming the air up anyway.




Close the garbage bag with a knot, and tuck the knot in the side of the box so that it's not between the lid and the fish bags.
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Last edited by Myka; 05-05-2008 at 04:27 AM. Reason: To add more thoughts...
  #2  
Old 05-05-2008, 01:22 AM
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Get a heat pack. I like these ones (available for $1 at J&L Aquatics).




Read the directions on the back of the heat pack. Different brands have different instructions!!!

In this case, this pack heats up as soon as the plastic wrap is removed and the pack is exposed to air. It doesn't need to be shaken or mashed up or anything. This heat pack had red stripes on one side, and the red stripes need to be facing the critters. I loosely wrap a layer of newspaper around the pack keeping attention which direction the red stripes are, and tape it to the inside of the lid. You can skip the newspaper if you want, but I find sometimes the heat packs fall off the lid if they aren't wrapped in newspaper.




Put the lid on the styro box.




Close the cardboard box, and tape it up real well on all edges. Put the address and phone number on at least two sides, and put LIVE FISH (even if it's coral...a lot of people don't understand "coral" can die) on every side along with a big arrow for the right direction up. I also like to put a note on the top "Please call upon arrival".




Now, maybe you're shipping a few bags...so you are using one of the styrofoam fish boxes.




You can cram as many bags in these as you can fit, but be sure to keep fish bags upright so they have enough room to swim. Any bags that have styrofoam disks need to be upright as well. I like to put a layer of packing peanuts on the bottom to keep the water as well insluated as possible.




Fill any void space with packing peanuts. I ran out of packing peanuts. You need to fill the box all the way up!




Tape the newspaper wrapped heat pack (or two) to the lid.




Put the lid on the box, and run a ring of packing or duct tape all along where the lid meets the box (I should have got a picture of this). This way if the bags leak, and the box is turned upside down the water won't leak out of the box. Put the styro box into the cardboard box.




Tape 'er up real good, and write what you need to write (as above).







So that's it! Feel free to suggest slight changes if you'd like.

Also, feel free to send me from frags to practise your shipping!!!
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Last edited by Myka; 05-05-2008 at 04:31 AM.
  #3  
Old 05-05-2008, 01:38 AM
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Thats great a lot of people are intimidated by shipping maybe this will help out.The pictures make it very easy to understand.Thanks for all your hard work.Clint
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Old 05-05-2008, 01:39 AM
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Awesome. Ive asked alot of people if they shop frags, but most didnt know how. This needs to be a sticky
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Old 05-05-2008, 02:08 AM
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Nice packing job....

Nice nail color too.. ;0)
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Old 05-05-2008, 02:28 AM
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Excellent information. Also, for those considering shipping fish, don't forget to fill the bag with oxygen before you tie it.
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Old 05-05-2008, 02:31 AM
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What if one doesn't have O2?
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Old 05-05-2008, 03:16 AM
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Well Done, Myka.
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Old 05-05-2008, 04:09 AM
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Sometimes those styro discs don't have to be that big. It all depends on the size of the coral/frag. Otherwise, a very good ilustration on how to ship livestock.
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Old 05-05-2008, 04:13 AM
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Ya, Styro disks great Idea. My Xenia was upside down at the bottom of the bag when I got it from Greyhound. Didnt survive
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