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JSak

Question on Shipping Cardinal Sulawesi Shrimp

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Hi all,

 

I'm pretty frustrated and upset ATM, so I hope you can bear with me. I ordered cardinal sulawesi shrimp from someone on aquabid who has good reviews. It came with overnight shipping, so I was pretty optimistic. When I opened the package I could smell death and sure enough when I checked the bag with the shrimp they were all dead, the water was cloudy, and they REEKED, which I thought was unusual especially with overnight shipping. Until I found a heat pack at the bottom (I'm in Ohio with the temperature ranging around mid 70s - high 80s), which I thought was very strange. The package was small, insulated with a styrofoam box, and contained the heat pack, so I figured the temperatures rose really fast and killed the shrimp. However, I've pretty much only raised neos and caridina up until now. I wouldn't say I'm an expert, but I feel like I know the fundamentals of shrimp keeping. I also know that it's better to have a slightly lower temperature than a higher temperature when shipping any livestock because heat increases the metabolism of the animals, which leads to more waste and ammonia buildup in the water, which would impact the health of the animals even if they survive the shipping. So I'm very confused about why the heat pack was included. I asked the seller, along with a VERY long email, why the heat pack was included and they pretty much brushed me off and said "DOAs are unfortunate, but happen occasionally". So I ask you guys, do cardinal sulawesis ship better with heat packs due to a higher temperature requirement or is this guy full of it? 

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Sorry to hear about your loss as its painful to see. I currently breed 6 types of sulawesi and I'll chime in a bit. Your comments are correct for neos and caridina where cooler water without heat packs or ice packs work best. But for sulawesi shrimps they dont ship well and they need the constant heat above 82 f to be comfortable. So I'd guess that he should have added the heat pack. Or some of my friends who ship across the country dont ship unless the temp is of a certain degree. With that said they're really painful to ship with lots of doa and it's better if you can to buy locally.

Hope your next experience will be better with them

I'll also give you another example of wild caught ones shipped from indonesia direct 36 hours

I ordered 150 only 90 came alive and only 30 survived the critical 3 week mark.

8a682f419ab1d431b2881865658f846f.jpg

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@rwong2k thank you for your input! He finally got back to me and said the exact same thing about having to maintain higher temperatures while shipping. I actually ordered cardinals from someone last year and I don't believe they shipped with a heat pack and pretty much all of them arrived alive and healthy. I even noticed a berried female that came with the order and another one that showed up while in the tank. Unfortunately, they didn't end up making it after several months, but I guess after seeing that method of shipping last year I felt like the heat pack may have been the reason why they all didn't make it this time. 

 

The seller is actually from the states, so I think the shrimp are USA bred. It really bothered me that he didn't really explain why the heat pack was necessary, so it seemed like he was brushing me off, but now I see that this is the normal method of shipping these guys. He did say he'll give me partial credit for my order, so depending on how much the credit is I may try again with the same seller. Thank you again! If it wasn't for your explanation, I probably would've continued to wrongfully accuse the seller. 

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That's great to hear. I can feel your frustration through the first post. The flip side is it could have been on the mail truck for a long time and the bag could have over heated. That's another way of looking at it. And you're familar once theres one dead shrimp thr water goes bad and could have a spiral effect on the rest of them. Either way, anyone I've talked to who tried to ship them wouldn't do it again. Its quite risky and a sensitive shrimp esp to temp.

It's happened to me I ordered 1000 there was a delay in the airport and they opened the bags. All 1000 dead. I almost cried.

For me I only sell to local people who pick up. But that's just me.

Wish you more success next shipment, either way it sucks when the buyer doesnt reply.promotly cause we spend quite a bit of money on shrimps in general and would love a quick and prompt response when it goes bad.

Have a great evening

On the other hand I love breeding these guys and just set up a 50g rock scape for sulawesi.

Heres a photob72a36c91a44218ee06807eda46a7280.jpg17503a1e6752348ae42c859519ea1a48.jpg

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That's true. I rarely get overnight shipping, but I guess there's always a lot of factors that go into what could've gone wrong. Hoping it'll be resolved somehow.

 

Ouch...that's some determination and dedication to keep trying with them though, and it seems like it worked out for you! The tank looks awesome! It'll look amazing when it's full with shrimp covering the rocks. Good luck and have a good evening yourself! 

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I have shipped thousands of shrimp over the years and I am very familiar with the needs of Sulawesi. To answer your question - NO the seller is NOT "full of it" But there are several things that could go wrong. Presuming that the shrimp are Healthy  (not imports) here are some ideas on what could happen...Seller did not distance the heatpack from the bag of shrimp by using space and a barrier ? Or use a larger sized box to ship, creating more space in the box (heat dispersion). They do require higher temps so I can't see him packing without one but if he used the 7x7x6" or small box it would cause it to heat up too much and since these shrimp are sensitive it likely caused death within hours of him shipping. Seller also needs to use a higher volume of water when shipping in summer with heatpack so the fluctuation is less intense. Other thing I have to ask is did you receive the box at first delivery attempt and/or leave it outside at all during the day, that could be another issue. From your story it sounds like he used a small box, and not enough bag water, and the box heat up too much early in the shipment (heatpack too close to shrimp bag)He should include extra for doa if "doa is normal" or atleast refund you for the doas (If you followed doa policy/procedure). Yes the rare time DOA does occur(usually in summer), but its up to the seller to pack properly and its up to the buyer to receive the box immediately and provide the seller with clear photos of obviously dead shrimp in the shipping bag. Clear photos are easy to take for buyers nowadays,and dead shrimp can easily be identified from live shrimp in photos. Good Luck!! :)

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@Shrimp Life I now understand that he was not just making things up or trying to cover a mistake, but what got me irritated was that he blew me off when I sent a long and detailed email and asked why the heat pack was necessary (I didn't say that he shouldn't have put a heat pack, just wanted an explanation). It was mainly a miscommunication thing. I was upset because the shrimp were all dead and appeared to be dead for a while with overnight shipping and he didn't give me a straight answer when I was trying to hold back my frustration in the first email. 

 

The box was pretty small. In comparison, I got a box of just mini rabbit snails from another seller and the box for them was bigger than the box that contained the shrimp and some regular rabbit snails. The shrimp, snails and heat pack were wrapped well in parchment paper, and he later told me he put the snails in between the heat pack and shrimp to prevent overheating. The amount of water was less than any I've ever received for shrimp and snails (excluding MTS), which is why I thought they died from overheating. I instantly smelled something decaying when I opened the package.

 

Unfortunately, I'm in vet school so I'm pretty much in class from 8- 3 or 4 Monday-Friday, which makes deliveries such as these difficult. However, I've recently (within the past 2 weeks) received OERBTs, Blue Bolts, Purple Nanacys, and I even received Cardinal Sulawesis and Stardusts a year ago from a different seller, all with little to no DOAs (never had to contact a seller to resend shrimp). That being said, my apartment is located in a larger building with 4 other units, so my apartment is indoors in a sense, so I tell sellers to try to write "deliver to front door" because USPS usually delivers packages to a parcel locker that's outside. They usually don't listen so most of my shrimp were in that parcel locker and I had no issues. However, this time I got really lucky and they actually delivered the Sulawesis to my front door. They were left in front of my door for approximately 3-4 hours, but they were indoors where they didn't have any sun or outside heat exposure. 

 

It took a little while (he said he's traveling now), but he did give me partial refund and told me he won't ship the shrimp until he researches and finds the problem, so I can appreciate that. I did not write a review or reveal the seller until I heard his side of the story, which I'm glad I did because he ended up making things right. The rabbit snails all made it and are alive and doing well in their tank. Thank you for your input! I'm always interested to hear from other keepers about their experience and/or knowledge.

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@HumanArtRebel1020 the shrimp came in a package that included 5 yellow spotted rabbit snail and overnight shipping, so with the refund he gave me I basically paid $65 for the rabbit snails and overnight shipping. The snails are doing very well, so I'm more than satisfied with the DOA refund he gave me. I did kind of go off in my first email to him, but I restrained myself from trying to directly blame or offend him. Fortunately, I gave him a chance to explain himself and I didn't end up making a fool of myself, but throughout the whole process he was pretty difficult to communicate with, which bothered me the most. It would've been nice if he said he'd let me know when the shrimp are available again if I'd like to purchase and try again, but I'll just write him a positive review and look elsewhere for the cardinals.

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This conversation has been very educational as Cardinals are on my bucket list.  Was hoping to get some this year, so thank you for posting!  Now I'll know to ask how they're shipped...  I'd heard they didn't ship well...  The 72 hour heat packs have the most gentle warming action, the shorter length warmers can heat up substantially more...  I never ship anything with them even if it's going overnight...  And I always use more water and a cardboard barrier between the bag and the heat pack.  Anyone new to shipping might find the attached graph helpful.  Also, there's an option in most areas of "Hold for Pickup." The post office will hold your package at the post office for you to pickup.  That way it won't go on the delivery truck, where it may be very hot or very cold for several hours.  It will be held at the post office at room temperature.  I always ask for this option when I have livestock shipped to me, as I'm near the end of the delivery route.  I'd rather make the trip to the post office and reduce the chance of disappointment...  But I understand that it's not practical for everyone.  Heat packs always add an additional element of risk, but in the winter they can be a necessary evil.  Glad I'm not shipping these guys on a routine basis!

69543_661701010519735_1226693571_n.png

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@TheGlassBox I’m glad my post was beneficial to others besides myself! The input from you and other hobbyists with experience caring for and shipping these guys, or shrimps in general, has helped me to know what to look for in a company/breeder who sells shrimps. Thank you for sharing the graph! That makes a lot more sense as it was probably a foot warmer used (slightly larger than the smallest warmers I usually see). And with a small, insulated box housing shrimp in a small breather bag with a small volume of water, it seems likely that the shrimp would’ve overheated relatively quickly. It doesn’t sound like this happens often for the seller so maybe I just got very unlucky? 

 

When I first started shrimp keeping I always had my packages held for pickup, but that was when I was in undergrad and had more time to pick up the shrimp and more options in terms of being able to skip some classes without much worry. However, now I’m in veterinary school, which requires me to be in class usually from 8 am - 3 or 4 pm, and then I go home and study until about 9 or 10 pm. So not only is the post office usually closed before and after I end class, but for me at least, skipping class usually leads to falling behind.

 

I understand that I run the risk of receiving DOAs because they may have to sit for a little longer, but I try to coordinate deliveries on days where I finish class early to give the shrimp the best possible chance. I inform the sellers that I understand the consequences of not receiving them immediately (relating to their DOA policies), but prefer that they’re delivered on the expected day and having to sit for a few hours compared to possibly getting out of class after the post office closes and forcing the shrimp to wait another night (and we all know how unreliable and unhelpful USPS can be). I take all the precautions that I can afford, but my education is my top priority right now (as a vet student I’m sure you all can understand my love for animals, which is why I keep shrimp as a way to have a low-maintenance pet that provides a much needed stress relief). This was honestly the biggest DOA issue I had in the many shipments I have had, so I’m generally optimistic and confident in the shipping process as long as the seller seems legit and knowledgeable. 

 

On a side note (sorry for the long post, just very enthusiastic and excited to be back in the hobby), I FINALLY found another seemingly reputable seller of cardinal shrimps. So I ordered a larger quantity in hopes that if there are DOAs I’ll have enough survivors to at least start a colony 🤞 wish me luck! 

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Oh yeah, I get that the hold for pick up option doesn't work for everyone.  It does for me, as I work out of my house and the post office is right down the street LOL.  Plus I have a 750 foot driveway, so it's less of a pain to run to run to the post office than it is to run up and down the driveway to the box every 20 minutes or so!  (Not that I couldn't use the exercise...)  20 years ago when I worked at another job with less flexibility, it wouldn't have been an option at all.  I just like to put it out there as it's good to know about.  😊

 

It could also be that the seller is simply new, and on the learning curve.  Another reason I posted the chart.  😊

 

Keep us posted on the Cardinals!  They've been on my bucket list forever!  I swear, this will be the year LOL!

 

 

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@TheGlassBox I would definitely hold for pickup every time if my life wasn’t signed over the the veterinary school right now 😭 but I am taking a class on exotic pets, which includes a whole fish section at the end of the semester so I’m excited to learn the medicine and physiology behind aquarium fish, and if I’m lucky, maybe a little on inverts. Definitely good to inform everyone because you never know who might end up reading this post and find this information helpful. Will do! If they come in alive and healthy I’ll let you know who I got them from when you decide to take the leap 😆

 

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@rwong2k those look amazing! Congrats! Do you keep them in the same aquarium?

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So just an update. I ordered cardinal shrimp from 2 sellers to see differences in shipping methods, health of the shrimp, and just in case one of them comes in all DOA again I have a possible backup (I could’t find any other sites that have these shrimp available for sale).

 

The first package came today, and I was hesitant with them, but now am pretty conflicted. I ordered from BreedInUSA, but the only shipping option they had available was USPS Priority, which would take at least 2 days. I was hesitant, so I emailed and asked them. I didn’t get a response for a few days, so I decided to just get a few to see how it goes so I know if this is a reliable breeder. The shipment took 2 days and USPS delivered the package in our outdoor parcel locker, even though they wrote “deliver to front door” for me -.- They were probably sitting in the parcel locker for 2 hours (I’m in vet school and had a lab today so there was absolutely no way I could leave early to get them). The package was the small, flat rate USPS square box, and when I opened it there was insulated styrofoam with reflective material on the inside (not as insulated as the first shipment), but no heat pack at all. The shrimp were well-packaged and from all the packages I’ve received in my shrimp keeping, it looked like a pretty standard shipping setup. The bag the shrimp were in was a normal plastic bag (not a Kordon breather bag), completely full of java moss, but all the shrimp (I ordered 7 and he sent 1 extra) not came in alive, but were ACTIVELY swimming around the bag. I have them drip acclimating and they seem more than fine.

 

So comparing this shipment to the last shipment I had priority shipping (2 days) vs overnight shipping, a standard shipping setup with styrofoam cut-outs and reflective material on the inside vs a well-insulated styrofoam box inside the shipping box (the ones they use to ship medical samples), no heat pack vs. a heat pack generating tons of heat since they were in a smaller box, and a regular plastic bag (with way more water) vs a Kordon breather bag. You’d think that the shrimp would’ve had no chance with this shipment method, but when I emailed the seller back, he said his shrimp are hardy and he adds new shrimp every year to strengthen the gene pool (very good practice btw).

 

I’m curious on all your thoughts about this. It sounds like the breeder has done this for a while and is knowledgeable, but based off what I’ve been hearing Cardinals need very strict shipping conditions. I’m honestly tempted to buy some more just to see if they’ll all arrive alive again (and they also look beautiful). I attached a picture of the shrimp acclimating.

BF73A563-2BA8-47CC-BF74-D9624FEEAC6C.jpeg

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Also forgot to mention that the previous shipment was delivered to my door (indoors) vs this last shipment being delivered to the parcel locker (outdoors), with both sitting for roughly the same amount of time until I finished with classes.

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Glad to hear you've got some alive caridinal and they're doing well. You've written quite a bit I'll have to reread once my kids are asleep.

But some thoughts. What was the temp in your and the shippers area during the shipping times? It could be warm enough that a heat pack wasnt required. Just some random theories based on what I know about these shrimps. But I could be wrong. Interesting thing about shrimps is if you post a question you'll probably get 10 different responses and they all work for them

Side note , tons of berried sulawesi shrimps for me.bacf2978e3527e551726bf2bb1337560.jpg

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@rwong2k sorry for the long post, I had some other users ask me to update them about my incoming shipments, so I wanted to provide a detailed description so they could have more information if they decide to buy some. 

 

The temp was pretty warm here the past few days, and they came from California, so I assume the weather there has been pretty warm as well. I thought of that as a possibility as well. I understand that I may have just gotten lucky on this package and had been unlucky on the last package, but I’m curious to hear any thoughts since the two shipping methods and results were so different. I also understand that when working with live animals there’s a lot of variables that can vary from one to the other, which can influence things such as their health. I’m very interested in learning as much as I can. I thought I would’ve been fine caring for Cardinals because I have a good amount of experience with neos and cards, but I see that they’re really different and am eager to learn more about them.

 

Looking awesome! They look so healthy and vibrant 🤩

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On 8/30/2019 at 10:31 AM, HumanArtRebel1020 said:

he should give full doa refund. basically he boiled the shrimp.

If the buyer followed doa protocol then yes he should get a refund or replacement. If not, unfortunately the seller can act at his discretion. Most experienced sellers know how and when to use a heatpack. 

 

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14 hours ago, JSak said:

vet school and had a lab today so there was absolutely no way I could leave early to get them). The package was the small, flat rate USPS square box, and when I opened it there

 

14 hours ago, JSak said:

So just an update. I ordered cardinal shrimp from 2 sellers to see differences in shipping methods, health of the shrimp, and just in case one of them comes in all DOA again I have a possible backup (I could’t find any other sites that have these shrimp available for sale).

 

The first package came today, and I was hesitant with them, but now am pretty conflicted. I ordered from BreedInUSA, but the only shipping option they had available was USPS Priority, which would take at least 2 days. I was hesitant, so I emailed and asked them. I didn’t get a response for a few days, so I decided to just get a few to see how it goes so I know if this is a reliable breeder. The shipment took 2 days and USPS delivered the package in our outdoor parcel locker, even though they wrote “deliver to front door” for me -.- They were probably sitting in the parcel locker for 2 hours (I’m in vet school and had a lab today so there was absolutely no way I could leave early to get them). The package was the small, flat rate USPS square box, and when I opened it there was insulated styrofoam with reflective material on the inside (not as insulated as the first shipment), but no heat pack at all. The shrimp were well-packaged and from all the packages I’ve received in my shrimp keeping, it looked like a pretty standard shipping setup. The bag the shrimp were in was a normal plastic bag (not a Kordon breather bag), completely full of java moss, but all the shrimp (I ordered 7 and he sent 1 extra) not came in alive, but were ACTIVELY swimming around the bag. I have them drip acclimating and they seem more than fine.

 

So comparing this shipment to the last shipment I had priority shipping (2 days) vs overnight shipping, a standard shipping setup with styrofoam cut-outs and reflective material on the inside vs a well-insulated styrofoam box inside the shipping box (the ones they use to ship medical samples), no heat pack vs. a heat pack generating tons of heat since they were in a smaller box, and a regular plastic bag (with way more water) vs a Kordon breather bag. You’d think that the shrimp would’ve had no chance with this shipment method, but when I emailed the seller back, he said his shrimp are hardy and he adds new shrimp every year to strengthen the gene pool (very good practice btw).

 

I’m curious on all your thoughts about this. It sounds like the breeder has done this for a while and is knowledgeable, but based off what I’ve been hearing Cardinals need very strict shipping conditions. I’m honestly tempted to buy some more just to see if they’ll all arrive alive again (and they also look beautiful). I attached a picture of the shrimp acclimating.

BF73A563-2BA8-47CC-BF74-D9624FEEAC6C.jpeg

DOAS can and do happen, even with experienced sellers. Alot of the times its even nothing the seller did wrong.  If your first seller was reputable, and shipping Sulawesi many times, he is going to pack the way he feels is safe. No seller/shipper wants to have to have a customer with DOAS (buyer disappointed), and we don't want to have to go to the trouble or replacement, refund etc. Its entirely possible that your box was exposed to heat somewhere in transit. It IS summer, right. There is a possibility you are that unlucky person.. sometimes if a shrimp dies in transit, it pollutes the bag and others will die too. Could be that simple thing of a stressed shrimp dying and polluting water, and have nothing to do with HEAT or his packing at all...  The way you described your second shipment is not how I would ship shrimp... especially shipping sensitive ones like Sulawesi. But good news is NOW you have some nice shrimp and  I think if you have the right setup, caridinals are very easy to keep and breed. I've seen plenty of people succeed with them, who are not advanced hobbyist at all. :D So have fun!!!

 

PS you mentioned Kordon vs Poly Bag. I only use Poly Bags.As you know I shipped you green jades that were delayed by usps and 5 days later they arrived in good shape. So the whole kordon bag thing, isn't important at all, and its almost a fear that sellers have to make that transition to Poly bags, but really its more dependable then kordon IMO (in the past severe leaking, burst, etc)

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I can definitely understand that. With animals, especially sensitive species such as these, I know there is no one true correct answer and/or one true wrong answer (in vet med we learn how things are “supposed” to be when diagnosing diseases but there’s always rare, or uncommon individuals that don’t follow the rules). I mainly wanted to hear opinions on specific things that the first seller may have done that was questionable (for me it was the small box and small volume of water, which I thought may cause more risk of temperature fluctuations and rapid temperature rise/falls) or anything the second seller did that is good practice (larger volume of water, plants, and the arguably the Poly bags), or vice versa, if I have success breeding and want to sell in the future.

 

Yup I’m excited now that I have live Cardinals! It sounds like finding them for sale and shipping is the most stressful and difficult part of keeping these guys. I wish I ordered more so I don’t have to go through the shipping again...but learning about Kordon breather bags vs. Poly bags is useful information that I’ll definitely look into! Thanks for sharing!

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I vote with the old fashioned poly bags too!  The one thing I don't like about the breather bags is that you can't double bag them.  The manufacturer says not to.  I like to double bag.  If one bag bursts, there's another bag to catch the water and possibly protect the livestock.  Plus it contains the mess so the postal workers don't have to worry about what was in that dripping, soggy box...  I buy bags from reputable sellers, but everything is cheaply made nowadays.  And as you don't have to worry so much about a possible mess, you can feel better about shipping livestock with more water in the bag.   We can pack things as best and responsibly as we can, but once the box is out of our hands, fate can intercede...  

 

So until the manufacturer tells us that it's okay to double bag breather bags, I'll stick with the old fashioned poly ones...

 

Oh, and I once had an order that was lost by the post office and delivered after a week and a half.  The shrimp were alive and healthy.  I couldn't believe it!  They were Neos, not anything delicate.  But darn Neos can be tough!!!

 

😂

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