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ctaylor3737

Shipping Shrimp Basics Practices

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Hello everyone,

 

I realized recently that we do not have an article dedicated to the topic of shipping shrimp. The goal of this article is to give people that are new to shipping shrimp some ideas about how that we do it. I realize that with anything in this hobby there is more than one way to do this. Some things or items that I use will not work for everyone and they may have a different opinion. I am always open for different ideas, Im just writing up what I know and what has worked for me!

 

So you got some shrimp and have had them a for awhile and you are getting to the point that you want to sell off some of your stock. The easiest way is to find a LFS or someone in the hobby around your area to trade or sell to. The downfall to this is they usually will only give you credit or you wont get what you want out of your shrimp that you spent all this time and effort into raising. That is when you turn to the forum that you use and get information from and that led you to the article! The great thing about turning to an online is your in direct connection with someone that truly is looking for the exact quality livestock that you carry. There are a number of things that go into a sale once you both agree to send the shrimp,

 

Initial 3 Questions to get answered before shipping:

 

First: Getting Paid lol, keep it safe and always use Paypal and do not send until the payment is in your account. Common sense but some people are new to online selling.

 

2nd: Make sure the party you are sending to and you have came to an agreement on shipping costs and speed. Many people take the chance and send USPS Priority Mail. It takes 2 days to get about anywhere, it is not guaranteed shipping though so things can and will happen to your package. There is usually little chance of DOA shrimp unless it is lost for more than a week. Now this is really just for the shrimp strains that can handle being in the bag that long such as the Neocaridina Species. Taiwan Bees and other less hardy strains should get shipped a little quicker, although I have seen them both do good in two day shipping.

 

3rd: Pick a day to ship and setup with the buyer to be home when the package arrives. You can instruct them to call the post office to hold the package at the office for pickup. You can also write on the box hold for pickup before you send, 9 times out of 10 if they dont call the office it will still get delivered. This is where damage to the shrimp comes in, when it is delivered it is in a box that is usually black and holds heat, on 95F days this will roast the shrimp in a matter of minutes. The same goes for the cold to the heatpack used is usually at the end of its breath when it reaches you.

 

 

Items to use for shipping

 

 

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What you need to decide is what will work for you and how you want to protect your valuable livestock. First would be the package size that you want to use. For a small order with 1 or 2 bags you can use the 7x7x6 box which can be ordered here at the USPS Free Boxes. They will deliver these to your house. Check the site for other odd shaped boxes as most will only carry the flate rate boxes at the store. The flat rate boxes are not really good for this situation because it does not cost that much to ship a box of shrimp.

 

Next you need it is best to ship the shrimp in a breather bag. They are very simple in the concept they allow Co2 gas to exit and O2 to enter the bag. That is how they can stay in the bag a few days because they have little bioload and they can breathe. The best way is to not feed them for a day or two before you go. Another great trick is to add a little bit of Seachem Purigen

to the bag. This way it will absorb the little waste that may accumilate during transit.

 

 

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Kordon Breather Bags are the bag of choice in the hobby for shipping shrimp. Up until recently there wasnt anyone else that made these, from what I hear thier patent expired so a chinese company is making something called the Ultimate Breather bag. I have used both and think they both do the same job and havent found a reason not to use either. Just be sure to check for any leaks prior to putting in box. I have had some leak that I caught before the box made it out. Another VERY important step is to include a piece of moss, plant or other material for the shrimp to hang on during transit. This is why conventional fish bags are not good for shrimp, they are somewhat more fragile and sloshing around in the bag causes undue stress that could later contribute to thier death. Another key thing to remember is that you need to wrap the bag in newspaper or something similar, papertowels are sometimes used. Not sure what this does but was always told by the company to do this so I do.

 

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Seachem Purigen is another key part that can be used in the bag when shipping. If you buy this be sure to buy the 250Ml or larger because the 100 bags are sealed and would not be as effecient. You only need a very tiny amount just a few in the bag and it will help absorb anything that is bad in the water caused by the shrimp.

 

Insulation and Packing Materials

 

Now that we have gone into what to use to package the shrimp, you also have to think about what your going to line the box with to add a little crush resistance and to keep the bag from rolling around in the box. There are a number of ways to do this. Some people will buy a sheet of insulation that you can find at Lowes and just cut to fit to line the boxes. There are also some sites that sell premolded foam to fit in the boxes. The ones that I use are located from TSK Shipping supplies and here is the preview of them.

 

 

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These fit perfectly into the priority mail box and provide excellent protection. I line my box with packing peanuts, insulation, newspaper or whatever else you have laying around your house.

 

 

Heat & Cold Packs

 

One of the main points in shipping shrimp and fish is to be cautious of the weather. It may be perfect where you live but out in Texas it may be 100F which would result in loss of a package. You can find Dry Gel Cold packs here, I use these ones because the shipping to you are cheap because they are dry, all you simply do is soak them in water for 15 mins and then freeze them. When using cold packs tape one to the bottom of the lid of the box, do not allow any part of it to touch the actual bag of shrimp, this could cause alot of problems for you when its traveling. Being that these are so cheap you can have the option of adding one for an extra fee, I usually just place mine in sandwhich sized bags and then just tape the bag to the top. Just make sure that there is enough room when you shove the lid down that it doesnt smash against the bag. Use these is standard when 70-80 temps. I normally do not ship if it over that temperature, I am more comfortable shipping shrimp in the dead of winter than in the summer. The heat packs seem to work alot better than the cold packs.

 

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Heat Packs are used when shipping in cooler temperatures, these need to be factored into your shipping price as these run a bit more than the cold packs do. These are really the same instructions as the cold packs in regards that you should not allow them to touch the bag at all during shipping. It also is advised to open the pack activate it and let it get to full heat before putting into the box. This will allow you to be sure that there is a stable temperature in the box, chances are you will get a high amount of heat first and then it will cool off as it goes. They do work though and have gotten packages when it was -20 outside and during a snowstorm and the pack was still warm.

 

 

 

 

 

More to follow: Will finish this later...

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Just wanted a bit more information regarding dead shrimp. So let's say you ship a package and it takes 6 days to arrive instead of 1-3 days via Priority Mail. The shrimps arrive alive. Accumulate them for 2-3 hours. A few shrimps die within the next few days. Would any of you cover that for this case? Reason being, the chances of DOA is literally close to none even if arrived late. But once accumulating them and placing them in your tank, the shock and fear starts and then die slowly. (This is what I believe).

 

I've had 2 shrimp packages take over 5 days to arrive due to USPS screwing up. All shrimp arrive alive but some die within 2-3 days then no more deaths.

With the packages I receive within 1-3 days, NONE dies after being in my tank. So I would assume packages that were delayed will most likely not be DOA but actually die after that. So how would one make a deal with the buyer or are you just going to be like don't care because it's not DOA.

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As the shrimp died in your tank and the USPS messed up the shipping not the seller I would say you have no grevence with the seller. If you did ship by either express or overnight and insured your shipment I would think you need to take it up with the USPS.

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Ok. USPS will NOT refund for shrimp. Let's put a different scenario. Buyer pays for overnight delivery. All shrimps arrive alive. A few dies within next 1-3 day. What would you sellers do? Please note DOA is somewhat bs because the chances of DOA is slim to none. The REAL STRESS starts once it's taken out of the package. I don't think there's much stress shipping them if packed correctly. 

 

Just trying to get to the point to see what sellers are going to do for such situation where shrimps arrive alive but die later on as the stress occurs from taking out of the package > accumulation > placed in tank.

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This is just for shipping practices. DOA policy is up with the buyer and seller.

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Sorry for going off topic. I wonder if there's any research done for this. I'm sure almost all of you shrimp shippers get your shrimp alive to the buyer. But how many of the shrimps survive and doesn't die after 1-3 days of arrive in a well established tank + well accumulated. 

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It's fine just didn't want to confuse readers with a debate. I still got a lot of writing to do. I'm not sure never have been told of any losses after.

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which boxes are recommended for priority express mail?  There are no similar sized 7x7x6 ones.

 

I use the 7x7x6 once, the lady at USPS help me to cover the priority mark with express tape.

 

so If you cover the priority mark on the box, it would be fine.

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Questions about the heat pack, it requires oxygen to active.

 

does it absorb too much oxygen in the box that shrimp in the breather bag would suffer?

 

any heat pack can work for 48 hours?

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Questions about the heat pack, it requires oxygen to active.

 

does it absorb too much oxygen in the box that shrimp in the breather bag would suffer?

 

any heat pack can work for 48 hours?

 

They come in different times that they stay heated. What I always do is leave a small hole in the top of the box where there will be air to come in the box. The packs work better when there is oxygen to use, they have a strip on them to and make sure that it is facing the right way from the directions.

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What type of UniHeat pack do you use? 20, 30, 40, 60, or 72 hour packs?

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72 for just about all mailings.  The smaller hours are great if you are cold in your area, but not where they are going.

 

I live in South Georgia, though it does get cold in January February, I was trying to get away with 40, 60 hours packs.

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Yea your better off using the 72hr ones, just incorporate it into your cost. They are expensive when your shipping all the time.

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Yea your better off using the 72hr ones, just incorporate it into your cost. They are expensive when your shipping all the time.

 

Thanks Chris. I will go with the 72hour packs. 

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Really helpful info here. Thanks for taking time to do this Chris.

Thanks, still needs a bit more when I get some free time.

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