Transporting Fish

Transporting live fish (or any living product) requires special consideration. Obviously, it is more involved than sending a book or CD in the mail. Some species transport well via courier or airfreight. Small hearty fish such as goldfish or mosquito fish are good examples. If packaged properly (uncrowded) with enough oxygen, appropriate temperature control and shipped overnight, these fish will arrive in good shape ready for introduction into their new environment. Click here to read an article on the art of shipping live fish.

Acclimating goldfish. Click image to enlarge

Acclimation is an important factor when moving fish. For our larger orders the fish haulers deal with the process. However, if you have just received an order of goldfish or gambusia from our courier service, unpack the double plastic bags from the cardboard shipping boxes. Remove the outer bag and set the inner bag to float in the lake. After about 3 minutes cut open the bag and mix about a gallon of lake water with the water in the bag. Do this slowly and allow the fish a few minutes to adjust to the change in water chemistry. After another 2 minutes release a handful of fish into the lake. If they head for the bottom all is right with the world – that is normal. Slowly release the balance of the fish into the lake. Allow about 5 minutes per bag for the whole process. Losing a few fish per bag is normal.

In a few cases where the transportation has gone afoul the fish may arrive in a stressed condition. Sometimes proper acclimation will bring them around. However, if your fish die or are looking unhealthy after following the instructions above, notify us immediately. We warranty our fish to arrive in a healthy condition but can only honour the guarantee if we are notified right away. Obviously there are many factors that can kill fish. We cannot guarantee what we cannot control yet we make every effort to supply live, healthy fish.

Professional Haulers

Professional haulers transport our larger fish. Fish haulers must be properly equipped to maintain oxygen and temperature levels necessary for a journey of several days from fish farm to end user. Fish hauling trucks have multiple baffled compartments or holes and carry oxygen, which is diffused into the compartments. Fish species travel differently and some are more sensitive to changing environments. Often, fish haulers anaesthetise fish or add materials to the hauling tanks that help protect the fish’s immune system. Our professional haulers move only healthy fish and employ techniques to guarantee our fish are delivered in the best possible condition.

A fish hauler must run an economically viable business and has to fill all the holes when making a long journey. Therefore, timing and logistics can be difficult to work out on small orders and multiple customers may be included on a single truck. P.K. Gills uses a variety of fish haulers and works diligently to schedule deliveries that are cost-effective for both haulers and customers. We encourage customers to remain flexible with regards to delivery dates.

Seasonal temperatures, storms and climate are another factor that must be considered when scheduling live fish deliveries. Contact us to determine the most advantageous time frame for a delivery into your area.