Unboxing

DLHDesign

New member
Just got done unboxing my second @Humblefish Aquatics shipment and figured I'd share the experience. It was just me at home, so not able to capture it on video, but I did get some pictures all the way through.

TL;DR - Everything went great and the new fish kids are VERY healthy, happy, and safe in their new home.

For those that don't know; Bobby is in FL. I am in CA, so this shipment went about as far as possible.
The ship date was something we worked out between us, which was both easy and specific. I work from home, so am available to receive a shipment pretty much whenever. A fair number of these fish had been ready for some time, but we kept holding off on the shipment until he had a good number of fish ready to go. I really appreciate the willingness to hold fish for weeks - months, really - in order to help save on shipping costs. We had settled on a ship date of Monday (10/21) for Tuesday delivery. Then some bad weather rolled in, and Bobby suggested a Tuesday ship for Wed delivery. Since I was going to be out of the house for most of Wed, we settled on a Wed delivery for Thursday arrival. And that's how it went off. I got the tracking info towards the end of the day (waiting for EOD has the fish in bags for the shortest possible duration) and followed the package through TN and into CA. It arrived around 9:45am - slightly before the expected time of 10:30am.
Bobby had warned me that the box would be packed on it's side to prevent FedEx from having to tilt it to fit through their scanners. The box was delivered to my door in the correct orientation and was well labeled in every way possible.
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After opening it at the correct end (clearly marked, as you can see), I was happy to find no major leaks.
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A few bags may have had some inner leaking, but nothing at all significant. The slightly damp paper might have just been from the packing process. In either case; it was not enough to worry about.
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In total, there are 6 fish in this shipment. Four of the fish had the paper blinds to help keep aggression down during transit. The two that didn't were the 2 clowns - which makes sense given that they are mates. Even though they are mated, they each had their own bag.

In addition to the bags, the box also had a cold pack, that was melted some, but still cold enough to provide some temperature balance;
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The cryo pack was taped to the ceiling of the box, but packing tape didn't really hold up on the styrofoam;
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Not a big deal; enough of the tape and the the air in the bags kept the cryo pack from actually touching anything.

There was also a "heat" pack in the box (didn't get a pic of this, I guess) which wasn't really activated. These packs act to help reduce the temperature swings that can occur during shipping; they are the first thing to absorb heat and release it slower, so the temp swing of the water int he bags is slower. Or something like that; there are articles on this out there somewhere... Point being; lots of attention was given to protecting the fish during the transit stage.

A note on the bags;
Each fish is in a doubled up bag enclosure. The bags themselves are thick, and doubling them provides a very strong barrier for even fish with spines. The inner bag is rubber-banded closed (along with oxygen). The outer bag is triple vacuum sealed. The vacuum seals on the outer bag ensure that should anything happen to the banded bag, the outer bag will still retain the water and give the fish a good chance to survive the trip. The first shipment I got had the outer layer banded closed as well and one of the bags almost leaked out. Fish was fine, but we discussed this solution following that shipment and I'm glad it's worked out. :)

Pics of all the other bags;
(Just a note; my process here was mostly done in the blue-light wash from the tank. I only turned on the lights to check each fish and snap a picture.)
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Once I had all the bags out and confirmed everyone was moving about, I cut open each outer bag and placed the inner bag to float in the DT. I then turned off the main lights and all the flow pumps (2x gyres and 2x MP60's). This left me with the return pumps for flow and light-box for illumination. I cleaned up the mess I'd made so far and got out a small bowl and my strainer. My process for adding the fish is to put the strainer into the bowl, open the inner bag and pour the water and fish into the strainer/bowl. I quickly check again for any issues (mostly making sure the fish is out of the bag and not hung up on the strainer), then lift the fish out of the bowl with the strainer and lower them into the DT water. I keep the fish in the strainer for a minute or two to ensure that they are adapting to the new water well. I then lower the strainer deeper into the tank in a low-flow area and let them swim out and into the tank. Only then do I dump the bag water out of the bowl. I rinse the bowl and strainer in some RO/DI water and then repeat for the next bag. The only exception were the clowns; which I removed from their bags and into the DT together.
This process isn't hard (which is the point), but it does require my full attention once started and I don't want to stop and take pictures midway through. I did manage to get a picture of each fish in-bag just before I opened them, however. Some fish didn't want to be photoed, of course. See if you can guess what each fish is. :)
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With all the fish in the tank, I sat back and watched. Scrat - the bluestreak wrasse I've had for years - took a little offense as the clownfish tried to settle into his area. He chased them off to opposite sides of the tank, but they eventually found each other again and everyone is chill now.

Much thanks to Bobby and his hard-working-yet-rarely-heard-from wife for yet another addition to our home! I'm looking forward to doing this again soon (if not with so many)!

One final shot of some of the "noobs" in the (rather dirty) tank. Here they are meeting my "tank monitor", who is responsible for keeping everyone in-line;
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Humblefish

Dr. Fish
Thanks so much for the very detailed review @DLHDesign! :) I'm always searching for ways to improve everything I do, including the shipping process. Which as you alluded to, my wife is the brains behind improving all of the shipping techniques. On shipping day my one and only job really is just catching the fish for her to bag up. :D
 
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