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Shipping Policy

My frags are double bagged and shipped in a Styrofoam insulated box.

Frag Shipping  Box

I ship by FedEx Standard Overnight shipping.  I pack in the late afternoon and get the packs to the FedEx pickup location by 5PM.  I don't use other carriers due to past experience and the experience of others.  FedEx does an excellent job of moving express packs overnight to any place in the country.  They are not the cheapest but they are the best.  When I'm shipping perishable coral frags I won't cut any corners.

The shipping charges normally range from $35 to $65 depending on how many frags are shipped and the destination.  Most people think that is too much for one or two frags.  I agree with them.

I offer free shipping on orders for five or more frags.  People seem to agree that this adds extra value to my frags.  Since my objective is not to see how much money I can make, this has worked out very well for us.

I'll provide you with a tracking number so that you can feel confident and comfortable with your purchase.

Shipping Options

  • Hold for pickup at FedEx facility (available for pickup when they open in the morning) - Free with purchase of 5 or more frags.
  • FedEx Standard Overnight (by 4:30 pm in most areas) - Free with purchase of 5 or more frags.
  • FedEx Priority Overnight (by 10:30 am in most areas) - $10 with purchase of 5 or more frags.
  • Saturday delivery held for pickup at FedEx (available for pickup when they open in the morning) - $10 with purchase of 5 or more frags.
  • Saturday delivery to a residence (by 10:30 am in most areas) - $22 with purchase of 5 or more frags.
  • ** If you live in Hawaii, please add an extra $2660 so I can personally deliver your frags. Mahalo.

Guarantee

I guarantee live arrival.  If you have a coral arrive dead send me a picture within two hours after receiving your pack.  I will issue you a refund.  Details.

Cold or Hot Weather Shipping

I offer a live arrival guarantee with one exception.  When the weather is cold or hot I require that you allow me to ship to a FedEx facility that will hold the pack and allow you to pick it up.  I have successfully shipped frag packs to Anchorage, Alaska in January where the local temperature was -12.

A FedEx Standard Overnight delivery may ride on a local delivery truck for anywhere from 3 hours to 6 hours.  Under normal circumstances this is no problem; however the compartments in these trucks are not heated and the doors are repeatedly opened and closed.  This is really stretching the ability of corals to cope with long term temperature extremes.

When a package is held at your local FedEx facility it will normally be available for pickup when they open in the morning.  This is extremely important in cold weather!  You will need to pick your package up as early as possible.  Don't wait until evening to go get it.  That will defeat the purpose of having it held!

About Heat Packs

I always use a heat pack during cold weather.

Many people have a false impression about the use of heat packs when shipping coral frags. Heat packs consist of iron powder, charcoal, salt, vermiculite, and water. They generate heat via the oxidation (rusting) process. This can only occur in the presence of oxygen. I ship frags in a cardboard box with all the edges taped shut. Inside the cardboard is a plastic trash bag to prevent any leakage that may get the box soggy and Styrofoam pieces cut to fit inside the box for insulation. There is no way oxygen from outside the box can enter once it is sealed. Once the heat pack consumes the oxygen that was in the box when it was sealed it cools off. That’s the simple truth.

Heat packs are available ranging from the 6 hour hand warmers to some that will last up to 30 hours. I think the ratio of ingredients is how this is achieved. The hand warmers get hotter than the long lasting ones. This is absolutely not what we want when shipping frags. They can get over 110 degrees. I always use the longest lasting ones I can find. I conducted tests on two boxes containing bags of water packed like I pack for shipping. One box had one of the commercially available heat packs sold for shipping livestock and the other had a long lasting heat pack from WalMart. Each box had a digital thermometer inserted through the side so I could monitor the temperature. I kept a log of the temps for 24 hours. I moved them from inside to outside and then back in. Within an hour of being packed both started cooling off to ambient temperature. There was no difference.

Heat packs would be ideal for shipping something like reptiles where there would be air exchange between inside and outside. The best protection for coral is a well insulated box that prevents air exchange with the outside and having the box held at FedEx for pickup.

Sometimes the people I ship frags to tell me that “the heat pack was still warm”. I ask them if they checked it as soon as they opened the box. Invariably they opened the box and laid the lid aside, picked up the bags and admired their new frags, and began the acclimation procedure. Some time later they start to clean up the shipping supplies and notice the heat pack. They feel it and “it’s still warm!” Nope, it’s “warm again” after being exposed to oxygen.

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