Q: Can you ship my order right after I place it?
A: No, in 99% of cases, we cannot and will not ship fish immediately after an order is received, nor will we ship same day in most cases. Fish need to be purged of waste and quarantined before shipment. It doesn't matter what day or time you place an order.
Q: Who do you ship through?
A: Our FREE SHIPPING is USPS Priority 2-3 day, or occasionally UPS Ground, if you are in the Southeastern US. The method by which we ship your fish will be determined by us at the time that we receive your order. EXPRESS (Overnight) orders are shipped primarily via UPS, Express is "next-day". If you are in Puerto Rico, EXPRESS shipping will be done through USPS and it can sometimes take 2 days. That is currently our only option for Expedited shipping to Puerto Rico.
Q: Your website says free shipping. Most websites charge a lot of money for shipping. What's the catch?
A: The only catch is that you must spend at least $45 and must have a U.S. mailing address. We want it to be easy for you to know how much your fish will cost upfront and not have extra hidden fees for shipping or packaging. Orders under $45 are subject to a $14.99 flat shipping charge. There are occasionally exceptions, such as wild caught fish, which we will sometimes require EXPRESS shipping on, which is a flat $29.99.
Q: Some or all of my fish arrived dead- what do I do?
A: Contact us as soon as possible. IN ORDER FOR US TO HONOR A DOA CLAIM, YOU MUST CONTACT US WITHIN 2 HOURS OF THE PACKAGE BEING DELIVERED (WE WILL USE THE TIME PROVIDED BY THE CARRIER ON THE TRACKING). Please take a picture for us showing the loss- it can just be a picture taken with your smart phone. From there, we will either offer to refund the cost of the fish, issue credit towards a future purchase or ship you out a replacement, AT OUR DISCRETION. If the cost for us of sending you a new fish exceeds the value of the fish, we will issue a refund or credit or send you a replacement with a future order. We work very hard to make sure that you receive your fish alive and we want your fish to have a long, happy life in your tank, however it has to make financial sense for us in the end. We do not accept returns however, we will refund in 1-2 business days.
Q: I paid for overnight shipping or 2nd Day Air, but you haven't shipped my fish yet. What gives?
A: "Overnight shipping" refers only to the method by which the package carrier will deliver your fish. It does not mean that we will ship your fish the same day or even necessarily the next day after you order. We still cannot ship certain days regardless of when you order. We also still have a quarantine process which must be factored in.
Q: My tracking is showing up as "NOT FOUND". Why is that?
A: When we print your label, you will receive an email with a tracking number. The tracking number will not register any information until the Post Office or UPS actually comes and gets the box. Please wait at least 3-5 hours and try again before emailing us, as 99% of the time, this is the explanation.
Q: How do you ship? Will my fish survive in the mail for several days?
A: Over the years, we have fine tuned the process and are very comfortable shipping our fish no matter how hot or how cold it is. They are packed in insulated boxes, with clean water and pure oxygen. Heat packs or cool packs are added at no additional cost when necessary. We have had extreme cases where packages have been delayed and our fish have been in transit for 5-6 days and still survived. While we would never intentionally put our fish in that situation, delays are sometimes inevitable. For that reason, we take the utmost care in how we package our fish.
Q: Ok, so if I order today, when will you ship my fish?
A: Before shipment, we quarantine all fish for at least 24 hours. During this period, we closely monitor the fish to make sure they are healthy. We also do not feed them during this time in order to 'clean out' their digestive system. This lessens the chance of fish dying in transit due to poor water quality. Once this process is completed, your fish will then be shipped out the next Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or sometimes Thursday (depending on your location) - whichever comes first. In most cases, we do NOT ship, Friday or Saturday.
Q: I live in another State, how do I receive fish from Imperial Tropicals?
A: Once your fish order has been prepared for shipment by us, you will receive a tracking number by email. Then, you can track your fish on the web and know an estimated arrival day. We package them with pure oxygen and pack them in insulated boxes. It is best to have someone home when the fish arrives, so that your package does not sit outside your door in the hot or cold weather.
Q: What do I need to do to prepare my tank for the fish that I have ordered?
A: Once you have done your research on the fish that you want to buy, you need to make sure that you have the proper environment for your fish to live in. That means having a healthy, cycled tank for them to go into. It is good to have a spare tank set up, so you can acclimate your fish to your water before adding them into a community tank. Always use aged aquarium water with healthy bacteria in it. You can Google more info on setting up a new tank.
Q: I just received my fish and they do not look like the pictures on the website. What's up with that?
A: Most pictures are taken with adult fish who are showing their maximum color and size potential. Any fish that was just shipped will be stressed. Allow a day or two (or occasionally more) for the fish to acclimate to their new environment - their color will return. This stress can also affect a fish's appetite. They may not eat for the first day or two. Be careful to not over feed during this period, as uneaten food will rot and diminish the water quality.
Q: Do you ship to Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico?
A: Yes. For Hawaii and Alaska, we require UPS overnight which for those areas, is a flat $44.99. Hawaii requires an agricultural permit to import fish. You can find more info about that here: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/pq/travel-shipping-information/importing-animals-to-hawai%CA%BBi-from-the-u-s-mainland/
"Overnight" service for Puerto Rico can often take 2 days and is only available through USPS at this time. It is $49.99 flat.
Q: I own a fish store. Can I purchase wholesale from you?
A: Possibly! Reach out to us via the "Contact Us" page for more information on receiving our wholesale application. Please include your business name, address, time in business, website, etc. Purchasing wholesale from us will greatly benefit resellers as these rates are considerably lower than if purchasing retail.
Q: Where do the fish from Imperial Tropicals come from?
A: That is a good question! We are proud to say, "Direct from the breeders". Our family has been breeding and selling aquarium fish since 1970. We are always looking for new and best strains of fish to breed. We also have friends and family that breed high quality fish which we also carry on our website. You can know that when you receive a fish from us that it has been kept in the best conditions before it was sold. We also sell fish from the wild which we have imported for breeding projects. They will be labeled with the country and region they are from.
Q: How do I find out more information about the fish that I want to buy from you?
A: Before buying fish from us, we recommend that you research as much information as possible about the fish that you want to buy. You can use the Google search engine and find just about anything you would like to know about our fish. There are also numerous online fish forums, Facebook groups and blogs where knowledgeable fish keepers share a wealth of information! Lastly, if you're lucky enough to find one close by, you can join a local fish keeping club and surround yourself with other passionate hobbyists.
Q: I am interested in your fish but I cannot find the information that I need?
A: If you cannot find the answers you need on our website or the internet, you can email us via the form on the "CONTACT US" page and we will do our best to answer all of your questions. If possible, please use the above mentioned resources before emailing us. Our business is breeding and selling and it is most beneficial to all parties involved when we can focus our time on our fish.
Q: What kind of water are your fish raised in?
A: Most of our water is on the hard side and has a pH of around 8. We use soft water only for breeding the fish, but they are all raised in hard water.
Q: I have soft water with a low pH, will the fish be okay?
A: When you are fortunate enough to have soft water with a low pH, you should keep fish that like those conditions. Most fish from the Amazon and other parts of South America come from soft water conditions and will thrive in your soft water. On the opposite spectrum, most African cichlids prefer hard water with a high pH. However, if you don't have the ideal conditions for the fish you want, keep in mind that a stable pH, high or low, will be fine in most situations. If your water parameters are drastically different than ours, we recommend a slow acclimation period. If you are unfamiliar with the acclimation process, search Google, there are a few different ways to acclimate. Most domesticated fish will do good in hard or soft water when acclimated properly.
Q: I'm looking for a certain fish, but don't see it on your website. Can you get it for me?
A: Possibly! If we can get our hands on it for you, we will. You can email us via the form on the "CONTACT US" page.
Q: I live near your farm. Can I pick up my fish?
A: We do allow local pickup by appointment only. Please use the form on the CONTACT US page to schedule an appointment. We do not have a retail storefront.