FAQ/Contact

 

Shipping Questions:

How will I know when to expect my package to arrive?

We will send you an email when we print your shipping label, and that will be the day we ship your order out. This email will include your tracking number as well. Your package will take 1-2 days depending on your choice of shipping service at checkout.

You can also sign up for text or email alerts from UPS, or enroll in UPS MyChoice (highly recommended!). That way, you won't have to keep checking the UPS website for tracking updates.

My Tracking Number is not working, did my order actually ship  or is this the correct tracking number?

The day we send you the confirmation of shipment notice is the day we did ship the order out. The tracking number is correct. This does not happen very often but sometimes a package may get missed being scanned in at the UPS facility in Indianapolis. When this does happen the order is still shipped out and once it reaches a new destination the tracking should update. It should still arrive in the 1-2 day time frame. If it does not or if the tracking has not updated after that please let us know and we will help you. Our Live Arrival Guarantee will cover this kind of incident.

If I order more than one item from you, do I have to pay the full shipping cost for each item?

Certainly not! We offer a combined shipping discount for multiple orders. Shipping costs are variable and are based on total weight of the order and where it is being shipped to.

My order has already been placed but now I want to add to my order?

Yes, you most certainly can! Please email us a list of the additions you would like to make to your order. As long as they are in stock we can add them to the order for you. This may increase the cost of shipping depending on what you already have on order and how much you are adding and we will bill accordingly. Once we receive the list of additions we will send you an invoice to your email address that can be paid with a credit card or PayPal account. Then once the invoice has been paid we can manually add the new additions to the order for you. Side note: when you are sent the confirmation of shipment notice these additions will not show up on the notice because they were not part of the original order. But since we have manually added them to the order for you in our shipping program they will be included with the order.

Can you ship outside of the United States?

Unfortunately, we cannot ship outside of the United States at this time. This is because we do not know the restrictions on live animals that other countries have, and because our packages would likely be delayed a long time in customs, which would likely affect and possibly kill the animals or plants inside. .

Do you have a retail location and/or do you offer local pick-up?
While we do not have a retail location we are always happy to arrange for local pick ups. Additionally, we do offer a 10% discount to all local pick up customers as well. We just can't apply this extra discount on top of special sale discounts or on top of other discount codes. Due to our staffing requirements we are only able to offer these pick ups on an appointment basis.
Generally speaking, appointments are available Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. However, we understand life can get busy and we are willing to work around your schedule to the best of our ability. We can accept cash at the time of pick up, or if you would prefer we can arrange an invoice to be sent as well. Please note that we do not carry cash on the premises and cannot make change.
If you would like to set up a local pick up with us please email Bill at Info@AquaticArts.com. Please feel free to put "ATTN: Preston - Local Pick Up" as your subject line. This will ensure we see your inquiry as quickly as possible.
Why is your shipping so expensive?

We understand that the shipping charges involved with shipping live animals and plants can seem pricey.  We do not overcharge for shipping, and we do not make any money from shipping charges - it actually costs us this much to ship our products.  Our website takes many factors into account when calculating your shipping cost, including the weight of your package and the distance your order will have to travel.  The shipping cost also covers the cost of packaging materials and insulation that are necessary to protect the animals and plants from the weather.

Our standard shipping prices reflect the expense of UPS 2nd Day Air, a premium service from UPS. It is dangerous for them to be in a package for more than that amount of time.

Our expedited (overnight) shipping costs reflect the expense of UPS Next Day Air.  We now use UPS exclusively for all overnight shipments. 

Our shipping costs are actually one of the cheaper ones online. If you look at the shipping prices of other aquatics sellers online, you will likely find that the majority of them are significantly more expensive than we are. And remember; if someone offers free shipping, you're just paying for it in cost of their products. After the recent changes made by USPS, it is now inhumane and irresponsible to ship live animals via Priority Mail, which many sellers still do because it is much cheaper than UPS or Fedex. Additionally, we offer a 15% discount on your order if your order is over $200.

Do you include heat packs or cold packs with shipments?

Yes, we will most certainly place a heat or cold pack in a shipment when it is necessary. We check the weather every day we are shipping to ensure that if a heat pack or cold pack is necessary we will include one free of charge. Please see our shipping information page for more shipping information and details about possible weather delays.

How does shipping live animals and plants work when the weather is extremely hot or extremely cold? OR Why is there such a long shipping/handling time during some parts of the year?

The weather in the winters and summers puts us in an ethical predicament every year. We often have to make a choice between shipping quickly and protecting the animals. We take the health and safety of all of our animals very seriously, so we will not ship them when the temperatures outside are likely to harm them. Even our highly effective methods of insulation cannot always prevent the elements from affecting the animals inside the packages. We do use heat packs in all packages during the winter, but these are no longer as effective when temperatures dip below freezing.

During the winter, we will not ship packages with live animals if the temperature in your location or ours is below freezing (around 30° F). During the summer, we will not ship live animals if the temperature is 90° F or higher. These restrictions do not always apply to plants-only packages, but we still advise all customers with plant orders to make arrangements for their incoming packages so that the plants will not freeze or melt while waiting to be brought inside.

During the times of year when the weather is most extreme, we usually maintain a one to three week handling time. If there is a situation in which the extreme weather persists for longer than this amount of time, there may be longer delays. We are vigilant about keeping a close eye on the weather in all of our shipping locations at all times of the year, so as soon as the temperature in your area returns to a safe level, we will know to ship your order out as soon as possible.

We advise customers to refrain from ordering during periods when the weather in their location is the most extreme, if at all possible.

Why do you ship snails or crayfish the way that you do? Is this the best method of shipping them?

The method we use to ship snails and crayfish (in a well-insulated styrofoam cup with wet paper towels) has proven to be MUCH more successful than our previous method (shipping them in a breather bag full of water). The minimal water method is how most aquatic companies ship their snails and crayfish, so it is something we learned from companies much larger and older than us. We also inject all of our snail and crayfish cups with medical grade oxygen before we send them out, so they have the cleanest oxygen available while they are in transit.

What are those tiny, white dots in the breather bag(s) that I received as well as the white fiber?

These are Seachem Purigen® balls, which help to control ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates in the water. These are harmful compounds that are released when aquatic animals produce waste. They are completely harmless and inert so they will not bring any harm to the animals or the tank itself if any get into the tank.

You can read more about Seachem Purigen® here: http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/Purigen.html

The white fiber material used in shrimp and other small invert bags is a product called polly fiber. It is just used for the animals to have something to hold onto while in transit. You can throw it away once you have released the animals into your aquarium.

What is this odd package of “dirt” in with my package and what should I do with it?

This is a heat pack that we included with your package to keep the animals and plants warm while in transit during the colder parts of the year. These heat packs are one time use only so they can be properly disposed of now that the package has been received.

What carrier do you use for shipping orders?

If you purchase our standard shipping option, we will use UPS Second Day Air to ship your order, which has guaranteed two-day delivery to nearly every location in the United States after we ship it out.

If you purchase our expedited shipping option, we will use UPS Next Day Air to ship your order.  If you choose this option, your order is guaranteed to arrive the day after we ship it out.  The only exception to this is shipments to Alaska.  We recommend using UPS Next Day Air shipping if the temperature in your area is consistently below 30 degrees or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

After shipping thousands upon thousands of packages out, we have found that two days is a short enough time for our animals and plants to arrive safely at most destinations.  However, if the weather is a factor in your area, please consider purchasing UPS Next Day Air shipping. After the recent changes made by USPS, it is now inhumane and irresponsible to ship live animals via Priority Mail, which many sellers still do because it is much cheaper than UPS or Fedex.

Please keep in mind that no matter which shipping option you choose, we typically have a two to 5 business day handling time on all orders.  For instance, if you place an order on a Monday with UPS Second Day Air, this does not mean your order will arrive on Wednesday or Thursday.  UPS Next Day Air shipments have priority since they can be shipped any day of the week with no risk of delay.

 

 

DOA Questions:

What happens if the animals or plants I ordered arrive dead?

All of our animals and plants come with a Live Arrival Guarantee. Please contact us if you receive DOAs, and we will replace them free of charge! 

My snails arrived, but they are not moving!

It can take up to 24 hours or longer (sometimes as long as two days) for snails to come to life after the stress of shipping. You could try putting some food in the tank to see if that gets them going. An algae wafer, invertebrate food, or a blanched vegetable should do the trick.

If the snails still do not move after two days, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss sending replacements as per our live arrival guarantee.

One or two out of all the shrimp/fish/snails I ordered was DOA. Does your Live Arrival Guarantee cover a replacement for just one or two shrimp/fish/snails?

Yes, our Live Arrival Guarantee covers any and all DOAs, as long as the number of shrimp, fish, or snails that arrived alive are less than the number you ordered. We send extras with every order of three small animals or more, so those often cover a loss of one or two animals. If the replacements are DOA as well and you receive less live animals than you ordered, we will send replacements if you make a future order with us. Alternatively, if you do not plan to order from us again or do not know yet if you will, we will grant you a refund for the DOA animals. The shipping costs for one or two animals would be very expensive, so we would prefer to send such a small number of replacements with some other items to make the shipment worthwhile regarding cost and risk.

 

Animal/Plant Questions:

How do I acclimate my new animals to my tank?

Acclimation instructions for all of our animals are included in every package we ship out. These instructions are located on the back of the letter that comes with your package.

Here are those instructions for your convenience:

 

Acclimation Guide:

For shrimp, fish, and other animals bagged in water:

1. Carefully unpack the bags containing the animals WITHOUT opening them, then QUICKLY rinse the dust off of the bag(s) with lukewarm water.

2. Drip acclimate if possible. If drip acclimating, this is the last step before introduction to tank.

3. If drip acclimation is not possible due to missing equipment or you don't know how, float the bag(s) in your aquarium for 5 minutes.After 5 minutes, poke a 1/4” hole (pea-sized) in the bag and continue to let it float for 20 minutes. This will let the water slowly exchange with your tank. Do not squeeze or agitate the bag(s) during this step.

4. After 20 minutes have passed, you can release your new aquatic animals into their new home!

 

 

For snails, crayfish, and other animals sent in damp paper packing:

 

1. Carefully unpack the plastic container(s) which contain the animals WITHOUT opening them, then QUICKLY rinse the dust off of the plastic container(s) with lukewarm water.

2. Slowly drip acclimate water into the container if possible. If drip acclimating, this is the last step before introduction to tank.

3. If drip acclimation is not possible due to missing equipment or you don't know how, float the container(s) in your aquarium for 10 minutes. Once 10 minutes have passed, start adding approximately 1 oz of water every 3 to 5 minutes until the cup is almost full. At this point, CAREFULLY dump out the water and carefully unpack the animal(s). They can now be introduced to their new home!

 

 

How do I care for my new animals and/or plants?

We have extensive Care Guides written for our most popular animals on our website. The link to our Care Guides is located in the top menu bar of the site. Each guide includes information on the animals' background, origins, size, recommended tank parameters, feeding, and breeding. Most Care Guides also include a list of compatible tankmates, as well as a list of incompatible tankmates.

We do not have any care guides for plants because their care requirements are very minimal, and most of what you need to know about them can be found in the descriptions on their product pages. You can find more information on how to arrange and maintain the different kinds of plants with a quick search on the Internet.

If you need to know the care requirements for animals for which we do not have care guides yet, the Internet is a wealth of information on all the aquatic animals we carry. A cursory Google search will most often yield the information you need. If you do not find the information you seek after five to ten minutes of searching, feel free to contact us. We will do our best to answer your questions within 24 hours or less (perhaps with the exception of Sundays and holidays).

Why are there so many sold out animals and plants? When will the be back in stock?

There are actually several factors as to why so many animals and plants are listed as sold out right now. We are currently limited on tank space at our current location so we can not have everything in stock all at the same time. Unfortunately we just do not have the space to be able to house everything all at once. But we are looking into moving into a larger facility in the future, we are just not quite there yet.

Some animals are just not always available from our suppliers. We are always trying to get some animals in stock, but our suppliers just do not always have them available. For instance, it had been two years since we were last able to have some of our Thunderbolt Cherax crayfish in stock, but we were finally able to get some in the summer of 2017! Some animals are just very rare or not always available. So even if we try to get some animals in every week, we almost always get shorted on certain animals just due to their rare availability.

Other animals we are going to be bringing in on rotation when the demand is high enough for us to bring them back. If you have not signed up yet to be notified when something you are interested in is put back in stock please sign up! You may go to any sold out listing and click on the “email me when available” button to sign up to be notified the instant we are able to put something back in stock. We do monitor these lists and try to bring in things when the demand is high enough for us to do so.

We are also always trying to add new livestock to our inventory to keep bringing new and exciting additions to our shop! So if you have any suggestions or inquiries let us know and we will look into possibly carrying them. We have taken many suggestions from customers and now carry many new fish and a few shrimp as a result!

We are sorry that we are not able to have everything we have carried in stock all at once. We really do wish that we could! If you would like to know the status of when a certain animal may come in stock please don't hesitate to ask, we may just not know.

Will I get any female shrimp with my order?

The only guarantees of sex ratios for the shrimp we can offer are for the breeder packages that we have available for select Neocaridina shrimp. For all of the other shrimp we have it will be luck of the net swipe as the number of males and females in each pack. We always have a good ratio of males and females in our tanks so there is a good chance that both should be included with the order. We cannot take special requests for guaranteeing specific ratios or for just one sex at this time.

Can I request to receive specific ratios of male and female fish?

We cannot currently take requests to guarantee specific ratios of sexed fish. A listing will specify if they will be sexed or not. We hope to be able to offer this someday, but right now we are not able to meet this request. Our populations of fish are mixed sexes in their respective tanks and all orders are filled by luck of the net swipe. This is to be as fair as possible to all of our customers. We cannot take special requests for guaranteeing specific ratios or for just one sex at this time.

If I get two different colors of shrimp will they breed together? What will their offspring look like?

We offer a few different species of dwarf shrimp here at Aquatic Arts. The vast majority of the dwarf shrimp that we carry are different color morphs of the Neocaridina davidi shrimp. These shrimp can and will breed together very readily as they are the same species. Each color strain has been genetically bred to have these specific colors. So if the same colored shrimp mate with each other the offspring will be the color of the parents. But if two different colors mate with each other, this will mix up the genetic makeup of the shrimp. When this happens the shrimp fry color genes can become unstable and overtime in a shrimp population this can cause the many new fry to revert back to the wild form coloration. This also means that the first generation of new fry that may still present colors from the parents can be carries for the wild form gene. Thus, vastly increasing the chances for new shrimp fry to revert back to wild form color.

The best way to keep these color strains going in a population is to only have one color strain of Neocaridina in the same tank. But that does not limit you on having other kinds of shrimp in the tank. Dwarf shrimp can only mate with the same species. We also carry a few Caridina cantonensis varieties of dwarf shrimp, such as the Crystal Red and Crystal Black shrimp. These shrimp can breed together and still produce more crystal red or crystal black fry, but they cannot reproduce with any Neocaridina as they are a different species.  As long as your tank water parameters are at the proper levels for both shrimp they can be housed together with no problems. We also now carry Blue Bolt shrimp and Golden Bee shrimp on occasion as well. These are both also Caridina cantonensis, just a different genetic variant.

Green Babaulti shrimp, Caridina babaulti, are actually a very awesome shrimp because they will not breed with any of our other shrimps so they can be kept in a colony with any of our other shrimp safely with the risk of interbreeding.

Amano shrimp, Caridina multidentata, are another shrimp that can live harmoniously with dwarf shrimp and they will not breed with them either as they are another species entirely. They can not actually reproduce successfully in just freshwater as their fry go through a planktonic stage where they need brackish to salt water to develop.

We do have one Neocaridina species of shrimp that does has different scientific name. The snowball shrimp, Neocaridina zhangjiajiensis, can hybridize with all of our other Neocaridina davidi shrimp. So it too can breed with the other Neocaridina color morphs to create genetic hybrid color morphs that generally revert to wild color form.

My shrimp and or fish are not colorful on arrival like the ones pictured are. Why are they not colorful?

It is very common for shrimp as well as fish to loose some coloration while in transit. When animals are under stress they tend loose some coloration. But not to worry once they have been acclimated to their new home they will start to color back up. They should return to their normal coloration in a matter of a day or two. There is one exception for dwarf shrimp. Male dwarf shrimp in general will be less colorful than the females. It is very common for males to not express full coloration. Their genetic make up just does not always allow them to express full coloration. There will be some that are very colorful but they will not always be as colorful as the females.

My crab or crayfish is missing a leg or a claw, will the missing limb grow back?

Crustaceans like crabs and crayfish are very susceptible to losing limbs from time to time. This is quite normal so there is nothing to worry about. Crabs and crayfish can regenerate lost limbs. The limb will be fully-grown and back to normally after the crab or crayfish has gone though a couple of molts. To help this process for the crabs or crayfish having some extra calcium in the water will help to keep their carapace in good condition. Adding some cuttlebone to the tank will help provide the water with some extra calcium.

I want to order snails, but I don't want them to reproduce like crazy and overrun my tank. What can I do to prevent this?

None of the snails we sell are rapid reproducers, so it is not likely that you will face an out-of-control snail population problem if you order from us. If you do find that your snails are reproducing beyond your comfort level, or if you do not want your snails to reproduce at all, it is usually easy to remove the eggs from your tank before they hatch.

Mystery Snails, for example, will lay a cluster of pinkish-colored eggs above the water line that take quite a while to hatch, so the eggs can be removed far in advance to prevent baby snails.

Sulawesi Snails (aka Golden Rabbit Snails) reproduce at an extremely slow rate, so overpopulation is usually not a concern with them. A mother snail will only expel one to three eggs at a time, which can be removed before the baby snails hatch.

You can also order one snail from a few different species of snails. That way, you will have a variety of snails in your tank that cannot mate with each other.

If you are interested in snails that are guaranteed not to reproduce, we suggest ordering Nerite Snails. They do not reproduce in freshwater at all, so several of them can be kept in the same tank without concern over them reproducing. If you see your Nerite Snails laying eggs, don't worry - the eggs will not hatch in freshwater.

I ordered plants from you, and now my tank is overrun with pest snails! What happened, and what can I do?

We do all we can to prevent these unwanted guests from traveling with our plants, but snails are tricky and can slip through the cracks. We treat our plant tanks with Fenbendazole, an anti-parasitic medication that kills snails but does not harm most other aquatic animals or plants. Unfortunately, this does not work 100% of the time. It is very common for plant sellers to unknowingly send snails with plants, because pest snails are pros at hiding their eggs inside the plants.

We have found that the best and safest solution to a snail infestation is to add assassin snails to your tank. We sell the snails in groups of one, three, five, and twelve snails. There are also many other sellers and stores online that offer assassin snails. If your snail infestation is particularly bad, the general rule is that you need about five assassin snails per ten gallons.

If you have snails in your tank that you do not want harmed by assassin snails, there is another trick that can help take care of pest snail overpopulation. We call it the “lettuce trick.” First, lightly blanch a leaf or two of lettuce for about ten to twenty seconds. Then place the lettuce in your tank and turn off the lights for a few hours, or overnight. Once you turn your lights back on, you should find that the lettuce is covered in pest snails. Simply remove the lettuce, along with all of the nuisance snails attached to it, and dispose of it. This method works best if you haven't fed your tank in a day or two, so the pest snails are good and hungry.

 

 

 

If you have a question that you can't easily answer with a quick Google search or you have a problem with your order, feel free to get in touch with us at the email below.


We do answer emails throughout the day but our typical hours of operation for customer service are from 10:00am - 6:00pm EST Monday through Friday and 10:00am - 2:00pm EST Saturday. If we can not answer your email the same day we will almost always be able to answer the very next day. The only exceptions are Sundays and Holidays. We will answer your email at our earliest convenience.

 

Email: info@AquaticArts.com

Located in Brownsburg, Indiana

 

 

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