Placing an Order
Q: "How do I place an order?"
A: The best way to place an order with Dave's Rare Aquarium Fish is by
telephone. While we will accept orders via e-mail, response time may be
considerably slower. Refer to our Buyer's Guide for specific instructions
prior to placing your call.
Sexing the Fish Offered for Sale
Q: "Can you sex the fish on your price list when the sex is not indicated?"
A: While there are exceptions, the fish on our list sold as small (S)
and medium small (MS) cannot be reliably sexed. We try to comply with
all reasonable requests. Fish sold as medium (M) size or larger can usually--but
not always--be sexed. Customers should bear in mind that we can--and often
do--assess a surcharge to break up pairs of fish or to single out sexes
in groupings not intended to be sold in this manner.
Q: "How much will it cost to ship an order of fish to me?"
A: To ask "How much is shipping?" is like asking "How big
is a room?". We have shipped fish for as little as $19 and for as
much as $490. Shipping costs on most orders being shipped at this time
run from a minimum of $35 to a maximum of $85. Air freight nearly always
gets the fish to the customer on the same day they are shipped and comes
with our full live delivery guarantee. Next-day service to a customer's
door is available as an alternative. Very small and very large orders
may fall outside the price range shown above. (For more information on
this subject, please refer to our page on this web site titled "DRAF
Guide to Mail Ordering Fish".)
Q: "Can you special order fish for me which are not on your current
A: We special order fish for our customers on an almost daily basis. We
even grant a sizable "special order" discount in some cases
where a customer is willing to commit to the order with full prepayment.
Q: "What is the pH and hardness of the water you keep your fish in?"
A: Our tap water has a pH of 8.0 to 8.3 and a hardness of about 240 ppm.
Fish Survival During Shipment
Q: "How likely is it that the fish I order will arrive alive?"
A: Believe it or not, even the loss of a single fish is very rare in our
shipments. Well more than 95% of the fish we ship arrive alive and healthy.
We like to say that we bag for 48-hour survival. Once we had a customer
receive a "lost" shipment in which every single fish arrived
alive after almost four days en route!
Q: "Is it too cold (or too hot) to ship my fish?"
A: While we cannot guarantee handling given to a shipment of fish by the
carrier, we have shipped fish successfully and repeatedly to destination
temperatures as low as -44 degrees (Fairbanks, Alaska) and as warm as
100+ degrees (Arizona). Our live arrival guarantee on air freight shipments
applies regardless of your outside temperature.
Sources of Fish
Q: "You have lots of rare species. Where do you get them?"
A: Our secret!! ...Actually, we are able to maintain the broad selection
for which we are known due to the wide variety of resources we have developed
and use. We directly import fish on a regular basis from both Africa and
Europe. We acquire fishes from other importers. And we purchase fishes
from other breeders throughout the U.S. In addition, we breed large numbers
of our own fish and buy fish from other breeders in our local area. We
receive multiple shipments of fish on a weekly basis.
How Big is Small?
Q: "How long are the fish listed as "small" on your list?"
A: There's obviously a substantial difference between a "small"
Neolamprologus multifasciatus, a species in which females may max out
at one inch, and a "small" Boulengerochromis microlepis, a species
which can reach almost three feet in length in Lake Tanganyika. However,
small on our list usually refers to a fish between 1 and 1.5 inches in
W.G. Means What?
Q: "How do I acquire the fish listed as W.G. (Working Group) on your
A: The "W.G." fish on our list are fish set aside for our own
breeding program or as potential show fish. They are commonly fish which
are being used as breeders or they are being raised and developed as breeders.
Rarely we will entertain an offer on these fish. In other cases, we eventually
acquire an excess allowing us to price the fish on our list.