Octopus Overnight Shipping (Octopus Prime's new home)

Mikewise

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#1
I ran a quick search on this and didn't turn up with many results. As I have previously posted about, my apartment lease has ended and Octopus Prime is still going strong, if less active as he gets older.

Luckily Denise has volunteered to inherit and care for him since i need to break down my tank this week and move out. We have been talking about making the delivery to her this Saturday (June 7) but now i need information on how to properly package and ship Mr. Prime so that he has his best chance at arriving safely.

I still have the insulated styrofoam container that he came in from MDL, and i have plenty of cardboard boxes as i am preparing to move, but it seems like i will need to find a way to place him in a bag and top it off with pure oxygen before sealing it. Can anyone help me with organizing that? where can i get a portable source of O2? should i ask my LFS for other livestock packaging supplies? I don't know where to begin. It's getting kind of urgent, so any help today and tomorrow will be much appreciated.
 

Faaborg

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#2
If I were you, I would walk into petsmart with the container and use their fresh oxygen they have set up around their aquariums. This way you would not have to buy anything. I am sure any of those guys working in the aquatic area would be so excited about seeing Octopus Prime that they would be happy to let you use a smidgen of oxygen.
 

Redoc

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#3
I agree . I have seen other threads around with good ideas on shipping if you take a look, as for the o2 I would think that where ever you take most of your business they would be happy to help out. Plus I'm sure your octo came from a lot further away than you are shipping him. ( Indonesia )
 

Redoc

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#4
I took a quick look for that info on shipping and couldn't find it maybe someone else can point you in it's direction cause I know I saw it.:bonk:
 

Mikewise

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#5
It turns out Fedex has a NO live animal policy except when dealing with special business accounts. DHL will ship live fish if a waiver is completed for $160 and UPS will do it for $140. That's a lot more than I was expecting. I know I am not the first person to have done this on TONMO as an individual, so I was hoping people could tell me what has worked in the past. It seems like UPS next-day Air is what Denise and I will be going with, because DHL seems a little sketchy to me to begin with. Just waiting for her approval.

Now i am just trying to work out packaging. I still have the thermal styrofoam box that Octopus Prime came in, so i am planning to use that. In my mind, Prime will go in a small size critter keeper with extra holes drilled in the sides and bottom so that water can pass through on all sides. That will be double-bagged in a plastic bag filled about 2/5 water and 3/5 pure oxygen from my local Petco (i will ask them about this tonight when i go to get the critter keeper). I will use a piece of newspaper or black material between the plastic layers to block out light and reduce stress.

That bag will go inside the styrofoam box, fitted snugly with newspaper. and the sealed styrofoam box will be inside a cardboard box, with more newspaper to make another snug fit.

One thing thats up in the air is whether or not to use Ice Packs. Denise is in GA and the summer means a lot of heat. If i do use ice packs, i am not sure if they should go inside or out of the styrofoam box. I dont want to chill the water any more than i want it to overheat, and there is enough extra space that they could be fitted between the styrofoam and cardboard. Any insight, anyone?

I will try to draw up a schematic in photoshop in case my design isnt clear.
 

L8 2 RISE

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#7
I dont have much experience with shipping, but I notice two problems......

you may want to put newspaper or something beneath the cardboard and styrofoam on the bottom, and I think the octopus would be better off if it was just in the bag, not in the critter keeper. If some idiot shipping guy were to turn the box upside down, all of the water would go into the bag, but the octo would be stuck in the critter keeper = dead octopus. plus the octo could end up slamming against the sides of the hard critter keeper.

and the icepack should go inside the styrofoam, but separated from te bag by newspaper, and I would consider putting one on each side.
 

cuttlegirl

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#8
I don't know about FedEx's live animal policy, that was how I shipped all my eggs. I told the person (at FedEx Kinko's) that they were live eggs, but maybe eggs are different than animals???
 

Mikewise

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#9
L8 2 RISE;119111 said:
I think the octopus would be better off if it was just in the bag, not in the critter keeper. If some idiot shipping guy were to turn the box upside down, all of the water would go into the bag, but the octo would be stuck in the critter keeper = dead octopus..

yeah i thought about that, which is why i am putting holes on all sides of the critter keeper. I want some hard structure there in the bag in case are somehow escapes. i'd rather risk him bumping up against the plastic edges than getting crushed in the bag by an ice pack or something.
 

gholland

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#10
Tape the ice pack to the underside of the styrofoam lid. That way it won't directly contact the water portion of the bag and make it too cold, but it will keep the air inside the container cool.
 

Redoc

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#11
I think some people put the bag in a container not the other way around. But it's a water tight container just incase the bag breaks.
 

Mikewise

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#12
gholland;119121 said:
Tape the ice pack to the underside of the styrofoam lid. That way it won't directly contact the water portion of the bag and make it too cold, but it will keep the air inside the container cool.
great idea.
 

Keith

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#13
I just moved into a new apartment and i'm currently setting up for an octo. I'm not planing on staying here any longer than my lease requires me to (its a friggin studio). And i'm planning on just moving to a bigger apartment in the same complex, so pretty much the most i'd need is transportation for around 500 feet to the next building over. Any recommendations? Mikewise's plan sounds pretty cheap and not very time consuming, but do I need more than a bag with some O2?

-Keith
 

monty

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#14
If it's that short, the octo can probably move in a bucket of water. Moving the tank is more of a concern, in that it sometimes stirs up the sand and such enough that there's a "mini cycle" that throws the water quality off for a little while. There are people who have done that successfully who can probably offer some specific advice.
 

Keith

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#15
sweet. yea im not sure if it'd be better to try to carry the tank with a few people or try and put it on a dolly with inflatable tires. that way i figure i could keep the tire pressure low and avoid a lot of movement from bumps and whatnot.
 

DWhatley

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#16
We helped move a 65 across town by dumping most of the water into buckets, packing the LR in wet newspaper and keeping the corals and fish in their own water and leaving the sand with as little water as we could easliy drain. This allowed the sand not to shift about (the setup was over 10 years old so stirring it could have been a real problem). The whole process took maybe 5 hours from dump to refil and everything survived.
 

Mikewise

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#17
dwhatley;119526 said:
We helped move a 65 across town by dumping most of the water into buckets, packing the LR in wet newspaper and keeping the corals and fish in their own water and leaving the sand with as little water as we could easliy drain. This allowed the sand not to shift about (the setup was over 10 years old so stirring it could have been a real problem). The whole process took maybe 5 hours from dump to refil and everything survived.
wow! that sounds like quite a feat
 

Mikewise

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#18
Keith;119288 said:
I just moved into a new apartment and i'm currently setting up for an octo. I'm not planing on staying here any longer than my lease requires me to (its a friggin studio). And i'm planning on just moving to a bigger apartment in the same complex, so pretty much the most i'd need is transportation for around 500 feet to the next building over. Any recommendations? Mikewise's plan sounds pretty cheap and not very time consuming, but do I need more than a bag with some O2?

-Keith
very cool! i was in exactly the same place one year ago. I had been reading about octopuses here for a few months and was just getting ready to take the plunge and commit to all the reading, learning and buying that was going to be entailed. I know i was a little foolhardy, but Octopus Prime was not only my first ceph, but also my first saltwater tank.

I learned so much from the experience and it was so worthwhile. But all i can say is don't rush things or cut corners. Read everything you can and consult people you trust, while being willing to disregard others :roflmao:

The lease thing crossed my mind at the beginning, but i knew i would work it out. Dont worry about it too much, but remember that moving a tank, especially if you still have livestock, ESPECIALLY if you have an emotional attachment to the livestock, is really really hard. Since i couldnt break my tank down before i shipped OP to D, and the shipping took place only a few days before my move, I ended up having to give away about a $1000 worth of equipment, because i couldnt find anyone who wanted to buy the LR, LS, tank etc. even with the rock priced at $2/pound. I ended up giving it all to someone who was starting his first marine tank, so that charitable cirle-of-life feeling kicked in a little, but damn. I would definitely reccommend starting the process a good month before you actually plan on moving. I really lost out because i waited too long.

for a move across town, the complicated drilling, bagging and boxing would not be so necessary, as others have pointed out. all the stuff i went through was to prepare OP for being shipped via UPS air. I dare say that is a bit further from an octo.'s environment of evolutionary adaptedness than being moved in a bucket 500 ft. The main concern with that kind of move, as the others have mentioned, is trying to leave you tank undisturbed enough as not to cause an ammonia spike. I've never attempted it, but it sounds really hard.
 

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