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Why Buy Online
Buying Marine Aquarium Animals Online Makes Good Sense


If you’re reading this email, chances are you understand the benefits of buying your marine aquarium livestock online, but for those of you who are still unsure, allow us to take a moment and explain why we think buying saltwater aquarium animals online makes very good sense in many situations.

Let’s begin with one fundamental truth: every time a marine aquarium animal is moved from one body of water into another, there is an increase in stress levels ranging from mild to severe. Put another way, animals that are moved fewer times are exposed to less stress, and stress, as we all know, is a leading killer of fishes, corals and other invertebrates. At best, a stressed animal is more susceptible to disease and infestation when transferred from one system to another, and at worst a stressed animal will not survive the transition at all.

So what does this have to do with buying marine livestock online? In short, saltwater fishes, corals and other invertebrates purchased online have usually spent less time in transit and have been transferred from system to system fewer times than a fish purchased at a local fish store.

Let’s back up a few steps though and review the journey a wild-collected saltwater animal makes from collection to the hobbyist’s aquarium. Generally speaking, an animal may be collecting and held in a live well or sea pen for a period of hours or days before being transferred to an export facility. At the export facility, the animal may be transferred to one or more different systems while being sorted and, ultimately, prepared for export. The animal is then packaged for export and is shipped to the import country. In the case of Indo-Pacific animals bound for the U.S. marine aquarium trade, that generally means the animal is shipped to Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, the animal is picked up at the airport and, in many cases, taken to a wholesaler’s facility where it is sorted and quarantined. It is then finally shipped to a retailer where it awaits a buyer who will then transport it home and acclimate the animal to his or her own system.

Buying animals online often cuts at least one step out of the journey from reef to aquarium. For example, here at Blue Zoo, we import the animals directly and then ship them to the customer. In addition, online suppliers of marine animals generally ship via a carrier such as FedEx as opposed to using air freight (which is often the way animals are shipped from wholesaler to retailer). This generally means that the animal purchased online spends less time in transit and is handled with more care, which, in the final equation, means less stress.

Is it always the case that buying online means fewer transfers from one system to another and less stress? No. There are, for example, local fish stores that import fish directly, and there are online stores that buy from wholesalers and have animals shipped air freight to them from wholesalers in L.A. What we can say for certain is that animals purchased at Blue Zoo are exposed to as few system transfers as possible, and they are about as stress free as any livestock in the business when they reach your doorstep.

Another argument against buying online is the fact that the hobbyist does not get to “see” the animal before purchasing it. Consider, however, the fact that our entire business model is based on making sure you get the best possible specimen of the animal you ordered. If we shipped animals that were consistently inferior to the sample picture of the species posted on our website, we would not stay in business very long! That is why we put such an emphasis on hiring the best animal husbandry staff in the business so that you can rest assured that each animal we hand select for shipping has been chosen by some of the most knowledgeable guys in the entire industry. If you are a novice aquarist, this should be a great comfort to you. Of course if you really want to see the exact animal you are purchasing, you can always shop at the Blue Zoo Aquatics Collector’s Choice What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) store!

Finally, as an online retailer, Blue Zoo has a very large client base, which means we can buy and sell more expensive and rarer animals with less risk. While there is no doubt that the local fish store can serve some of your needs, when it comes to sheer selection, few local fish stores can offer the same depth and breadth of livestock.

In the final equation, we feel that all of these points add up to a very good reason to consider buying at least some of your saltwater aquarium animals online. As always, we are here to answer your questions via phone and email, because we believe that the best hobbyists is the most experience hobbyist. Let us know how we can help you today.


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