There are multiple online aquarium stores that sell saltwater livestock with most of these online retailers conducting a very large volume of business. Our strategy is to not focus on the quantity of orders, but rather the health of the livestock. In meeting this goal, it requires us to remain small in order to meet the desires of our customers while maintaining the absolute best health of our livestock so that when your fish, coral, or invertebrate arrives at your door you are completely satisfied.
We work with only a very selected and very few saltwater livestock suppliers. When an order is placed, the livestock purchased is then ordered through one of these suppliers, which from time to time because they are also serving other aquarium retail stores across the United States, actual real time stock quantities will vary. Sure, there may be other suppliers who may have your purchase in inventory and ready for shipment, however, for one reason or another we've chosen to rely on the very best and only the most humane suppliers.
Once your order has been processed, placed with one of our suppliers, and upon arrival it is acclimated using a drip-method and placed into one of our quarantine tanks for a minimum of three days. Our quarantine tanks are made using freshly made RO/DI water mixed with a high quality salt mix, matched to the same parameters of our suppliers.
After the minimum three days of quarantine, if no signs of stress or of detrimental health is observed, preparation of shipment then begins. The preferred days of shipping are Monday and Tuesday with the preferred times of arriving at a shipping location being between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM. As you may be able to tell, we strive to take every precaution to ensure the safe and healthy arrival of all livestock. The reason for these specific days and times is that it takes into account potential shipping issues such as carrier delays which are beyond our control. Shipped too late in the week and your livestock may be delayed by weather or other reasons which may push into the weekend when most carriers don't deliver until the next business day. Delivered to the shipping carrier too early or late in the day results in a longer period of time your livestock remains inside of a sealed shipping bag, depleting necessary life sustaining oxygen levels while increasing toxin levels. Therefore we remain firm to our small window of opportunity when it comes to shipping.
Some online retail stores offer various "arrive alive" guarantees, and while we do as well (our arrive alive guarantee is limited to the successful arrival of your livestock with some exceptions on a per case basis), for the benefit of the livestock, we prefer to keep the mortality rate as low as we possibly can. To us here at Reef at Home, it's not just the satisfaction of our customers that matters, but equally the health of each specimen.