Frequently Asked Questions
Placing an Order
Q: "How do I place an order?"
A: The best way to place an order with Armke'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
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 "ARAF Guide to Mail Ordering Fish".)
Q: "Can you special order fish for me which are not on your current list?"
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
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 overall length.
W.G. Means What?
Q: "How do I acquire the fish listed as W.G. (Working Group) on your list?"
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.
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