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Shipping Information & Options

All shipments are sent prepaid before any fish are pulled, packed, or shipped. Availability is subject to change before your order is completed.

*Please note. I cannot ship to a P.O. Box. Deliveries must be made to a physical address. 

Given the high quality of fish shipped and the extreme care that is taken to pack your live animal safely for transit for 20-24hours, losses are extremely rare and very seldom experienced in shipping. In the rare occasion that you receive fish dead on arrival (DOA) please see my Live Arrival Guarantee

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All non-wholesale orders are shipped  exclusively via UPS 

Nearly all orders are shipped via UPS Next Day 10:30 am - 12:00 pm Delivery Service.  Two or three day ground shipping or the use of another courier are not an option. I understand some vendors ship 2 & 3 day ground at much cheaper rates but for the safety of your live animal(s) and to protect your investment I use Next Day delivery services only. 

During warmer weather months (mid-May through September) I may utilize UPS Next Day Air Saver (Next Day by End of Day Service) or UPS Ground for those within the Next Day by ‘End of Day’ Ground delivery service area (most of NJ, NY, CT, and PA) . This mode of shipping however is not recommended or offered during the cooler early spring, fall, and of course the cold winter months. UPS 10:30 am - 12:00 pm service is also the recommended service during summer months when shipping to hot environments such as Texas, Nevada, etc., where temperatures can often exceed 100f by noon. Beginning October 1st and into May, all orders are automatically quoted for UPS 10:30 am - 12:00 pm delivery service. 

Tangled Up in Cichlids guarantees live arrival on all UPS Next Day Delivery Service shipments provided the package is delivered on time and was a not subject of mishandling by the carrier. See link at top of page for Live Arrival Guarantee information.

The shipping rate you are quoted is the actual rate from UPS (including my discount) as quoted by UPS on the day the quote is sent to you. The rate is determined by the package size (s. m, l, xl) and dimensional weight delivered to your specific address. Packing size will be determined on your specific order based on species type, quantity, and of course size of individual species. The rates change weekly and are affected by several factors including; season (Oct - Jan is peak holiday season), national fuel/oil costs, and flight availability to your specific region. I highly encourage my clients that feel the shipping rate may be "inflated" to please use the below provided link to confirm the actual rate (before my discount) with UPS.  Link:  Again, keep in mind that the rate shown from the provided link is the actual rate from UPS before my discount is applied. So do not use that to quote yourself the shipping as it will be significantly higher than the discounted rate I will provide. 

I start pulling and packing fish around 12:00 pm Eastern time. When a shipping label is created in my UPS system you (and I) instantly receive an automatic email notification from UPS with your packages tracking number (If you do not see this email by 12:00 pm eastern time please check your spam box).  In this email you will have a notice to confirm that the shipping information is correct. If a typo has occurred, I must be notified before 3:00 pm Eastern time of the mistake. After 3:00 pm eastern time I can no longer make changes to the address. You are responsible for checking the information and confirming via email that the information is correct before the package ships. Failure to do so voids the Live Arrival Guarantee in the event of a typo leading to a late or misdelivered package. If I do not receive shipping notice confirmation from you I will assume the information is correct and it will ship as is.  You (and I) may receive additional emails from UPS called 'exception notices' throughout your packages transit time as it gets scanned at each hub or destination including a final email exactly when the package has been delivered. It is your responsibility to check the tracking number( I do not track your packages after they have shipped) for delivery times and are required to be available to accept physical delivery of your live animal(s). Failure to receive your package on UPS's first delivery attempt will also void the Live Arrival Guarantee. If you see any delays in the tracking information while in transit, please email me and I will reach out to UPS to see if I  can receive and then relay any details. 

For those of you who are only available to accept a package on the weekend, there is no reason to hesitate to order because I regularly ship Friday evenings for Saturday delivery. 

All Saturday delivery must ship via Next Day Air regardless of destination. The regular UPS Next Day Air cost of delivery is still applicable (UPS Ground Service and Next Day Air Saver Service do not operate on Saturday).
When shipping on Friday for Saturday delivery, UPS charges an additional ‘Saturday delivery surcharge’ (average cost of $16.00) on top of the Next Day Air service fees. 
Please keep in mind that in the event that UPS is unable to make delivery of your package on a Saturday that package will then be held by UPS until Monday to be shipped again. This will then void my Live Arrival Guarantee. Please be sure to be available to accept physical delivery of your live animal(s). Saturday delivery service is not offered (by me) beginning the week of Thanksgiving through January due to expected delays during the peak holiday shipping season. Saturday delivery service orders must be finalized no later than 24-hours ( by Thursday evening) before they can be scheduled to be shipped. Orders made on Friday cannot ship for Saturday delivery. 

For airport shipped domestic (US) non-wholesale orders: An airport transfer fee is added to all orders. This fee is in addition to the packing materials and the freight charge from the airline. The freight charges are paid COD at time of pickup from airport by the receiver. You must pick up your order directly from the air cargo facility at the specified airport within 1 hour of release from carrier. Release from carrier is typically 1-3 hours after the flight has landed depending on the carrier. You will need to follow the tracking information provided to you on the air waybill that you will receive from me as soon as the cargo is released to the carrier. You are responsible for tracking your order and paying the airline fees. If you fail to pay the cargo fee at time of pickup you will be billed for those fees plus an additional and

non-negotiable 10% service fee. 

Southwest Cargo is shipped out of LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in Queens, NY 
United Cargo is shipped out of Liberty International Airport (EWR) in Newark, NJ

Delta Cargo is shipped out of Liberty International Airport (EWR) in Newark, NJ

Air transfer fees are: 
Southwest Cargo out of LGA (NY): $55.00
United Cargo out of EWR (NJ): $35.00

Delta Cargo out of EWR (NJ): $35.00

This method of shipping is at the discretion of Tangled Up in Cichlids. This method is mostly reserved for large multi-box wholesale orders. Delivering to either airport requires a minimum of an hour of travel each way (significantly more to LGA), fuel, tolls, and parking. More importantly, it cuts into the time I can be packing many other orders for other clients. It is also not time efficient to you the client. On single box orders of any size (small, medium, or large) it is in most all cases faster and more convenient to ship via UPS right to your door the next morning. In many cases it is also cheaper. 

Airport to Airport is not always faster. In nearly all cases from NJ/NY the boxes need to be at the airport 4-6 hours before the flight. Flights are often very early in the morning so the boxes are packed the afternoon before and dropped off at the airport that evening where they will sit overnight to get on the early morning flight. Almost always the box will have a layover and flight transfer. Once they do arrive at your airport you then need to travel to the airport to claim them using your fuel and your time. Depending on the airport the wait time to claim the boxes can be several hours. Here in NJ it is a 3 hour minimum recovery time to claim a box after the plane has landed and on average it is 5-6 hours before they are in my possession. This is the same for other large or busy airports. With UPS Overnight you will save all of the travel and wait times. The package can be delivered to your doorstep while you are still having your morning coffee. 

For my wholesale customers, local fish clubs, or any hobbyists looking to put together a group order, I offer an in-person hand delivery option! If you are within a 225 +/- mile radius of my facility (don’t be afraid to ask if you are out of the listed range) and are looking to put together a larger sized, or multi-person group order. I offer in-person same day delivery for a flat delivery fee with no packing material charges.


How does it work?

On pre-paid orders of $1,000.00(minimum requirement) or greater, these in-person deliveries would be reserved for Friday or Saturday delivery. In which case the fish are packed early in the morning and in your possession later the same day! If you will need delivery on a different day (Sunday through Thursday), just ask. However, please keep in mind that I may need to block out an entire day of order shipments to be able to accommodate a weekday delivery. 


Going the distance: 

This service is for those in a 225 +/- mile radius.  However, if you are outside of the 225mile radius, please do not hesitate to ask. I will always consider and try to accommodate a request whenever it is reasonable to do so. Any, and all requests for this service are at my discretion. Some locations such as a destination in one of the NY 5 boroughs for example will likely incur toll charges that exceed the flat rate delivery fee which likely will be deemed undeliverable and will be cheaper as well as recommended to ship via UPS.


So, what’s the benefit? At any distance, we will compare the current UPS Next Day Delivery service charges to confirm that the in-person delivery service is beneficial to your party. The biggest benefits of course are no chances of lost or mishandled packages, significantly less time of the fish being in bags for transit, and there are no packing material charges. The fish will be bagged as if being shipped however the use of the styrofoam shipping container, cardboard liner(box), and heat pack(s) that would be required to properly ship them will not be necessary.

Upon delivery, the receiving party will be receiving individual/loose bags and will need a receptacle to hold for redistribution to all those involved in receiving fish from this delivery.


Flat rate fees:

0 – 50 miles: $50

51 – 150 miles: $100.00

151- 225 miles: $150.00

In-person pickup? You bet! If you are local or willing to make the drive, I do offer in-person meet up for in-person delivery.
While I operate out of a private facility that is not open to the public and I am not setup to handle walk in business, accommodations may be prearranged to pick up your order in person . If you are local enough to make a pickup, I kindly offer to meet local clients at a destination that is nearby and very easily accessible for those wishing to do so. If this is something that is of interest to you, please let me know and I will try to accommodate.

All in-person pickup orders must be prepaid (no exceptions). No orders will be pulled or packed until the invoice has been finalized.

Potential In-person pickup may be scheduled Monday – Saturday.

Monday through Friday potential availability is as listed below:

9 am – 11 am and again from 7 pm to 8 pm.


Saturday potential availability is as listed below

8 am – 10 am.

Absolutely no exceptions to the times listed above. No requests outside of these hours will be considered.

When a day and time have been confirmed by both parties at the location that I have specified I will allot a 30-minute window for your pickup.

The pickup time and location that is discussed will also be on the invoice with the complete address and time. 

Of course, I understand delays can happen due to traffic or directions and I will allow a reasonable time for delays. However, if you are more than 15 minutes late, I will no longer be at the meeting location. You will then have to contact me to reschedule for another day or schedule to have them shipped. Any in-person pickup orders that are cancelled with less than 12-hours’ notice will be subject to a 15% restocking fee. This restocking fee is non-negotiable.

For any in-person pickup orders where the customer is a no show or does not reschedule a new date for pickup or to have them shipped within 24-hours of the original pickup time, I reserve the right to cancel the order. If I have cancelled the order, a 15% restocking fee will also be applied. No-Shows will be subject to a non-negotiable 25% restocking fee. These restocking fees are once absolutely non-negotiable.

Please understand that I often need an hour (or more) to prepare and pack your order. I also have travel time and expenses to commute to and from home to my facility, to the meeting location, and then back home or to my facility. Often, these in-person deliveries are scheduled when I know I will already need to be on the road traveling in the meeting area to attend other business or personal commitments.  For this reason, I ask that the scheduled time and date be respected, and this is the reasoning for the 15% - 25% restocking fees.

Air cargo
local pickup

Export orders shipped via airport (including all Canada destinations): Minimum order is $1,000.00 of fish.


European countries require USDA Animal Health Certification (APHIS VS) and are subject to a $300.00 fee that is required to obtain this documentation.

If any wild fish are on the invoice & packing list, there is an additional clearance fee of $186.00 per shipment for US Fish & Wildlife inspections and paperwork clearance.  Depending on the port of destination, some international shipments will require the services of an export broker. This fee is an additional $150.00 per shipment. An airport delivery transfer fee charge is also added to all orders. (see the above Air Cargo section)

The consignee must have a there own valid import license and is solely responsible for clearing the fish with all agencies at your port of entry. Due to the costs incurred by the recipient from permits, certificates, and of course the air cargo rates it is recommended that if you are not a wholesaler that you try to put together a larger 'group order' to help alleviate some of the costs incurred.  Often your local fish store or wholesaler will have a valid import license and may be able to organize a group order ultimately helping divide the aforementioned costs. 

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