With COVID-19 causing rapid closure of stores across America, including pet stores, many stores have now switched to offering their services online. Ordering live pets home, fish, in particular, might be a little disconcerting because they are delicate creatures.
But some online fish stores have gone to great lengths to ensure that not only do fishes arrive alive but also in fighting shape. Here’s a list of the best online fish stores to help you build your aquarium from the comfort of your home.
Can You Buy Fish Online?
You might still be wondering, can you buy fish online? It’s a live animal, after all, not some toy. Transporting such frail sea life is bound to come with a series of complications.
Whether you’re a hobbyist, a collector, or just looking for some new friends to spruce up your aquarium, fish are safe to purchase online. The online stores that sell them also receive fish via shipping, so there’s no need to worry about the fish surviving on the way over. Fish bought and sold in stores have been studied for decades.
Professional retailers are well aware of all the caveats of storing and shipping fish. They go to elaborate lengths and invest in cutting-edge aquarium technology to ensure nothing goes wrong. The fish are inspected and provided with a healthy diet and the necessary room for exercise so that they reach you in great shape.
12 Best Online Fish Stores
Not only is purchasing live fish online safe, but it also gives you access to a wider variety of breeds to choose from. However, it’s always best to go with a reliable fish retailer with a good reputation to make sure your fish survives the transit.
Image source: Petco
Petco is an American pet retailer with headquarters in San Diego, California. Petco offers all products and services related to pets and the live animal itself. It’s a one-stop destination for all your pet needs. Their main stock of live animals includes aquarium fish, reptiles, small birds, and rodents.
The store hosts a variety of fish. You’ll find guppies, freshwater fish, tropical fish, and some unique US-based fish too. They’ve recently added eels to the list. If Petco has what you’re looking for, it’s probably your best option. It’s a store you rely on to receive a healthy pet and good follow-up service.
2. The Consolidated Fish Farms Inc.
Image source: Consolidatedff
Consolidated Fish Farms Inc. is a Florida-based pet fish farm and retailer. It’s been in the business of aquarium fish for over 30 years. Today, they sell a large variety of freshwater and pond fish along with invertebrates like Koi, Pond Lilies, and aquatic plants with both in-store shopping and curbside pickup. In addition, they also provide pet health services and supplies.
If you’re ever in the market for Cichlids, Consolidated Fish Farms Inc. is the place to go. Every fish store has a specialty, and their specialty is exotic varieties of Cichlids at affordable prices.
Image source: Saltwaterfish
Saltwaterfish.com is an online store that specializes in a variety of exotic saltwater fish from oceans across the world. Saltwater fish are often a gamble because of exposure to a number of diseases that can wipe out the livestock.
It’s important to purchase saltwater fish from a reliable retailer with a long and unblemished reputation. Saltwaterfish.com offers a 15-day guarantee on live fish and offers free shipping on orders exceeding USD 99.
In addition to the fish, they also sell the microorganisms an aquarium needs such as invertebrates and corals in order to keep saltwater fish thriving.
Image source: Amazon
Amazon is a company that requires little introduction. And to their reputation, they really do sell everything, including live fish. It may not be the first place you think of when it comes to purchasing live fish; however, they happen to have a pretty solid reputation for the handling of all their packages including live animals.
Amazon hosts a variety of reputed pet retailers such as SoShrimp, GreenPro, and Toledo Fish with a number of positive reviews on their brand page. Although you may not get a lot of variety on Amazon, because they tend to only ship fish that do not require much investment. But if you’re a simple hobbyist, Amazon will suffice.
Image source: Liveaquaria
Liveaquaria’s selection is so massive it seems intimidating at first. But if you’re an amateur looking to learn more about marine life and aquarium maintenance, it’s your one-stop destination. They have several comprehensive guides and kits to help you get started.
Liveaquaria sells all kinds of fish, such as freshwater, saltwater, and fresh breeds from time to time. Their store also includes a selection of shrimp, plants, corals, and any supply you’ll need to maintain both the equipment and the marine life.
If you’re ever shopping on Liveaquaria, keep an eye out for hot weekly deals that cater to the more economic consumer.
Image source: Marinefishez
MarinefishEZ might be one of the most committed retailers in terms of ensuring the health and wellbeing of fish, both before and after the sale. The saltwater fish are hand-picked from their Atlanta facility for quality assurance, fed a well-researched and nutritious diet, and then shipped with high standards of quality.
They offer a 100% guarantee on all live animals bought from the online store. MarinefishEZ dabbles in a wide array of marine life such as saltwater fish, sharks and rays, coral, flounder, jellyfish, octopus, starfish, and more.
Unlike most stores, MarinefishEZ ensures to regularly keep in touch with their customers through their newsletter and announcements on changes to their inventory. It’s a store reputed for its dedication to preserving life and animal care.
7. Salty Bottom Reef Company
Image source: Saltybottomreefcompany
Salty Bottom Reef Company is a purely online store that sells saltwater fish such as angelfish, seahorses, and even eels. However, they specialize in delivering eco-friendly aquacultured live rock. It’s the ideal store to shop from if you already have an aquarium that’s simply in need of a few more decorations to help your fish feel at home.
If you’re not sure what you need, you can go for the “complete setup.” It’s a unique service only Sally Bottom offers, which gives you a precise combination of all the things you need to get your aquarium started. This includes live sand, live rock, and a cleaning crew to turn your aquarium into a stunning display of the ocean’s glory.
Image source: Aquariumcreationsonline
Aquariumcreationsonline is yet another online freshwater fish paradise that offers fish at economic prices and with a 100% marine life guarantee that, so far, it’s been living up to. Their saltwater fish lean more towards the exotic variety with bright bewildering color patterns and shapes.
And as the name implies, it’s a one-stop destination for all supplies that go into creating a fully functioning aquarium. It’s a reliable aquarium maintenance partner that provides all kinds of sands, corals, and rocks to make exotic pets feel at home in their new surroundings.
All of the live fish have been aquarium=conditioned so you don’t have to panic about fish feeling out of place.
Image source: Petsmart
Petsmart is the biggest name in the pet retail industry today and is renowned for its quality selection of pets of all categories such as dogs, cats, turtles, rodents, fish, and other aquatic life. It originally rose to fame for having the best variety of goldfish, America’s most favored fish pet, and still retains this title.
Today, however, Petsmart is a giant when it comes to all kinds of fish. Petsmart can also equip you with all the fish care supplies and additional marine life you might need to provide the essence of the breathtaking ocean floor to your pets.
Image source: Twincitiesguppies
Are Guppies your favorite species of pet fish? Guppies are adorable, playful, colorful, and easy to look after. You could stare at them for hours. A few studies have linked watching fish with reduced levels of stress.
With an entertaining playmate like a guppy, it doesn’t seem far-fetched that they would reduce stress by bringing some joy into your life.
Twin Cities Guppies is the best choice at present for purchasing live guppies online. It’s based out in Minnesota but ships across the US. The guppies are quarantined, dewormed, and inspected to ensure they’re in good health for aquarium life.
Image source: Aquabid
Aquabid lets you both buy and sell your aquarium equipment and aquarium fish online. It’s the eBay for freshwater fish and all related items. Aquabid has an auction model to allow sellers to find their highest bidders so there’s a certain excitement to shopping here if you’re a collector.
You may even come across some incredibly rare breeds, seldom found or in stock at pet stores. The only problem with Aquabid is its shortage of saltwater fish selections. However, finding the plants, corals, and aquarium maintenance supplies you’re looking for is a cinch.
Image source: Aquaticarts
Aquatic Arts is an Indiana-based online fish retailer known for its vast selection of exotic freshwater fish, invertebrates, and plants. You could recreate the floor of oceans thousands of miles away in your own home.
What sets them apart from traditional pet stores is their advanced stand-alone aquariums with independent filtration systems. This ensures that no disease ever flows from one tank to another. It also helps maintain the precise water conditions each fish requires depending on the oceanic environment they are endemic to.
If you’re into collecting rare and exotic breeds, aquatic arts would be a good fit for you. They offer a 100% guarantee and much-needed guidance on the specific requirements of each of their fish.
A Few Parting Words
Hopefully, this blog has more than just answered the question of whether you can buy fish online. Now you also know which are the best online fish stores for reliable delivery.
Remember to look out for retailers that offer a 100% fish survival guarantee and quarantine fish for at least 1-2 weeks after importing them. That last part is to make sure the fish are healthy before selling them.