Frequently Asked Questions

Online Store

General Questions

What are your Online Sales support hours?

Our Online Sales department is available during the following hours:

Monday – Friday: 8am – 5pm PST

Saturday: 9am – 4pm PST

Sunday: 9am – 5pm PST

How does your sizing on fish work?

Unless a fish is listed as a specific size (e.g., 3″+, 5″+, etc), all our sizes are approximate. Our fish are measured using total length- so from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail fin. This sizing does not reflect the size that the fish will reach in adulthood, but rather is an estimate of the current size of the fish in the tank.

The sizing list is as follows:
XXS (.25″+ to .5″)
XS (.5″+ to 1″)
SM (1″+ to 1.5″)
MD (1.5″+ to 2″)
LG (2″+ to 3″)
XL (3″+ to 5″)
XXL (5″+)

What does attempted pair mean?

When a fish is listed as attempted pair, it means we will do our best to attempt to select a male and female fish. Fish listed as “attempted pair” are not a breeding pair.

Any fish listed as an “attempted pair” does not guarantee that you will receive a male and female but we always do our absolute best to try and select a male and female.

If a fish is listed as an “attempted pair” the price listed is for the two fish. If you order 2, you will receive 4 fish, if you order 3 you will receive 6 fish, etc.

Do you quarantine or medicate your fish?

All of our fish are quarantined upon import. During this time they are observed and treated for any medical issues. The quarantine usually lasts for a week, but can go for longer if they are not responsive to a medication. Our fish are only listed for sale once they have cleared the quarantine period. We order from the same supplier every time we import, who has quality fish that we trust to be healthy. This is why we typically only have a week long quarantine unless health issues are observed.


Every day the fish are checked for health by a row keeper who observes them for any possible issues. If any issues are noticed, the fish are removed from our stock sheet. As well as being checked every day, when you place an order with us, we physically go and check the quantity and health of the fish you are requesting. If we are unsure about the quality of the fish, we will not add them to your quote and will let you know that they are on QT.


All that being said, our fish are only medicated if necessary. We believe that overmedication is harmful to fish, as it can be hard on their livers and kidneys.

What are your water parameters?

Our general water parameters are as follows:

pH – 7.5 – 7.8

Water Temperature – about 72°F (room heated at 82°F)

dGH – 32ppm (1.79°)

kH – 107ppm (5.98°)

We keep our Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika Cichlids at a pH of  8.4. During shipping, the bag water may have a lower pH due to the effect of accumulated ammonia.

Many of our Discus and Loricariidae species are kept at 86°F – 88°F, but the  vast majority of our fish are kept in unheated tanks which keeps their water temperature around 72°F.

The fish I got from you isn't the same color as the one in the photo!

The fish shown on our website are representative of the fish you will receive and not the exact specimens. Many of our fish are still juveniles and haven’t gotten their adult coloration yet.

Please be aware that wild caught fish may come with imperfections such as torn fins, missing fin rays, etc.

Fish are likely to change color during shipping as the stress can cause them to temporarily lose color. Here is an example of just 20 minutes of being in a bag:

You can see how the once black fish is starting to turn grey/white. You will likely see this happen with the fish you order as well.

How do I purchase a gift card?

Gift cards can be purchased on our website as a product! Simply search “gift card” in the search menu and it should show up. Gift cards ordered by credit card are sent instantly, while those ordered through PayPal do require us to complete the order before they are sent – So please keep this in mind if your card is time sensitive!

How long has The Wet Spot been shipping fish?

The Wet Spot has been shipping live tropical fish since 2005! Check out our About Us page to learn more.

I LOVE The Wet Spot! How can I spread the word?

We love you too! Here are a few places you can let the world know how we did:

I LOVE your hold music, who is it?

We’re so glad you like our hold music! The song is called “Underwater Cavern” and it’s by Purrple Cat. You can find more information on their website at

I've never had an aquarium before; Where do I start?

Check out our beginner checklist for a brief overview of what you’ll need to get started.


Other great resources for fish-y information include:


Our staff is very knowledgeable and we spend a lot of time looking for reliable online information, so if you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask! We bet we can find you the answer and resource you need. 🙂

Live Arrival Guarantee

Do your fish come with any kind of guarantee?

We do everything in our power to ensure your fish have a safe and pleasant journey to their new home, but not every fish tolerates relocation well. That’s why The Wet Spot offers a Live Arrival Guarantee for nearly every species we carry. Once the fish are in your tank, we are no longer responsible for any issues that might occur. We are happy to help troubleshoot what could be happening, but we are not responsible for any problems once the bag has been opened unless you have reported and documented your order concerns to our Online Department.

Are there any fish which are not covered by a guarantee?

Through experience, we have found there are a few species which are more prone to having an adverse reaction to relocation. Even when transported in perfect conditions, via the safest and fastest way possible, tragedy can still sometimes strike. It is for this reason that we are unable to apply our Live Arrival Guarantee to these Guarantee Exempt Fish.

What does your Live Arrival Guarantee cover?

Our Live Arrival Guarantee only applies credit towards any fish that arrive DOA on the projected date of delivery and are properly documented. We cannot provide any credit for the shipping costs associated with your order.

Where do I report my DOAs?

In each package that we ship, we include a red “warning” sheet that walks customers through how to document/report any DOAs on their order. Please read the sheet carefully before opening your bags. Opening the bags prior to any documentation voids any possible credit. You can report your DOAs here: DOA Documentation

Please be sure to closely follow the instructions and required information. If you have any issues or concerns, feel free to email them to us at

How do I take advantage of The Wet Spot Live Arrival Guarantee?

In order to receive credit for any fish that are dead-on-arrival, please follow our Live Arrival Guarantee procedure. In the event that your fish do not arrive alive on the projected date of delivery, we require two clear pictures of the fish in the sealed bag within four hours of delivery. Images must be taken prior to opening the shipping bag to receive credit. Once the pictures are received, we can credit your account. No refunds are given for DOA fish.

Once the bag is opened or acclimation has begun, the Live Arrival Guarantee no longer applies. If pictures are received more than four hours after delivery, credit cannot be issued.

Online Ordering

How does placing an order work?

Once you submit your order on the website, you’ll receive an email from letting you know that your order is on hold. All orders are on hold until we can verify the quality of the fish and that the quantities of the fish on your order are available. Once we have checked the stock on your order, we’ll send an email back asking you if a specific shipping date is acceptable. Please be aware that we require a response from you in order to ship, as we are shipping live animals and want to ensure someone will be available to receive them.

If there are any order issues, we will reach out to you and let you know what items are not available and ask if you’d like any substitutions or replacements.

If we do not hear back from you within 3 days of your placing the order, we will cancel the order.

Most orders are checked and verified within 24 hours of being placed.

We appreciate your patience as we are a small team and working hard to ensure everything on your order is in perfect health!

How long can you hold my fish?

We can only hold fish for 48 hours prior to shipping. We are unable to hold fish longer than that as we need to make sure we have space for new fish coming in.

Do I have to buy a certain number of fish?

We do have minimums of 6 for many of our smaller fish, shrimp, and snails. This is to ensure that schooling fish and smaller species are comfortable and happy during shipping and in your tank. If you have an existing school and only need a few more, you can elect to pay the difference as a charitable donation or toward team-building for our staff.

How soon will my order ship?

All orders will ship 24-48 hours after they are placed. Orders placed on Thursday – Sunday will ship on Monday or Tuesday provided that there is still space on the schedule to ship. Tracking numbers will be sent via email on the day of shipping at 5 PM PST. Store pickups are typically arranged for Monday and Friday between 2-3 PM. Please contact for any order questions.

If I place my order now, can you ship them today?

We cannot ship the same day an order is placed. If you have a specific date that you can receive fish, please place your order 48 hours prior to your desired shipping date. Please also be aware that our schedules fill up fast, and we cannot always guarantee we will be able to ship on your requested shipping date.

Can I place an order as a surprise/gift for a friend?

Yes, we do offer gift services. However, we urge anyone purchasing fish as gifts to remember that these are live animals, and as such, the purchase should be cleared with the recipient prior to purchase. For those unsure which fish would be appreciated by or appropriate for a loved one, we offer gift cards in any denomination.

Can I purchase online-only fish on your website and pick them up in-store?

If the fish you are interested in is listed as “Online Only” on our website, you can click here to start a store pickup. Please do not head to the store for a pickup until someone from our Online Sales Department has confirmed a pickup time for you via email. If the fish you are interested in is not listed as “Online Only”, please call the store to ask to have the fish placed on hold for you to pick up. Local Pickups placed through Online are arranged for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and available after 3PM. In-store pick up orders must be finalized (including payment) at least 48 hours in advance to allow us to prepare your fish for pick up.


What are your shipping prices?

We ship all our orders containing livestock and live plants via UPS Next Day Air for a flat rate. If you live in Oregon or Washington, your shipping will be $39.99. Shipping to all other states is $49.99 for your entire order, no matter how big! We do not offer any free shipping.

Orders that contain dry goods will ship via UPS Ground for a flat rate of $18.99.

Orders that contain only live plants will  ship via USPS Priority for a flat rate of $14.99.

What is shipping insurance?

Shipping insurance is an extra feature that we offer our customers that extends our Live Arrival Guarantee should UPS fail to deliver your package on the estimated date of arrival. UPS does not cover the loss of “perishable” items, so we have a special insurance policy with them that we can apply to your package for a fee.  If you choose to purchase this feature, any fish that arrive DOA beyond the estimated date of arrival will be covered by us and we will issue a credit for the DOA fish provided that proper documentation is given to us (see the Live Arrival Guarantee section). If you choose not to get shipping insurance and UPS delays your package beyond the projected date of arrival, we will be unable to submit a claim on your behalf to issue credit.

How will my fish be shipped?

All fish are shipped via UPS Next Day Air.

Shipping live animals may seem complicated, but The Wet Spot has been shipping fish for more than 16 years! Our first-hand knowledge and experience allows us to ensure your fish make the journey safely.

Once your order is submitted, we’ll ensure the fish are healthy and look beautiful before confirming the order. On the day of shipping, we will catch the fish, add oxygen and a piece of filter to their bags, and double-bag them for safety. Fish are placed into their boxes, which are lined with absorbent paper and insulating Styrofoam.

Fish are then triple-checked by our crew for correct species, health, behavior, and appearance before wrapping them up. Heat packs will be applied as needed at no extra cost. At the end of the day our shipper picks them up and delivers them the next day – meaning our fish only spend about 16 total hours in transit from us to you.

What locations do you ship to?

We ship to all states within the continental US, including Alaska, and to most of Hawaii (import permit required). We cannot ship to APO, PO Boxes, or mail forwarding services. We are also unable to ship to Puerto Rico due to fuel costs and unreliable delivery. For the safety of the fish, during colder months we may decline shipping of livestock to cities which are outside of one-day delivery zones or not within our minimum shipping temperature (20°).

While we do not currently ship to Canada, we can ship to an address near a border crossing. Our invoices include full scientific names to facilitate easy border crossing when paired with your import permit.

What happens to the fish if my package is delayed?

Most shipments reach their destinations without any trouble, but unforeseen circumstances do occur. In the event of an issue, dedicated parcel monitors immediately alert our team and work directly with us to re-route your fish and get them to you as quickly as possible. Shipments affected by mechanical failure, inclement weather, or missed flight delays may still be delivered on the estimated day (albeit later than planned), but are more often delivered the following day.

Our Live Arrival Guarantee only applies to packages that are delivered on the date projected by UPS unless shipping insurance is purchased.

Can you ship my fish so they arrive on a certain day?

For those with busy schedules, we do our best to accommodate any requests for a specific delivery date. If you have particular dates which work well for you, please let us know a few days in advance so we can finalize your order and ensure that we have space.

Can I still order if my location is experiencing extreme weather?

We always have an eye on the sky, watching to determine if weather in your area or others could delay your shipment. Should we determine the weather is not suitable for shipping, we reserve the right to hold the package for a future delivery date. Inclement weather, while unfortunate, does not negate our Hold Policy.

Can you ship or hand deliver my fish to a convention I am attending?

We can ship to convention centers and hotels, given adequate notice and with specific restrictions, but we are unable to hand-deliver fish to attendees.

Special Requests

Can you special order a particular species for me?

The Wet Spot is proud to have access to many rare fish, and we’re often asked to keep an eye out for special requests. While we can’t special order a specific fish,  if you’d like us to notify you when we obtain a certain species, simply contact us using the form below, and we’ll email you as soon as they arrive. When possible, please use scientific names.

Contact us about a fish request!

Can you send me a picture of the fish before I make my purchase?

We get an enormous number of requests for images, and we understand the desire to see the fish before making your purchase. Unfortunately, as a small business, we are just not equipped to provide this service at this time. However, photos of our previous stock can be found in our Image Gallery and should help to give you a good idea of what you will receive.

Can I request a specific sex or sex ratio for “unsexed” fish?

We will always try to accommodate your sexing requests when picking out your fish. However, we are not able to offer sexing guarantees on any fish listed as “unsexed”.

Will The Wet Spot carry Paroon Sharks/Pangasius/Tank Buster fish?

Paroon Sharks, Pangasius, and other “tank buster” fish are not something we carry or condone in the aquarium trade. These fish are often recommended for small aquariums, and then frequently “set free” into local waterways. They can decimate native species and ruin ecosystems. Paroon Sharks in particular can grow up to 6 feet long! Even in a public aquarium setting their size is considered massive. The Wet Spot would strongly urge you to reconsider looking for and purchasing this and other tank buster fish.

Payments, Cancellations, Adjustments, and Order Issues

What payment methods do you accept?

The Online Sales department at The Wet Spot accepts all major credit and debit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. We also accept Wet Spot Tropical Fish gift certificates/gift cards, and PayPal.

We are unable to accept checks, money orders, bank transfers, Venmo, crypto-currencies, or payments via other platforms at this time.

I see a charge on my card but my order hasn't shipped!

When you place an order with us, the order total is put “on hold” from your bank account so that we can verify the money is available. Once we have been able to okay the entire order or make adjustments due to outs, we will charge your card on the day of shipping.

Please be aware that if you cancel your order, the hold amount may take up to 5 days to be returned to your account.

What if I need to cancel my online order?

We understand sometimes things come up, and we will always cancel an order at your request. Due to the time and care that go into packing each order, there is a 10% restocking fee calculated from the entire order cost for orders which are cancelled within 24 hours of scheduled shipment. Please see our Cancellation Policy for more information.

Can I make adjustments to my online order?

Due to time-sensitive processes involved with preparations to fulfill orders, once the order is submitted, we are unable to accept requests for order additions.  Any fish which are removed after an order has been packed are subject to a 10% restocking fee.

Should you need to change your delivery address or arrival date, we are happy to adjust those, given adequate notice. Please see our Terms of Service for more details.

Can I adjust my online order after hours by calling your retail store?

Our retail store operates separately from our Online Sales department. Employees at our retail store do not have access to your order, information about current stock, or shipping rates. Please do not call our retail location if you are an Online customer. Please email us if we are not by the phone or are out of the office, and we will make the necessary changes to your order once we return.

What if I need a refund?

Refunds for out-of-stock items will be returned in the form of the original payment method. Credit given for DOA fish, late shipments, or any other reason will be applied as credit towards a future purchase.

Refunds requested that are of no fault of The Wet Spot will be subject to a 10% transaction fee. This includes payments received prior to confirming an order and cancellation requests outside of the 24-hour window, among other reasons.

How do I report order issues?

All order issues must be reported and documented with our staff within 4 hours of delivery. Upon arrival of your order please verify the order quantities and species, as well as the health of the fish, before opening the shipping bag(s). Opening the shipping bag(s) ends the ‘arrival’ period and, without appropriate photographs, indicates that the fish and order are acceptable and correct.

Discounts and Donations

Does The Wet Spot offer bulk discounts?

We are unable to offer discounts on bulk purchases at this time.

Does The Wet Spot offer discounts for aquarium societies?

With our Flat Rate Shipping of $29.99-$39.99 for all orders, we are unable to offer any additional discounts for Aquarium Societies.

Can I request a donation for my fish club, auction, or fundraiser?

The Wet Spot is proud to provide donations to worthy causes upon request. If you’d like us to consider your organization for a donation of goods or services, please email with your request.

Media, Marketing, and Merchandising

Can I advertise on your website or in your retail store?

The Wet Spot is happy to considers advertising partnerships which benefit our local and online customers. Please Contact Us with more details about your proposal.

Can I set up an interview/tour for my social media channel?

We love to support content creators by making The Wet Spot available for tours, videos, and interviews! We do ask that you make these types of requests in advance to assist with proper scheduling. Please Contact Us for more information or to set up a visit.

Would The Wet Spot be interested in carrying my product(s)?

The Wet Spot would be happy to look into carrying your product. Please Contact Us with more information about your offering.

What trade shows/conventions/events is The Wet Spot attending this year?

We’re excited to meet you! To see when and where you can meet up with The Wet Spot staff, check out our Events Calendar.


Is The Wet Spot currently hiring?

The Wet Spot is always accepting resumes from qualified candidates. Visit our hiring page to see currently available positions and to learn more about the application process.

Is The Wet Spot environmentally conscious?

With today’s ecological concerns, we understand the delicacy of carrying wild fish, threatened species, and those at risk of total habitat destruction. To ensure fish are transported, caught, and sourced ethically, The Wet Spot does not and will not ever transship fish.

We also do not promote the keeping, sale, or purchase of fish known as “tank buster fish”. These fish are often recommended for small aquariums, and then frequently “set free” into local waterways. They can decimate native species and ruin ecosystems.

Lastly, we have specialized breeding programs in place for some species which are heavily threatened due to habitat destruction. Our efforts aim to help ensure these species never face extinction.

Where can I read all of The Wet Spot’s terms and conditions?

All of our Policies and Terms of Service can be found here.

My question wasn’t covered here. Who can I contact for more information?

We’re happy to answer any additional questions you may have. Please Contact Us via email, telephone, or live chat so we can assist you.