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How To Package Fish For Transit – The Packaging Doctor

By Carl Board • Monday 07th October 2013

The Surgery Is Now Open

Packaging Doctor

Hi Doctor,

I own an online pet store, which specialises in fish and reptiles. I have received a large order for Koi Carp and need some advice regarding how to package them. I was looking at polythene bags but you have a large range so wasn't sure which one would be suitable. Obviously they need to be waterproof, but also inflated with oxygen so that the fish can survive the journey. What would be the best bag that suits these requirements?

Thank You! From, Amy

Hi Amy,

Another animal-related packaging query - they should start calling me the Packaging Vet! You're absolutely right, polythene bags are the best solution for packaging fish - think of the old-fashioned fairs where you could win a goldfish, if it ain't broke don't fix it! Some customers choose a more bespoke solution for pet packaging, and for fish we offer a range of leak-proof boxes and similar customised items. However, as you are a small distributor standard stock product should suit your operation better.

From our range I would highly recommend the medium duty, open-top clear polythene bags to package your fish. Firstly they offer high clarity, which is essential for fish packaging as they are much happier when they can see what's going on around them and enjoy the natural light - why do you think fish tanks are clear? They are also completely waterproof, and we have tested them rigorously after receiving your query to ensure they do not leak at all. In terms of inflation, these bags are 200 gauge (50 micron thick) which means they are strong enough to be inflated to maximum capacity, they are also open ended which means you can insert the oxygen tube and secure the top of the bag with an elastic band or cable tie. As long as you tighten the tie as securely as possible the water won't escape.

If the fish are going on a particularly long journey, or you feel like they need extra protection simply go up a thickness in the bags you use. Our heavy duty polythene bags still offer some clarity but are 400 gauge (100 micron thick) for further strength. They are also available in larger sizes, up to 36 x 48 inches which is particularly useful for big fish such as Koi Carp.

Hope your fish have a pleasant journey! - The Packaging Doctor

Note: All the packaging problems our doctor receives are real queries from customers or non-customers.

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Carl Board

Carl Board

07th October • 2013