FAQ

Yes, fish shipped by FedEx and UPS Services are covered as long as the carrier gets the package to you within the amount of time of their guarantee (one or two days depending on time of year and service level chosen by the customer). Fish shipped by SWA Cargo are covered by the Airline's Declared Value. If the airline fails to pay a claim on lost fish, I normally will cover your loss. No shipping is available when temperatures drop below 32 F because heat packs can fail. See our Terms & Conditions page for more information.
Order Fish from the web site one time and after your first order is completed in the system, the second time you order you will be enrolled by the system in the discount club and get the discount club rates. Discount rates only apply on fish priced above $10. Current rates for non-sale priced fish are 5% on fish $10 to 14.99, 6% on fish $15 to $19.99, and 7% on fish above $20.  Please note, supply orders through Amazon.com do not qualify for the discount club problem.

Discount rates on sale fish are being priced so that discount members get the best sale price.  Discount club members be sure to log onto the site to get these rates. If you get the wrong rate, let me know and I will adjust your bill.
You can add voucher or coupon codes via the shopping cart page. See this how-to video (click here) for guidance.
Contact me by email immediately at support@cichlidsarespecial.com. Some times the code email fails to go through to your email. If this happens and I am not informed, I have no way of knowing it or correcting the problem. The most frequent cause of this problem is a typo in your email address. Be sure the email address in your account is correct. The next most common problem is your Pay Pal email is not the same as your personal email. The coupon code my have been sent to your pay pal email instead of your personal email. If you use a second party Pay Pal address to make your purchase, this is often the root of this problem. No matter what the reason, if you are owed a gift coupon or a refund, I want to make sure you get it. I do not want my customers to be unhappy.
In most cases, you may have accidentally typed in the wrong zip code in your account. Please double check you account information. In cold weather, under 45F, second day service is not available and only first day services will show in the cart.
The price listed at the top on each fish is the price for the lowest priced size of that particular fish. The drop down shows different prices for different sizes of the fish depending on what is in stock. The customer has the option of choosing which size and amounts of fish at the price listed in the drop down as available. If a size is not listed in the drop down, that size is not available.
Most sex uncertain are likely to be females. When these fish come in in the small size or are grown out from fry they are about 50/50. However, as males color, they sell.

Most peacocks will at least show some signs of a male around 2.5".

Most Haps are slow to color and true male color may not happen until they reach 3.5 to 4" or larger. Larger sex uncertain numbers available are most likely to turn out to be close to 50/50 in sex. Smaller numbers available are most likely to be females.

Most Mbuna are near impossible to sex. I only list males when I am 90% or better certain they are males. Numbers available in sex uncertain dictate the likelihood of male female mixes.

Most Victorians color up similar to Peacocks. Some even color at a smaller size. They are sexed accordingly. Numbers available in sex uncertain dictate the likelihood of male female mixes.

On 2 and 2.5" Sex Uncertain mixes, I try my best to give you one likely male in the mix.
The compatibility chart, which can be found in the navigation menu, is geared for an all male show tank. For mixed sexes and breeding, see my breeder recommendations page on our Forum, which can also be found in the navigation menu.
My fish are measured from snout to tail. 2" and 2.5" males sometimes do not have full body shape (roundness) like larger fish. When you place them with larger fish, this makes them look even smaller. 2" and 2.5" males do best with other fish of a similar size. I do not recommend putting them with larger males unless you have plenty of smaller caves or hiding places that they can use to get away from a larger aggressor.
Yes. This only means your fish shipment will be delayed from going out until the weather is favorable.
please check our compatibility chart, listed in the navigation menu. If you are still uncertain, please email us for more information.
75 gallon or larger for Peacock and smaller Lake Malawi Haplochromis. 120 gallon or Larger for large Lake Malawi Haplochromis or Peacock and larger Haplochromis mixes that are compatible. 40 Gallon or larger for Mbuna mixes.
7.8 to 8.0 PH, 78 to 80 F temperature, moderate to hard water, and clean water. A few Lake Tanganyika fish require 8.2 and higher PH. See our advice pages for more information.
This varies by the service you choose to use, the size box needed, the weight of the box, and the distance covered. Fed Ex Ground Home delivery is the least expensive. Fed Ex Air services are more expensive, even with my discount through my e-commerce shipper. The cart will give you the rates for you order and you can choose the one the suits you best. I also offer SWA Cargo to airports served by South West Airlines. This service is best for larger orders using 18" x 18" x 10" or 20" x 16" x 10" boxes to locations where Fed Ex Air prices are likely to be much higher than this service. However, to use SWA Cargo, you must order at least $100 worth of fish and go to the airport cargo unit to pick up your fish. For more information on shipping, please go to my shipping options page.
No, we do not have an import or export license. These permits and license are expensive and can take months to obtain. We can only ship to the continental U.S., Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
No, USPS Priority Mail is too inconsistent. Normally it takes two to three days; but can take longer. Fish rarely can handle more than two days maximum in shipment. USPS Express Mail prices are close to that of FedEx and do not always arrive in one day.  I checked into Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express. Live animals (including fish) are prohibited. Anyone shipping fish this way may be risking having them detained by the post office and possibly get a fine. I used to work in mailing. The post office has some difficult regulations that can be tricky. Postal inspectors have a repatriation for being very tough and you do not want to cross one.
Normally no more than two days in warm and cool weather 45F Minimum (Spring, Summer, Fall); but no more than one day in cold weather 32F-44F (Winter) with heat packs. See our Terms & Conditions page for more specific information.
We have an internet based store from our home. We are not allowed to have customers come to our physical address or we risk a $1,000 fine and loss of our permit to operate in our township. For local customers, we offer local pick up at a nearby Church, where we can bring the bagged fish to you. The disadvantage to this situation is that you can not see or pick the actual fish directly from the tank. However, if you are not satisfied with a bagged fish at time of pick up, it can be refused and your bill will be adjusted accordingly. The advantage to this situation is the reduction in overhead cost which is passed on to you through our low prices.
Most of our fish are breed in house. A few come from wholesale sources.
Our fish come from reliable sources. All of our incoming fish are quarantined and treated to prevent disease. We do not knowingly sell any fish that are ill. Fish showing signs of illness are pulled from sale and treated accordingly. However, we suggest quarantining any new fish for two weeks to be extra safe no matter from what source you get the new fish.
Two reasons: First, I have to drive fish shipped by SWA Cargo to a truck runner service which is about a 50 mile round trip. I need the amount high enough to make it worth my fuel cost to drive to the runner location. Second, Southwest Airlines has a minimum size price on boxes being shipped. As a result one box will cost as much as three to four boxes of fish shipped to the same location most of the time. It, therefore, is beneficial to the customer to order enough fish to fill three to four boxes when possible in order to get the most out of their shipping expense.
With 200 plus tanks, I need this time to preform needed maintenance the first three days of the week. I also pack and ship fish Monday through Thursday. Thursday and Friday, I am often busy counting grow outs, looking for more males to sell. I also now offer Fed Ex Ground Home Saturday Delivery which results in more shipping on Thursday and Fridays.
Once you complete an order in the cart it can not be modified. In order to add additional fish you need to complete a separate order. You can also email me and I can do a manual order for you. If you are shipping your fish, I suggest emailing me first so I can determine if you will need an extra box to ship or not. The cart will automatically add a box otherwise to your shipping cost if you make a separate order. For local pick ups or deliveries to a CCA meeting you do not need to email mail me since no boxes are needed for those type transactions. For SWA Cargo, You can use the cart for an addition and I will tell you if there is a chance in the shipping cost. However, you need to make this change at least 24 hours prior to planned shipping.
Send me an email at least 24 hours prior to planned shipping or pick up date. I can make this change for you and will advise you of the change in cost.
If you know this by 24 hours in advance, please contact me by email at support @cichlidsarespecial.com. If you call and get the answering device, I may not find this message in time. If you are on you way and run into a traffic problem, either email me or call me if you expect to be more than 15 minutes late. If you are 15 minutes or less out, or do not get an email response, please call. If you get the answering machine and do not get a replay quickly, please call back again.
I feed all 1." and larger fish a rotation of the following foods:

Xtreme Aquatic Foods Cichlid Peewee Pellets (available in my supplies section and shipped through amazon.com)

Fry 1" and under get Live baby brine shrimp hatched daily by myself from eggs that I get through Brine Shrimp Direct.
Several reasons. A) Quality Control. By this I mean if I buy a larger fish from a farm source, I do not know how old it is or exactly how it was raised. I try to grow out as many males as possible into the 2.5" to 3.5" size so I can control these factors. B) Cost. Larger fish from a farm are high priced. C) Risk If a larger fish from a farm dies it costs me a lot more than if a smaller one dies. Even smaller ones that have been grown out are less costly that farm bought. and D) some larger fish are only offered in Pairs from some of the fish farms. When I am low on grow out males, there are only sex uncertains available until more males grow out or I can get some in from a wholesale source. To be certain of when the fish you want is available in the size you want, please click yes on the newsletter in your account.
Smaller fish (1" to 3.5") are packed in one per double bag in smaller bags. Larger fish (4"+) are packed one per double bag in larger bags.
Yes. If you choose to pay cash, I will deduct the amount and tax for that fish at the point of sale from your invoice. If you choose to Pay by Pal Pal, I will send you a Pay Pal Refund or a gift certificate for the amount of the fish not wanted and any tax. This situation almost never occurs. Most people are very satisfied with the fish I bring to them for a local pick up.
If you need females from these groups, contact me and I will sell you these separately. This type pricing is set up so that I do not get stuck with left over females. If the females sell, I will offer the left over males separately.
Orders through Pay Pal under $25.00, unless a gift coupon is used for part of the payment, will be accessed a $2.00 handling fee. This fee will be sent through pay pal and your order will not be shipped until the handling fee is paid. If you pick up locally, you will need to Pay the $2.00 handling fee in cash to receive your fish. There is no minimum on cash at time of pick up orders.
Most of my fish are not hybrids unless they are marked as a hybrid. Aulonocara Jacob Blue is a little uncertain. My supplier claims to have gotten this fish from Jacob Frieberg a long time ago.
Some Lake Victorians can vary in color. Many victorians, can look similar when they are young as well. Milder Lake Victorians are especially prone to hide true color when first introduced to a new tank. My victorians are not Hybrids.
Aqua Bid will not allow me to post any fish that are also for sale on my site.