Bristlenose - Brown
There are various patterns on Brown Bristlenose Plecos. We selectively breed for the more spotted appearance. Longfin on bristlenose is dominant, therefore only a pair that includes one longfin parent can produce longfins. Standard finned bristlenose, when paired together, cannot produce longfins under any circumstance.
Check this page out for groups of fish where you actually receive the fish in the photos: WYSIWYG fish page.
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Fish cannot be shipped with Products. We will not compromise the safety of the fish by trying to put a product in the same box. Besides, at the cost of Overnight, it's much less expensive to ship them separately most of the time. If you order products with fish, the products will be shipped separately by the least expensive method.
We never ship a fish order without confirming your availability to receive them on the expected day of arrival. When choosing the shipping option 'Next Day', it does not mean you will receive the fish the day after the order is placed. Fish have to be fasted (not fed) before shipping, the weather has to be appropriate, arrangements have to be made and there has to be an opening in our packing schedule for your order. All this can take 48-72 hours or longer if the weather is bad, before we even contact you to arrange a shipping date. We ship Monday through Wednesday. You receive them the following day as long as UPS does their job properly. Also, we don't hold fish orders, so please do not order if you cannot receive them within a week or so. If you want a Friday delivery, and UPS is late, then you don't get them until Monday. That is at your risk.
- UPS Next Day: Next Day means that you receive them the day after we ship (as long as UPS is not late), not the day after you order. Depending on many factors, it can be several days before they are shipped. Next-Day is always the best choice and far easier on the fish than any other method. We also guarantee live delivery with Next Day if you notify us of any problems within 2 hours of delivery (unless we inform you in advance that we can't on your order). These can be sent to your door, unless the weather is very poor (winter weather) or if you are very rural. Then we may request that you pick them up at the nearest UPS Customer Center. The advantage picking the fish up at UPS is that you do not have to wait for the driver to show up - which may be very late in the day and it is by far the least stressful way for the fish. Next-Day orders are shipped Mon-Wed with delivery the following day if UPS doesn't mess up. Any fish that are dead on arrival will be replaced or the price will be refunded, but we must be informed within two hours of when they were delivered or were available for pickup at UPS. Shipping costs are not refunded and you have to pay the shipping costs if you want fish reshipped. If UPS misses their service guarantee delivery time, we keep any refunds that are eligible. If before the order is shipped, you take all the risk for any D.O.A. fish, then you would get the refund. UPS does not refund for delays caused by weather or mechanical problems. If you are outside of the contiguous lower 48 States, do NOT order before checking on shipping restrictions with us.
- 2nd Day Air: We only offer this occasionally during the warmer summer months. 2nd Day means that you receive them two days after we ship, not two days after you order. Depending on many factors, it can be several days before they are shipped. 2nd Day is NOT quaranteed to arrive alive. These can be sent to your door, but it is far better that you pick them up at the nearest UPS Customer Center. The advantage picking the fish up at UPS is that you do not have to wait for the driver to show up - which may be very late in the day and it is by far the least stressful way for the fish. 2nd Day orders are shipped Mon-Wed with delivery two days later.
- Priority Mail: You will not find this option for fish during checkout. You have to request this by email in advance if you want to use this service. From our rural location, this service is very risky, and Live delivery is NOT guaranteed with this service. Priority Mail is also not guaranteed to arrive by a particular day. We are shipping from a rural spot in NY and it can take anywhere from 1 to 10 days to arrive. We've even seen it take longer in some situations. Please let us know in the comments section when checking out if you want this service and we will refund the difference in price. Picking the package up at the P.O. is much easier on the fish than shipping to your door. The hardest part of the trip is the long, unprotected ride to your door, so avoid that at all costs with Priority mail.
- International Orders: We no longer ship int'l orders. US Fish & Wildlife is too restrictive for us to do it from our location. If you have a transhipper in the U.S. who will forward the fish to you, we can ship to them. If you are in Canada, and you can get over the border, you can pick them up at the nearest UPS Customer Center.
- UPS Customer Centers: You can go here to check delivery times, track your fish or find a pickup location. It is always easiest on the fish to pick them up as soon as they arrive at UPS. If you have them delivered to your door. You must wait around for the driver to deliver them and that could be anytime from about 8:30 am until 9:00 pm. Most find it more convenient to just pick them up early and get it over with. We do not guarantee fish that are not picked up within 2 hours of when they are available. If you can pick them up at UPS, then put "UPS Customer Center" in the delivery address of the shopping cart when checking out. The UPS Store locations are also an option for pickup, but be aware that some charge extra for pickup, unless you have an account there. They are independent franchises and not part of UPS.
- Shipping Address: It is very important to carefully give us the full legal address for delivery. We have to know if it's a "street, road, ave, blvd," etc. If there is a building #, apt # or Suite # it has to be on the package. It has to be spelled correctly. The zip code has to be correct. UPS will charge $18.00 to correct any of these that is missing or not the legal address given by the Post Office - even if they can deliver it without problem. This charge will be passed on to you. Besides, you do not want live fish delayed for such an easy reason to avoid.
- Pickup at Our Location: For those who want to pick up an order at our location, there is an order pickup fee of $20.00. The pickup fee is applied towards the order total if you order at least $100. The fee has to be paid in advance and is not applied to the order if you don't show up at the appointment time. Sorry for the strict rules, but most people do not show up, much less be on time, so these conditions are necessary. Pay Pickup Fee
You can expect us to do our best to get the fish to you in good shape.
We will assure you of the following:
- That we will notify you before shipping your fish.
- Live delivery will be Guaranteed, even if the fish are late unless the customer doesn't attend to them within 2 hours of when they are available. If we can't guarantee a particular order we will notify you in advance of shipping. Any late-delivery refunds from the carrier are kept by us, unless you agree before shipping, to accept full responsibility for any DOA fish.
- It is our decision whether to refund the price paid for the fish or to re-ship them. There is no refund on shipping costs.
- A Guarantee that the fish we send will not have deformities and will represent the strain you ordered.
What We Expect From You
Getting fish in good shape and keeping them that way is a 2-way street. You must also do your part. Here is what we expect from you:
- To be there when the fish arrive, even if the carrier is late. If you choose to not start the acclimation as soon as they arrive, we will not guarantee them. If picking them up at UPS, we expect you to pick them up as soon as they arrive. You have to track them frequently to know when this is. Our live delivery guarantee ends 2 hours after delivery. If you are picking them up at UPS, the guarantee ends 2 hours after they've been available for pickup. UPS will not notify you when your shipment arrives, though you can sign up with them to receive emails or texts about delivery notices.
- To notify us immediately by phone or email if there is any problem or concern with the fish. We actually give you 2 hours after delivery, but we expect you to notify us right away. The 2-hour window starts when UPS tracking says it's been delivered. When the fish have been scanned in at a UPS Customer Center and held for pickup, UPS will usually list it as "delivered". Leave a message if you can't get in touch with us. Email us a photo of the fish with the problem, while still in the bag. Do not ask for a replacement fish or refund if you do not follow these guidelines.
- That you will acclimate the fish according to our instructions, which are both online and in the box with the fish.
- If the fish dies, you will save the fish and email us a clear photo of the dead fish with its tail cut off. As an alternative you may dry the fish out (salt it for a few days) and then mail it back to us. Do not dispose of any dead fish until we verify that the photo is clear or we receive the dead fish in the mail. There will be no refunds without clear evidence of a dead fish - no exceptions.
What We do NOT Guarantee
- That you will have the knowledge or experience to properly care for them. This means that they can get sick or die under your care, especially if you do not quarantine them properly.
- Their adult size, shape, fins or color. Stress or poor conditions can affect any of these areas greatly as they grow.
- That they will breed under your care, or that you will keep them alive.
In other words, we don't guarantee results. We will send beautiful, healthy fish, but it is up to you to keep them that way. Not everyone will.
Fish Acclimation Procedure: First, let us know if you can pick the fish up at the nearest UPS Customer Center (this is where they must go if shipped during the winter. That is by far the best, most convenient way to get fish. It's quicker, less stress on the fish and you don't have to wait for the driver to show up at an unknown time. Just show up as soon as the tracking shows the box has arrived at the destination UPS Center. Bring your tracking # and ID. We address the package to the UPS location, so it cannot be delivered by mistake. If the tracking says "Out for Delivery", it means it's been at the UPS Center waiting for pickup. Do not choose this method if you cannot get them within 2 hours of arrival.
Have an aquarium with a cycled bio-filter ready for your new fish. It is best to quarantine your new arrivals from any other fish you have. They are stressed by shipping and susceptible to any pathogens your other aquariums may contain. If you do not properly quarantine them, you will risk having them die. Anything added from another tank to your quarantine tank means that it is no longer quarantined. Just because your existing tank shows no signs of disease, it may still contain pathogens. They can be present in low numbers waiting to attack a stressed fish.
- Carefully follow each step in the acclimation procedure.
- Be available to start the acclimation as soon as the fish arrive.
- Have fish-safe buckets, ammonia neutralizer, siphons, valves, nets and a quarantine tank with a biologically active filter.
- Have plenty of time on the day of their arrival to be sure they are doing well.
- Notify us immediately in the event of a problem or concern. We must also be notified if their conditions get worse after following a suggestion we give you. If you choose not to tell us right away, we do not want to hear at a later date that the "fish arrived with the problem". If the fish do not arrive by Noon on an Overnight shipment, please call or email us immediately!
- According to our instructions, return any fish that are dead-on-arrival or send a clear photo with the tails cut off. Do not dispose of the fish until we confirm that the photo is clear enough.
Use your regular tap water when setting up the aquarium to be used for the new fish. Be sure your aquarium filter has fully established nitrifying bacteria or you can buy an "active filter" from us with established nitrifying bacteria, ready to put in when your new fish are added. You can also use a bacteria starter culture to help establish the biological cycle, but these will not work very well and we do not recommend them. Do NOT put your new fish into pure "R.O." or de-ionized water. This will greatly stress and probably kill your newly shipped fish. They need to be acclimated to this type of water slowly over time. Do not try to match our pH.
Upon Delivery of Shipped Fish: First, we ask that you do not have the fish shipped if you have no leeway in the delivery time. The overnight carriers that we use are fairly reliable, but if the carrier is late, we don't want the fish to die because you were unable to wait longer. They might not arrive until the next day. If this is a problem, then please don't place the order, because we only guarantee live delivery if you can get them and start the acclimation as soon as they arrive. If the fish are not there by Noon, contact us right away. The carriers are late often enough, that you don't want to try and pinpoint the delivery. If you have to leave, place a note for the carrier driver to take the fish to another near-by address where the box can be signed for and brought indoors. If the shipped fish are a full day late, and you or someone else can't be there to accept delivery, call us and we can possibly make arrangements to have them sent to another address. The carriers are somewhat flexible and we can often re-route the shipped fish to another address. It can go to a neighbor, a work address, any business in town, or the nearest UPS Customer Center. Many find it more convenient to schedule the shipment to be picked up at the UPS location, which is the fastest and safest method when getting new fish shipped in. When picking fish up at UPS, always take your tracking # and identification with you.
The carrier may hide your fish: Delivery times are usually before Noon. If you haven't received the fish by then, it's a good idea to email us right away, track the package, and then start looking for the spot the carrier may have hidden the package. We've had the carrier put the fish-box in garages, parked cars, behind shrubs, in back yards, underneath patio furniture, at neighbor's houses and many other places you'd never dream of looking. The key is to suspect the worst and start looking. It's also imperative to let us know immediately when they haven't arrived by Noon. It helps to put a LARGE note on the door for UPS to "Knock Loud", or to "Ring the bell several times". Even if you do, they rarely knock and are very likely to just drop the box and run. They do not normally ring a bell or knock, so check frequently until they arrive.
Checking for problems: Please check the condition of the shipped fish immediately upon arrival. If there is a problem or concern, e-mail or call us right away. Do not wait for the problem to get worse. If you have a problem and we make a recommendation and the fish's condition worsens, please notify us and email a photo showing the situation immediately.
Our guarantee is canceled if you do not notify us of a problem within 2 hours of the first attempted delivery. This includes delivery times to a UPS Center when picking up an order. We will do our best to help, but we also need you to do your part promptly. Many times we can prevent further problems if given the opportunity.
Fish Acclimation Procedures after Receiving your Shipped Fish: If your shipped fish arrived alive but look a little ragged, do not be alarmed. Many of the varieties (especially blacks) show damage from handling more readily. They tend to easily lose scales and some get split fins during the handling process. The blushing angelfish's more delicate fins are very susceptible to higher ammonia and bacterial levels and their fins will sometimes disintegrate under these conditions. Don't worry though, if this happens they will quickly heal and should look great again in a week or two of good care.
On the Arrival of your Fish: Shipping can be stressful on fish. Be prepared with an ammonia neutralizer. If you smell heavy ammonia, you should add an appropriate amount to each bag to eliminate some of the ammonia. It may be necessary to repeat this if the acclimation takes a long time, you see signs of stress or if you smell strong ammonia at any point. If the fish are stressed because the water is too cold, they must be warmed up to a reasonable temperature rather quickly. It is best to empty each bag into an appropriately sized, fish-safe, bucket. Lots of surface area is important. Do not aerate the water, and do not float the bags in an aquarium. When very cold, the fish can appear dead and yet be fine (still, you should email us). Always acclimate fish that seem to be dead. Most times, they are just in a torpid state from the shipping conditions, and will be just fine if warmed up soon enough, and acclimated properly. To warm the tropical fish, place their bucket into a larger container that contains much warmer water. This should be done until the temperature gets into the low 70's in the fish's bag or bucket. The acclimation procedure can be started while the water is warming.
Drip System for Acclimating Fish: Start a siphon from the aquarium they are going into, through an airline tubing, into the acclimation bucket. Put an airline valve in-line to control the drip-rate. If you don't have an airline valve, then you can tie a knot in the airline and tighten or loosen it to control the drip.
Acclimation Procedure for Fish: Drip water from the aquarium into the fish-bucket, at the rate of one drip/second for every 3 cups of water in the bucket. This means that 6 cups of water in the fish-bucket gets dripped at 2 drips/second. Every 10 minutes, double the drip-rate. When the water volume in the fish-bucket has doubled to tripled, add one fish to the aquarium and observe its reaction. If it looks worse, then acclimate the rest of the tropical fish for another hour and then try adding one more. If the transferred fish look okay, it is then safe to add the rest. Any individual fish that haven't been added to the tank, and look overly stressed during acclimation (spinning, erratic movements, on its side), should be acclimated quicker. Put them in a separate container and take at least 10 to 15 minutes to gradually double the water volume and then add the stressed fish to the tank one at a time. If the first one added improves, the others can be added in the same manner.
Critical: Part of acclimating your new tropical fish is to not feed the fish for at least 24 hours and preferably 48 hours, especially with the larger ones. When you do start feeding, start with no more than one or two bites of dry food. Normal-sized feedings can make your fish sick or even cause newly shipped fish to die! Remove all uneaten food within 2 minutes. If you cannot get them to eat dry food, try a very small amount of live food. However, it is best to not feed live foods during the first week. Do not feed frozen foods for any reason during the first week after their arrival!
Having fish shipped in, can be a good experience when you're prepared. Good luck with your new fish and please let us know the outcome on our Facebook page or a review on our website. Thanks.