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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm interested in how people go about finding not commonly available fish species they are interested in? Since moving back to the lower mainland I've had to get used to a more limited selection than I've been used to in the US. There just isn't much Canadian activity on AquaBid and shipping over the border is too dicey.

Do most local fish stores have the same suppliers? Which stores are better at special orders and really want to help you find something you are looking for?

Btw, I've patiently waited while trying this site hoping local members would have what I'm looking for but so far nothing.
 

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I'm in the same boat as well. I keep on seeing the same few types of fish (tetra, live bearer, barbs, cichlids, ect.) being offered from the local fish stores. When I ask for something particular; I get the same response, "it's not on the supplier stock list", which is usually just the same fishes I see in rotation. But when I do a little research on a particular fish I like, I find that it's on some Canadian ban list, which pretty much lists every fish except the ones which are offered in the fish stores. Those bans are probably put there to help protect the native fish population from people releasing non native species into our local water ways. But man....I feel you, the actions of a few really set the Canadian side of the hobby back in terms of variety. I'm wondering if it might just be better to try to learn to import some exotic stuff and pay the money or if it's even possible to import for personal use with all these bans put in place.
 

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For tough to find species, you will have to pay a price if you really want them. If fish aren't available from LFS and forum members (getting tougher these days with less forum traffic), I'll go online to buy. It's not too bad as long as you're ordering enough fish to justify shipping costs. So partnering up with a buddy will help to offset shipping costs. First choice are Canadian sources to avoid duty, brokerage fees and greater shipping costs. Even then your sources are limited.

I've had fish shipped from the US a couple of times, airport to airport, more expensive but those fish I can't get anywhere in Canada. For smaller orders from the US, another option is to ship to say, Blaine or Bellingham and you can pick up the fish there. Chances are good that you don't have to pay duty and no brokerage fees because you're doing the paperwork yourself. Some species are banned by CFIA without an import permit, but some species can be exempt for personal purposes:

Importation of Pet Aquatic Animals - Animals - Canadian Food Inspection Agency

So if your fish is on the exempt list, you can fill out an Importer's declaration of ownership of pet aquatic animals (takes less than a minute), hand it to the nice border people and they'll either waive you through or ask you to go inside and pay duty:

Forms Catalogue - About the Canadian Food Inspection Agency - Canadian Food Inspection Agency
 

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Forgot to add, I go airport to airport if I'm ordering delicate species or a big order because that is usually the fastest shipping option. Fedex or other couriers for smaller shipments will be in the shipping bags longer, depending on the shipping option ie. next day, 2 day...
 

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Not
All stores use the same
Suppliers. I have a couple no others are using but it's a rotation between countries so usually once a month and also the farms rotate their breeding seasons and also Wild caught is different seasons. So some aren't around all year. Also some in demand even when on the list they run out. Bear in mind the farms ship all over the world.
I'm
Always looking for unique but only ones that make sense and if they are banned they are banned. If they are cities then a special application and more fees. Those your on your own
Also some
Species you need to get a lot
To a bag and if slow sellers turn they sit and no room. Ie . If I have to get 40 electric blue jack Dempsey Then no can't .
If you go across the border make sure you have. Proper invoice with the scientific names. Border officers are not fish keepers.


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info. The fish I'm looking for are not banned. Actually, according to people from Ontario( and their youtube channels) they are available there. So still looking for recommendations of LFS who are interested in helping with special orders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Does no one have recommendations for stores which will do special orders? Come on, how do you guys get the more rare fish you want?
 

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On a side note, I'm looking for a dozen or so Barramundi for the middle of 2017 when I can get a pond going. If anyone knows who can bring them in, I'd be very interested. I've also heard of that store in Langley (forgot the name but they have a big warehouse size store there) that specializes in bringing in some interesting monster fishes. Might help if you specify what kind of fish you're looking for.
 

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It's the red devil cousin your looking for? Lost
Your message . I found a source for you in Calgary! Go on fb and search for Irene Gustavan Calgary

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This guy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Micropoecilia picta (Swamp guppy)

I found a source in the US for this fish. Before going through the process of importing, I was wondering if anyone has seen a local store with them or knows of someone who breeds them? Thanks.
 

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Micropoecilia picta (Swamp guppy)

I found a source in the US for this fish. Before going through the process of importing, I was wondering if anyone has seen a local store with them or knows of someone who breeds them? Thanks.
Just a word of caution, I believe they're on the CITES list, so you may need a permit to bring them into Canada
 
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