How to Ship Live Floating Aquarium Plants
By Eddie Waithaka @aquariawise
Live floating aquarium plants are plants that sit on the water surface and have roots that run down into the water.
They are available in many different types and species, though some may be barned in certain countries because they can be invasive.
The most common live floating aquarium plants include Frogbit, Salvinia, Water Lettuce, and Duckweed.
It’s highly recommended for an aquarist to add live floating aquarium plants in their tank instead of the plastic plants .
These live floating plants give a natural look to your aquarium. They look great especially, the floating leaves on the water surface and also the suspended roots.
Now, you may be having these beautiful plants in your aquarium and, you want to share them with your distant friend or relative, or even better, you may be having a client who is far away.
The question is, is it possible to ship these live floating aquarium plants?
The simple answer is Yes!
It is quite possible and easy to ship live floating aquarium plants since they require no special equipment.
One key thing you’ll need to do right is packing the plant before shipment as this will determine the condition of the plants on arrival.
Poor packaging will cause the plant’s death before arrival and, this is not what any aquarist wants.
The most convenient way of shipping these plants is by the United States Postal Service (USPS). It is quite convenient.
Don’t stop here. Let’s learn more about how to package and safely ship our live aquarium plants.
How Do You Package Live Aquarium Plants For Shipment
When packaging Live aquarium plants, you don’t require lots of tools and equipment.
All you need is a pair of tweezers, a piece of paper towel, and a Ziploc.
Follow the following steps discussed below.
Take plants out of the aquarium when you are ready to ship them using the pair of tweezers. They should have roots and, if they are cuttings, they should be a fair size to ensure they survive.
Soak some paper towels in water to moisten them and squeeze out the excess water.
You can also spray the paper towel using a spray bottle with water until wet but not sopping.
Fold the paper towels in half and place the live fleshly dug-up plants with roots and stems in the center of the paper towel and position the foliage outside the edge of the paper towel.
Roll the paper around the roots gently, keeping the foliage sticking out of the top of the roll.
Place the bottom of the paper towel inside a small grocery plastic bag. Do not close the top of the steps bag since the roots need moisture and air to stay alive.
You may wrap another three to five more plastic bags around your plant to cushion it, the wrap the plant in each individual bag one at a time, rolling the bags closed.
Squeeze excess air out of the bags gently and place the package into a similarly sized cardboard box.
Include a label of instructions in the box. The recipient will know what the plant is and how to care for it.
Do not write instructions on a piece of paper that might absorb moisture but instead write them on a piece of plastic.
Seal the box with packaging tape and label the box with your return address and the recipient’s address.
Put each plant in separate bags, but at times you can pack more than one plant in the same box if the box is big enough.
You can also include the extended zip code for speedy delivery.
Once packaging is done, ship your plants as soon as possible.
A point to note, avoid sending live plants when shipping times might be slow due to national holidays or during heavy mailing events.
How to Package Floating Aquarium Plants
When packaging the floating live aquarium plants, need to ensure that they arrive in the best condition to the recipient and do not die on the way.
It is quite simple to package these plants since most do not have roots or stems.
The steps are discussed below
Remove the aquarium plants once you are ready to package them.
The plants should have roots, though cuttings should be medium size to keep them from dying while in transit.
Moisten the paper towel. You can choose to either dip the towel in water and drain the excess water or spray the paper towel until wet but not sopping.
Place the plants in a moist paper towel and fold the edges. Ensure you cover the entire plant.
You can choose to use more than one paper towel, but one is always enough.
Gently squeeze the air out. You will see bubbles coming out as the air disappears.
If there is air, that means there is a space inside and, the plants might dry.
Put the wrapped package in an ordinary bread bag and, because we want our plants to have enough water for the entire journey, you can spray some more water. Keep in mind this will add weight to your package.
Again, squeeze the air out and tightly tie a knot on the bread bag
Place it in a Ziploc bag.
Include label or instructions on the Ziploc bag with the name of the plant and instructions on how to take care of it.
Place it in a box or study parckaging.
Your package is now ready for shipment.
Shipping Your Live, Floating Aquarium Plants
After you have perfectly packaged your plant, the next thing is how to ship them.
The most reliable way of shipping your live aquarium plants is through the USPS priority mail.
The priority mailboxes are usually 7“*7“*6“ lined in all for sides. Top and bottom 1/2“ styrofoam sheet
Each plant is wrapped in a damp paper towel, individually bagged in a Ziploc bag with a label on it is packed into the styrofoam-lined box with double wrap.
Include the recipients address and also the return address.
Insert a PayPal packing slip into the box and use Paypal for shipping so that the users get the shipping information.
How Long Can Aquarium Plants Survive in the Mail
The amount of time live aquarium plants can survive in the mail is highly dependent on temperature, how well the plant was packaged, and also the type of plant.
Most of these plants can survive for two to three days.
You should not count the day the package is sent as day one. Count from the following day. For example, if the package is sent on a Monday, you will count Tuesday as the first day.
Also avoid sending any package on a Thursday or Friday because they probably won’t arrive until Monday.