Terms of Service

How To Order

Our inventory changes constantly! We receive as many as ten shipments of fish a week, and have fish going out the front door every day. This means that items that are on our "in stock list" may no longer be in stock -- please contact us before ordering.
The best way to order fish is to e-mail. Orders sent in by other means, such as facebook messages, messages on forums, etc., may get missed. Make sure you follow it up with an e-mail! Any orders placed on forums, by PM, to other e-mail addresses, mentioned in passing at a previous meeting, or any other means may not be filled. As policy, we can only honour orders placed by e-mail. Please click here for e-mail and contact information.
Unfortunately, we cannot hold fish without payment, and then only for a maximum of one week (at which point any and all payment is considered a voided deposit). Please don't ask. If you promise to pay for a fish in a couple of days, and someone else orders and pays for it in the meantime, it will go to the other person.
Payments may be made by money order, paypal, or cash. Please note that any sales within the state of Maryland, including shipping addresses in Maryland, are subject to a 6% sales tax.
Please feel free to Contact Us with any questions on any species listed on our in stock list, and we will be happy to supply any information that we have available. Note that asking questions on a fish does not constitute an agreement of sale, and until such time as any fish is paid for, it will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. Our numbers of available fish are often extremely limited, so if you are interested in a fish, strike while the iron is hot! Fish seem to come into popularity in waves -- very frequently, we'll have a fish in stock for months with no interest, and then, within the span of a week, get 20 questions about it and 4 inquiries to buy it.

Personal Deliveries

Batfish Aquatics visits a number of local (Washington, DC area) aquarium clubs and events throughout the country! If we are going to be in your area, you may request fish be delivered. Please contact us before ordering any items to ensure that we will be at the local meeting -- we do sometimes skip them. Orders generally must be placed between 24-hours and seven days before the meeting. All orders placed must include your real, full name (first and last). For local events, there is no additional charge for this. For national events, there may be a small surcharge added to cover the costs of packing fish for transit.
     In generally, we do not carry coins and have a limited supply of cash change. Generally, amounts will be rounded to the nearest dollar, but please have exact change.

Fish Gender

Most of the time, we are able to accurately determine the gender of your fish, and are able to provide pairs or a requested gender. However, this service is provided as a courtesy, and no guarantee is offered, except when fish are sold explicitly as pairs. Many of the fishes in our inventory are young fish, and accurately determining sex can be difficult. While we have a very, very low rate of error, it does happen. As always, should you purchase a fish that is the wrong gender, we will always work with you to correct the situation on your next order.

Shipping and Policies

Batfish Aquatics is dedicated to getting you the highest quality fish in the best condition possible. Shipping is one place it seldom makes sense to cut corners -- it doesn't make any sense at all to save a couple bucks on shipping and gamble with the life of your fish order! We are located in the greater Washington, DC area. We use express mail. We will also ship priority, at your own risk (and our discretion; if we feel that the fish have a low chance of successful delivery, we will not ship them).
All fish are expertly packed in a styrofoam lined shipping box. We ship ONLY on Tuesdays and Wednesdays so that fish should not be in transit over the weekend. Unless specifically requested, packages are sent signature-not-required and will be left by carrier at front door. (Please note, we are not liable for stolen shipments).
Our packages are generally not marked "live fish" unless specifically requested. Delivery agents have been known to do unpredictable and weird things with a box marked "live fish". We prefer to mark packages "Fragile" and "Perishable." Please be aware that the US Post Office has an option for delivery with hold-at-post-office, in which you simply pick the package up at the post office, rather than having it delivered to your door. If your delivery location is unsuitable, please notify us and we will use this option.
We only provide tracking numbers if there is a problem, or when requested.
We offer an arrive-alive guarantee for all shipments received within 24-hours of shipping. We are extremely customer service orientated, and will often work with you to solve any problems you may encounter after arrival, as well, just contact us!
Fish generally ship on the Tuesday or Wednesday following your order; if you order on a Tuesday, fish will almost always ship a week later. Our fish are conditioned for shipping, which takes at least 24-48 hours, depending on type of fish, and we will not do "rush" shipments.
Please understand that weather can have a tremendous impact on the success of a shipment. We will hold shipments until poor weather conditions pass, which can include severe cold, severe heat, or bad storms, either here (Washington, DC area), at your location, or between. High heat can be worse than cold. We'd much rather the fish reach you alive and well after a wait than stressed, or worse.

Alive Arrival Guarantee

     Batfish Aquatics guarantees that all fish received within 24-hours of shipping will arrive alive. During warm months, we can ship priority mail at your own risk. While we have a very high rate of success with priority mail, and fish are well packed, consider well the risk you are taking to save a few bucks.
     In the event a shipment is received within 24-hours and DOAs occur, please photograph the fish in bag immediately and begin acclimation of any surviving fishes. Often times it is better to forego acclimation in the interests of removing stressed fish from possibly foul water, but use your own judgement. Contact us as soon as possible.
     Please always contact us when fish arrive and let us know how they arrived! We want to hear that they're all there alive and well. Regardless of how they were shipped, please contact us immediately if there are any problems -- we are extremely customer service orientated and can often work with you to resolve any problems.

Shop Visits

Batfish Aquatics is not open to the general public. Very often, we allow people to pickup fish on site in Silver Spring, MD. Please understand that we are not a pet shop, and as we are not open to the general public, we may not be suitable for all visitors. Aisles are narrow, tanks are often unlabeled, and it is dimly lit. There are low hanging air pipes and tubes, drain lines on the floor, etc. There is a staircase. While we will make any and all reasonable accommodation for a person with disabilities, it can be difficult to get around. Children, especially younger children, may find hazards.
As such, we can accept no liabilities for any accidents occurring, and any visitor accepts all responsibilities.

Fish Pick Up (Including Meetings)

We will often arrange local pickup for fishes, including visits to our facilities. Any fish not picked up as agreed upon may void any and all deposits, and customers who frequently stand us up may not be allowed to order again. We understand that sometimes things happen, and reasonable exceptions to this are made -- but, bagging and prepping fish for pickup is extremely stressful on the fish, and for their well being, we cannot bring them to meetings, conventions, or other events and then take them back. And, frankly, it is time consuming for us.
When making an appointment to pickup fish, please be on time.

On Restricted Items

Virtually every state, and several other municipalities, has restricted certain species of plants, fish, or other animal from being imported into the state. A number of various agencies are in charge of this, and the specific legislation varies greatly from state to state. Sometimes, these laws can be quite broad in focus (for instance, the state of Virginia makes the purchase of any species of crayfish illegal), while others are quite specific.

Batfish Aquatics will never knowingly ship any species of restricted plant, fish or other animal to you. However, as the state laws vary greatly, as do the various agencies responsible for their enforcement, we assume no liability or responsibility for any items shipped in violation of your local laws. Customers are fully responsible for knowing their own local laws. Whenever possible, Batfish Aquatics will cooperate fully with local police or enforcement agencies.

Examples of types of animals sold by Batfish Aquatics that may be restricted in your locality include pirahna, some cichlids, some snails, crayfish or other invertebrates, and numerous plants.


     Discounts may never be combined. This includes quantity discounts (e.g., $5 each or 3 for $12 -- purchasing three of them already gives you a 20% discount) and sale items. You will always be given the greatest possible discount. (For example, if you won a 20% off discount, and an item was $5 each or 3 for $14, you could purchase 3 for $12).

Pre-Order Lists

     Often times, Batfish Aquatics will publish a list of fishes that are available for pre-order. These fish are available from a breeder or supplier, and to gauge interest, we will publish a list of available fishes with prices attached. There is no guarantee on availability (i.e., just because you request an item on a pre-order list does not mean it will come in. If you order a small number of something and no one else orders this item, it may not even be ordered). Upon arrival, prices may be adjusted, but those who pre-order will never pay a higher price than the pre-order price. However, in the event a price is adjusted downward, pre-orders will be given the lower price. Usually this is the result of a quality issue, and pre-orders will be advised of this situation and offered cancellation with no hard feelings. Typically, a 50% deposit will be required, but please do not send a deposit unless and until requested. Deposits will be refunded in the event an item does not arrive or arrives in lower than expected quality.
      Please note that pre-order prices are almost always lower than final prices. This is done as a courtesy to those who pre-order items, and these prices cannot and will not be offered to those who did not pre-order. Final prices may be significantly higher than pre-order prices.

Contests and Promotions

     Batfish Aquatics sometimes runs various contests. All contests are governed by the laws and regulations of the State of Maryland. Family of Batfish Aquatics would be disqualified, if we had any. (Awwww). All entrants must be at least 18 years of age, unless stated otherwise. All entries must be received by the stated closing time, without exception. All decisions by Batfish Aquatics to qualification, worthiness, or simply who wins are final. All submitted entries may become the property of Batfish Aquatics and may be republished or reused as promotional material, etc. All winners must claim and utilise any prizes within 90 days of winning. Prizes that include discounts may not be combined. Prizes that include credit may not be applied to shipping costs, unless otherwise stated.

On Quantities...

     Batfish Aquatics reserves the right to send you more fish than you order. In the case of delicate fishes, especially those without guarantee, we will typically send more fish to cover a couple of DOAs. We will never send you a species of fish you did not order.


     Batfish Aquatics maintains a complete list of all customers and clients, as well as a database of "wishlist" customers. At no point whatsoever will this list be shared with any individuals, except representatives of a law enforcement agency in the event of theft or violation of a local law. Your e-mail address and personal contact information will never be shared except as above.
Contents of e-mails, including photos and attachments, may be used by Batfish Aquatics in promotional material. Any personal contact details will be removed.