NOTICE: TEMPERATURES ABOVE 80F WILL REQUIRE A COLD PACK FOR LIVE ORDERS.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Our goal is to get your order to you as fast as possible and in the best condition possible. We ship out packages generally within 1-2 business days, and sometimes the same day. Do note that we generally only ship Live Plants and Animals from Monday-Wednesday, and Dry-Good ONLY orders from Monday-Friday (sometimes Saturday).

The ship days can vary depending on the type of items you've ordered and what shipping method you've chosen. Details about the different ship days for each type of good purchased and the shipping services can be found under our Shipping page.

If there is extreme weather (temperatures way below freezing or a heat wave), we might decide to delay mailing your order to ensure the best chance of survival for your plants/animals. That being said, things still happen, sometimes there are delays that are out of our control, but regardless, our priority is to get your order to you as soon as possible. If there is severe weather, we will sometimes hold packages to ensure the safe arrival of live animals/plants. 

No, we only sell online at the moment. We do offer curbside pickup at our address in Chicago for local buyers who would like to pick up their order instead of having it shipped. You can either select the "local pickup" option at the checkout, or you can email WindyCityAquariums@gmail.com if you would like to pick up your order locally.

We do our best to remove any visible snails or any other unwanted pests, etc while packing plants, but we do not guarantee our plants to be snail/algae/pest free unless they are tissue-cultured. Most of the plants that we have for sale are kept with Pea Puffers, Assassin Snails, Nerite Snails or Shrimp to help keep them snail/algae/pest free but again, we cannot guarantee anything to be snail/algae/pest free unless it is tissue-cultured. Snails in particular are generally considered beneficial to an aquarium and will usually not eat live plants unless they are dying or are dead. Unfortunately snails/algae/pests are inevitable when dealing with live aquatic plants.

If you are concerned about snails/algae/pests getting into your tank, before adding the plants in, take 5ml of bleach (or hydrogen peroxide) and mix
it with ONE GALLON OF WATER. Dip the plants in that solution for 10 seconds. After that, rinse the plants in separate tank water and add them to your tank. This should kill anything unwanted that might be on them. We also recommend you quarantine any live animals/plants before adding them to your aquarium.

Details about our Live Arrival Guarantee Policy can be found here.

No, we unfortunately cannot take special requests to be given specific ratios of each sex, or request to be given only one sex, instead of a mix of sexes, at this time.

We also cannot help identify the sex of your snails, shrimp or fish (especially snails) after you receive them as not all species are easy to distinguish between the sexes.

All snails, shrimp, or fish, unless otherwise noted, will be a random mix of females and males, and we cannot guarantee you will get a certain number of each sex.

For color, we cannot take requests for certain colored snails, shrimp, or fish, especially requests such as "please pick the best colored/lightest colored snail". This is to be fair to all our customers. We can do our best to accommodate size requests, however we cannot guarantee you will be given a certain sized snail, shrimp, or fish.

Any snails, shrimp, or fish given will be given at random from the tanks they are kept in, but rest assured that all shrimp, snails, and fish selected will only be healthy ones, and for snails in particular, we only pick ones that are active and moving around the tank at the time to ensure they are alive and healthy.

If a listing has a "Buy 2 Get 1 Free" banner on it, you will automatically get a third plant/portion for free if you buy 2 of the same plant or 2 different plants of equal value that are eligible (e.g. either 2 Frogbit or 1 Frogbit and 1 Duckweed)!

If you would like to have a different plant that is also marked as "Buy 2 Get 1 Free" of equal or lesser value as the "free" item(e.g. 1 Frogbit, 1 Duckweed and 1 Salvinia Minima), please let us know in the comments section of the checkout and we will do our best to accomodate your request!

Yes, unless stated otherwise. We have personally tested all of our fertilizers that we sell to ensure they are safe for all fish and invertebrates. Although some of our fertilizers may contain "Copper", which is generally regarded as not invertebrate safe, each dose only contains a very small amount needed by plants, and will not harm any invertebrates and will quickly be absorbed by plants. 

Any photos we use are just an example representation and NOT the exact plants/snails/shrimp/fish that you will receive. Every plant and animal is different and may vary in size/color slightly depending on the environment it is raised or grown in at the time, or seasonality and can vary batch to batch.

The color of a plant or animal may also differ depending on the light you are using. Some lights may wash out certain color hues, and some color hues may not be as vibrant under low light. We generally use high-intensity lighting with a variety of different colored LEDs, to ensure the pictures we have of our plants and animals look their best, and that our plants have the best lighting conditions to grow in while they are growing in our tanks.

Once the package has been accepted by the shipping carrier it is FOB, meaning that we no longer have possession of it, so if you have any questions or issues with your package while it is still in transit, such as it being delayed or lost, should be directed directly to the relevant shipping carrier's customer service as they would be able to have access to more information about the package than we do, we can only see what you can see using the tracking number, we are not supplied any more information than that.

The Customer Service Hotlines for each shipping carrier we use is listed below:

UPS: 1 (800) 742-5877

USPS: 1 (800) 275-8777

Fedex: 1 (800) 463-3339

If your package has been lost or arrives damaged we can help file a claim with the shipping carrier. For any issues other than that, your best bet is to speak with the shipping carrier's customer service

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