We know you're excited to get your order, so we try to ship orders out as soon as possible! Generally, if you place an order before 10pm, we will ship out your order the next business day (or a maximum of 1-2 business days) according to our current shipping schedule as shown below for each carrier/service. We may sometimes ship orders out the same business day if you place the order before 11am from Monday-Wednesday (or Monday-Saturday if your order only contains dry goods). If there is a delivery date that is best for you, or you are planning on going out of town soon, we are more than happy to try to accommodate what is best for you and your aquarium, and can ship an order out after or on a certain date.

  • USPS Priority: Monday-Wednesday (sometimes Thursday and Friday if your shipping to your zipcode shows 1 or 2 Day Priority Shipping)*

  • USPS First Class: Monday-Saturday (DRY GOODS ONLY)*  

  • UPS: Monday-Wednesdays**

  • FedEx: Monday-Wednesdays**

* Note that USPS does not deliver mail on Sunday or federal holidays

** Note that FedEx and UPS do not count weekend days or federal holidays as a ship day, nor do they deliver on weekends or public holidays unless you pay an extra fee (we do not offer the option to pay for this the moment though, sorry!). This means that, for example, a Fedex 2 Day Air package shipped on Friday, Saturday or Sunday will be delivered Tuesday instead of Monday. Due to this, we only ship orders via UPS Ground or Fedex 2 Day Air Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to avoid having your package spending extra time during trasit due to the weekend. 


If there is extreme weather (under 32f or over 82f) we might delay shipping out packages (if it contains live items like plants or animals) to ensure your order has the highest change of arriving alive and healthy! We will most likely send you an email to inform you if we plan to delay shipping out your package for more that 1-2 business days.


Please double check that your mailing address is up to date on PayPal, and that you have entered the correct mailing address at the check out before placing your order. We will NOT be responsible for any costs for re-shipping your order if your package is returned to us due to an incorrect mailing address or anything that is beyond our control. UPS and Fedex both have a $17 "Address Correction Fee" (info on that here) that you will be responsible for paying for if you do not enter your address correctly or there is a typo in the address and the carrier has to attempt to correct your given address in order to successfully deliver your package.


PLEASE NOTE: If you expect to have your local temperatures go below 32f or over 82f we highly suggest you add either a heat pack or ice pack to your order to ensure the highest chance of survival for your plants or animals. You may also request USPS to hold your package at a post office near you, which will be safer for your plants or animals if your local temperatures are on the extreme side, to avoid it having to sit in a cold/hot delivery truck or be exposed to extreme temperatures if you are unable to receive the package within 2 hours from the 1st delivery attempt.


  • Standard Shipping (USPS First-Class): 2-5 Business Days, $6 flatrate

(We DO NOT guarantee live arrival for plants/livestock with this service, and only recommend opting for this service if you are purchasing non-live/dry goods)

  • Expedited Shipping (Either USPS Priority or UPS Ground, whichever is quicker): 1-3 Business Days, $10 flatrate or FREE on orders over $100 using the code "SHIP FOR FREE" at the checkout

  • Express Shipping (FedEx 2 Day Air): 2 Business Days, $15 flatrate or FREE on orders over $100 using the code "SHIP FOR FREE" at the checkout

We always recommend choosing Expedited or Express Shipping Services (USPS Priority, UPS Ground, FedEx 2 Day Air) over Standard Shipping (USPS First-Class ) so that your order (especially if it contains livestock or plants) will spend less time in transit. 

NOTE: All Illinois orders and certain surrounding areas (as shown in the UPS Ground Delivery Map) will be 1-day shipping using UPS ground. If you are in an area where UPS Ground Delivery (which is generally the Southern and West Coast States) will take more than 3 days, we suggest upgrading to our Express Shipping (FedEx 2 Day Air).



International and Non-Contigous U.S. Shipping

We currently DO NOT ship outside of the U.S. due to import and export restrictions that require import permits (on the buyer's side) and export permits (on our side) in order to ship live goods, which make it a HUGE hassle, and frankly, not worth the effort on both our side and the buyer's side. On top of this, the high cost of shipping using an express service to ship outside of the U.S. makes it unfeasible, hence why we encourage overseas customers to source for local dealers/stores instead. 

Although we only allow purchases from within the contiguous United States on our website at the moment, we have shipped orders to other non-continguous States, such as Hawaii, and U.S. Territories, such as Guam and Puerto Rico, in the past with success, so if you live in a non-contingeous State (Hawaii, Alaska) or U.S. Territory that is considered "Domestic" by USPS, UPS or Fedex, we are happy to work with you to try sending an order there! Simply send us an email.

More information on what USPS considers "Domestic Shipping" can be found here. According to USPS, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands can enjoy Priority shipping at domestic prices.


Live Arrival Guarantee


We guarantee our live products will arrive alive within 2 hours of the first delivery attempt and ONLY if you have paid for the Expedited/Express Shipping option as we do not guarantee live arrival using USPS First Class Mail. We ask that you do your part and minimize the amount of time our packages sit out in the elements. We recommend that you avoid ordering live items during extreme temperatures, 35f and over 82f, or if you do, please opt for Priority Mail and add a heat pack or cold pack to your order or arrange for the package to be held at the post office to prevent it from sitting in a cold/hot delivery truck before it's delivered to you. 



In the rare event of a DOA (Dead On Arrival) case, please send us an email with several pictures/videos of your dead/damaged plants or any DOA animals, a picture of the box, and the shipping label with the dead or damaged plants/animals next to it in their unopened bags. We will happily assist you in resolving the issue once we receive the evidence.  A refund/replacement for the DOA plants/animals will be given if the message and pictures/videos are received ONLY within the first 2 hours after the first delivery attempt as we will not be able to guarantee anything after that. Again, our DOA policy/Live Arrival Guarantee does not apply to anything live that has been mailed with USPS First-Class, and if the customer has chosen this mailing method, it means that they have accepted full responsibility for any issues with the order once it has been mailed.  


Buyers are responsible in paying for any re-shipment costs if they opt for a replacement. In order for us to help resolve the issue, you must follow these guidelines otherwise you will forfeit your eligibility for a refund/reshipment of the new item.  All replacements are considered final and we will not replace the replacement. Generally, if your item was shipped via UPS or FedEx, we will give you instructions on how to submit a claim on their website in order to receive a refund/replacement after you have sent us the evidence of any DOA or damaged items, as any damage will most likely covered by their insurance. 

NOTE: Our DOA Policy/Live Arrival Guarantee will NOT apply to your order if you do not add a heat pack (if your local temperatures are below 32f) or a cold pack (if your local temperatures above 82f) in your order and do not pay for either Expedited Shipping or Express Shipping Our DOA Policy/Live Arrival Guarantee will also be void if your local temperatures reach above 100F as even with a cold pack and Expedited or Express Shipping as those temperatures will cause the plants to melt and is unsafe for livestock.


The shipping cost is strictly non-refundable in any case, only the price of the DOA plants/animals which can be in the form of store credit (at our discretion) that can be used to get a replacement or to order something else in the future, or the cost of the DOA plants/animals minus any non-refundable fees (such as PayPal fees) if there are any. We reserve the right to amend our Live Arrival Guarantee without prior notice.

All pictures on our website are examples of what the plants/animals will look like, and the plants or animals that you will receive naturally might vary in color or size. There is strictly no returns or exchanges on Live Animals or Plants.

Please keep in mind that our Live Arrival Guarantee only guarantees that any plants or livestock will be alive upon arrival within 2 hours of the 1st delivery attempt. We do not guarantee you will have success in growing/keeping them. Many factors affect how well live plants will do in your aquarium, such as the environment, nutrients, temperature, lighting, filter, and CO2. We suggest having a look at the individual animal/plant's information section on its product page to ensure you are providing the right conditions for your animals/plants to thrive in! We are also happy to answer any questions about the care of any plant or animal sold on our website via email. We also can recommend a selection of plants that will be suited for your setup if you are a beginner or unsure of what to purchase.



© 2020 by Windy City Aquariums