Packing Fish for Shipping – Part 4 – Kordon Breathing Bags

This episode in the shipping series has two parts, packaging fish into Kordon Breathing Bags (which we usually call ‘Breather Bags’ in the hobby) and then packing the filled bags into boxes.  I am purposefully not going into a LOT of detail here because I do not use Kordon Breather Bags for shipping anything that will be in transit for less than 48 hours.  And since I rarely ship any fish slower than overnight, I do not see much use for Kordon Breathing Bags.

The Kordon web site has all the information you need to learn how to properly use their product.  I use their methods for packing, especially for double-bagging, and have never had problems with using the product.  The advantages are many:

  • constant transfer of carbon dioxide out of the bag and oxygen into the bag, thus reducing acidification of the water in the bag
  • eliminating sloshing of fish
  • saving space in a box

But there are also negatives:

  • fish waste or dead fish fouls the water much faster, so fish must be more carefully purged before packing
  • the added weight of filling a box with breathing bags costs more to ship AND puts the box at risk of breaking as it tumbles through the mail system (when a heavier box drops its mass is more likely to cause the box, or the bags inside it, to break)
  • they are more expensive
  • it is harder to ship spiny fish
  • the bags sometimes seep

I use Kordon Breathing Bags when I need fish to survive packing for more than 48 hours.  When I travel to other countries, Breathing Bags make it possible to keep fish alive for weeks and get them home safely.  I believe that Breathing Bags have revolutionized hobbyist collecting expeditions, and the explosive discovery of new species entering the hobby can be attributed, in part, to Breathing Bag technology.

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