Shipping & Returns

Free Shipping

Aquarium Specialty offers free shipping on orders of dry goods over $175.00 in the continental US. Heavyweight and/or oversized box charges may be applied to some orders during checkout. Some examples of these items would be large buckets of salt, oversized fixtures, chillers, stands and aquariums.

All orders are subject to approval for Free Shipping. If an shipping charge error occurs during checkout, wwe will contact you via email or phone. 

Shipping on returned items are non refundable. If an order is canceled after it has already shipped, there may also be an additional fee to have UPS change the delivery of the item. 

All dry goods will be shipped UPS Ground® unless specified by the buyer at the time of checkout. Actual shipping charges will be applied to your orders and there are no box charges on dry goods orders. Some items are custom orders (certain protein skimmers, calcium reactors, etc.) Please allowing for custom fabrication and delivery time.

UPS Ground Transit Times ( For in stock items. Factory Direct items do not use this map)


T5 Lamp Shipping

In order to insure that lamps arrive safely to you, we take extra care to make sure we are using shipping materials specifically designed to protect lamps. To do this, we must charge a flat rate packaging fee for T5 lamps. For 24", 36" and 48" lamps, there is a $10.00 packaging fee added to lamp orders (60" lamps have a packaging fee of $15.00 to accommodate the larger shipping tube and packaging needs). The packaging fee is waived for lamp orders of 6 lamps or more.  Different sized lamps may be put into the same shipping tube. The packaging fee is assessed based on the longest tube in the box.  Lamps are still eligible for free shipping if 6 or more lamps are ordered and the order total is $175.00 or more. If you have any questions, please feel free to send us a question via the contact us page or via phone at 803-788-4445 (M - F, 8am - 5pm est).

The shipping fee is built into the UPS charge. As you enter different quantities, you will see the shipping amount change.

Online order placed before 3:00 est are generally processed and shipped the same business day. Orders placed after 3pm est are generally processed the following business day. In the event of a backorder, dro ship or special order, a customer service representative will contact you via email or phone.

Tracking Information

Tracking information is uploaded to your account when an order ships. Tracking numbers are automatically emailed to the email address provided at that time. If an order is drop shipping from a manufacturer, tracking information will be uploaded and emailed as soon as it is received from the manufacturer. If you have not received a tracking email but your order has completed, please log on to your account to retreive that informaiton.

Live Stock Shipping

All live stock is shipped via FedEx Priority Overnight®, packed in plastic bags and shipped in insulated containers. We pack our animals to arrive alive. We charge a $35.00 flat shipping rate no matter how many corals you purchase. There is a $10.00 box charge per box to cover the cost of the boxes, packing material, heat packs or cold packs. Each box will typically hold 4 corals or 8 frags. You can mix and match frags and colonies on your orders.

We offer free shipping on coral orders of $299 and over to Continental US customers.

Proaquatix Orders

There is a $200 minimum order for Proaquatix livestock. These items ship directly from Proaquatix so please do not include any other items in your cart. Orders are shipped via UPS/Fedex Priority Overnight. 

Arrive Alive Guarantee

Aquarium Specialty only ships Corals that are 100% healthy and happy.  We have been shipping corals for 6+ years with a greater than 99% success rate.  If for some reason your order or part of your order does not survive the trip you will receive a credit towards another order purchase but you must notify us via email of DOA corals within 4 hours of delivery and provide a photograph of the dead coral.  This is not optional!  If credit is due the store credit will be valid for a period of 6 months and the credit is only valid on livestock (you may not use livestock store credit for dry good purchases).  Shipping charges will not be refunded unless the carrier has failed to ship on time and has issued a refund to Aquarium Specialty.  Aquarium Specialty is not responsible for errors in husbandry, acclimation, over or under lighting, water flow, water chemistry, temperature, or inter-species coral aggression.  If you are unsure on how to care for specific coral(s) then please give us a call and we will be glad to help.  Credit Card of PayPal charge backs for the entire shipment including shipping with out contacting us via email are illegal and will be prosecuted for fraud.  We may ask to allow 2-3 weeks for stressed or damaged corals to be evaluated for DOA.   In some cases, we may require you to send back the dead animal via ground service. If everything checks out, your money will be refunded, minus the shipping charges and box charge(s).

Local Pick Up Option

If you would like to pick your order up at our Columbia, SC location, please select this option during check out. We will notify you when the order is ready for pick up.

Domestic Shipping

In order to avoid a shipping delay, please make sure your address is verified. If your billing and shipping address are the same, then your address is verified. In the even that your billing and shipping addresses are different, you will need to make sure your shipping address is on file with your credit card company or paypal. Since all credit card information is encrypted and private, we may need to contact you via phone or email to get additional information from you in order to verify the shipping address with your credit card company.

International Payment and Shipping Information

International orders are processed differently from domestic orders. International orders do not qualify for free shipping. No duties or taxes will be paid by Aquarium Specialty. 

The preferred method of payment for international orders is Paypal. International customers can place orders with Credit Card, PayPal or bank wire transfer.  Mastercard, American Express and Discover up to $1000. Any orders over $1000 must be paid with bank wire transfer or PayPal. First time orders under $1000 we will require a front and back photocopy of both the drivers license and the credit card associated with the order. This is a precautionary measure to protect you, the customer, and our company from fraudulent activity. International orders with different billing and shipping addresses that have not been preapproved will not be processed.  Aquarium Specialty requires that the billing and shipping address are identical on any and all credit card transactions unless prior appoval is made by the credit card company that the ship to address is a valid and acceptable ship to location.

International shipping charges do not calculate automatically during checkout. We do this so you can choose which method you would like to ship. If you would like to us USPS for shipping, please contact us before placing your order. UPS charges will be calculated on the site. Aquarium Specialty is not responsible for any duties, fees or taxes.

We highly recommend shipping all international orders UPS as we have found this to be the most effective and safest method of transporting goods across borders. USPS has very limited tracking information on packaged and tend to end up stuck in customers or lost.

Not all items we carry can be shipped internationally. Aquariums, light bulbs, lamps, quartz sleeves and refrigerated/frozen foods cannot be shipped internationally.

Drop-Ship and special ordered items can require an additional 3-4 weeks for delivery.

Customers are responsible for any shipping charges when sending back defective merchandise which includes any brokerage, taxes and tariffs. Many warranties are handled directly with the manufacturer.

If you have any problems whatsoever, please address concerns via email info at aquariumspecialty.com or call us at (803) 788-4445.  We will respond within 24 hours, Monday - Friday.

Accuracy of Information:

Aquarium Specialty attempts to ensure that information on this Web Site is complete, accurate and current. Despite our efforts, the information on this Web Site may occasionally be inaccurate, incomplete or out of date. We make no representation as to the completeness, accuracy or currentness of any information on this Web Site. For example, products included on the Web Site may be unavailable, may have different attributes than those listed, or may actually carry a different price than that stated on the Web Site. In addition, we may make changes in information about price and availability without notice. While it is our practice to confirm orders by email, the receipt of an email order confirmation does not constitute our acceptance of an order or our confirmation of an offer to sell a product or service. We reserve the right, without prior notice, to limit the order quantity on any product or service and/or to refuse service to any customer. We also may require verification of information prior to the acceptance and/or shipment of any order.

Damaged Items

If your merchandise arrives damaged, please contact us within 24 hours of arrival. All damage claims must be filed with your carrier. We are more than happy to provide you with full assistance in this unlikely event. Please note that orders cannot be returned, cancelled, or rejected due to shipping delays unless express service was requested at the time of ordering.

If a package is damaged by UPS, FedEx or other carrier, Aquarium Specialty will file the claim with the proper carrier.

If a package is damaged via USPS, the customer will file the claim with the carrier. Aquarium Specialty recommends against using USPS as a carrier due to difficulty associated and variations in the claims process.

Please contact Aquarium Specialty via email or call us at 1-803-788-4445 ASAP(M-F 8am - 5pm est) so we can begin the claims process.

 

Damages / Liability caused by Equipment Purchased from Aquarium Specialty

Aquarium Specialty, Inc. assumes no responsibility for equipment failures, damages to purchased equipment, other property or livestock.  Aquarium Specialty will work with you in the event that a problem arrises but Aquarium Specialty is not responsible for damages caused by faulty equipment.  In the event that a product is deemed defective or faulty please contact us or the manufacturer directly.  Ultimately it's the manufacturers responsibility to cover any and all manufacturer warranty issues, after all, it is a manufacturers warranty.  Aquarium Specialty is not a manufacturer and we do not take responsibility for manufacturers warranties or damages caused by defective equipment, user error or improper use of equipment.  Please see our return policy for more information regarding product returns.

Return Policy

To avoid returns, we suggest you ask about any product you are unsure of and their warranties before you order.

For Unopened Packages:

Aquarium Specialty cannot accept returns of products once they have been opened and used. Before opening each product, please check its packaging and label carefully to be sure you received the correct product. If the supplier's original packaging and seal is still intact, you may return the product to us within 30 days from purchase for an exchange, merchandise credit or refund (excluding shipping and handling charges), subject to a 10% restocking fee. Return shipping charges incurred are the responsibility of the customer.

RMA Process (Returned Merchandise Authorization)

All products returned must be accompanied by a valid Return Authorization (RA) number issued by us within 30 days of your original invoice date. After 30 days from purchase, we can no longer issue an RA and will refer you to the manufacturer for warranty service. All returned products must be 100% complete in original packaging and in resalable condition, with all packaging, software, manuals, cables, components, blank warranty cards and other accessories and documentation included. A valid RA number must be written clearly and conspicuously on the outside of the shipping box.

Shipping and handling charges are not refundable. On items where shipping and handling is not billed or is free, shipping and handling charges will be approximated to 10% of the regular retail price of merchandise. Aquarium Specialty is not responsible for shipping charges and insurance on all return shipments including defective items. Under all circumstances, no use of Aquarium Specially shipping account numbers is permitted.

If packages need to be returned to us, please contact us via email or by phone.

Restocking Fee

All returns are subject to a 10% restocking fee. All refunds can be placed back into your credit card or as a store credit.

Highlights:

  • Aquarium Specialty will only accept back new and unused items for a full refund, minus a restocking fee.
  • Normal returns can take up to a week to complete.
  • The customer is responsible for shipping charges and insurance on all return shipments.
  • All original equipment, components, manuals, cables, and packaging will need to be returned in order for Aquarium Specialty to process your RMA.
  • If the shipper damaged a package, Aquarium Specialty will file the damaged items claim with the carrier once we have been notified by you.

 

Custom Orders

All sales on custom order products are final. No returns will be accepted and no refunds will be given on custom orders.  This includes custom sizes, colors or anything that the customer specifies as unique to any particular order.  For example, Aquarium Specialty offers custom sumps from Trigger Systems and My Reef Creations.  Aquarium Specialty also offers custom colors and sizes on Giesemann light fixtures.  These products (as examples) are considered custom because they require us to contact the manufacturer for a custom quote and this makes the product unique, therefore they are custom and returns are not accepted back to Aquarium Specialty.   Additionally once the construction of any custom product begins then the order may not be refunded in full.  Depending on several factors, orders may be partially refunded if the custom job has not been completed but this will be at the discretion of Aquarium Specialty and/or the manufacturer.