Shipping & Returns


SoCal Coral Reef now offers free economy shipping with a minimum amount of $500 for 99% of the products we carry in the contiguous United States!

Orders under $400.00 are shipped using a mix of economy shipping methods including USPS First Class Mail, SurePost, and UPS Ground. These shipments will typically arrive to you in 5-7 days.

You can upgrade from economy shipping to UPS Ground Service for just $4.99. This upgrade speeds up delivery to just 1-5 business days.

Orders over $500 receive a free shipping upgrade to UPS Ground service and are delivered in 1-5 business days

Expedited shipping services are also available should you require your items faster. The cost will vary by location and an accurate shipping quote will be provided for you during checkout. The following expedited services are available:

  • 2 Day Expedited
  • 1 Day Overnight
  • 1 Day Priority Overnight (est. Delivery by 10:30AM)

Special Handling

About 1% of items require special shipping or handling and do not qualify for our Free Shipping Offer. These include some heavy and/or large items that require shipping via freight and live and frozen foods that require expedited shipping. Here’s more info:

  • Live foods are sent via Two-Day Shipping from Florida to your address to ensure they arrive alive (and delicious!).
  • Frozen foods are shipped for a low flat rate of $19.99, so stock up and save! They will be delivered to your doorstep in 1-3 business days. A signature is not required for delivery.
  • Some of our larger (and dare we say more luxurious!) aquariums and stands (less than 20 total as of December 2016) have a shipping surcharge of $150.

We don’t hide these Special Handling fees from you—you’ll see them plainly listed on products and during the checkout process. If you have any questions, contact us!

Free Shipping

Nearly every item we sell qualifies for FREE Economy Shipping in the contiguous United States with a few exceptions as detailed above. When you spend $400+, your order will be upgraded for FREE to UPS Ground Service. If you spend less than $500, you can upgrade to UPS Ground Service for only $4.99.

There are a West Coast (Nevada) and East Coast (Georgia) warehouses to ensure you receive your aquarium supplies quickly!

  • Free Economy Shipping (5-7 days)
  • Free Upgraded UPS Ground (1-5 days)

You are welcome to contact us if you have any questions, but here is everything you need to know as far as any rules and exemptions.

Terms and Exclusions
  • Offer valid only on orders shipping within the contiguous United States. Orders shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam or other US Territories do not qualify for this promotion.
  • This promotion does not apply to items requiring expedited shipping, such as refrigerated products, frozen products or live rock
  • About 1% of items we sell do not qualify for free shipping. These include some heavy and/or large aquariums, stands, and chillers, plus live and frozen foods.
  • Shipping charges for returned merchandise is non-refundable. Please read our return policy for more information.

Special Handling for Ground Shipments

Special handling charges (when applicable) are noted on individual product pages and also displayed in the shopping cart. Special handling is a surcharge applied when orders contain heavy or large merchandise (chillers, sand, salt and water pumps each have separate special handling surcharges. Please note that special handling costs are not waived during FREE shipping and that these charges are in addition to the Standard Ground Shipping Costs listed above.

Delivery Methods

Online orders placed before 2 PM EST Monday thru Friday are generally processed and shipped the same day. Online orders received after 2 PM EST will usually be processed the next business day. Backordered, drop shipped, custom-made and/or special ordered merchandise may take slightly longer to ship out. In the event of such a delay, a message will be prompted and displayed in your online shopping cart to alert your attention to any possible hold-up. SoCal Coral Reef ships to the contiguous United States via UPS Ground and offers 2Day or Overnight service via FedEx Air.

Saturday Delivery

SoCal Coral Reef orders are generally delivered Monday through Friday. However, for a nominal fee, you may have your order delivered on Saturday. Saturday delivery is only available upon request so please contact us at 1-714-393-3359 to make arrangements.

Frozen Food Delivery

Frozen foods are delivered 1-3 business days from the day your order ships. Frozen foods are shipped every Monday and Tuesday. Shipping cut-off is Tuesday at 10 am PST (1 pm EST). Orders received after 10 am PST on Tuesday will be shipped the following week. Shipping and handling is a $19.99 flat-rate charge so you can order as much or as little as you like. Frozen foods are ineligible for our free shipping promotion. Learn more about frozen shipping here.

Back-Ordered Items

Back-order items will be shipped via ground service at no additional cost. Shipping upgrades for the back-order items are available for an extra fee. All the ETA time frames listed on the product pages are only estimates and may be subject to change. This includes any estimates or updates given by the SoCal Coral Reef customer service team. Frozen foods cannot be backordered and must be shipped complete.

Package Refusals

If the shipment is refused or marked "returned to shipper" by UPS, we will receive the packages back then issue a credit to the customer minus a 25% restocking fee. If not all items are refused, then only the items received back will be credited. Frozen foods and live orders are only fully covered on the first delivery attempt. It is the customer's responsibility to ensure the receipt of the package on the day of delivery.

Leaving Packages without Signature

UPS or FedEx sends tracking information to you via email. On the day that your order is scheduled for delivery, you can leave a note on the door instructing the driver to leave the package without obtaining a signature. Please note that this does depend on the specific driver and some will not leave the package. You may also contact your local UPS or FedEx office to file a signature waiver for all packages delivered to your home.

Tracking Numbers

Orders are shipped Monday through Friday. We send shipping confirmation emails with tracking numbers in the evening for all orders we've shipped that day. Please note your package(s) may not be immediately trackable. Tracking information will be updated once the shipping carrier has scanned your package(s) into their system. Once the shipping carrier has scanned your packages, you will be able to track them online and they should be delivered within the shipping time frame you selected. If you are unable to track an order, please try again later that evening or the following business day. If you still experience difficulty, give us a call at 1-714-393-3359 and we will be happy to assist you.

Missing Items

Check the amount of tracking numbers you should have received. Verify you have received all boxes and checked all packing material for small items. Check your invoice to verify that the item missing is not on back-order. SoCal Coral Reef will add a note on your invoice next to the item that is back-ordered to advise you of the back ordered item.

Sometimes a package gets separated from its order and does not get scanned by FedEx or UPS right away. Either way, give it a week to see if all the items on your order arrive. If not, give us a call and we will start a tracer with FedEx or UPS for the lost package.

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, Airborne Express, or DHL, SoCal Coral Reef will file the claim with the carrier.

If a package is damaged via USPS, the customer will file the claim with the carrier. SoCal Coral Reef explicitly recommends against using USPS as a carrier due to the high difficulty, complexity, and variation in the claims process.

Please contact SoCal Coral Reef via email at or call us at 1-714-393-3359 ASAP. SoCal Coral Reef will start a UPS or FedEx Damaged Items Claim, and SoCal Coral Reef will ship out a replacement for you right away.

Return Policy

60 Day Returns

How to Return an Item

If you would like to return an item, you must first request a Return Merchandise Authorization number (RMA) within 60 days of the date your order was shipped.

Returned items must be sent back to us in new and unused condition in the original packaging along with all accessories, warranty cards, manuals, software, cables, etc.

Beyond 60 days, you must contact the manufacturer directly for warranty service. For more information on product warranties, please click here.

Getting a RMA number is easy. You can do-it-yourself online or we can handle it for you if you contact us. Whichever is easier for you!

Returns received without an RMA number will be refused and sent back.

We are unable to accept returns of Digital Aquatics, Neptune Systems, Vertex Aquaristik, Aqua Illumination (AI) or EcoTech Marine products once the manufacturer’s packaging seals have been broken.

Frequent Asked Questions

Our technical support staff is comprised of experienced hobbyists who have a ton of experience setting up and caring for a variety of aquarium systems. Before sending in your return, we encourage you to contact us so we can help.

If you change your mind about an order after it has been fully processed or shipped, the best thing to do is contact us. we suggest you accept delivery, set up a return online and get a pre-paid return shipping label to send the item(s) back. the cost of return shipping will be deducted when we process the return and issue your refund. you can also send the item back to us using the shipping courier of your choice.

Please accept our sincere apologies! Contact us for assistance.

We will refund or exchange your purchase (minus the shipping cost), provided the returned item(s) are within 60 days of the date of receipt, received back in their original packaging, along with all accessories, warranty cards, manuals, software, cables, etc. provided your purchase is in new and unused condition. When your return is received, you will be issued a refund to your original method of payment (your credit/debit card or PayPal account, for example) for the merchandise only.

We can exchange your purchase (minus the shipping cost), provided the returned item(s) for exchange are within the 60 day return period, new and unused, received back in their original packaging, along with all accessories, warranty cards, manuals, software, cables, etc.

If you believe your order was damaged while in transit, please contact us so we can file a claim on your behalf with the shipping courier.

Please verify you have received a box for each tracking number associated with your order. If all the boxes have been delivered and you are still missing an item, please check all of the packing material, especially for smaller products. If you come up empty-handed, contact us as soon as possible so we can investigate. We want to make sure you get what you paid for!

Typically no, although there are a few exceptions. If you place an order with us and refuse delivery, a 25% restocking fee (for the cost of the order) will be deducted from your refund. Shipping charges are also non-refundable. If you send us an unauthorized return, there is a minimum processing fee of 25%. Unauthorized returns include items returned without a Return Merchandise Authorization number (RMA #), used items or returned items with missing parts or packaging.

We make every attempt to keep you updated via email. If you are returning an item for replacement, we will send an email with your tracking number once the replacement item ships. You will also be able to track your replacement order online. If you are returning an item for refund, we will send you an email to let you know once we have credited your original method of payment (your credit /debit card or PaylPal account, for example).

Once a return has been delivered to and inspected, processing times are generally within 3-4 business days. It usually takes credit/debit card companies 2 to 3 business days after a refund is issued to process the transaction and make the funds available in your account.

To make returning merchandise easy, you may use our pre-paid return shipping label. You pay nothing up-front; the cost of return shipping will be deducted from your refund. You can get your return shipping label by completing our online RMA process or by contacting us. you can also ship the item(s) back yourself using the courier of your choice. should you choose to do that, we do recommend getting a tracking number for the shipment.

The item itself should be placed back inside the original packaging, along with all accessories, warranty cards, manuals, software, cables, etc., where applicable. If you still have the original shipping box and packing material (peanuts, air pillows and/or paper), we encourage you to use them again when you send in your return. If you no longer have the original shipping box and packing material, you will need to make other arrangements. If you are using our pre-paid return label, you can package the return at a FedEx Office store when you drop it off for shipment. Please be sure to write your RMA # clearly and conspicuously on the outside of the shipping box. If you choose not to use a label provided by us, ship your package back to the following address: Returns
RMA: [include your RMA# here]
9394 Fleetwood St.
Cypress, CA 90630
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So Cal Coral Reef
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