Living Material Replacement Questions

Living Material Replacement Questions SOP

Living Materials Replacement Questions

Questions to Ask Before Processing a Replacement of Living Material

Check online Care Sheets for care information and FAQ’s.
• What indicates the material is not useable?
• What was the condition of the package when received?
• Always check tracking to ensure the material was delivered on time.

• When did you receive the order?
o Track the package and see if there was a delay
o If delayed, use CDL for replacement or credit
• Are all of the organisms affected, or only some?
o We send one or two extra with most of our organisms. So if customer ordered a pack of 3 and got 4 with one dead, no replacement is needed.
• Cold Weather
o Many of our organisms may look dead until they warm up – Let them come to room temperature first

Dead After Arrival
o Were the organisms unhealthy when you got them, or were they fine and then died later?
o Have you reviewed our CareSheets and online videos? Would you be interested in speaking with tech support?
▪ To find a CareSheet or video, look up the item online, click on the Resources tab, and click on the link. Email CareSheet or link to customer directly if need be.
▪ For technical support: Sarah ext .4381, cell 263-2795 (; Adrian ext .6201  (
o If the person calling is not the end user:
▪ Ask them to share the CareSheets and videos, and suggest that the end user can contact tech support (or tech support can contact them) if they have any questions

Omits & Empty Containers

• Omits
o Did customer receive other items with the same pick number?
▪ Check to see if the order shipped in multiple containers. Missing items may be in a container not opened or not yet received.
• Empty Containers
o Have you spread out and examined all the material in the container, paying special attention to any folds or crevices?
▪ Termites are often in the wood or in paper toweling
▪ Pillbugs are often hidden in folds of the paper toweling
Inside the container

Received too Early

• Determine if the CSR keyed incorrectly or if department shipped early
o If available compare PO to the Keyed Order
o If unavailable have phone call listened to
▪ Check if the dates keyed by CSR match the PO or customer’s requests
▪ If yes, then department shipped early (EAR)
▪ If no, then CSR keyed incorrectly (ISD)

Wrong Items

• What did you actually receive?
o Was the order keyed correctly? Compare our order to PO.
o Determine if they received the wrong item or if they received the correct item but it was mislabeled
▪ If they received the correct item, but it was mislabeled,
do not replace.
➢ If you are uncertain, call Sarah & Adrian.


• Did you have a tank set up before the fish arrived?
• What water source did you use?
o Tap water should be treated with a water conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramines – aging the water is not sufficient
o Bottled spring water is acceptable, but check the label to be sure it doesn’t have added vitamins
o Do not use distilled water
• See our CareSheets and videos on how to acclimate fish

Daphnia Magna

• How long after arrival, did you notice a problem?
o For most purposes, use Daphnia as soon after arrival as possible. We recommend within two days
• Did you add food pellets to the jar?
o This is unnecessary and often fouls the water, killing the Daphnia
• Are you trying to culture the Daphnia?
o Daphnia are difficult to culture. For most uses, it isn’t necessary to culture them. Use them for your lab or project as soon as possible


• Did you break open the pieces of wood to look for the termites?
• Because of their life cycle, termites are fragile in the late spring and early fall.
o We send extra termites during these times, but sometimes not enough survive shipment.


• For all cultures except Easy Fly
o Were the adult flies dead when you received the culture?
▪ Are there pupae on the sides of the vial and larvae in the food?
➢ If yes, check the date stamped on the label. New adults will begin emerging about two weeks from that date. If customer can wait, do not replace.
• For Easy Fly Cultures
o Were the adult flies dead when you received the culture?
▪ If yes, replace
➢ Easy Flies contain adult females only. They do not contain eggs, larvae, or pupae and must be used right away

Painted Lady Larvae

• Is the problem that you do not see the larva (caterpillars) moving?
o This does not mean the larvae are dead.
o Brush one gently with a soft paintbrush to see if it reacts
• The 30-35 larvae cup must be subdivided into smaller containers
o If not subdivided into smaller containers, they will die
▪ If they don’t have containers, refer them to 144068 (Culture Cup Set)
▪ If they don’t have food, refer them to 144040 (Culture Medium)
▪ If they don’t have instructions, refer them to CareSheet and videos


• Is the problem that your Elodea is dark in color?
o Elodea is often very dark in winter. This does not indicate that it is bad
o If it is not falling apart or foul-smelling, it is good to use
• Did your Elodea die within a few days of receipt?
o Elodea will die or stop growing once it has exhausted the minerals in the water. Either do a partial water change every 3 to 5 days or use a water soluble fertilizer
• Why can’t you ship me Elodea densa (162101)?
o Some states ban shipments of Elodea densa. For those states we ship a substitute
o Refer to our sheet that identifies the substitutes (sent with each order)


• Are your crayfish dying or in poor condition?
o Crayfish molt in early fall and sometimes in early spring. They may not ship well during this time

Mantis Eggs

• Is the problem that your mantis egg case hasn’t hatched?
o Mantises may take 6-8 weeks to emerge from the egg case
o Recommend either 17291 (culture) or 172900 (kit) for food. The kit includes the culture


• Are your tadpoles dying?
o Tadpoles have a high mortality rate even in nature. Out of 50, 2 to 5 might survive to become young adults
o Tap water should be treated with a water conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramines

Are the snails not moving?
o This does not indicate that they are dead. Snails are often immobile for days.
• Are the snails floating?
o Snails often do this. It does not indicate they are dead. Dead snails seldom float.
• To determine if the snails are dead:
o Take a sniff. A dead snail has a really foul odor. There will be no doubt
o Pick up a snail; a dead snail will hang limply out of the shell, while a live snail will be tightly closed in the shell
• Snails are sensitive to heavy metals and other contaminants in the water.
o If your snails have died, try switching to bottled spring water. Make sure the water has no vitamins or other additives.

Amoeba Proteus

• Have you examined the jar under a dissecting scope (stereomicroscope) at 20 to 40X?
o Most amoeba will be on the bottom of the jar
o Amoeba move slowly. You may have to watch for up to 30 seconds to see any movement.
o Refer customer to our online video

Bacteria & Fungi

• What culture do you have?
• What is the lot number on the culture label?
• What indicates to you that there is a problem with the culture?
o If the culture is dead, what indicates that it is dead?
o If the culture is contaminated, what indicates that it is contaminated?
• How did you store the culture?
o Store at room temperature. Refrigeration can harm or kill most of these cultures.
• If they have tried to transfer the culture to fresh media (subculturing) and there is no growth on the new media:
o What media did you use?
▪ Recommended media are listed on the label, in our catalog, and in our online catalog
o How long have you incubated the new culture and at what temperature?
▪ Lower temperatures = longer incubation times. Recommended incubation temperatures are listed in our catalog and online. Most will grow at normal room temperatures but more slowly

Reactivating MicroKwik Cultures (both Bacterial & Fungal)

• Did you follow the instructions included with the culture?

• What media did you subculture on

•Recommended media are listed in a table on the instruction sheet.


NB 11/20/2023