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    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
    Pets Expert
     
    #1

    Dec 30, 2013, 04:39 PM
    Transporting fish
    Yes, I am one of the pet experts on this site, but I've often told you all that my expertise does not extend to fish. I've also told all of you time and time again that I'd be willing to give away my fish to a good home. Well, I've found that good home.

    Another one of the pet experts on this site is coming to visit me and my family in less than two weeks. Her husband would love to take the fish home with him, aquarium and all. He doesn't have an existing tank.

    I have two fish, a very large (around 6 inches long) goldfish, and a little bottom feeder. They're in a 20 gallon tank.

    Now, it is winter, my friend, Mogrann from AMHD, lives around a 3 hour drive, more with traffic, from me. So the fish need to be transported by car, 3 hours, in winter. I do know that removing them from the aquarium and putting them in a smaller tank, is the best way to go. But I'm looking for other tips.

    Should this wait until the weather is warmer, or is that not a concern? Will they be okay in a smaller tank, in a car, the water slooshing around because there's really no way to keep the water still? Any tips on before and after transport, how to transport the aquarium? Should I completely empty it, or only empty it part way so that they have some of their original water when they reach their new home?

    Basically, any tips you can give me so that they reach their destination alive and well, would be much appreciated. They're going to an awesome new home, and we just have too many animals to care for. But, if this puts their health at risk, tell me so I know, and tell me what to do to give them the best chance of reaching their new home in one piece, happy and healthy. I would never ever ever put their health at risk.

    Thanks in advance. :)
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #2

    Dec 30, 2013, 05:59 PM
    Anyone?

    Shazzy? Bella? Anyone with fish? Come on!
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #3

    Dec 30, 2013, 07:22 PM
    Wow. Okay, 64 views, and not one reply. I guess I'm not the only one on this site that doesn't know a thing about fish. ;)
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
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    #4

    Dec 30, 2013, 08:12 PM
    OK....here is my view on this....

    I once had to transport fish for about an hour and a half...I used one of those 5 gallon buckets with the press on lid. Filled it half way with water from the aquarium and pressed the lid on. The only reason for the lid is to prevent splashing. Stopping at least once in the 3 hour drive to pop the lid off for about 5 minutes to allow fresh air back into the container should work.

    The fish should not eat for about a day before you do this. Goldfish are messy and cloud up the water quickly with their waste. Not feeding for about a day will help to cut this down.

    As long as you can keep it warm, you should be ok. The only thing I that I would be concerned about is the splashing around over bumps and things like that. There really isn't much that can be done to avoid it though.

    The aquarium will be heavy by itself and you don't want to have much water in it. Water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon so you're talking much weight if it was even half full. Also, moving a tank around with a decent amount of water could stress it and cause leaks or cracks. The safest way to transport is empty. However, you want the fish to have their water when you get where you're going. More 5 gallon buckets will do the job here as they will be easier to carry and can be sealed. The good side of these buckets is that they are fairly cheap, the bad side is that they take up a lot of room.

    This should all be possible though.

    HOWEVER....IF the fish die, it is not because of my advice...it's because of something stupid that one of you have done... :p
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #5

    Dec 30, 2013, 08:19 PM
    LMAO! Way to cover your butt odinn.

    I was told that putting the fish in bags was the best bet. I see the logic in that, but I also worry about bags for a 3 hour trip, and then set up of the tank etc. which would mean even more time in the bags.

    I like the idea of a smaller transport tank, or buckets like you suggested.

    I was told to leave some water in the aquarium to cover the gravel and accessories, just to keep the good bacteria in the tank. Or I could bag the gravel and accessories separately, but that sounds like it would be a lot more work for set up once they get home.

    So I'll look at getting some buckets for Goldie and Fang. Wish them luck on the move. Once they get to their destination it's a great life with two great people. :)
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
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    #6

    Dec 30, 2013, 08:28 PM
    Yes, leave some water in the tank, maybe an inch above the gravel.

    If you keep the majority of the water in the 5 gallon buckets, you will also be preserving much of the good bacteria too.

    And finally...Yes, bags are best because the sides are softer and allow more cushion for the fish over bumps and such. The problem with bags is that you would need pretty good sized bags and it's a long ride to try and keep these bags from rolling around or leaking. Picture a bag half full of water...it kind of just sloshes around. This is why I did the buckets. I had transported a 9 inch Oscar, a Piranha, and some assorted tropical fish in this manner when I moved years ago. All survived.
    mogrann's Avatar
    mogrann Posts: 860, Reputation: 193
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    #7

    Dec 30, 2013, 08:33 PM
    We could go to home depot or Rona when we get to your place to get buckets. Two should do. One for fish and one for gravel. We can put water in both buckets. We have umm below floor storage in van. We open up a compartment by the back seats. We can put buckets in there to stop them from moving around too.
    mogrann's Avatar
    mogrann Posts: 860, Reputation: 193
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    #8

    Dec 30, 2013, 08:34 PM
    And Alty we can blame the men if anything happens. They are not a part of AMHD so they will not know :)
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
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    #9

    Dec 30, 2013, 08:48 PM
    I would leave the gravel in the tank covered with about an inch of water and use at least 3 buckets...4 would be best if you had the room. Using 3 it works out like this: 2 almost filled will give you close to 10 gallons. One half filled for the fish will give you close to 3 gallons. You want to be able to use as much of the existing water as you can to make the transition easier for the fish. 3 hours in distance is a long way as far as possible water quality differences and what the fish are used to. it may not matter but to be safe, I would want to start off with as much of the original water as possible.

    Just to note- The bucket with the fish cannot be filled. If there will be a lid on it, it needs to have air in it so this is why you fill it half way and then stop once to take the lid off to allow fresh air back in.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #10

    Dec 31, 2013, 06:01 PM
    Sounds good Odinn. I was also told to leave some water in the tank, to cover the gravel and the accessories. Removing them can disturb the balance, or so I was told.

    When I clean the tank I remove all the water, and the accessories, and wash all of it. They never have an issue with that. I also don't put drops in the water when I replace it. No issues.

    But, they've never been transported, so I will follow this advice.

    I'm pretty sure they'll be okay. Heck, they've lived this long without the care of a fish expert, so I doubt you could kill them even if you tried. ;)
    mogrann's Avatar
    mogrann Posts: 860, Reputation: 193
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    #11

    Jan 6, 2014, 06:35 PM
    Sad news to report. Fang and Goldie went to the bridge. Alty put in drops that the pet store recommended to prepare them for transport to my house and they passed away.
    I have told her we will name our fish we get for the tank Goldie and Fang in memory of them. Sad day for her family and us.
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
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    #12

    Jan 6, 2014, 08:03 PM
    That's too bad. Never heard of any drops to use.

    On the brighter side of things, it will be much easier to transport now.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #13

    Jan 7, 2014, 08:53 AM
    Odinn, the drops were for stress, supposed to help. I took them back to the pet store yesterday, asked for my money back because of what happened, and I can't remember what they were called, but they were recommended by the guy at the pet store. Should know better than to trust them, but I wanted to make sure the fish would be okay when they got moved, and now they're both dead. The only thing I did different was the drops, so I'm sure that's what killed them. :(
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
    Entomology Expert
     
    #14

    Jan 7, 2014, 09:00 AM
    ...and as I said somewhere else, you can't blame yourself for what this guy that supposedly knew what he was talking about told you to do.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #15

    Jan 7, 2014, 03:19 PM
    I do know that odinn, but I also have to think that maybe it was somehow my fault. Maybe I put too many drops in, even though I followed the directions. After all, it's not really the guys fault. The drops are made for aquariums with live fish in them. People use those drops all the time. They sell those drops for fish.

    I don't blame the employee, he gave me drops for fish, to be used in an aquarium that already had live fish in it. Not his fault they died, any more than it's my fault. Maybe it's the fault of the guy that made the drops. ;)

    Ya, we'll blame him.

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