Beta transfer to temporary tank

YouBetaYouBetaYouBet

My daughter will be temporarily be bringing her beta home from college for 3 weeks. A 10 hour bus ride. A small cycled tank at home. Will Her current tank at college become "uncycled" if she brings the mesh media filter bag and media home with her fish? There will still be the carbon filter and polyester batting in there along with a sponge on the filter outflow. The current tank will not be taken care of. May, or may not be plugged in.

Would it be better to leave the media in the current tank? There won't be a fish in there, would the tank be ok with or without being plugged in? With or without the filter media? Would adding a bit of food be a good idea if the media stays and filter/heater stays plugged in? What if unplugged?

Keeping the current tank cycled is most important since she won't have time or the knowledge to cycle it again at school. Would the bacteria on the media survive a 10 hour bus ride in a small container with the fish and tank water?

Thanks!
 

Marlene327

Great questions! I think mattgirl can help, so can others.
For the last part, I can say if her media is kept in the tank water coming home, it won't lose bacteria. Her fish should be in a separate bag of tank water. People mail fish across country so it should be fine for that long.
 

ProudPapa

If she brings the filter media home in a bag of water (not the same bag as the fish, as stated above), puts it in the tank at home with the fish, then reverse the process when she goes back everything should be fine.
 

mattgirl

Welcome to Fishlore :)

Others have answered your main question. I will address the tank being left at school. If at all possible, it should be left running. If it is left off it will need a big water change before the fish is put back in there. Even if left running I will still recommend changing out at least half the water before putting the fish back in there. Don't clean anything in the tank before leaving or anything once she gets back. Simply siphon the water out and replace it with fresh temp matched dechlorinated water.
.
We also need to address parameter swings. As long as the little guy is slowly acclimated to the tank at home and then back to the one at school he should be fine. You said she won't have time or the knowledge to recycle the tank at school. Does she have the knowledge to slowly acclimate to water with different parameters? If not you can show her and she can experience it when her fish is acclimated to the cycled tank at home.

You said the fish will be going in a cycled tank when she gets home. If that is the case there is no need to bring media from the tank at school.
 

Marlene327

Welcome to Fishlore :)

Others have answered your main question. I will address the tank being left at school. If at all possible, it should be left running. If it is left off it will need a big water change before the fish is put back in there. Even if left running I will still recommend changing out at least half the water before putting the fish back in there. Don't clean anything in the tank before leaving or anything once she gets back. Simply siphon the water out and replace it with fresh temp matched dechlorinated water.
.
We also need to address parameter swings. As long as the little guy is slowly acclimated to the tank at home and then back to the one at school he should be fine. You said she won't have time or the knowledge to recycle the tank at school. Does she have the knowledge to slowly acclimate to water with different parameters? If not you can show her and she can experience it when her fish is acclimated to the cycled tank at home.

You said the fish will be going in a cycled tank when she gets home. If that is the case there is no need to bring media from the tank at school.
Great answer! I was unsure of how to leave her tank at school for sure. And missed the part about the cycled tank at home - I need to read slower!

Yes, slow acclimation and water changes, always important! This is why I defer to you, our Cycle Guru... you're a great teacher!
 

mattgirl

Thank you Marlene327 I've been in this hobby for a very long time. Most of what I write I've learned from personal experience and just try to pass it on. :)

I did fail to mention one thing and the most important reason for leaving the tank running. Bacteria needs oxygen to survive. Three weeks without oxygen and if the tank is turned off maybe even the heater will be off. I fear the bacteria will not survive under those conditions.

This actually may be one time I might recommend putting a small feeding block in there. It should very gradually dissolve and will keep the bacteria well fed. .I don't normally recommend using them when fish are in the tank simply because it might spike the ammonia. That isn't a problem if there are no fish in there to be affected. She just needs to be sure to remove any that is left when she does her water change. If the feeding block is set in a small low sided container it will be easier to remove the leftovers.

1) Fast the little guy for a couple of days before it is time to take the trip. This will prevent ammonia building up in the bag/container during the 10 hour trip.

2) Remove the fish. Either bag or put in a container with a lid. Put this bag/container in something that will keep it warm. A very small ice chest should work well. A heat pack would be handy but if she can get them, hand warmers might work. If an ice chest isn't available a small box will work. Line it with a towel or even crumpled up newspaper. We don't want the little guy rolling around. We want to keep him warm and in the dark to keep him calm.

3) Leave the tank running, leave the media in it. No need to bring media if there is a cycled tank waiting at home.

4) Put a feeder block in a small low sided container. If a feeder block isn't an option the bacteria should still be viable without food for the 3 weeks as long as it still has heat and oxygen.

5) Since she is going to be gone for 3 weeks and won't be there to top off evaporated water cover the tank to prevent excess water loss. Make sure whatever the tank is covered with isn't touching the water. If it is something like plastic wrap, no problem but if it is cloth and touches the water it will work like a wick and can pull water out of the tank.

6) Once home both temp and parameter acclimate the little guy to his temporary home.
6A) Enjoy your time at home with family.

7) When it is time to return to school repeat steps 1, 2 and after doing a water change in the tank at school. step 6.
 

YouBetaYouBetaYouBet

Thanks for all the answers.

My thought about bringing the media home was if the tank was shut off, the bacteria on the media would at least survive if it was placed in the tank at home for a few weeks.

Then when she returned to school, if the bacteria in her tank died off, she would still have the bacteria filled media to put in the filter.
 

mattgirl

Thanks for all the answers.

My thought about bringing the media home was if the tank was shut off, the bacteria on the media would at least survive if it was placed in the tank at home for a few weeks.

Then when she returned to school, if the bacteria in her tank died off, she would still have the bacteria filled media to put in the filter.
You are so very welcome :) This is a good plan if she can't leave it running.
 

YouBetaYouBetaYouBet

She wasn't allowed to keep it running.

The fish and media are in the home tank for the next 3 weeks.

Thanks for all the advice!
 

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