how to take your fish with you when you move...

Manicivy

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Hello all. I know there was an article in a fish magazine a few months ago that answered this question, but I cant find the magazine and would like some advice on taking fish with you when you move.
I'm not sure yet if im moving, but if I do it will be cross-country so that is like a week-long drive. Should I even consider taking my fish with me? Is it possible? And if so, how would I do it. Thanks!
--Gretchen--
 

Buzz

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Hi Gretchen,

i'm from a REALLY small island and it takes just 2-3 hours to get from one side to the next

But, Pet shops get fish shipped in from all over the world, right? So I'm sure where there's a will, there's a way ;D...don't lose hope...

I am certain that the great minds at this forum can help u figure out a fairly simple solution

Good luck,
Buzz
 

emilai333

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I believe standard procedure is to bag the fish - with O2 if you're going very far - and take as much of the old water as possible. The tank should be the very last thing you take down and the very first thing you put up. Also, if its a weeklong drive, I would suggest a cooler to maintain temperature more closely (and be careful about leaving the cooler in the car in the sun, they aren't completely impervious to heating up), and at least once, stop at a pet store to see if they'll replenish the O2 in the bags. You could feed them and do a small water change at that point, also.

For my bettas, I jar them in about a 75% new water, 25% old mixture, move the tank to the new location (I've done this about five times so far). I put them back into the divided tank and add enough water that the mixture of water from the jars is between 30 and 50%. The remaining water is mostly clean water from wherever I came from, and a little bit of water from the new location. Over the next few days I add new water until the tank is full. For other kinds of fish, I would recommend using higher percents of old water.
 

Isabella

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A week's drive ... by a car, hmm. Maybe it is possible for the fish to make it, but I think it will be really A LOT of hassle for you. There are so many things you need to take care of before and during the trip. You'll be taking down your tank - because you need to transfer it too. And once you take your tank down, you'll need to cycle it again once at the new place. You do know that it takes about 3 - 4 weeks to cycle a tank, right? You cannot put the fish in the tank during the cycle. Now, another thing you'll need to care for really well is the fish (or, are the fish, if you have more than one to transfer). First, they'll need enough oxygen for the entire week, they'll need water that has no ammonia and nitrite, and they'll need STABLE and warm temperature at all times. They'll also need to be in a darkened place so that they don't experience any more shocks from the trip in addition to the ones they'll have to experience anyway. It will be really hard on them because the trip is one week long. I don't know if saving clean water from the tank and changing it every day in the bag (or container) with the fish - but without it being filtered - won't increase ammonia and/or nitrite. Water needs to be filtered non-stop, otherwise fish wastes will produce ammonia and nitrite that, in turn, may kill your fish. Unless, you could find and buy some small battery-operated filter and heater and keep them running in a container in which fish are during the course of the week. Yet, even that new filter would have to be matured (cycled) before it would be safe to use. I know people transfer fish from country to country even, but they're in the business and they have all the equipment they need to do this. Regulars folks don't. I think perhaps someone - maybe someone you know, a friend - has a fish tank and would be willing to take your fish? And all you'd have to do is empty your tank and take it to the new place, cycle it again, and when it's ready, buy some new fish. I understand you'd like to take your fish with you - we all love our fish - but unless you're able to provide the fish with all the necessary conditions during the trip, there is a good chance that they won't make it due to stress or to poor water consitions. Although I wish you all the best if you decide to take your fish with you.

One good thing to do would be to have a completely new tank cycled ready at your new place when you arrive with your fish. Then, all you'd have to do is to put the fish - exhausted from the trip - in a tank that is ready and with good water quality. Because if your old tank won't be cycled and ready right away at the new place, you'll have nowhere to put the fish in. And remember how long it takes to cycle a tank!
 

lokky.funky

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Yeah.. there is a lot of practical difficulties in transfering the fishes from one place to another.. that too the travel time is 1 week... If you can provide whatever is required for their good health, then you can take your fishes to the new place. Otherwise, it would be stressful for you as well as the fishes.
 

Bazza

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but what if you were going to live in a traveling bus that goes of road alot?? the fish wouldget shking around and unless the tank is seld the water will flow out
 

Isabella

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LOL ... I don't think keeping fish in a constantly travelling bus is a good idea, haha ;D
 

Dino

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Your best bet would be to purchase 5 gallon lidded buckets and transport the fish in those.
This allows you to just pop the lid to refresh the air and removes the chance that the catfish might poke thru a bag.

If there temperature is kept in the good range, having them in the buckets for a few days should not be any problem.

Dino
 

Tamara

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she does have quite a few fish...
15gallon: [1 male betta, 1 bronze cory, 2 emerald cories, 2 panda cories, 1 Oto he's alive!] 4 live plants
29gallon: [9 black neons& 2 marigold platies] 4 live plants
30 gallon long: 2 young rescued red-eared sliders, Bowser&Murtagh

if i had that many than i'd definetly want to take them with me.
I would probably do the bucket idea, and put a few cories in with black neons and marigold platies,
because they can eat some of the waste (at least mine eats all the poo...)
but you'd need quite a few buckets...because i'd only put 3 in each bucket.
or something around that.

If you are taking a bus... ??? i don't think it's that great of an idea though..
i could just barely see them making it through in a truck..
but a bus..it;d be a horrible site!

maybe you could see if your local pet shop could ship them for you..
might cost a little money...but it'd be worth the ask.
 
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Manicivy

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Wow! Thank you for all of your replies (i've been away a little while) but I just read through all of them. I definetely like the idea of having even a small tank set up already, so when i get there I can put them in SOMETHING right away. Luckily I am not moving in a hurry and will be visiting the city several times before i make the move. So on one of my visits I could set up a 10 gallon at my friends house and leave it running a month before i make the move. I have access to a limitless supply of buckets at work so i'm all set with that. I guess if I kept making up water and doing some water changes every other day during the trip, they might just make it. I am more worried about my fish making the trip than my guinea pigs, turtles and boyfriend's snake combined! I'll let you know how it all turns out when/if it happens. Thanks again!
 

chickadee

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There are battery operated air pumps if you are concerned about them being a little low on air in the buckets but the batteries my cost you a fortune for a weeks worth. They last about 22 hours for 2 "C" batteries for each pump but the pumps are inexpensive - you can get 3 for less than $12.00 or so. Otherwise there are Oxygen Tablets that the shippers of the fish that I have ordered online have used to add oxygen to the water to give them a "lift" they also do not feed them the day before the shipment to cut down on the waste in the water but since you will be accompanying them this should not be a problem.

Rose
 

Mollygurl

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hey! don't diss the moving "bus"!! > LOL i had 3 mollies, 2 goldfish and 1 betta in our 34 ft. motorhome(not all @ the same time) i had them in a 1 G (i know, 2 small) and i put the tank in a pan, took some of the water out, and drove off. i never had any probs., xcept 4 1 of my baby mollies got crushed by some gravel (still don't know how she managed that LOL!) just drive careful and u will b fine
 
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