PDA

View Full Version : Transporting Fish/Tank to College



Z Fish Man
04-01-2010, 04:30 AM
So right now I am living in San Diego, CA but in August I am planning on going to graduate school in Colorado. I only have a 10g tank that I would really like to take with me, but I'm trying to decide if it's more hassle than it's worth.

Right now the plan is to drive from San Diego up to the bay area where my parents live (8hr drive). Then a couple days after that drive to Colorado (~12hrs). So if I took my tank with me then it would be over two different long drives. I was thinking since my tank is small I could just put it in the back of my car surrounded by other soft things to keep it in place. Maybe only have it half full for the ride, then refill and reset it up when I'm done driving.

My concern is stress on the fish and if they will be ok for 8- 12 hrs without a filter or heater running. What do you guys think? The reason I want to keep this tank is that it's my first (and only so far) that I've put a lot of time (and money) into. Either way I'll probably be getting a bigger tank in Colorado and turn this one into a RCS breeder/snail tank but I would really like to keep the fish and plants.

korith
04-01-2010, 04:39 AM
For the plants depending on the plant you can wrap them in a moist towel paper, then put them into a ziplock bag. People ship fish in the mail and that can take several days. For the fish don't feed them the day before, bag them up, and pack them up as if you were going to mail them out. A styrofoam container would be good to put them in. The filter media, keep it wet, the bacteria may last. The tank itself, just drain the water out, you can leave the substrate in it, shouldn't be a problem since it's just a 10g.

Z Fish Man
04-01-2010, 05:05 AM
But do you think it would be easier just to leave everything in the tank instead of bagging it all up separately since I'm taking the tank anyways?

wolf_eyes
04-01-2010, 05:34 AM
Hello z. I've actually had to do this a couple of times. The first time was a four hour trip to my roommate's house. She watched my fish over the winter break since my school was 2,500 miles away. The tank was a 10 gallon and we put the fish,filter media, and plants into a styrofoam cooler. There is a gadget you can buy at lowe's and home depot that is an ac/dc adaptor for your car. We plugged an air pump into it and put it into the cooler to keep the fish oxygenated. I would personally not keep water in the tank. Car seats are tilted and getting it level is going to be hard to do. The weight of the water is going to be put on one side of the glass and this can weaken it.

As for shipping the fish, well I had to do that too when I graduated. I had one of the local stores pack the fish for me. I overnighted them at a fedex store and... it was not cheap... over $100 bucks. This was a big box and a little heavy so this is probably why it cost so much. If you want to go this route, I would try to ship them in a priority or express through UPS, it would be a lot cheaper.

korith
04-01-2010, 05:39 AM
But do you think it would be easier just to leave everything in the tank instead of bagging it all up separately since I'm taking the tank anyways?

Better to bag it up. Else too much sloshing around going on, and plants may not handle that well.

Z Fish Man
04-01-2010, 06:14 AM
Hmm yeah I guess a bag would eliminate the sloshing to some degree. My tank would be in the trunk and not on a car seat so at least it would be level. I would be most worried about the water spilling out but if i get a decent top for it I don't see the problem. Most of the driving will be on freeways so it should be smooth. Moving the tank to car would be the hardest part sloshing wise.

edit: Oh yeah and I don't think I can ship them just due to circumstance and from a cost stand point. an interesting idea nonetheless.

korith
04-01-2010, 07:04 AM
edit: Oh yeah and I don't think I can ship them just due to circumstance and from a cost stand point. an interesting idea nonetheless.

Meant just pretend like you are going to mail the fish. Pack them the same way. If you get breather bags you won't have to worry about the water sloshing around as much. Put in a styrofoam container, can fill in the inside with crumbled newspaper or styrofoam pellets to insulate them.

The tank itself empty the water out completely and maybe put a bag over it to keep other stuff from getting in. Could even put the bag of plants inside the tank. That way once you get to your new place, its just a matter of refilling the tank and replanting everything.

Keep a bottle of dechlorinator and some spare bags with you somewhere you can find them just in case while you are traveling. I learned that lesson the hard way on my way back from a fish meeting/auction, a bag of fish started leaking. Had no supplies on me, ended up stopping at a quicktrip (gas station) and getting an empty fountain cup to put bring them home in. Since then I'm more prepared.

I moved maybe 10minutes away from my old apt. I kept less than an inch of water in the 10g planted tank, just thankful it had a lid on it, by the time I got it moved up to the new place, the plants and everything in the tank was a mess.

Anyhow the success of how well it goes will be all down to preparation. Let us know how the move goes.

Dacotah7
04-01-2010, 08:06 AM
What kind and how many of each, plants and fish?

Where in Colorado?

jimw/oscar
04-01-2010, 10:12 AM
For the plants depending on the plant you can wrap them in a moist towel paper, then put them into a ziplock bag. People ship fish in the mail and that can take several days. For the fish don't feed them the day before, bag them up, and pack them up as if you were going to mail them out. A styrofoam container would be good to put them in. The filter media, keep it wet, the bacteria may last. The tank itself, just drain the water out, you can leave the substrate in it, shouldn't be a problem since it's just a 10g.

When fish are shipped don't they put some chemical in the water to slow the fish's metabolism down, putting them to 'sleep'?

korith
04-01-2010, 02:02 PM
When fish are shipped don't they put some chemical in the water to slow the fish's metabolism down, putting them to 'sleep'?

It isn't really necessary, some shippers do use a product like bag buddies, shipshape, can't remember what other products there are. Suppose to help the water quality and reduce stress on the fish, also it turns the water a blue color. The fish will be in a small container (bag) and in a dark enclosed space that'll keep them inactive.

Z Fish Man
04-01-2010, 02:33 PM
What kind and how many of each, plants and fish?

Where in Colorado?

The fish are in my profile. As for the plants I have 2 small micro swords, 10 valsinaria, 3 pretty small java ferns, some wisteria, and some tall stemmed plants i'm not sure of.

I'll be going to Golden CO at the school of mines.

Scrup
04-01-2010, 03:43 PM
You are gonna hit some decent flux in temperatures coming from san diego. Is an AC adapter out of the question?

Personally I would get an adapter, a small heater, and a small rubbermaid bin (I would prefer this over the tank because it has a lid, and, well, is not glass)
Wrap it in blankets, and keep the bin heated and aerated. Drop the filter media in for good measure. The plants will probably be just fine, maybe have a bit of shock, but should recover. Wet newspaper and a plastic bag should hold them for the trip. Just rinse them off when you get to your destination.

Scrup
04-01-2010, 03:45 PM
Also-that is an awesome looking school(cant vouch for the quility, but it looks neat from the road!). Plus you can join the coors credit union. Who wouldn't want a credit card issued by a brewing company?

Z Fish Man
04-01-2010, 04:20 PM
Yeah the school of mines is a pretty small but rigorous university so I'm a little scared lol.

AC adapter isn't out of the question I think I have one somewhere if i can find it. So I can prob run a heater but I don't expect the car temp to change too drastically.

I guess aside from the Rubbermaid and Styrofoam containers being non-glass and having a lid I don't see any difference between those and a tank. I want to transport it in my tank so I can easily set up my tank when I am at my parents place for a couple of days and then load it back up for another trip. If I can get a decent lid for my tank and wrap the whole thing in towels or something and sit it flat in my car I don't see the downside. Aside from the sloshing danger am I missing anything?


Thanks
Z

korith
04-01-2010, 04:40 PM
I guess aside from the Rubbermaid and Styrofoam containers being non-glass and having a lid I don't see any difference between those and a tank. I want to transport it in my tank so I can easily set up my tank when I am at my parents place for a couple of days and then load it back up for another trip. If I can get a decent lid for my tank and wrap the whole thing in towels or something and sit it flat in my car I don't see the downside. Aside from the sloshing danger am I missing anything?


Thanks
Z

Styrofoam or a cooler of some sort would help keep temps stable.

Z Fish Man
04-01-2010, 04:55 PM
Styrofoam or a cooler of some sort would help keep temps stable.

Yeah good point... and with only 5gals of water I suppose temps could fluctuate. Thanks definitely something to think about might have go with the Styrofoam.

korith
04-01-2010, 04:59 PM
Yeah good point... and with only 5gals of water I suppose temps could fluctuate. Thanks definitely something to think about might have go with the Styrofoam.

With the water go with the less is more concept. The more water there is, the more the fish will get tossed around. Small container will mean less water, and fish will be a bit more confined, so won't get tossed around as much.

robflanker
04-01-2010, 05:00 PM
Bunched up newspaper is a great way of regulating temperature in addition to the cooler/styrofoam.

When I moved to grad school (much shorter drive than you) I put them in a cooler, and used bunched up newspaper and split them into a lot of ziplocks so theyd have maximum air available to them.

robflanker
04-01-2010, 05:01 PM
With the water go with the less is more concept. The more water there is, the more the fish will get tossed around. Small container will mean less water, and fish will be a bit more confined, so won't get tossed around as much.
I disagree. More is better. Fill the ziplock as much as you can and pack them in such way that the bags won't move. The less water is, there more sloshing up the sides there is IME.
And don't drive frantically.

Z Fish Man
04-01-2010, 05:18 PM
I disagree. More is better. Fill the ziplock as much as you can and pack them in such way that the bags won't move. The less water is, there more sloshing up the sides there is IME.
And don't drive frantically.


Well yeah you want the most water in a confined space so there is no sloshing. This is easier with smaller spaces of course. However the less water the more susceptible to temp changes on a long ride. If i can get a pretty much water tight container and fill it up most of the way that should solve the temp and sloshing problem. Maybe stick an airstone in there for 02.

Thanks for the input everyone, much appreciated :]

korith
04-01-2010, 07:46 PM
I disagree. More is better. Fill the ziplock as much as you can and pack them in such way that the bags won't move. The less water is, there more sloshing up the sides there is IME.
And don't drive frantically.

Well too much water, means less air in the bag, which isn't good for the fish. I'm assuming he isn't going to use breather bags. Best would be to use breather bags, and have no air in the bags. People are always getting reminded to put more air than water in the bags at our monthly auctions.

robflanker
04-01-2010, 08:14 PM
I used breather bags but even w/o breather bags you should try and fill it up at least 75-80% IMO. There will be plenty of oxygen in the water and in the bag itself to get a fish or two through.

A lot will depend on the number of fish in the bag. Too many fish in one bag and you'll have bigger air issues.

Z Fish Man
04-01-2010, 11:04 PM
Yeah if I go with bags I would only do 1 fish per bag due to the length of the ride.

Lab_Rat
04-01-2010, 11:26 PM
Rob, I'm going to have to agree with Korith about the amount of air vs. water when transporting in non-breather bags. You want enough water to cover the fish but the rest should be air.

robflanker
04-02-2010, 01:34 AM
Rob, I'm going to have to agree with Korith about the amount of air vs. water when transporting in non-breather bags. You want enough water to cover the fish but the rest should be air.
I hate you - we are now mortal enemies!

No I'm jking, thats fine. There are more than way to solve this problem and i'm not sure there is a right or wrong answer

Dacotah7
04-02-2010, 04:34 AM
About Sloshing. Unless you have to slam on the brakes or take evasive action to steer clear of a potential accident, sloshing should be minimal for the most part. How many people have an open can or bottle of something to drink, while driving. I often have a cup of coffee (no lid) sitting on the hump on the floor in my truck with no lid. Ok, it's got a flat-top hump and a rubber floor mat, but the coffee stays in a full cup.

Sorry, I overlooked the fish in the profile. Part of the reason I ask where you were going to school is I was thinking send them here by next day air and pick them up when you get here. There are problems with that plan and may not be better than many of the suggestions provided.

Overnighting them is expensive.
I live probably 40+ miles East of the CO School of mines.
Your plants amd fish likely are healthy now, and mine are too, but that could change.
I plan to start re-stocking my 125g. I only have 1/3 - 1/2 of what I had before Ich. I am in the process of setting up the 20g, and as a self-challenge, would like to establish a balanced plant-fish eco-system in it.