General Aquaria Discussion • How long do fish survive in the plastic bag?

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How long do fish survive in the plastic bag?

Postby krazykilroy » Thu Jun 16, 2016 2:58 pm

Going back to check on things I left behind in Jersey, and spend Father's day with my sons, and thought about some of the shops they have in Jersey. They aren't half bad.

But it is a 4 hour trip from Jersey to Massachusetts (3-1/2, give or take where you are...), and I wanted to know if the fish will die before I get home.

It would suck to just have them for a short moment, so how long can they actually live in a bag from a regular pet store, and NOT filled with pure oxygen??
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Re: How long do fish survive in the plastic bag?

Postby DJRansome » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:00 pm

Yes they will be fine as long as you maintain the temperature. Not too hot, not too cold.
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Re: How long do fish survive in the plastic bag?

Postby Aaron S » Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:38 am

If you were concerned about it then you can put some water in a 5 gallon bucket with a bubbler and one of the things the changes the cigarette lighter in a car to an outlet. Then you are pretty much good to go forever barring you don't screw up the temperature too badly as DJ mentioned.
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Re: How long do fish survive in the plastic bag?

Postby dledinger » Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:25 pm

Have them double bagged. Also, take a stack of old news papers and wrap each bag in several layers secured with a piece masking tape (good stores might do this anyway, I always did). You can't see them, of course, but they're better off and less stressed from light and temp swings. Make sure the store uses appropriate sized bags, and not too many per pag. They'll make 4 hours fine.
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Re: How long do fish survive in the plastic bag?

Postby Narwhal72 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:59 pm

The size and amount of fish in the bag will make a difference. An 8 x 15 bag can hold 8 peacock fry more than 24 hours without a problem. A 6" long adult male not so much, but still well more than 4 hours safely.

Keep in mind it's best if the fish were not fed for 48 hours first so that they don't pollute the bag with metabolites while in transit. Not really an option when buying fish from a store.

I would just make sure that the bag has about 1/4-1/3 water and 3/4-2/3 air in it. Some stores tend to put too much water in the bag which reduces the amount of time you can keep the fish in the bag significantly.

As Aaron said, using a bucket with a baitwell aerator can keep the fish for a much longer time. But it does have a disadvantage in that any ammonia produced by the fish will be converted into toxic ammonia because the water is well oxygenated which keeps the pH up. In a bag, the pH tends to drop below 7 which converts any toxic ammonia to non-toxic ammonium due to the build up of acid forming carbon dioxide. If you go the bait aerator route, bring a jug of extra water to change water. This is the best technique to use if you are transporting large fish (8"+).

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