General Aquaria Discussion • Moving Mbuna & Catfish. Need Recommendations

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Moving Mbuna & Catfish. Need Recommendations

Postby Fishman5252 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:21 pm

Hey everyone, new to the community but glad to be apart of the family.

In a month I am relocating from Florida to New York. Before telling me to sell my fish and buy new ones, I have had most of my cichlids (mbuna) for multiple years and have had my catfish (Feather fins and Rafael Cat) for almost a decade. To say the least I am very much attached to them....Additional background, I have a 75 gallon ready to set up in New York (sand and filters included) and will most likely be setting that up in a couple of days when I go up there.

Here's my issue. I have a utility truck/mini van (dodge ram) which is completely open inside meaning there are no seats in the back and is stripped of everything. The windows are blacked out and no sun gets in. My main concern is temperature changes on my 24-26 hour drive.

My plan is to bucket up each series of compatible fish into 5 gallon buckets with lids. as well as taking as much extra tank water as possible. I will have an inverter and two air pumps as well as sponge filters which will be running into each bucket to supply adequate aeration and some basic filtration. I will also be adding some stress coat+ and placing a fake plant into each bucket to add some hiding space for stress reduction. I will also secure all buckets with bungee cords to ensure that they do not move around much. I do have a portable battery operated temperature gauge but I do not have anything except for an old school heater which may end up melting the plastic buckets.

I have seen heater packs like hand warmers used in coolers when shipping fish but cannot seem to find any of them sold online. I assume if I can find something similar I can tape it to the outside of the bucket, or just keep the air at a moderate level in the truck and closely monitor the temperature water along the way.

Any recommendations for me, and has anyone done a journey like I am about to? I have read online about people moving across the country and doing this successfully as well as people moving corals/anemones
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Re: Moving Mbuna & Catfish. Need Recommendations

Postby Fishman5252 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:27 pm

Also heres a picture for viewing pleasure (I also have a 29 gallon planted tank with Colombian tetras and black neons which I will most liklely also be taking with me)

Image
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Re: Moving Mbuna & Catfish. Need Recommendations

Postby DJRansome » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:47 pm

You are better off taking them into the hotel room with you each night and setting up a filter and heater on each.

Or bagging them and shipping them.
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Re: Moving Mbuna & Catfish. Need Recommendations

Postby Deeda » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:28 am

Another option is to see if you can get some styrofoam fish shipping boxes and fish bags from a local aquarium shop or possibly a fish farm if there is one in your location. You can them just bring the boxes in your hotel room at night.

I don't see a need to have heat packs or a heater for the trip.
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Re: Moving Mbuna & Catfish. Need Recommendations

Postby Fishman5252 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:03 pm

DJRansome wrote:You are better off taking them into the hotel room with you each night and setting up a filter and heater on each.

Or bagging them and shipping them.

Thank you for the reply. I have thought about shipping them but I really do not trust any of the local fish stores with my fish. Petsmart is the only one that offered to do this, mind you for an extremely large amount of money, and I did not trust their fish keeper. There is an allpets emporium by me which I have not talked to. Though, I'm not sure im willing to spend upwards of hundreds of dollars to ship these guys out.

Also, I have taken the drive before, I also have my significant other to take over the wheel when needed. Would my set up not be sufficient with keeping these guys alive?
Last edited by Fishman5252 on Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Moving Mbuna & Catfish. Need Recommendations

Postby Fishman5252 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:08 pm

Deeda wrote:Another option is to see if you can get some styrofoam fish shipping boxes and fish bags from a local aquarium shop or possibly a fish farm if there is one in your location. You can them just bring the boxes in your hotel room at night.

I don't see a need to have heat packs or a heater for the trip.

That was my original plan and had a local fish store hold some of those styrofoam coolers for me. My only issue is that I would need to pump oxygen into the bags and there is a potential for them to break inside the container and then its game over. Hence why i thought using plastic 5 gallons would be a little better plus i can use the sponge filter to not only aerate the container but keep some filtration going as well
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Re: Moving Mbuna & Catfish. Need Recommendations

Postby DJRansome » Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:21 am

You can easily bag them yourself and without oxygen. They will be fine for 24 hours. The vendors and some hobbyists do this all the time.
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Re: Moving Mbuna & Catfish. Need Recommendations

Postby Fishman5252 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:57 pm

DJRansome wrote:You can easily bag them yourself and without oxygen. They will be fine for 24 hours. The vendors and some hobbyists do this all the time.


So this is what you would do with Styrofoam coolers and those warmer packs? i also plan on not feeding the fish 24 hours prior to the move so they do not make much waste. Though what i've read is that the main killer is lack of oxygen, ammonia spikes and temp changes. The prior i can address with the air stones and sponge filters but not sure about the temp change.

Here's the sponge filters im talking about: XINYOU XY-2835 Fish Aquarium Mini Cylinder Soft Sponge Water Filter, Black
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Re: Moving Mbuna & Catfish. Need Recommendations

Postby Deeda » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:21 pm

You don't have to use actual oxygen to fill the bags, just room air should be fine.

You will not need heat packs for your move and the length of time the fish will be in the bags. Warmer water will increase their metabolism and cause more problems with water quality.

I suggest fasting your fish for at least 3 days prior to moving them, less waste in the fish bags is a good thing.

Check out the following article from the Library for great information, Transporting fish

I attend at least 6 local fish club auctions each year and I bag my fish the day before the auction and experience no fish losses despite the fish being in bags for at least 24 hours. We even have people from other states attend many of our auctions and some travel a couple days with their fish in bags with no problems.

The key to bagging and moving fish is to have the:
1) proper size bag,
2) the right number or size of the fish per bag,
3) 1/3 water to 2/3 air per bag,
4) double bagging spiny fish or using thicker bags
5) fasting the fish for minimum 3 days,
6) clean, conditioned water in the bag,
7) styrofoam, sturdy cardboard boxes or totes to hold the bags.
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Re: Moving Mbuna & Catfish. Need Recommendations

Postby DJRansome » Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:57 pm

It does take a long time to bag them though. Especially if you are not experienced. Practice before you make the trip.
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Re: Moving Mbuna & Catfish. Need Recommendations

Postby Fishman5252 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:40 pm

Deeda wrote:You don't have to use actual oxygen to fill the bags, just room air should be fine.

You will not need heat packs for your move and the length of time the fish will be in the bags. Warmer water will increase their metabolism and cause more problems with water quality.

I suggest fasting your fish for at least 3 days prior to moving them, less waste in the fish bags is a good thing.

Check out the following article from the Library for great information, Transporting fish

I attend at least 6 local fish club auctions each year and I bag my fish the day before the auction and experience no fish losses despite the fish being in bags for at least 24 hours. We even have people from other states attend many of our auctions and some travel a couple days with their fish in bags with no problems.

The key to bagging and moving fish is to have the:
1) proper size bag,
2) the right number or size of the fish per bag,
3) 1/3 water to 2/3 air per bag,
4) double bagging spiny fish or using thicker bags
5) fasting the fish for minimum 3 days,
6) clean, conditioned water in the bag,
7) styrofoam, sturdy cardboard boxes or totes to hold the bags.


Thank you for this information, that eased my nerves a little. Not sure how I wasn't able to find that on here with my initial search. Any recommendation for bags? I was reading something about a product called breather bags but hear they are subject to breaking. Also, would you also follow the guide with using fresh water (I add start right, cichlid salts and a tad bit of baking soda) instead of tank water?
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Re: Moving Mbuna & Catfish. Need Recommendations

Postby Fishman5252 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:41 pm

DJRansome wrote:It does take a long time to bag them though. Especially if you are not experienced. Practice before you make the trip.


sadly I know this as I had to originally do this when breaking down my 110. The only thing is that I had saved all my bags from the fish store. I have not bought fish in a while....
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Re: Moving Mbuna & Catfish. Need Recommendations

Postby DJRansome » Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:49 pm

You need 2 bags/fish and those little rubber bands. Are all your fish the same size, approximately?

Breather bags seemed to have come and go. I would use tank water but do water changes on the tanks in preceeding weeks to make sure nitrates are < 10ppm.
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Re: Moving Mbuna & Catfish. Need Recommendations

Postby Deeda » Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:31 pm

I've found breather bags and fish with spiny fins don't work well so I'd avoid them unless the fish were fry.

Your catfish would do well in the buckets rather than bagging them.

How large are your Mbuna and approx. how many do you have?

I'll send you a PM for where to buy bags online.
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Re: Moving Mbuna & Catfish. Need Recommendations

Postby Fishman5252 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:52 pm

DJRansome wrote:You need 2 bags/fish and those little rubber bands. Are all your fish the same size, approximately?

Breather bags seemed to have come and go. I would use tank water but do water changes on the tanks in preceeding weeks to make sure nitrates are < 10ppm.


Ok I was figuring the same with the water. My tank water is as people like to call it "aquafina clear". I am ontop of the water conditions and keep a close eye on it every week. My mbuna are all about the same size, though I do have about 4 baby electric yellow (0.5 inch) and a few auratus around the same size.The only bigger fish are the pleco and the 6 cats I have (5 feather fin, 1 rafael cat)
Last edited by Fishman5252 on Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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