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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Should I transport the fish myself in plastic tubs or have them shipped afterwards?
Take them yourself1386.67%
Have them shipped to you afterwards213.33%
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hi everyone, I'm a long time listener, first time caller... :D

I'm moving from Calgary Alberta to Toronto Ontario (3400 km / 2112 miles) in August. I will be driving an SUV pulling a 12' x 6' trailer containing my stuff.

Recently I've been researching the best ways to help my fish make the journey the safest. Here are the details:

I'm going to be trading away some young fish and a few of my least favorite to make this journey easier and less stressful on the rest. Of those I plan to take, I will have:

Juvenile/young adults - 3-5 inches (3 Frontosas, 5 Sciaenochromis Fryeri, 1 South American Eatheater of some kind, 2 bristle nose pleco, batman: unknown type of armoured catfish, 1 fire fish, 2 green severums, 2 demasoni

13 juveniles - 1.5 - 2 inches (2 demasoni, 3 Labidochromis caeruleus, 4 Cyrtocara Moorii, 4 Nimbochromis fuscotaeniatus )

I have a weird mix of cichlids from different lakes, I didn't know what I was doing when I started. I got into cichlids after a roomate abandoned his tank with me and I took care of them by default, then they grew on me. I eventually started my own tank with some of the same fish he had and that's how it happend. Anyways that's another story...

My options for the move:

1) Transport the fish with me in large plastic tubs with air/water pumps going the whole time, and perhaps a heater for over night, although this is during the summer so they shouldn't need too much heat. (but just in case) I was thinking 2 tubs, 1 for each size group above. I would use a battery or UPS to power this equipment through the night when not driving.

2) Move myself to the new location, then have fish shipped to me by air. My current room mate is staying in the house, so it would be ok to leave the fish for a few days in large plastic bins and then have a local aquatic company bag and ship the fish to me once I arrive. I don't like the idea of trusting my fish in so many other peoples hands, but perhaps they would fair better than they would over a 3 day trip across Canada.

Any advice, or personal experience from anyone here would be greatly appreciated, thank you in advance.
 

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I would never trust others to catch , bag and ship my fish. The shipping alone is really hard. I have moved fish on a three day trip and it works okay. I would get boxes, cut cheap white foamboard (beadboard?) to slip fit inside the box to make an insulated box. I put the fish in plastic bags, two is worried about leaks. Enough water to swim upright and the rest air. Twist and tie the top so as much air is trapped as you can. I then fold the box top shut and go. Keep the box in the car with you. When you are okay on temp , they will be. DO NOT set the box on the floor where the tailpipe may heat it. While riding, the water sloshes around to exchange air. No air pump needed. When stopping overnight, open the bag and if good water is available do a water change. Only if good water. They can stand shipping for days. Stop feeding a day or so before and no food during the the move to cut bio waste on the trip. You are both much safer if you are not worried about water slopping at stops and turns.
 

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I agree with PfunMo to an extent. Yes it is safe for both but with a little ingenuity you can do this with buckets/coolers. Either way is safe just do it yourself. I mean if you do it you can only blame yourself. If someone else does that's a different story. With PfunMo's idea you could also bring water in old milk jugs for changes (if you have room).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys, that's how I feel.

Girlfriend is on board with whatever I decide, her mother not so much... but I don't really care, she doesn't get it :p

So taking them myself you think is best, and the options are bag them or take them in coolers.

Can each of you go into more details of how you would do this if you had this many fish to take?

With bagging, how many fish per bag? how about the smaller fish?

With the cooler, how would you secure the cooler and allow for air circulation?

I've read about medicating the water to sedate the fish and reduce stress. Has anyone tried this? Is it safe? Can it cause long term harm?
 

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From what I understand there is no real need to sedate them. Granted its stressful but they would be just as fine without it. Natural is usually always better.
 

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Check this link out
http://cichlid-forum.com/articles/trans ... chlids.php.
If you have room I would use 5 gallon buckets with lids. Put a hole in the top of the lids with a drill or what ever you have. Battery powered air pumps are fairly cheap for what they do. I didn't want to buy them but that have saved me during power outages. You can find them at most bait and tackle shops. Run tubing through lid and you can cover the existing hole if need be with tape and a plastic bag. ,the pump should have a clip you can clip to the handle of the bucket. I would split the fish as much as possible,keeping aggression in mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Flippercon,
Yeah I read that, it suggests bagging them though, and you're suggesting 5 gallon pails.

I can see that the advantages of the pails over something like a cooler would be that the water won't slosh around as much. Although a big cooler has a drainage spout that would make water changes very conveineint. Perhaps some kind of large koolaid cooler would be the best of both worlds? I also like the idea of using at least a battery powered air pump at night even for my own piece of mind.

For heat, what is the lowest safe limits where I should be concerned? Even though it'll be summer, this is Canada at night afterall, not Texas or Virginia. :)

I think I'm leaning towards the pails, how many would you suggest? maybe 3? One for the little guys, and 2 for the bigger guys? Maybe I'll do a photo journal of the trip, and this can be a resource for any others making a similar journey. (I hope a successful example though!) I was going to be taking pictures the whole trip anyways as I've never actually drove that distance only jets.

What are the advantages to bagging the fish over pails?

Thanks a lot guys, you're all great and helpful people. Long live all your Cichlids!
 

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I'm the bag guy so here's my thinking. I always like to prepare for the worst and hope it doesn't happen. Some worst cases? How about the car stops and the fish are stuck for six hours in the sun? In an uninsulated container, they are dead. For shipping which may take several days going through all kinds of temperatures, the pro's use bags inside insulated boxes. Second case--Somebody forgets the fish are behind the suitcase and pulls the container out on the parking lot. Solidly bagged in boxes they take a tumble but survive. In buckets,not bagged, they are flopping around the parking lot, hoping you find water before they croak. If you pack them like they were going UPS and haul them yourself, they will be better off.
The larger fish go seperate bags. The smaller can ride together. The fish can handle the sloshing. Just use enough water to keep them swimming easy and the rest of the bag air. The larger the amount of water the more stabil the temp. The larger volume of air the longer they can stand for the shipping until the ammonia gets too high. Don't feed them for a couple days before the trip.
 

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I vote bagging them. Its much easier than you think and they will be fine for longer than you think. You should just get some cornerless bags with high tops, that way your fish dont get caught in corners plus the high tops allow for easy tying and extra oxygen. I have moved fish twice in totes and it was messy and tons of work. I have been delivering fish now in bags for a few months and its sooo much easier.
 

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You could also put them in Kordon breather bags and not worry about them. The bags get completely filled with water, so there isn't even any sloshing and the fish can stay in them for many days.
 

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The only time I travelled with fish was a 4-day cross country jaunt, and we had Indigo (my daughter's betta) in a 1-gallon drink thermos thingy, with a flippy-spout. I left the flippy-spout open while we drove, and took him in and opened the lid at night in the hotel. I had some little ammonia-neutralizing tablet things that I would break into little pieces and put a little bit in the cooler each evening (each tab was for treating 5 gallons, we had under a gallon in the little drink thermos/cooler).

Not sure I'd try that with more than 1 fish though!

-Rick (the armchair aquarist)
 
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