I've been invited to attend my first fish swap on 8/21. Problem is I have no idea how to prepare the fish. Do I put something in the water? What do I do!?!
Great responses. Thank you. I already do a lot of this when I bag my fish for shipping. Not feeding, double bagging and such. The extra water is a good idea. I was planning on doing water changes in my tanks the day before bagging them the next morning.Congrats on your first fish swap event!!
What I do when I tank my fish to local fish club meetings or auctions is:
1) Do not feed the fish I'm bringing for 2 days prior to the event, unless they are tiny.
2) Prepare fresh new water by using an appropriate amount of water conditioner for a 5 gallon bucket of water, bring it up to normal tank temperature or a couple degrees cooler and IF you have different tank parameters such as pH or others, adjust it in the 5G bucket.
3) Use appropriate size bags for the fish you will be taking. Don't crowd the fish in the bags especially if they will be bagged for more than 12 hours.
4) Use 1/3 water and 2/3 air space in your bag, or enough water to cover the fish when the bag is upright.
5) Double bag all fish, especially those that are spiny such as cichlids. Bag the fish normally then place inside a second bag inverted. I use rubber bands to fasten each bag securely.
6) Label the genus and species, quantity of fish, and usually your name and contact info. Any additional info for the buyer about the species is helpful but definitely include if you alter water parameters such as pH, hardness, etc. so the fish have a good chance of surviving in their new home.
I always used O2 to fill my bags when taking to clubs or auctions and it worked out fantastic. It's not necessary but does give the fish a longer time to be bagged.
Bring extra bags, rubber bands, water conditioner and maybe a net or pail in case you need to rebag your fish (if allowed) or if you think you might want to purchase fish at the swap meet. Some clubs have conditioned water available at events you can do for water changes so check their website for more details. You could always bring your own water if they don't.
A large fish styro with lid or a cooler are handy to tote fish to and from these events. I use a black Sharpie fine tip permanent marker to label fish bags with the info and clear packing tape to join multiple bags together if they are to be sold as one item.
I find that 8" wide x 22" long fish bags are good for fish from 2 inch long to 5 inch long though the bigger/longer the fish, the fewer per bag. Smaller 6" wide x 20" long bags are great for fish under 2 inches long. Some clubs allow 5g buckets with lids for very large fish so check if permitted.
That's all I can think of now but if you have any questions, ask away.
I'm considering using O2 for the bagged fish for the swap. I have access to bottles of O2 at work. I'm sure the pure O2 would be better for them in the bags.@karpomatic1 , I figured since you were already shipping fish, you were familiar with the process of bagging them.
When I first started bagging, I used a spare air line from my system to fill the bags but after talking with club members, they said just use the method DJ suggested above.
I graduated to using O2 as I was bagging up fish the afternoon before events and wanted to give them the best chance to survive getting to their new homes.
We use oxy-acetylene torches for work so I have everything I need. I also spoke to the owner and he said I can take whatever I need.Sounds good! The most expensive part of the O2 setup for me was to purchase the regulator and hose assy. to attach to the cylinder, they are commonly called Air Filling Kits.