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Old 12-16-2012, 02:24 PM   #1
graceful.04
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Default Moving fish

Hey you all, so I'm going to have to move my fish this friday... It's not too long of a drive; two hours at most but I was wondering if you all have some tips because I have a lot of fish to move, and when I say a lot, I mean four tanks with twenty fully grown fish plus seventeen guppy fry...
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:54 PM   #2
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Are you just moving the fish? Or the fish AND the tanks?
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:57 PM   #3
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Fish and tanks
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by graceful.04 View Post
Fish and tanks
Wow. Sounds like fun. Just kidding...I don't envy you at all.

There's probably several ways to do it. If it was me, I'd get several of those Rubbermaid storage bins with the lids that snap on (smaller ones...maybe something about 10 gallons in size). Or, some 5-gallon buckets with lids.

I'd fill the containers about 1/3 to 1/2 with aquarium water. In some containers, I'd put my fish, in the others, I'd put filter media, decor, etc. to keep the bacteria alive.

I've never actually done a move like this...perhaps some of the other forum members could give you some good ideas.

Good luck...and let us know how it goes.

Last edited by Maine_Fish; 12-16-2012 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:15 PM   #5
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I wish I could help... I've only moved fish from a store to a tank. But I wish you the best of luck. Also, ask Loha, he knows just about everything in the hobby, lol.
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:56 PM   #6
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I've moved lots of fish and tanks.

-Do an initial fish catch, until they figure out what you are up to. Fish should go into plastic bags. You can get these from petstores if need be. Please only put large or spined fish in hard containers. Some fast fish can panic too much and literally hit the sides to hard, especially if the container is large. Bags should be 1/3 water 2/3 air. The less fish per bag better, depends how long they will be there too. Stick bags in a larger cooler, if It is a hard cooler line it with a towel or two. Keep it closed and dark to reduce stress.
-Drain tank and start removing decor. Wood and plastic stuff can go in plastic bags. Live plants can also go in plastic bags with a bit of water. Stick live plants in cooler too, to insulate them.
-catch remaining fish once decor is gone.
-For filters, any internal or HOB filter media should be bagged and stuck in cooler. For canisters, just disconnect them and they will be fine.
-during draining time if you have a heavily planted tank do a full substrate cleaning if it is gravel as its usually very very mucky.
-drain tank as empty as possible
-scoop out substrate into pails
-with substrate and all equipment remove, tank can be moved then stand.

Setup is done in reverse steps with fish added last. Fish should be slowly acclimated to new water. Ideally test pH and such at new place so you have an idea how big a change their is as that will effect acclimation time.

If you want pics... Moved from my folks house to a crappy college apartment. Then a year later I moved to another apartment. I had 3 tanks for both moves, 55 was the biggest tho.










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Old 12-16-2012, 06:11 PM   #7
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hmmmmmmm..that giant worm looks like some good musky bait to me.....lol
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:13 PM   #8
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Thanks!! That's really helpful, I was thinking of just putting them in buckets which is apparently a very bad idea...
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:14 PM   #9
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Only put them in buckets if you are moving like 10 minutes away. I moved from where I was before to where I am at now, but it was only about 5 to 10 minutes away from where I was.

Once you get where you are moving to, get your tank set up right away. So that your fish can settle in and not be stressed out.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:23 PM   #10
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you should try moving 75 tanks full of fish......in january....now that's what i call fun.....lol
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10 gallon..nothing but air

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Old 12-16-2012, 10:43 PM   #11
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I'm never letting you near my tanks loha

Even moving 10-15 minuets I still use bags. They are easier then buckets in the long run. Safer for the fish, they also do not slosh around as badly in the car, and its much easier to float a bag then a bucket. Also if you don't have a lid your both gonna loose water and possible jumpers on the drive. Last time I moved my giant worm he went in a 10 gallon bin with ~4 gallons of water and a lid. Regardless we made it 500ft before losing a gallon in the back of the SUV lol. That the only one I have that needs a bucket and its a huge hassle everytime.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:47 PM   #12
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Mikaila gave great advice. I worked in a fish store for years, and the only safe way to move fish is to bag'em, and keep in a cooler. (even a styrofoam cheapie will maintain water temp, and also prevent self inflicted damage by keeping things dark and reducing outside noise.) Stress is a big factor in moving. You can super-oxygenate the water in your tank by adding a long airstone the night before the move, and use that water in the bags. Water quality of new location: test tap water before adding to tank! If in doubt, use reverse osmosis water. Use stress coat in bags and in new set up. Anything else, anyone? Good luck!
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:48 PM   #13
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Don't feed for at least one day before the move. Don't feed immediately after, wait until they beg.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:49 PM   #14
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good one, emc.
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20 gal; well planted
2 angelfish
4 cherrybarbs
5 cardinal tetras
1 dwarf gourami
3 oto catfish
1 bristlenose pleco
1 crown tail betta
2 rasboras
1 cory cat
a few shrimp
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:43 AM   #15
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well-rinsed plastic kitty litter tubs are good for substrate. Don't lift a tank with any significant amount of water in it. Popped seams are no fun. The worst I ever did was ~50 tanks. Not too far, so we let rents overlap by a month and moved in stages.
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