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Old 03-27-2006, 06:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Moving all my fish

So my lease is going to be up in just over 2 months, and I need to start planning how I'm going to move six fish tanks. (100g, 10g, 10g, 18g, 60g, 180g) In the past, I hired a service to help me but I wasn't very impressed with the cleanliness factor. I have all freshwater tanks, and for months after my last move I found a bunch of weird green coral in my gravel. I don't think the guy I used in the past even cleaned out his buckets as he went from job to job. I understand that we all get busy, but the cross contamination factor really concerns me and I don't need outbreaks of mysterious ailments in any of my tanks.

I was at Target the other day looking at the Rubbermaid roughneck containers, and I thought those might be suitable for moving the fish. They come in several different sizes ranging from (I think) 10 gallons up to 40 gallons. I have some battery powered air pumps that I could use with some airstones to provide water movement while my guys are in transit.

What techniques have you used to relocate finned friends? I may even just dedicate a whole weekend to moving all of my fish.

..Peter
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Old 03-27-2006, 08:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Dedicating the whole weekend may be your best bet. Something else not to be overlooked is biped friends. I know I've got at least 8 buckets (3-5 gallons each) that are dedicated to tanks for one reason or another and as such are chemical free (well, as much as possible with plastic buckets) and even if my truck and I aren't available, the buckets could be.

A 5 gallon bucket for fish shouldn't be too bad. But then again, I don't know what you have in the 100g and 180g tanks!
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Is it possible for you to move one or two of the bigger ones first before the rest? You don't need to throw all the fish in one aquarium, but having a large amount of pre-conditioned water to fill the rest as the other aquariums arrive is nice.
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Perhaps get some rubbermaid tubs, find a way to run filtration & heat them.

Get everything setup at the new place,
then bag up the fish, starting with the smaller tanks, move them over and into the rubbermaid tubs...then bring over the tanks themselves, setup and transfer the fish.
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Old 04-04-2006, 01:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd consider moving a single 180g tank to be a Herculean effort. You'll need an entire weekend at a minimum. How far are you moving? If it's less than an hour's drive I wouldn't think you'd need the battery-powered airstones.

Personally I'd move the fish in regular shipping bags in coolers. If it's good enough for the people who do it for a living it's good enough for me. Just separate out anything even remotely aggressive or big since tight quarters only add to the stress.

I'd also ideally keep about 25% of the tank volume's original water. That way you can add another 25% (just like a regular 50% WC) and let the fish sit in a half-full tank for a few days while you gradually add more. 25% of 180 is still a lot of water to move though. Have access to a 55 gallon drum & a pump?
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Old 04-04-2006, 01:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by guaiac_boy

Personally I'd move the fish in regular shipping bags in coolers. If it's good enough for the people who do it for a living it's good enough for me. Just separate out anything even remotely aggressive or big since tight quarters only add to the stress.
I was going to say the same thing. I've had fish in transit for days (thanks to lousy overnight shipping...) and they've been just fine as long as they're healthy and well packed to start with.
The bags in the styro cooler will keep the temps at a much more consistent rate, and I don't think you'd feel as rushed knowing that when you're ready, the fish can come out of the bags.

I'm sure you already know it, but also hold off on feeding them for a couple of days before the move.

Good luck!
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree about the fish bags.... If I was you I would invest in some Kordon breather bags, and stop by a LFS and try to get as many styro's as your going to need to store all the fish. I think they will fair just fine packed that way.... probably even better than if put in a big rubbermaid and left to slosh around on the trip.... less mess too

Of course with tanks that size I would imange you may have fish that are just going to be to large to be put into bags and in that case you will have to come up with something like a rubbermaid or the like to transport them.

If it was me I think I would probably set aside a weekend to tackle the 180 and the 100, and try to do them both at the same time, Though as it was suggested bringing a good amount of the tanks original water would be very helpful.... but in reality probably not all to possible with two tanks of that size.

Anyway you look at it that is going to be a big project at least your thinking and planning ahead though... good luck!
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Old 04-23-2006, 05:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Moving fish

Thanks to everybody for the advice and information. I purchased a bunch of 20 gallon trashcans from Home Depot, as well as a pretty sturdy rubbermaid container. All of my finned friends aren't moving too far from my current home, so I'm pretty sure they should be ok. I've got a guy from a LFS that's going to help me out as far as the grunt work of draining water, moving emptied tanks, refilling and such.

I can sure say as far as renting properties, it's been difficult to find a place that is ok with all our pets. We have 5 fish tanks, two birds (1 parrot, 1 cockatiel) and a senegal chameleon. Some of the property owners and mgmt companies we've spoken with are really anal retentive about us having pets. I can understand the concern, but it's not like my fish are going to pee in every corner of the house like a cat or a dog might do.
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Old 04-23-2006, 05:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by infrared
I can sure say as far as renting properties, it's been difficult to find a place that is ok with all our pets. We have 5 fish tanks, two birds (1 parrot, 1 cockatiel) and a senegal chameleon. Some of the property owners and mgmt companies we've spoken with are really anal retentive about us having pets. I can understand the concern, but it's not like my fish are going to pee in every corner of the house like a cat or a dog might do.
Good to hear things will work out with the move.

As for the rentals...sometimes it depends on the insurance they have for damage (Flood comes to mind ).
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Old 05-25-2006, 07:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This is along similar lines.

I need to move an Opaline Gourami about 60-75 minutes away. I read that the fish should not be fed 24-48 hours prior to transporting to avoid waste buildup. Could this be accomplished by using the same bags the fish stores use and bring extra water from the tank so I can discard the old water and refill the bag with fresh?
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