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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V5 #139

> Anyone with any special tips they could offer on
> moving fish/tanks/plants?  (moving as in one city to
> another--about 250 miles). 
> Arthur

> Anyone with any special tips they could offer on
> moving fish/tanks/plants?  (moving as in one city to
> another--about 250 miles). 
> Arthur

Ha!  Finally, a question I can answer from a position of authority!  :) 

I just finished a cross-country move (Seattle to Atlanta) a few weeks ago.  
Transported everything in my car - what couldn't fit in the car was left in 
Seattle, either in storage, or in the hands of adoptive parents.  Five days, 
2,938 miles, 95.09 gallons of gas. 

One week before departure, I started feeding the fish 3-4 times a day to 
build up their reserves, and bubbled two sponge filters in the main tank to 
accumulate bacterial load. 

I transported the fish inside a clean 5-gallon plastic bucket which I 
purchased at Home Depot for about $3.  I first lined the bucket with a few 
sheets of flexible green foam (sold as Plate Savers from U-Haul) for 
insulation.  Then I put a black plastic garbage bag into the bucket and 
filled it with water - 10% tank water, 90% fresh.  Added the sponge filters, 
powered by battery-operated air pumps.  (Tip: the pumps run fine on just one 
D battery.)  To prevent sloshing, I cut a hole in the lid of the bucket, 
then threaded the open end of the garbage bag out through the hole and 
fastened the lid securely.  Finally, I tied a string to an aquarium 
thermometer, dropped the thermometer into the bucket, then tied the free end 
of the string to my gearshift so that I could find it. 

I didn't bother with a heater, and over the course of the drive the water 
stayed at a pretty constant 72 degrees.  Weather was mild, so I left the 
bucket in the car overnight.  I popped the top in the middle of the trip and 
gave the fish a light feed.  I tested the water periodically, and even by 
the end of the five-day trip the water quality was pretty good - no ammonia 
or nitrites, although nitrates were at 10ppm.  Not too bad for two dozen 
community fish in five gallons of water - three cheers for the humble sponge 

Best of all, the fish showed no signs of trauma - as opposed to my 
experiences with transporting fish in Ziplock bags.  I theorize that what 
contributed to their lack of stress was: 1) darkness, 2) swimming room, 3) 
insulation from vibration and sloshing provided by solid plastic bucket. 

Because space was at a premium, I transported my plants fully immersed in 
total darkness.  If I had to do the drive over again, I would pack then in 
plastic Ziplock bags with a little bit of water in the bottom, and allow 
them access to light.  In hindsight, five days of darkness was a *little* 
more than most of them could bear. 

YMMV, of course.  ;) 

 - Erika