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bgcajun at juno_com (B G Granier): NANFA-- Transporting Fish

------ Begin forwarded message ----------
From: bgcajun at juno_com (B G Granier)
To: nanfa at aquaria_net
Cc: bg at te6000_otc.lsu.edu
Subject: NANFA-- Transporting Fish
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 1997 19:15:08 -0500
Message-ID: <19970725.191828.3358.3.bgcajun at juno_com>

If you collect fish in the wild and must drive a considerable distance
back to your home, then you know that the hardiest species survive while
the more delicate fish fall by the wayside (literally).Some species
survive transport in a 1 gallon milk jug while others might require a
"containerized, oxygen-enriched, and filtered life-support system",
transported via a chartered aircraft, to arrive at your destination with
all body functions intact! Otherwise the weaker species tend to arrive at
home base in  the inverted (belly-up) position.

After much trial and error with cool- water species, mostly error; I
found a solution to this problem. (see Summer 1994 edition of American
Currents, `Crimson Tide, Neon Lights` article on collecting the Rainbow

Here is the equipment that I use:

#1- 48 quart cooler (Igloo, Coleman, etc.)

#2- A small cork stopper to plug the inside of the cooler's drain. This
prevents the fish from being trapped in the small tube and also prevents
accidental draining of the container if the external drain cap comes off.

#3- A 12v to 110v A.C. converter which plugs into the vehicle's cigar-
lighter receptacle. Radio Shack and other sources sell these. They are
useful on long trips for Camcorders, TV, and many other uses that you may
find .

#4- A 110v aquarium air-pump and gang valve, if needed. Equipped with the
necessary lenght's of air-line tubing.

#5- Thermometer

#6-  A foam filter. (Tetra, Jungle, Dirt Magnet, etc.)

After obtaining the above items, put on your aquarists' hat and remember
that you need to wash, rinse and fill the container with water and test
run your equipment before taking it on the road.

The night before your long- awaited collecting trip, run a foam filter in
an established, healthy tank that you have already designated to receive
the fish that you'll be collecting the next day. When you get up in the
morning, be sure to place it, soaking wet, into a sealed plastic bag and
take it with you to the collecting site.
It is not necessary to fill the bag with water, as the very wet foam
filter will do fine as it will not dry out in the plastic bag.

Upon arrival to your collecting site, after you have verified the
presence of your intended species, fill the cooler with some clean native
stream water, to about 1/2
of the volume of the container. Plug in your equipment, adjust the air
flow to the foam filter and go get 'em!

Properly position your cooler in the vehicle before taking off for home.
The best position for it is with the handles towards the sides of the
vehicle instead of to the front and rear of the vehicle. This keeps the
sloshing motion of the water to a minimum as the vehicle accelerates
orslows down.

Once you have collected your intended species, gently place them into
your "containerized, oxygen-enriched, filtered life-support system" and
proceed to your next destination! Don't seal the lid too tightly as this
will cut off the flow of air through the air tubing and if necessary, you
could drill a small hole through the side of the cooler so that a piece
of rigid tubing could be inserted. But then, you'll have to drill another
hole for pressure-relief so that the excess air has a place to vent.

This system will work for you even on an extended trip as long as you
don't overcrowd the fish. I kept twenty plus cool-water specimens of
shiners for nine days on a trip to Atlanta and back! I have stayed
overnight at a motel, leaving the system running in my vehicle, with no
problem in getting my vehicle started in the morning. And, you know what
to do with the thermometer!

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