Moving with a Monster

swede

Feeder Fish
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Mar 26, 2009
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cool dude! moving always sucks, but especially moving with fish. Looks like you did the best at keeping your beast healthy during the move. Hope you don't hafta move again anytime soon!
 

mr.reef24

Fire Eel
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Apr 21, 2009
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what a move I bet you were stressed every step till your fish made it safely to there destination.

mr.reef24
 

Lissaspence

Gambusia
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May 19, 2009
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Thanks for the info! This will be very helpful when we move.:D
 

Lanaka

Feeder Fish
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Mar 5, 2009
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Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii
Gr8KarmaSF;1110895; said:
Nice write up Kristian, im glad that all the pets made it, written like the true PhD that you are...



Ummm, Ive always wondered whether or not my loud music aggravates my fish in transport...
I've noticed the same thing when I was moving my monster army. After the first trip, I've done the rest without the subs (which also helped in that I could pack more tanks into the suv). About the only difference is that I've transported them (for the most part) in their tanks. This helps me in that I can monitor them while driving.

I've noticed in the first trip that some of the fishes appeared to be affected by my tunes from my subs. Either they dancing to the bumps or they getting rattled by them. I'm more inclined towards the second notion as they exhibited stress symptom on arrival. Faded colorations, erratic movements (or little-to-none, basically opposite to their normal movement levels). And yes, this is my first time i'm moving with a lot of fishes, so please bear with me regarding my mistakes, lol. I've only had 1 fatality in that road trip.

Most of my monster fishes are housed in minimal-setup tanks. That basically means mostly bare tanks, with a VERY thin layer of large gravel and/or a few accessories (like a large piece of driftwood or rocks).

Just before the trip, I took out the gravel and/or the large objects, then reduced the water levels to about 1-2" higher than the height of the largest fish in the tank. I kept each tank's stuff in a shallow rubbermaid tray with about an inch of each tank's water, then covered with foil (to try keep alive the biological film on the surfaces). On arrival, each tanks' stuffs was returned to each respective tanks.

Most of these tanks also ran sponge filters so they stayed in the tanks for the move. I have a 300W power inverter so I just plugged in a power strip and the air pumps made the move connected to this.

After the first trip, I've taped on newspaper to the sides of the tanks except for the frontside (so I can still monitor the fishes). The tanks also made the trip with their hood bases still on top. The lights and power filters was packed separately in a box. The tops was secured with bungees for those big jumpers (arowanas, oscars, plecos, etc.).

I too didn't bother with the heaters, and made the later trips at night so solar heating wouldnt be a problem. And wouldnt you know it? I found that it's better to go faster than slower while transporting fish tanks over bumpy roads. The suspension soaks up the bumps so that only a rumbly vibration is transmitted to the water. If i went slower, then I'd jounce 'n bounce and slosh water up the sides of the tanks. Of course, I still have to take turns slower (or have all the tanks tip over). Also, this does not includes potholes, they I still avoid, cuz they transmit a huge vertical movement spike and cause huge sloshes.

The only casualty of that trip was one of my 8" jardinis when he broke his beak against the side of the tank and later died. And, yes, the jardini was among the first batch of fishes to make the trip. This trip was the only one where I hit that aforementioned pothole and did it during the day.

The other almost-casualty was my 12" oscar (same trip). On arrival, I found him laying flat on his side on the bottom of his tank. For a while I was worried as he's more like a pet than any of the others (as he definitely had a personality). Initially, I thought he was dead, until I saw his gill flap move a bit. I immediately increased aeration and water flow in the tank and actually held him face first into the water flow. After a few minutes, he actually shook himself out of my hand and starting swimming normally. Within minutes he exhibited no signs of distress and was already begging for food. I suspect he may have had a case of heat prostration as his tank was on the sun-ward side of the truck and much of it's vertical height was visible thru the window. Either that or he was just trying to suck up more attention from me, lol.

Oops, got carried away. :eek: Sorry!
-Lanaka
 
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HarleyK

Canister Man
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Howdy Lanaka,

Thanks for sharing your experiences as well. How long of a road trip did you go on with your fish?

I personally think plastic tubs are easier for transport because they are softer when fish hit them (your jardini :rip), and more forgiving during loading and unloading. Agreed, unless you have a clear bin, you cannot monitor your fish in them. But then, there really isn't much you could do in terms of first aid on the road if you saw a fish not doing well...

Great to hear that your oscar made it :thumbsup:

HarleyK
 

phillydog1958

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
phillydog1958;3621122; said:
Wow...You wrote a short story. Interesting.

On second thought, it's a documentary. I probably would've sold off my fish and moved the tanks and equiptment and purchased new fish after the move. You're a true fish lover.
 

Lanaka

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Mar 5, 2009
12
1
0
Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii
HarleyK;3621088; said:
Howdy Lanaka,

Thanks for sharing your experiences as well. How long of a road trip did you go on with your fish?

I personally think plastic tubs are easier for transport because they are softer when fish hit them (your jardini :rip), and more forgiving during loading and unloading. Agreed, unless you have a clear bin, you cannot monitor your fish in them. But then, there really isn't much you could do in terms of first aid on the road if you saw a fish not doing well...

Great to hear that your oscar made it :thumbsup:

HarleyK
It was about 15miles (long distance by Hawaii standards, probably only a short stroll by mainland standards, tho. lol), however, the first trip was a mistake in that I did that during 'pau hana' (local slang for 'finish work') traffic. So it also took nearly an hour getting there. All subsequent trips, however took about 20 minutes each.

lol, true, but as it WAS my first time doing such a move, it was more for me than anything else, to be honest. In the future, I'll probably wont be stressing out as much. That trip, I think _I_ was more stressed out by the move than my fishes. (Aside from the notable exception of my jardini and oscar.)

The oscar just recently passed away, old age, sigh.

Well, I just moved again. This time in the opposite direction, about the same distance. Keeping in mind the last trip, I simply rented a u-haul truck, grabbed a whole bunch of king-sized cardboard boxes, opened them up flat, and laid them out on the floor of the truck. This is to prevent the tanks from sliding around and help with minimizing water mess from sloshings.

This time, didn't bother with newspapering the tanks. All these are in a dark u-haul truck. But i again lowered the water levels to the largest fish body height's depth, to a minimum depth of at least 3-4 inches. Again, put all tanks on airstone driven off a air pump powered by an inverter which was in turn hooked to a freshly charged car battery. Again bungeed the tops of most of the tanks, with careful attention to those tanks housing known jumpers.

Another variation is that I kept each tank's filter media in each tank. I drained some of the water into a bucket, then rinsed the filter media in the bucket to remove most of the crud. Then I just plopped the media directly back into the source tank so that the biologicals are kept alive in it's water. Also noted which filter device came with which tank so that each tank's setup is restored to exactly the way it was before the move AND the biological filtration is immediately available. This also reduces chances of cross-contamination between different tanks. I could probably have kept them in a separate containers, but that increases the number of 'separate items' I had to move by a factor of at least 2x. It was for moving simplicity sake I did it this way.

Finally, I also moved the tank stands and equipments in the same trip so I can restore the tanks' setups on the same day of the move. Hell, I even went as far as to restore the tanks FIRST, before going back and moving the rest of my non-fish related stuffs. Of course this meant I had to rent the u-haul truck for more than a day, but anything to keep my fishes happy, huh?
 
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