GraveyardHound

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Aug 7, 2019
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Hi There!

I am currently in the process of moving, and that includes my entire collection of fish and reptiles. It is about an 8 hour drive from point A to point B. I have everything mostly figures out. My LFS has kindly offered to fill my bags of fish with oxygen before I leave.

However, I currently have an approximately 16" Silver Arowana that also needs to be transported.

The idea I'm working with now is to use a larger industrial tote with a clamping lid and drill some holes in the top. I have a battery operated air pump that I can hook up to a sponge filter to provide aeration.

The tank is all taken care of, I just would like to hear other keeper's input on transporting large fish.
 
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tlindsey

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Aug 6, 2011
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Hi There!

I am currently in the process of moving, and that includes my entire collection of fish and reptiles. It is about an 8 hour drive from point A to point B. I have everything mostly figures out. My LFS has kindly offered to fill my bags of fish with oxygen before I leave.

However, I currently have an approximately 16" Silver Arowana that also needs to be transported.

The idea I'm working with now is to use a larger industrial tote with a clamping lid and drill some holes in the top. I have a battery operated air pump that I can hook up to a sponge filter to provide aeration.

The tank is all taken care of, I just would like to hear other keeper's input on transporting large fish.

The tote with the battery operated pump with the sponge filter will be great for transporting the Arowana.

The tote with the battery operated pump with the sponge filter will be great for transporting the Arowana.
Also like to add that the tote will get surface agitation from the moving vehicle so Aro will have plenty of oxygen.
 

jaws7777

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Mar 1, 2014
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This is exactly how i moved my fish. I suggest placing some of your bio media in the bins with the fish.

Your existing media and an air stone should be fine

To add you can pick up a cheap inverter and power your air pumps instead of using the battery powered pumps. I find the battery powered pumps weak, i also wanted to avoid having to switch out batteries
 

RD.

Crazy Canuck
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May 9, 2007
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I have a battery operated air pump that I can hook up to a sponge filter to provide aeration.
The inverter is a good idea, and although you already have a battery operated air pump, I would buy either an inverter, or another battery operated unit for back up. Cheap insurance on a long road trip. With larger fish that are transported in Rubbermaid totes I generally run two battery operated air pumps, just to ensure plenty of 02 for an already stressed fish. As already mentioned, I also add a pinch of salt to reduce osmoregulatory stress and depending on the duration I also add a small pinch of Seachem Safe, to neutralize NH3. (free ammonia)

Good luck on your trip, 8 hrs shouldn't present any serious issues.
 

thebiggerthebetter

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Dec 31, 2009
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I've gone 8-12 hours with much larger fish 2'-3' RTC, niger, etc. and 2' arowana too in 15-30 gallon coolers containing just enough water that the fish is covered up to dorsal fin base, without any pumps, just lifting the cover and airing the inside every now and then and driving non-stop (no longer than 5-10 min) so the water keeps sloshing.

I don't recommend it (air pump is better) but goes to show you that even this is doable with enough experience.

I add AmmoLock.
 

fishdance

Piranha
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Jan 30, 2007
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Viktor,
When I move big fish like yours, I put them into a large plastic bag filled with oxygen and this goes within the cooler. To maintain oxygen and to stop water slosh into car.

You can buy standard 200 micron thick bags used to line 55 gallon barrels or use several layers of 2 seat sofa bags. For sharp spine fish, double bag with canvas in between or another bag entirely over the outside of your cooler. And 2 battery air pumps inside the sealed bag just to circulate. Essentially the same as transporting any fish but on a bigger scale. Air driven aerators will work but can't match pure oxygen for dissolved oxygen levels. (I have a DO meter ). The commercial fish truck companies use oxygen cylinders on a slow bleed through their holding tanks on long trips.

Also place the cooler sideways in vehicle so the slosh is sideways otherwise heavier fish can bruise nose /faces.

For fish that aren't flexible, use a narrow cooler so they can't attempt to turn around and get stuck. Smaller is better on this situation.

I also use a chemical binder to remove ammonia and definitely fast the fish 2 - days prior.
 

thebiggerthebetter

Gold Tier VIP
MFK Member
Dec 31, 2009
10,226
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Naples, FL, USA
Viktor,
When I move big fish like yours, I put them into a large plastic bag filled with oxygen and this goes within the cooler. To maintain oxygen and to stop water slosh into car.

You can buy standard 200 micron thick bags used to line 55 gallon barrels or use several layers of 2 seat sofa bags. For sharp spine fish, double bag with canvas in between or another bag entirely over the outside of your cooler. And 2 battery air pumps inside the sealed bag just to circulate. Essentially the same as transporting any fish but on a bigger scale. Air driven aerators will work but can't match pure oxygen for dissolved oxygen levels. (I have a DO meter ). The commercial fish truck companies use oxygen cylinders on a slow bleed through their holding tanks on long trips.

Also place the cooler sideways in vehicle so the slosh is sideways otherwise heavier fish can bruise nose /faces.

For fish that aren't flexible, use a narrow cooler so they can't attempt to turn around and get stuck. Smaller is better on this situation.

I also use a chemical binder to remove ammonia and definitely fast the fish 2 - days prior.
Thank you, bro. This is a real nice way to go and I will keep this in mind, especially for one or no more than a few fish, but for now beyond my capabilities with the tanked oxygen - ain't got it, can't really afford it yet.

What I described above is more pertinent to my earlier rescue times.

Nowadays, I use 150 gal rubbermade totes + air pumps or convert the whole cargo area of my Dodge Grand Caravan van into an 8'x4' pond via a rubber liner (with a carpet underlayment). I can take aboard about 200 gal of water which roughly gives me 1' of depth. The sloshes are monstrous though, the van is rocking and rolling like at sea. I managed to bring 6 paroon sharks, 7 RTC, 4 pacu, 1 TSNxRTC hybrid, 1 channel catfish from Dayton Ohio to Naples Florida, 30 hours one way trip. All fish were roughly 2'. No air pumps.
 
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