Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Mark_C

Moving Interstate With My 3 Fish, Any Advice Welcome

Recommended Posts

I am moving interstate from South Australia to Queensland in just over 10 days, and taking my 3 fish with me (2 comets and a common), I have read through some of the similar posts on here so have a couple of ideas on how to do this, but thought I would post and see if anyone can offer anymore advice, or see any flaws in my plan.

I will be driving a large van 2200KMs, over 3 days, leaving around lunchtime on day 1, I will have 2 overnight stops and hopefully arrive lunchtime (ish) on day 3.

It is summer here and very hot.

I plan to get a large plastic type cooler (about 75 Litres) and get as much water in as seems safe to avoid spills, If I can I will get one with an access flap, if not I will drill holes in the lid to run an airline and to vent it.

I will run a small air pump and stone through the top and power it from an invertor in the van, or get a battery operated one (maybe both as back up)

I will test the water en-route and carry some extra and plenty of Prime to make changes if any ammonia appears

I plan to not feed the fish for 2 days before, and not on the trip, advice would be welcome here as to whether this will be OK, or maybe I should feed them a little on last day

I need to think of how to keep the filter media wet and aerated

I have a couple of things I am not too sure about that maybe someone could advise on

I was wondering whether to try and get one of those small sponge filters that run on an airline, does anyone have any reccomendations either way with this?

Will it be Ok to put filter media in some kind of net inside the same cooler the fish are in? will this give any advantage or disadvantage either way?

I am worried about temperature changes as it is so hot here in Oz, if I notice the temp of the water should I try and reduce it with small amounts of ice cubes?, I can get these easily from garages on the way, should I worry about this or will it not matter too much (the cab of the van is air conditioned so I am hoping it wont change much anyway)

The other worry I have is about the PH of the water at the new location, my tap here is 7.6 and the tank water has always been at that level, I have never made any adjustments, if the water at the new house is different how much variation is safe? I have heard of PH shock and obviously dont want to get them there safely only to have problems in the new tank.

And finally should I use some of the existing tank water in the cooler box when I move the fish? or should I just use fresh treated (with prime) water to fill the cooler?

I think thats all the questions I can think of, any help comments or suggestions are really appreciated

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mark!

Good to see you again :)

I hope you'll get more answers on this soon from others and especially from anyone who has actually done this kind of car move - I have not. But I will comment on a few things you mention.

I would say your top priorities are most importantly two: keeping the water a) well oxygenated and b) ammonia free for the duration of the 3 days/nights trip.

As long as the water has plenty of D/O your fish will be safe in warmer water (but not exceeding 79/80F)

I would not feed them the day before the trip- just the one day. And maybe not during the trip if you cannot do a water change properly. 4 days total, they should manage. I would not want to starve them longer personally, I know your fish are still not so big.

I would add ammonia chips or similar to the water if you can place them so that the bubbler is passing bubbles over them (they are activated with dissolved oxygen). These will last you around one week, binding any ammonia to make the water safer. A small pack will probably not last much longer than 5-7 days before its ability to bind expires and the ammonia is released back into the cooler. However these chips might be worth looking into for a short trip like this with no cycle to worry about.

Which brings me to the other question you had about whether to use tank water. There is no need to. You can however hang ALL the -rinsed well- filter media in the cooler inside a stocking and tied firmly- again -it should be in way of some bubbles to keep the bbs oxygenated. But the bbs may be compromised so you will have to be prepared for close monitoring when you arrive and set up again :)

pH difference shouldn't be more than a difference of .2 either way. 3 or. 4 up is safer than down. Aim to acclimitise them extremely

slowly whatever the difference and slower if there is more pH difference than .2 or 3.Baking soda is useful for aquick fix but needs monitoring in case it suddenly drops back down.

I hope you get some more tips and very :goodluck . I'm sure you'll manage fine.

P.S How is Splash doing these days?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Trinket,

I haven't been online very much in the last few weeks, busy preparing to move all my clutter across the country, I have been up there twice (moving my cars into storage) and forgot to test the water on both trips DOH!

I have some "PH down" additive, I will need to get some baking soda just in case I need to raise it

I will have a look for the ammonia chips at the lfs tomorrow, and get a thermometer just to keep an eye on the temperature, I have noticed the floor of the van gets quite hot so that is why I was worried, but the cooler should keep the temps fairly stable I hope.

Splash is doing very well now thanks, she still has a small white spot on her nose, and her jaw/lip is obviously not right, but she feeds quite well now, albeit I still use the breeder basket to allow her to get a good feed most days as she cannot compete properly with the other 2, but I really enjoy feeding her as she is so friendly, and my daughter does it when I am not here.

The other 2 have decimated the plants in the tank, and are continuing to grow, they are constantly looking for food, so they seem healthy and happy.

I have kept the water at .1% salt, and they get a varied diet, with peas once or twice a week as they love them.

I really hope all goes well with this move, I did consider, some time ago, trying to find a new home for them, but all the people I know who may have been interested were not people I would trust to look after them properly, so as they are family, they have to come with us, and I will do my best to make a good safe travel tank for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey MarkC! Great to hear that Splash is doing well and ready to move to her new home! :)

Just wanted to let you know that you are one of the best fish dads I have ever seen. The story of Splash and how you handfed her is still one of my favorites of all the posts I have read here. And you are setting such a wonderful example for your daughter, showing her that even little fish are worth a lot of trouble, and that pets are a part of the family, too.

Good luck with your move and I hope its a smooth one. I can't imagine it being hot anywhere this time of year! But then I guess during our summer when it was sweltering it was cold in Oz, huh?

Funny. :yeah:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IT sounds like you have firgured things out really well..... and your move should be going well. The suggestion for using Zeolite (ammonia chips) is a great one. You are, however, in a bit of a quandry with the filter media - and keeping your cycle bacteria viable for the trip. If you use the zeolite in sufficiant amounts to remove and bind all the ammonia, the BB in your filter media will not have anything to "eat" and will die back.

The good thing is that you will have a fair amount of ammonia. You have a couple of options - and maybe do a bit of both to cover your bases. Having the air bubbler passing up through a bag of zeolite will, indeed, be a great filter. Air actually moves a fair amount of water up and past things - and you can have a fairly good amount of ammonia processing simply this way. But, because you will not have "perfect" turnover of ALL the water in the tub, there will still be some ammonia left. Dropping a baggie of BB laden media into the tub with perhaps an air bubbler under it, too, will pass some of this ammonia past the BB and feed them. You can also put a baggie of media in a plastic bag filled with ammonia water (no greater than 2ppm) and seal it up. This will keep as long as it is wet for about 7-10 days.

The sponge filter idea is excellent, but, unless you have fully seasoned sponges that you are bubbling through, you will not get enough ammonia/nitrite processing. If you have sponge filters that you have been running on your tanks for a month or two at least - great. Otherwise, it is probably not worth worrying about. Go with the zeolite baggies and air and/or the media baggies and air.

You can easily recharge the zeolite mid-trip if you wish. Have a small quart container and some aquarium salt. Dump the ammochips into the container along with a couple of Tablespoons of salt and water. Shake it up and let it sit. When you want to use the Zeolite again, just rinse it well and it is set to bind more ammonia. If you do not want to recharge it, simply buy enough that you can dump the used batch and add in new. I would change it or recharge it at least every 3 days. When I run Zeolite on a tank (1 LARGE fish in 20 gallons) I use 1/2 cup Zeolite, recharged every 2 days. That is with a LARGE fish and full feeding, though. You will have less.

I hope your trip goes well - and stress free. Moving is always exciting! If you feel the pH is dramatically different, simply do the "water change dance" when you arrive. Take out a couple of quarts of "old water" and add in a couple of quarts of "new water". Keep doing this every hour or so for a day. The fish will be gently moved into the new water parameters.

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ThRtst

Ave Mark!

I'm glad to see this post, as I am facing a similar situation at the end of this month, of course, your trip will span over a much greater time period than mine, lol. I was going to try getting some Kordon breathable bags, and packing them as if they were going to be shipped, but I probably won't be able to get any before the move, so I need a change of plans myself. Unfortunately, most of the information that one can find about moving with fish seemingly covers drives of only a few hours (less than ten). A coworker told me yesterday to just get a bucket with a battery powered aerator, but I'm not sure if this is wise for a drive of at least 20 hours for me, and three days for you!. I recall my roommate losing 1 or 2 cichlids after transporting them 15 minutes from his old place. Good for him, he considers his fish more as decorations than pets (Don't get me wrong though, he's an experienced aquarist who takes VERY good care of his fish). What about us who are attached to our fish that have personalities and/or special needs? Personally, I'm starting by getting my fish prepared by feeding them stuff besides standard fish flakes, like bits of orange and other fruits high in vitamin C. Hopefully this'll help build up their fortitude for the move at hand.

From what I've heard so far, its best to make the fish and tank the absolute last things you pack up and leave with, and the first things you set up. Don't feed the fish for about two days before the trip, as this cuts down on the waste and ammonia they'll produce, since they're sitting in unfiltered water, although it sounds like you're planning on partially fixing that with the Prime and all. Fish generally won't eat when they're stressed, and transporting is stressful for them. On the day of your move, pack the fish in the cooler as close to the departure time as you can. Move the fish in their water. Partially fill up your cooler with water from the top of the tank, since it it usually clearer and cleaner, and put the fish in the cooler. Only put your aerator in the cooler, no rocks or anything (maybe not even filter media), since they can shift and injure your fish. After you have the fish in the cooler, put more water from the tank into it, as much as you can without causing spills, as you said. It's recommended that you take with you as much as the tank water as you can, in extra buckets and such, although this is your call, but you can avoid problems with ph that way. When this is done, drain the rest of the tank, remove the gravel, decorations, and equipment, and quickly get it ready to go. Put the fish in the van, and GOGOGO! That last bit is primarily common sense, but I know I found it useful, since I'm prone to being a poor planner, and admittedly hadn't thought of it. It's also recommended that you treat the water with stresscoat and other medications to help healing from any injuries that occur on the road.

All in all though, your plans look really solid, I might have to steal them, lol. Good Luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Halloween

I guess all I can offer is make sure the lids of all fish coolers are on TIGHT and strap them bad boys in so they don't flying around and over turn.

I always keep a small plastic trash can seatbelted into my car in case I find a fish and have to bring it home :) I just place the bag with the fish inside the trash can and pack towels in around it so it doesn't get sloshed around or upset. But then again, I drive like the devil is after me so I seatbelt everything in my car including bags of purchased household goods hahaha. I've over turned to many full glasses and cans of drinks to not!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just want to reiterate Mark, please fill the cooler with completely new water. Your beneficial bacteria are almost all in the filter media and not in the water itself. What is in the water is a lot of free floating debris and bacteria that you don't want the fish in on the journey for 3 days. It's different maybe if your trip is just 30 minutes down the road and its possible to pick up where you left off, but 3 days is a while to go without a water change for stressed fish in water full of bacteria to start. The way to preserve your cycle is not via the water but via the media/ceramic noodles/sponge etc.

You have 10 days. I would start now seeding more media in a hose hanging in your tank. Even in 10 days you may get quite alot of bbs collecting like that and can also preserve those in the way daryl suggested.

If the water gets hot you can add ice in a tupperware box or plastic bottle floating on top (so you dont have to worry about the water in the ice not being treated). This method though only drops the water temp by about 1 degree and the ice can melt in seconds. We have the same hot summers and I free float frozen bottles in my tanks but they are defrozen and need replacing within a few hours!!If you have access to frozen bottles on route these will last much longer than ice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice everyone :thumb:

I have been out today and picked up

a small battery operated air pump (as backup in case my power invertor has problems)

A sponge filter, I thought about this one and figured as I have 10 days left if I run it in the tank now I may get a good BB growth on it, so I figured it was won't do any harm and was worth a try.

I asked for Zeolite or some kind of ammonia chips, the product he had there was called Wardleys Ammogon, anyone used this? he said this was what they used and it was good, it can be recharged in the way Daryl mentioned.

The problem I am having at the moment is getting a decent large cooler, for some reason all the shops only seem to have ones under 40 litres now, or ones that have poor quality drain bungs I would not trust

So back out to more shops today and see what I can find

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I managed to get a good coolbox today from a friend who wanted to downsize (bought a new smaller box for him)

It is about 70 litres, has food grade plastic lining, screw in drain bungs (so it is watertight) and has a handy small access flap in the lid which will be great for running the air hoses through with much less spillage risk.

So now I could do with some more advice if anyone can help please

I need to make sure it is fully cleaned out and sterile for the fish, has anyone got suggestions of what to use? I am not keen on bleach as it worries me

I have some Potassium Permanganate, and heard somewhere that could be used for sterilising, can anyone advise how to do this?

I have been running my smal sponge filter for a few days now, so hopefully that is getting some nice bb on it, I was unsure if I have it set up right though, and there were no instructions I assume it sits so that the bubbles do not exit through the sponge but out of the tube insead?? does this then draw water in trhough the sponge?

Maybe I should post a picture to help the description?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A pic always helps us see what you are working with and you are more likely perhaps to get people chiming in with some useful advise.

Meanwhile, I dug out a post by daryl on using PP to nuke anything and will paste it below.

Here you go.. :)

Potassium permanganate is one of the best disinfectants possible. It will take care of just about anything biological. Soak what ever you want to disinfect in a solution of PP that is bright purple for about4 hours. If the solution turns brown, add more until it is purple.

You can fill a tank up to the top and run it purple - through the filters and all and kill everything in the tank. (Remove the fish, please - they will die, also)

IF you have a deep gravel base, remember that any disinfectant cannot reach into every granny of it - and will not do it all. If you really need to zap the WHOLE tank, remove all the gravel and boil it at a rolling boil for 10 minutes. Add about 1T salt to 1 quart of water to increase the boil kill. Or pressure cook - this will kill even the alien infection from outer space or the nasties that never die from Toothless's tank.

If I am "nuking" a tank, I take out everything. Gravel is boiled. Ceramic/rock/bioball media is boiled. Any "soft" media is discarded (sponges, floss, etc.). The biowheel, all the decorations, plastic plants, etc. are dropped in the clean tank. The tank is filled to the very top and the filter is set running with no media, no biowheel. Then the PP is added until it is bright purple. This is run this way for 4 hours. At the end of 4 hours, hydrogen peroxide is added to the tank until the water is clear. Then the tank is emptied, things are rinsed and the tank can be reset and started for fish/cycle again.

A standard concentration of 1:12 bleach/water is what is used for most infectious agents. Some more stubborn infectious agents require a 1:10 concentration. Live plants cannot survive this concentration. 1:19, as Sandy has stated is ok for those. It will not kill all - but will get a lot off the plant. The best way to make sure a plant is clean is to place it in a "iso" tank for a time. Many problems cannot survive without a fish host. A good dechlorinator can detoxify the bleach when you are done.

Between bleach, potassium peroxide, and boiling, you can pretty much sterilize just about anything you want.

By Mod Daryl.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again Trinket.

Here is a pic of the sponge filter I have

filter.jpg

I assume this is the correct way to run it as they were all in the packets this way up, but there were no instructions to make it clear, so thought I would ask here.

Will have a go at sterilising the cool box later with the PP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like you're doing well in preparing your fish, it's going to be a hard slog up to here from SA though, I hope you have air conditioning in the car!! Are you going inland to Sydney then coastal? Or inland all the way? I dunno if you've done it before but it could easily go above and beyond 50C (120+F) in a car without air con. We did the inland route from Sunshine Coast/Melbourne about 10yrs ago without air con, none of us faired well, especially the poor old dog! :P Did the coastal route from Brisbane - Melbourne (pacific/hume highway) last year but we had air con and it was fine. Brisbane's having its coldest summer that I've ever known so that'll be good for you :) you can't escape the humidity though..

I think the hardest thing will be keeping the temperature stable. I reckon it would be easy to change the temp (i.e make it cooler with ice), but keeping it stable may be more of a problem. The only thing I can suggest, which has already been suggested, is to keep a constant supply of ice in the cooler, but not necessarily in the water, and just keep replacing it as it melts, but change the ice before it melts completely to keep the temperature more stable. Does that make sense haha?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Svendenhowser,

Yes my van has aircon, and it's white, which helps a lot, I will be travelling inland all the way, through NSW and into QLD at Goondiwindi, then through Warwick.

I have made the trip a couple of times recently and it wasn't too hot in the van, but it is worrying, hence the questions about the ice, that was why I wanted a fairly good esky (cool box) to keep them in, hoping it will help to keep the water temperature stable for longer.

The last couple of times I travelled I did it in 2 days of driving, starting early morning at sunrise and made it to Brisbane by mid afternoon on day 2, this time I thought we could not leave until mid day due to the house sale, and it would then take 3 days on the road, but I have had confirmation yesterday that I can leave early and do not need to wait until completion, so that's good news.

I am now hoping that none of the roads will be closed due to flooding as some were just recently

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Righto air con will make a big difference, I don't think you'll have too many problems then!

As far as I'm aware there would only be road closures in northern nsw (coast), we've had a fair chunk of rain here, but no flooding and certainly not much out Warick/Goodiwindi area. I was out at Warick only a month or so ago, it was pretty dry.. Don't know about south of there though?

The shorter the trip the better, but it's pretty scary, all those long, deserted roads, keep safe!!

Where are you planning to move to in QLD? I love it up here :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have rented a house in Wellington Point, we will be there for 6 months at least, but when we get our own place (or build) we may move a little, but want to stay somewhere in that area.

Where abouts are you located?

Yeah we loved it in Qld too, hence the move, we are really looking forward to it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you are driving along the coast of nsw towards the north there has been alot of rain and a fair few roads have been washed out i know it is not as far as you are traveling but we went up to our holiday house yesterday which is at port maquarie and alot of the roads were washed out it took ages to get there. we will be going there again for the weekend so it should be better

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh awesome, I'm at Clayfield (near the airport), 6km from the CBD. Wellington Point would be nice! I have two friends who live in Raby Bay, lovely place :)

Dan he said he was taking the inland route, so not near the coast until Brisbane I assume, should be safe from any flooding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh i see i did not see that my bad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everything is sterilised now.

I took the plants (whats left of them) out of their tank last night when I did a water change, as I didn't want them eating those while I was not feeding them, also took all of their ornaments out to for sterilising and packing, looks really bare in there now, I may put one back though for a couple of days as they usually sleep behind it.

I am planning to do daily water changes now for next few days till we move, as someone suggested this would help "flush them through" when I stop feeding them

Did anyone have a look at the sponge filter pic? is it running correctly that way up?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just about ready to go, tomorrow is packing up day, will put the fish in the cooler last thing tomorrow night, then a few hours sleep and away we go.

Keeping everything crossed they will be OK on the journey, I have tried to plan for every eventuality.

Thanks everyone for the help and encouragement, I will be offline for a while now until we get a connection at our new house, but will let you all know how it went as soon as I can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck!! Cya in Queensland :hi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You will be fine Mark! I moved 1200 miles with my goldfish in August and everyone was fine! I had them in a tub with 2 sponge filters and holes drilled in the top. Every morning I used Prime as I had no chances to do a water change. Good luck! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all,

Just got my internet access set up here in Queensland.

Just thought I would let everyone know the move went OK.

The cool box worked a treat, and I had a big bucket of tank water with filter media, which seems to have done OK so far too, but I am monitoring this regularly.

The fish were fairly freaked out in there but seemed to calm down after a few hours, I did have one little incident though, I was changing some of their water (I took 60 litres spare with me) at the start of day 2, and poor Splash decided to swim over to my hand, she bumped into the hose I was syphoning with and lost some scales in a big ring on her side :(

I was worried I had hurt her, but she seems to be doing fine now.

The water here was almost the same PH, it was 7.4 instead of the 7.6 they are used to, so with a little Bicarb of soda, and the rest of the water I had in tanks for them I got it fairly close, I am now weaning them onto the new water over the next couple of changes.

I have kept their tank fairly empty for now, and have no gravel in the bottom, I had been thinking of this fo a while as Splosh keeps getting stones stuck in his mouth, so for now I will keep it like this, but may get some finer gravel later, so the stones are smaller and should cause less problems.

One other thing, for those who have followed Splash's progress when she was ill, she is now feeding OK with the other fishes, which is great, I still watch her carefully to make sure she gets her share, but she seems Ok so far, although I am missing feeding her seperately in her basket a bit, as it was always nice to spend the time with her.

For anyone else worrying about a big move like this, I am happy to say it can definitely be done, with a little preparation and planning, all will be fine, when I get a spare minute I will post some piccies of the setup I used for moving.

Thanks again to everyone for their advice, encouragement and support, this is a great forum :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello there Mark and welcome to your new home :D . Congratulations :flowers . I bet your glad that's over! And you have arrived safely.

I am so happy to hear things went well, it required quite a lot of preparing and thought this move and I think a photo report of how you did it - would be very useful and helpful to have on the board for other people who may have to do a long distance move.

Poor Splash, she's always the one that has the problems!Plain old perfect water with the 0.1% salt you run will soon heal up the missing scales. I'm glad the pH wasn't hugely different, lets hope your KH is still strong so there are no dips and dives with that later on.

I'm so chuffed Splash is eating with the gang and completely better, that columnaris takes several months to work its way out of the system evidently and she has pulled through with flying colors :#1 .

I hope you are enjoying your new home and area, I expect your fellow Ozzies will join in soon and welcome you to Queensland.

Congrats again on a successful move :goodjob:flowerss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...