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How To Transport Fish To Friend's House


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I am going for a vacation for 3 weeks and I will have my 4 goldies to take care by my friend. She leaves 20 minutes from our house by car.

What should I do? I will probably buy a fishtank or rubbermed container (where can I found this - any link - I want to see how it looks like).

I have a fully cycled fishtank.

Should I fill the new container with water from the existing tank or use fresh dechlorined tap water?

Can I get some gravel from my existing fishtank for good bacteria to the new one?

I will take 1 of 2 filter from the existing fishtank.

I will use one pump based areator with stone.

How I will transport the fishes to my friend's house and get back after vacation. Can I get those plastic bag that petstore uses.

What will happen to my existing fishtank without the fish (nitrogen). If I don't change the water, are there will 21 days of food for the bacteria?

May be I have to re-cycle my tank again...can I do that with all my goldies back into the tank after changing water (how much..75%...100%)?

Should I start my new tank now? Going on vacation from 8/2.

Should I cancel my vacation....I can not.

Sorry for long questioner....I love my goldies....Please help. :cry1

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Can't she just go to your house to take care of the fish? I have my brother take care of my kittens, and he lives 2 hours away from me. I just leave a huge list of detailed instructions.

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Can't she just go to your house to take care of the fish?

I agree. It really, really would be better if she went to your house. You are going to disrupt everything if you try to move your fish. It will stress them out, they will be in an uncycled tank. No matter how much BBs you transport via filter media and gravel, the cycle is still going to be disrupted and unstable and it is going to be far more difficult for your friend to try to control an unstable water cycle than drive to your house. And who knows what might happen to your tank at home sitting without fish as well as having its cycle disrupted by the removal of filter media and gravel. 20 minutes away just isn't that far for her and for the sake and health of your fish, is just so much more advisable.

Edited by lynda441
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Yes, I do understand this problem. Do I need to feed them daily or in how many days in a week I have to feed for 3 weeks. I just can not ask my friend to come daily, that is why I asked this question.

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They can go quite a while without food - I just have people feed 2-3 times a week if I'm out of town, with smaller portions labeled by day and by tank.

Mostly just so someone comes by and makes sure everything is still running.

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It's good to have someone make sure the house is safe too. Make it look like someone still lives there.

Everyone was home last night, and someone ran up and rang our doorbell and ran off. The light in mom's car was on, but we have no idea if anything was taken or not. I could only imagine what could've happened if no one was home.

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They can go quite a while without food - I just have people feed 2-3 times a week if I'm out of town, with smaller portions labeled by day and by tank.

Mostly just so someone comes by and makes sure everything is still running.

Absolutely right! Every 2-3 days is perfect! And definitely, pre-portioning and labeling the food is an almost mandatory idea! Is there any chance that your friend could/would do at least one water change?

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This is what I was about to ask, for feeding I will can request my next door friend who does not have any fish experience but for water change I have to ask my another friend who has fish in her home.

Is the water change absolutly neccessary for this three weeks? Though I do water change every week normally.

Everybody is over booked in the summer and everybody works too so asking for an hour is really I have to request for.

How much water change should I do before going for a vacation?

Thanks in advance.

Edited by SandyDoss
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I would suggest that you do enough of a water change that the nitrate readings are at or below 5ppm. Doing a 100% change is fine - just leave the BB alone. I would suggest rinsing the filter floss/cartridges, etc. too. Done in used fish water, all it removes is the gunk, the mulm that covers and blocks up the filter. Any waste removed by banging them out in used fish water is waste that your biological filter will not need to process - and waste that will not end up as nitrate.

You do not say how big your tank is or what type of filters you have. If you were to transport to a friend's house, you should take BOTH filters - to keep the beneficial bacteria that makes up your cycle alive and functioning. Without it all, the tank would not be balanced or cycled.

If your tank is 20 gallons or so, it is an easy thing to get a large Rubbermaid type tub of 30 gallons or more (you cannot fill them all the way - so the larger size will give you a good 20 gallons of water) and to transport your fish and filters. Do not worry about the gravel - that is a mess and just holds waste. You can drop the filter cartridges, bio-wheels, floss, etc - whatever holds your beneficial bacteria in to a bucket or baggie of used water. Bag up the fish into bags or even just into large buckets - for 20 minutes there is absolutely no problem. The new tub at the friend's house can be filled with 100% new water, the fish added and the filters set on the tub and set running. The fish will be FINE in a tub with no plants or gravel or anything for 3 weeks - just the filters. Have your friend rinse the filter cartridges/floss/sponges every few days - once again.... the less waste that the biological filter has to process means the less water changes.

Leave a test kit with the friend. Have him/her change the water out when the nitrates get to 20ppm..... in an empty tub that simply means scooping out about 1/2 the water and replacing it with dechlorinated water.....a 10 minute job. That is no big deal.

Whether you leave the fish at home or take them to the friend's house, feeding less is advisable. If your fish are adults, you may wish to only feed once every 4 days..... and sparingly. They will be fine.Less in is less out.

Premeasure out the food into baggies. If you have a monthly pill minder, you will have enough slots for 3 weeks, but otherwise, carefully marked packets of food for the days you wish fed will help. It is HARD not to feed fish everyday and/or too much. Having the food premeasured - even for an experienced fish keeper - is a BIG help and will go a long way to preventing foul water and too many water changes for a fish-sitter.

Offer something in exchange for the work - sitting for their fish or dogs or cats. Weeding a garden. Baking cookies...... Most friends will be happy to help for that is what friendship is all about. A tub water change should not take too long - add in travel and time in and out - a 2 hour commitment about twice while you are gone. IF you are indoubt about the friend's familairity with your methods - have them over for dinner and show them as you do it.

:)

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I've also got a word document I print out for fishsitters - I'm happy to share it if people PM me (or I could paste most of it in a thread here so peope could copy and paste their own).

It basically just says what all the fish are, where the test kits are in case anything looks funny, what kind of behavior to be worried about, where the premeasured food is, how to change the water and where the supplies are etc. (Including instructions on "if you can't reach me, how to post to a goldfish forum that is familiar with all my tanks for emergency advice and what to tell them, then do whatever they say and buy whatever they tell you to and I'll repay you...")

It is more than a little OCD, but for a while I was out of town a lot without much notice and had a lot of tanks, so I was never sure how good at pets people stopping by would be. (Okay, the elaborate table that included a photo of each fish and its name is maybe a weeeeeee bit over the top).

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That is NOT over the top. My instructions also include pictures of each of my cats, their names, their favorite treats and toys and "where to look for them" (ie: favorite hidey holes and sleeping spots)!!!!

My sitter is required to look for each fish - to make sure no one is stuck behind a filter or something. She knows little about fish, but dutifully checks each one and makes daily notes for me.

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