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Nevious About Moving Fish


Nomi

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Well, even though I've been reading as much as possible on the subject, I keep thinking I'm forgeting something, or that I'll do something wrong. I'm probably just worrying too much and everything will be fine, I feel like some advice and stories of moving fish will help.

I've already phoned the airline and asked about having fish, and it is allowed. They asked we arive as early as possible before our flight (not a problem) and the fish be properly stored. I'm planning to make a box for them (lined with a styrofoam sheet on the sides, bottom and top. Is it ok if the box is cardboard, or should I look for something else?) The pet store I had been planning to get oxygen from, however, didn't have any. There is another pet store on the way, so I'll be checking there. Both fish that are coming will have their own bag, and I'll make sure that there is enough room for expansion so that no leaks happen during the flight. But, how much room should I leave? If I leave room, will there be enough oxygen? Is oxygen needed for a one hour flight (plus waiting bafore we leave).

Once we arrive at Whitehorse, we have to stay the night bafore we leave for the 5 hour drive up to Dawson. My aunt has an abundance of rubbermaid containers and has given me the go-ahead to use one to store the fish for the night. I have bought an air pump, and some ammonia remover. For the car ride I have a bucket with a lid and said air pump/ammonia remover. I'm hoping to bring along the rubbermaid, however, as we have to wait a day or two before we can move into my apartment. If any of her rubbermaids have a lid I'll probably ask if I can use them for the car trip.

Is there anything I should know, or do, or bring? My main concern is the air pump, and if it will be enough for the trip.

And share your fish-moving stories! The good, the bad and the ugly. The things you ended up wishing you had, or problems you experienced. I'm sure this will be halpful to more than just me!

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It sounds like you have everything covered. I am just throwing this out there, but a styrofoam cooler of some sort might work better then a box if it is allowed. Good luck with your move. Your fish will be fine.

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Although it sounds like a great idea, I would strongly advise you against a styrofoam cooler. A few years back I made a very small move (only a few blocks) and had a 60 gallon tank to transport. I purchased two medium sized styrofoam coolers to move my fish in and the results were disastrous. I drained the tank and had the fish divied up in their boxes when all of a sudden my boyfriend noticed the box was leaking. Not leaking, but sweating more or less. Kinda like a cold glass of water on a hot day. Very, very bad.

Fortunately, I had some large ziploc bags and hair ties. I felt like MacGuyver rummaging around the almost empty house looking for things that would work. I ended up putting the fish in bags and then using those darned boxes to hold the bags. It was a horrible experience.

Not to freak you out, because it sounds like you have everything covered, but please... do not use styrofoam boxes, in the slight chance a bag bursts I'm afraid the styrofoam box wouldn't hold water for long. However, I do agree cardboard would be a bad idea as well. Maybe you should consider investing in one of those igloo coolers. Might be worth a try... :)

Edited by Desiree
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I have more questions! For the coolers, what type of cooler is best? I'm assuming that I'll get one in a size in which the two bags can stand up and won't wobble around. And, once I do have the cooler, should I just have that alone go on the plane (labeled 'Live Fish') or should I put said cooler in a box (labeled 'Live Fish')?

I'm going to pick up a cooler today when I go pick up some stuff I forgot for my new tank.

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i have just finished moving this week with as of yet, no losses or sickness. this trip i used rubbermaids and styro coolers, though it was about a 2 mile move. i have never had a problem with styro coolers in my own experience. i bought fish at a show, stayed the weekend in a hotel and transported the fish in said styro for the 8 hour car trip with no worries. one thing i do recommend is a battery operated pump for the car rides. works really great and they are cheap. let alone you can use them during power-outages. though on the plane, i dont know if they will let you operate it. check your lfs if they have the boxes that they get their shippments in. they are normally plastic boxes or i have seen some wax-coated cardboard boxesbut a hard cooler will workjust fine. for the ammonia, use some kind of ammo-lock that will bind it for the trip. in addition to that i have used stress coat or salt to help with the stress. they need to be in darkness and it will help too. try not to keep looking at them as it will cause more stress. using slightly cooler water (as to not stress them) helps also when putting them in the tubs. cant really think of anything else. oh, sounds easy but.....try not to worry about them. they will do fine. the more you worry the more likely things to go wrong cause your nervous. hope you have a good move.

just reread your last post. as i mentioned above all will work fine for you. whatever you use, label it for ease. if you use a hard shelled cooler, just carry it. so you wont have to go through the hassle of opening the box, then the cooler when you are declaring it. you want whats easiest for you and the fish. when is the move? hopefully we can get some more posts up here to ease your mind

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i have just finished moving this week with as of yet, no losses or sickness. this trip i used rubbermaids and styro coolers, though it was about a 2 mile move. i have never had a problem with styro coolers in my own experience. i bought fish at a show, stayed the weekend in a hotel and transported the fish in said styro for the 8 hour car trip with no worries. one thing i do recommend is a battery operated pump for the car rides. works really great and they are cheap. let alone you can use them during power-outages. though on the plane, i dont know if they will let you operate it. check your lfs if they have the boxes that they get their shippments in. they are normally plastic boxes or i have seen some wax-coated cardboard boxesbut a hard cooler will workjust fine. for the ammonia, use some kind of ammo-lock that will bind it for the trip. in addition to that i have used stress coat or salt to help with the stress. they need to be in darkness and it will help too. try not to keep looking at them as it will cause more stress. using slightly cooler water (as to not stress them) helps also when putting them in the tubs. cant really think of anything else. oh, sounds easy but.....try not to worry about them. they will do fine. the more you worry the more likely things to go wrong cause your nervous. hope you have a good move.

just reread your last post. as i mentioned above all will work fine for you. whatever you use, label it for ease. if you use a hard shelled cooler, just carry it. so you wont have to go through the hassle of opening the box, then the cooler when you are declaring it. you want whats easiest for you and the fish. when is the move? hopefully we can get some more posts up here to ease your mind

Thank you so much for all the advice!

I do indeed have a nice little battery operated pump, just got some extra batteries for it yesterday. On the plane, I can't have an air pump operating (it is only an hour flight, and I will be adding oxygen to the bags the fish are in). I have ammonia remover for the trip, I don't know if that is similar to ammo-lock though.

As for the cooler, when you mention to just carry it, are you refering to having it as a carry on? Because I'm afraid I'm not allowd to do that, according to the airline rules. I'll most likely add something to stuff in between the two bags to stop them from moving around too much, and maybe some newspaper over the top to reduce any light that sneaks into the cooler. Will that be enough to keep them nice and dark? For the car trip, they will either have a rubbermaid or a bucket with a lid (I have to sleep over at my aunts the night we arrive, since we arrive so late, and have to wait a day in the hotel before I can move into my appartment. So when my fish are not in the car and their bucket w/ air pump, they will be in the largest rubbermaid my aunt has with the air pump, ammonia remover, and water changes).

I fly out on the 29th, but we since I will be shipping most of my stuff (except for what I need for my fish and can fit into a suitcase) in a few days and have been doing a lot of last minute shopping, I thought I might as well get all of the supplies/worry out the way early so I know what I will be doing when we move, and to have time to react to anything that pops up. Thanks again everyone for the advice, it helps a lot.

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call the airline and see if you can carry them on. if they dont let you, make sure that you put the cooler or whatever you use into a box well packaged. throwers (baggage handlers) normally just thow stuff around to get the job done. make sure that the package is well marked with live goods, fragile and this end up arrows. see what it would take to get the fish put with other pets, like traveling dogs or cats...you get the idea

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I've called, and fish are not allowed as carry-ons. I was planning to have the box they are in to say LIVE FISH in nice, big letters. Adding FRAGILE and THIS WAY UP are great ideas too, I'll make sure to add them. I'm pretty sure the fish will be handled as pets and put in a similar area, but I'll double check.

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Well, as it turns out the fish will be considered and treated the same as all other pets traveling as checked luggage (only small dogs, cats, rabbits and birds may be carried on the plane). I believe that pets traveling as checked luggage are loaded seperatly and with special care, and for the fish as long as it says LIVE FISH in nice big letters, all should be well. Since we've phoned they know we are coming and indeed have fish. Of course, this may be different for other airlines (I'm flying air north... here is some info concerning pets on air north: http://www.flyairnorth.com/TravelInfo/Pets.aspx ).

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Hi Nomi...I really hope everything goes well..you cud also talk to the officials and make sure they handle the fish with extra care...take care..hope both Ophie and other fish make it well...take care and good luck!!

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Hi Nomi...I really hope everything goes well..you cud also talk to the officials and make sure they handle the fish with extra care...take care..hope both Ophie and other fish make it well...take care and good luck!!

Thank you! I hope Ophie and Gilbert make it too. I'm sure all will go well, I just need to get everything figured out before I go.

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cool deal. at least you know they will get better treatment than luggage. any other questions, just fire away....thats what we are all here for, to gain and pass on knowledge. good luck with the move

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Thank you all very much. As well, I thought I might list everything that I've got together for the big move! Also, in other good news, I just found out from my very nice landlandy that I will be able to move into my apartment a day early, so Ophie and Gilbert only have to be in the rubbermaid for two nights! (one night before we leave for the car trip and one night after).

For the Airplane:

One 22.7 litre cooler.

Four large fishie bags from the pet store with which to double bag Ophie and Gilbert.

Newspaper to cover the top and stuff between the bags to keep them upright and dark.

(Oxygen will come from a pet store on the way to the airport).

For the car:

One bucket with lid (and a hole for the air pump)

One battery operated air pump

Hose for the air pump

Extra batteries

Air stone and valve for air pump

Prime

Ammonia remover

For the remaining wait to move in:

Large rubbermaid

Said airpump and supplies.

Yup, I feel more all-set now. All the other tank stuff is being shipped tomorrow, I hope everything gets there safely.

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cool deal, glad that you are ready to go.i almost forgot to tell you. dont feed the fish for a couple days before the move. dont worry they will be ok. feed them a little pit of peas as the final meal to clean them out and that way there wont be as much ammonia in the bags and the unsightly waste hanging out with them. you are still gonna need the ammonia remover so do use that as they expel ammonia when they exhale. un, i will keep thinking lol

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