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Old 01-22-2011, 11:06 AM   #1
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How long to keep coral/fish in a car journey?

So, I cant get a free weekend for ages and the closest one is in a week when I am visiting relatives. I have been before and they have a number of marine fish and coral specialist retailers. My question is -- How long roughly would be the maximum time some (marine) fish or coral could spend in a car journey. The journey should be about 2.5 hours to 3 hours long. Possibly more if there are delays but maximum could be 3.5 hours. Would it be safe to transport live coral/fish in this time?


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Old 01-22-2011, 11:22 AM   #2
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When I get fish I'm going to be in the same boat, 3-6 hour drive home before fish can see my tank. I've thought a lot about this. My plan is to build a small travel aquarium out of a cooler that won't slosh around during momentum shifts. It will be insulated, heated, with an air supply, (most likely a small airstone), running off of the AC jack in my car.

With travel time that long you have to worry about how cold they will get, especially this time of year, and how much oxygen they'll use. It all depends on the needs of the specific fish. Ie.: If the fish you're transporting just ate, it will use more oxygen trying to digest it's food.

I'd like to add a question to the discussion: Could harmful amounts of ammonia build up in that time?

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Old 01-22-2011, 11:28 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Sounds like a good plan but mine is only really a one-off.
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:36 AM   #4
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Boil some water and keep is in a thermos, add some every hour or so. This will help with oxygen and keep the water warm as well. This is what I did and it worked great, no losses.
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:06 AM   #5
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I've done it a couple different ways. The way that has been most ideal for me is to have a plastic container (rough tote) I have it about 1/2 full of water. I also have a power converter in my car so i can plug in a sm. heater and sm. air pump. Tote can be whatever size best fits your needs & space. I've also transported corals in this set up- i just let then free float in their baggies. I keep them bagged to protect them from banging around & each other.
If you dont have a power converter.... Get a insulated box (most fish stores are happy to give you one if you ask) with a lid. I snitch one of my digital thermometers outa one of my tanks, and get yourself some of those chemical hand warmer things. Leave fish/coral in their individual baggies and pack them into insulated boxso they are snug and dont roll around ( use air filled ones if you have to fill gaps). Tell the fish guy that your transporting them so youd appreciate it if he made sure they were in nice lrg bags with plenty of water (double bagging is great in case one springs a leak). Stick the temp prob down into the cooler. If temp starts to drop or make you nervous.... Stick one of those hand warmer things into the box ( take duct tape & tape to lid). Just make sure to check your temp periodically to make sure it doesnt get to warm (in which case you remove the handwarmer).
I've used both ways & successfully transported fish & corals (3-6 hrs) without any problems.

Good luck!
*whenever I go out of town I take my "portable tank" setup. I love checking out new stores that probably carry stuff I rarely see locally.
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:14 AM   #6
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You could bag 'em and box 'em, like they do when they ship fish to you. They last 24hrs easily. Put them in a bag, then in a styrofoam container to keep it dark so they won't stress.

As abushr said, you can probably get extra styrofoam boxes from your LFS, I know mine was happy to give them away, they had a whole stack of them.


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coral, long

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