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Old 12-17-2008, 04:40 PM   #1
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Keeping fish alive on an 8 hour trip

Hey everyone,
Well i have wondered for a while but have always forgot to ask. Heres my question. How or is it even possible to keep fish alive for an 8 hour trip from North carolina to Georgia (by car)? I tried a while back to do it but the 4 fish died. But the 2 craw fish made it. The fish are very small just over an inch and the 2 types of fish that they are is some type of Darter and i think the other type is a dace. They are coming out of my grandparents creek and will not have any other tank mates except what comes from that creek. Can they possibly make a 8 hour trip? thanks for all help.
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Old 12-17-2008, 04:41 PM   #2
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Get a big tupperware bin, a heater, and a car inverter to run the heater.
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Old 12-17-2008, 04:45 PM   #3
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Bag em up and put them in a cooler away from light. Keep them away from vents. 8 hours isn't a big deal as fish are shipped in bags for longer than that.
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:18 PM   #4
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You'll probably want to feed little two days before, not feed them the day before and treat the water in the bags with AmQuel+ or something that will lock up ammonia and keep the water quality up as well.
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:31 PM   #5
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Thanks jonny but i think im going to go with the bag thing. just saves alot of hastle. The fish live in cold water so i doubt i'll need a heater. Should i try to get an extra large bag or something?
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:42 PM   #6
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Depends on the size of the fish. If the fish is too big, you'll need a bucket or rubermaid container. Something with a lid. You can check your lfs and see if they have any larger bags. Ours gives bags based on the size of the fish. Adult AC's are usually in the XL bags while Tetras and corys are in the small.
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:54 PM   #7
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I would really recommend a styrofoam cooler. The bait buckets you can get at WalMart or similar are a good design for this. Bags of fish can nest comfortably inside, but you really do want the insulation. It's unlikely you'll be keeping the temperature inside the car the same as the fish were used to, and adding a temperature swing to the existing stress can't be good. The cooler provides enough insulation to make any temperature change they feel very slow.

I also agree with the suggestion to minimize food before the trip and add Prime or something preemptively to deal with ammonia.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:55 PM   #8
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Oh ok alright guys. Thanks for all the help. Next time i go up to NC i will make sure i have the right stuff for the trip. And i'll get the biggest bags the store has just to be safe.
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:25 PM   #9
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Ive moved mine in rubber maid tubs..for over an 8 hour trip. NO deaths just a little stressed.
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:39 PM   #10
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I'm not so sure about bags. I'd be worried about oxygen and CO2 levels. I'd want some air interface to the atmosphere.
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:50 PM   #11
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I think 8 hr is not too long . When i carry fish, sometimes more that 24 hrs. What i do is, don't feed them for a day. Use plastic bag , put water 20% of the plastic bag volume. If the fish is big , u need a bigger plastic bag . After that put in fish and take out all air from plastic bag. And fill with Oxgen and tightly close(i don't know how to write that word)the plastic bag. Put the plastic in the foam box. fish will stay for 48 hours in the bag without doing anything. if the fish stay in cold water, just put abottle of ice water in the box
Just sharing.
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:08 PM   #12
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If I was planning on an 8hour trip and I had some of my soon to have $30 white spotted cichlids, I would end up buying some breathable bags and a low hour heat pack. If they were not as important fish, I would feel fine with the big bag/cooler idea.
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Old 12-18-2008, 04:29 AM   #13
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I assumed FishyFanatic was talking about those Kordon breather bags... I agree I wouldn't seal them in something airtight. I do think there is benefit to taking some steps to minimize sloshing of the water, which breather bags would do.
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Old 12-18-2008, 01:10 PM   #14
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I do not use breather bags. I just use the regular LFS bags. When we moved from college back home it was about 14 hours from the time they were bagged till the time they started acclimation. After about 9 hours I opened the tops and poured them all into a rubbermaid container. It's easier to acclimate that way. No deaths. We moved all of the African Cichlids, German Blue Rams, Angels, Tetras, Corys, Plecos, and Barbs this route.
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Old 12-18-2008, 04:23 PM   #15
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alright thanks guys.
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:34 AM   #16
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Breather Bags would are perfect for smaller fish with soft rays. I highly recommend them though they aren't necessary, and you WILL want to avoid them for larger fish that can rip the bags. Double bagging with Breather Bags is not a good idea because it defeats te concept behind the breathable bag, which is to allow gases to permeate across the membrane in both directions. Adding multiple layers will rapidly decrease the effectivness of the bags.

However, I don't think it's the container that you keep them in so much as it is the temperature remaining consistent. I agree that you should put them into a styrofoam container or use heat packs, or both.

Personally, I'd get a medium sized plastic bag...one that is meant or often used to ship fish. I'd fill the bag pretty full of water so that when you tied it off you have a 2/3 water to 1/3 air ratio, but that's if you are adding Bag Buddies, which will neutralize ammonia and the like, and will add oxygen to the bag. If you don't have Bag Buddies, I'd go with a 1/3 water to 2/3 air ratio. The purpose of having more water is to keep the ammonia level down and at the same time more water will help keep the temperature stable.

Tie off the medium sized bag and put it knot side facing down into another bag of equal or greater size. The reason for putitng the knot down is so that air cannot escape through the water and out of the bag. This is the common method used to ship fish. You could also wrap the outer bag many times with newspaper. This will help to insulate the bags keeping temps constant, and it will cushion the bags from bumps, etc. I'd then put the bag into either a styrofoam box. styrofoam lined container, or a 5 gallon bucket with lots of newspaper and put a couple of heat packs in there and put a lid on the bucket. 8 hours is nothing though so I wouldn't be too worried.
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:40 AM   #17
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Ok thanks. Can i get breather bags at places like pet smart and petco.
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:45 AM   #18
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I doubt they have them...you'll have to order them directly from the Kordon. I'd just ask your LFS for some of the bags that they bag their fish in if you'd purchase them in the store. They should sell them cheap or give them to you.
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:30 AM   #19
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oh alright thanks
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Old 12-22-2008, 01:49 PM   #20
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The darters i tried bringing the first time looked similar to this. Does anyone know what kind this is?
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