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Old 01-22-2015, 05:41 PM   #1
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Transporting a fish tank

I have a daunting task in front of my and I was hoping to get some advice from anyone who may have faced similar challenges. I'll be relocating to a new city in about two week time and would like to bring my 10 gallon tank with me. It will be riding on the backseat of a 4-door honda civic for a 5 hour journey.

The tank is currently stocked with 3 adult endlers, 3(ish) juveniles and enough fry to make it difficult to get an accurate count. I'd say there are around 15 fish total. There are also close to a dozen red cherry shrimp most of which are young.

My game plan right now is to partially drain the tank into my 5 gallon bucket and then net out as many critters into that bucket as possible. Then further drain the tank ideally to the point that I can carry it without breaking my spine while also allowing whatever might be left with enough water to not suffocate. The tank would only be at this really low water level while I carry it to the car so hopefully no longer than 15 minutes.

At that point I would return the water in the bucket, including the fish, to the tank for the length of the drive. When I arrived I would have to repeat that process to get them into the bucket and carry the tank into their new home.

During this time I obviously won't be able to run the heater or the filter. I'm hoping that keeping the car air temp at a comfortable temperature would permit the water temp to remain in an acceptable range. I plan to remove the filter itself and keep it submerged in some tank water so as to preserve as much of the biological filter while it isn't running.

Does all of this sound feasible? If you have any ideas or points of concern I would love to hear them. Thanks for reading!
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:19 PM   #2
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Keeping the filter in a bucket of tank water sounds good.

Imo trying to transport a tank with water would be risking the tank and your back when you try to get it on/off the seat.

I would break down the tank for transport. Gravel and filter in a bucket of tank water. Fish in another bucket with lid and battery powered air pump.
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Old 01-24-2015, 06:35 AM   #3
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I'd treat it as if I was going to ship the fish. Bag them up, make sure there's oxygen in the bag, put the bags in an insulated cooler and pack it so they can't roll around. Cover the cooler and keep it dark to keep them calm. If you wanted to be extra cautious add a tiny amount of methylene blue to the bags to reduce chances of ammonia/nitrite poisoning. It'll be less stressful than constantly moving them around in the tank and having them in the tank the whole time.

Also, you can buy converters that can plug into the car's cigarette lighter that will allow you to run an air pump or electrical devices if you chose to go another route.


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Old 01-24-2015, 08:43 AM   #4
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I'd use a small cooler, add half tank water and half spring water, dose with prime, you can get a battery powered air pump for a few bucks, do it.. also consider placing some hot hands under the cooler if temp is a concern, keep fikter media in the cooler with the fish, I'd bag the shrimp with moss or plants and keep them in a separate small cooler. Keeping it as dark as possible will aid in overall comfort in this stressful experience. Tank may as well be broken down, gravel or substrate in a bucket. Tank cleaned up nice nice. That way you don't have to worry about it twisting and blowing a seal. Take great care in all this and you'll be all set
When I move I may as well commit myself.. 4 heavily planted tanks.. 100 fish I'm gong to pay the lfs guy to come help haha.
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Old 01-24-2015, 09:13 AM   #5
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I guess if it did spring a leak, you would have to get another (larger) tank
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Old 01-24-2015, 01:00 PM   #6
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shipping a 1/2 full tank is looking for disaster it could possibly crack or even split a seam
its not hard to use a 5 gal bucket to transport your fish and another 5 gal bucket for all the gravel and decorations it will give you a chance to clean out the gravel and stuff just keep your filter media in a gallon zip lock baggie along with some tank water , this also gives you a chance to clean the tank ,
you'll have the seeded media along with the 5g of existing tank water to start up the tank and you can use prime , fresh water tanks are cake compared to salt
half the time I ever relocated I just used clean water and just added fish never had any issue's and this was many years before I knew anything about fish keeping ,
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Old 01-24-2015, 07:27 PM   #7
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Still thinking of a bigger tank
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