Need Advice, Moving BIG Fish...

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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Mar 15, 2006
okay guys, thanks to you, i have the proper filtration on my 3' long arrowana's, the time has come to move her....any suggestions??? my major concern, of course, is her damaging herself and/or going into shock...i can't even begin to think of what to put her sells rubbermaid tubs but they only make them about as long as she is.....whoever reads this, please submit any advice, even ideas.....and i'm sure there are other hazards i am not thinking about......thanks again!!!
Hi - that's not a BIG fish, thats a HUGH fish !!! The only place I've seen one that big was the zoo ! I had to read your post twice to make sure I was really reading 3 FEET !!! Good luck with her - I can tell you're going to be just fine since you're trying so hard.

I would suggest calling a zoo or an aquarium. I'm sure they'd be experts and could give you excellent advice.

Good luck !!!

What size tank do you have to have a fish that large? I mean...that is as long as my tank!
I have never done this but I have seen it work.

Well whatever length the arrowana is, I think a sling style that is used to carry porposes and sharks would work well. It is just a basic sling with soft but tough canvas between 2 sticks to close the top. They are sold in some fishing tackle stores as large fish release nets. If it is a long move, just make sure water can move through the fishes gills to keep it from stressing too much. If it needs to be put in a bucket, keep it in the sling if you can to keep it from hurting itself. Just airate the water really well and I reall think it should work. I have seen television shows showing large tiger muskie being transported in the sling out of the water with a gentle spray to keep their gills wet.

Wether the tank is 3 feet long or the arrowana is, it should work regardless of how long you beautiful fish is. Just make the sling or get one that is just longer the fish so you can manuever the fish if needed without opening the sling.
thanks for your replies guys...yes, she is 3 feet long, i've had her for about 7 main concern is when i "scoop" her up, she is going to go bezerk!!! even if i get a sling, she will still reek havoc. i do like the sling idea though, but not quite sure how to filtrate her "transportation" tank.....again, any sggestions would be very much appreciated.....any other methods as well.....thanks aagain!! by the way marc, she is upgrading from a 125 gal to a 300 gallon tank!!
A really big fishing net, turned sideways at the top when carrying so she doesn't jump out. She'll manage from one tank to the other just fine.
DepotFish said:
A really big fishing net, turned sideways at the top when carrying so she doesn't jump out. She'll manage from one tank to the other just fine.

and she's definitely a jumper!! but what can i put her in during transport? i have a friend who works in the herp aquarium at the local zoo, i am going to see him this week, i just want all/any advice, thanks!!!! also, i uploaded a pic of her, but think it's still pending approval!!! :wink:
How far are you transporting her? Maybe you can get a long window box with no holes. You can put something over it to keep her in. I can't see moving something much heavier than that.
she's going about 40 miles from here.....what's a window box? got a link? thanks again guys/gals....
40 miles huh. WOW!. I would think a long tube might be more effective then. The sling will work, you just have to keep some water at the right temperature so you can keep her wet and comfortable. The tube might be easier to rig up a battery powered air pump, a heater and whatever else is needed. Maybe put a powerhead at one end for a good steady water flow.

There is always the possibility of an anesthetic but I have no advice as to what to use. Maybe contact an aquarium and ask them what they use when they have to operate on a fish.
I will soon be facing a similar situation as yourself. Although I do not have any suggestions as to what you should do, I suggest not using any sort of anesthetic. I could be completely wrong in my judgment. Personally, I would in no way feel comfortable with sedating any small fish. Of course, your pet is not small in comparison with many other pet fish out there. However, it is very small in comparison with any fish I have ever heard of an anesthetic being used on.

I hope everything works out for you and wish you the absolute best of luck.

I will certainly be checking back to this thread in a couple of months when it comes time to move my aquatic friends.

Perhaps keep her in a sling, and buy a small preformed koi pond from a garden dealer for transport? Might have to have someone sit with the fish during transport to make sure she doesnt slip out of the sling.. as the ponds are rather shallow... Just a thought.
Maybe a large picnic cooler? I used a 3 foot igloo cooler to transport a pair of 2 foot long plecos. I know igloo makes bigger coolers than the one I bought, so that may work for you.
Buy a big plastic bin from home depot or something, shouldn't be more than 20 bucks or so. Make sure you get one that's nice and heavy plastic. Fill it with water and use your preferred echlorinator of choice. You can get a power adapter to run an air pump from a cigarette port on the car. If you're worried about her jumping out, you can get some little clamps from home depot and cover the top of the bin with a blanket or something, clipping it to the sides of the bin so that the blanket stays taunt. Get a real big net or something of the sort. A good idea might be to run to academy and pick up a misquito net, i use that stuff for fish applications all the time. You ould use that to make a makeshift swing or net to get her to the car. She should be happy in there for atleast 12 hours or so. Well maybe not happy, but definately alive. If you want to be real nice you might throw some feeders in for the journey, :p. I've been thinking about an arowana lately, but the only thing that really appeals to me is a black arowana, and they're really hard to come by around here. Anyways, hope this helps.

Blugrassboy - were you able to talk to your friend from the zoo ? Dd any other suggestions come out of it ? I'm really curious :)
Just go with the plastic bin. It doesn't matter if it the size of the bin, as long as it gets proper circulation and open air vents then it's fine. Good luck with it, must suck!
okay guys, i moved her, and will post pics DIDNT go so well. i went to walmart, they have 45 gal tubs made by rubbermaid...i filled them up and to my suprise, she went smoothly into the net and into the tub...she never got buck or anything, just gracefully went along for the ride...her new tank was all ready for her and the transport was realitively quick and painless for her. the only problem i had was one i created. when it came time to put her into the new tank, instead of setting the net down in the water and letting her swim out, i, (like a dumb-a**), tried to dump her out of the net. :cry:

now, she is not really doing to well, all her fins got tore and she doesn't really do anything. she just kind of stays in one spot (off the ground) and nods back and forth...all the other fish in the new tank are eating and adjusting fine. I don't know what to do and am panicking majorly...anyone, please help! i added some salt for the wounds and even some melafix. my friend told me she is just an old fish and not used to being moved as the other, younger fish in the tank are. he says she should be just fine and big, old fish need a minimum of at least a week to adjust...she is the ONLY reason i set up this big tank and in this move, i took down and setup a total of 5 fish tanks from fresh to salt and lost no fish. i would have rather lost ALL my other fish than her!!!!!! someone please give any/all advice.....

---it took me a while to setup my new internet in case you guys were wondering, i didn't forget to keep you posted...... :D
okay guys, she seems to be doing a little better...her "back" is now parallel with her head and she seems to be swimming "a little." any advice would sure be great!!! thanks!! (she is still not eating)......and fins are still bad off.
How's she doing now blugrassboy? I'm not really sure how to help you but wanted to respond because I think she's a stunning fish and hope that someone else can help! I'm not sure why you haven't gotten more responses yet; maybe make a post in the Unhealthy Fish forum? Anyhow, I just wanted to see how she was doing because I've been eyeing this thread in fascination (haven't responded, more just looked on in awe) and really really hope that everything turns out okay!
Sorry I was late to give advice. I was going to say, toss it over your shoulder and run to the new tank quickly :lol:

Good news it sounds bluegrass. If a fish is dying, then it would be getting worse, not better. So keep up the melafix treatment (you must go through a bottle a day!), and some aquarium salt, and he should make it out no problem. Make sure to stay w/ the melafix (although expensive) for the entire treatment untill his fins are back up to speed, as to not get a bacterial infection. THAT would be much harder to fix. He should be fine now though from what you said. Keep us updated! (and let me know why you didnt use my method ;))
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