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Moving house with a fish tank


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Old 01-02-2013, 22:11
Pete Callan
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I should be moving house within the next couple of months or so if details are finalised and for the most part I've got everything planned in my head - except for the fish. I've got a 120 litre tank with between 13 to 17 inhabitants in there (impossible to tell with how some hide), and I don't know what to do for the best. Clearly I'll have to empty the tank, it'd be impossible to carry, but where do I put the fish? And how long can they survive out of the filtered water? I'm moving about five miles away, so they'd probably be out a couple of hours if I waited for the new water to settle and filter through first. Too long?
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Old 01-02-2013, 23:09
surfie
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I should be moving house within the next couple of months or so if details are finalised and for the most part I've got everything planned in my head - except for the fish. I've got a 120 litre tank with between 13 to 17 inhabitants in there (impossible to tell with how some hide), and I don't know what to do for the best. Clearly I'll have to empty the tank, it'd be impossible to carry, but where do I put the fish? And how long can they survive out of the filtered water? I'm moving about five miles away, so they'd probably be out a couple of hours if I waited for the new water to settle and filter through first. Too long?

Any filter media can be kept in a bag with some of the tank water, even the gravel which should help preserve the bacteria needed to re-establish the tank once it's in place and refilled.

As for the fish, it may be possible as well that your local fish stockist may take you fish in on "holiday" during the move for a fee. That way at least you'd have a week or so to get the tank conditions settled down to re-introduce the fish.

The only other way I can think of in an emergency is to get some large bags from you fish stocking which should be able to hold enough air for the fish during the move and provide enough oxygen. Get a large and strong enough plastic box to put the bags in and polystyrene chips to put around the bags to give them some insulation during transport.

Then if the electricity is already on when you move in, make sure the water heater is on, then once the tank in in place and the tank set up, fill the tank with a mix of hot and cold water so the temprature is warm enough to re-introduce the fish without having to wait for the heater to bring the tank up to temprature.
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Old 01-02-2013, 23:12
Muze
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Might be best to ask to ask a local enthusiat to help your help tbh.

I found this link Googling quickly if it's any help http://www.aquaone.co.uk/moving_fish.php

I remember once a couple of us involved in rescue removed 18 large Koi from a pond and transported them over two hours away in the back of a landrover. They had to be put in temporary tanks (pre-prepared) whilst the pond settle but all survives unscathed.

Not sure how much help that might be, but hope your move goes smoothly
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Old 01-02-2013, 23:54
Pete Callan
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Thanks for the advice. The water should be on already as it will be a house swap, so at least I don't have to worry about that.

I did think about putting them in a large storage box, but with it going in the car it'd probably be too rough for them wouldn't it. There are road bumps down almost every residential street from this to the new house!
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:02
xdow
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best off bagging them, they're less likely to be injured in bags (and there will be less mess!)

i moved my sisters partners fish for them when they moved house they only moved three miles, but the extra two is about 10 minutes tops in a car i'd say so you should be fine.

basically the key will be to keep your filter media and gravel in some tank water to try and keep the bacteria alive.
we caught the fish and put them in large bags, then tied them shut making sure there was plenty of air in them, we then stood them in an under bed storage box, ready to move (it was a very warm day so losing heat wasn't much of a worry - the fish were being slowly re-introduced to the tank at the other end anyway.

next we emptied the tank, taking a bucket of tank water, we took the filter and heater out and placed them in the bucket, along with plants and decorations.
the heater was left turned off, but we left the filter running (keep this turned off for as little time as you possibly can to give the bacteria the best chance of surviving)

next we emptied the rest of the water out, just keeping enough to keep the gravel (in a second bucket) wet (water level was about 5mm above the gravel)

these were the last things we moved to the car to take. and the tank was the last thing put in the van.
the filter was unplugged as we left the house and the bucket carried to the car, once at the other end, this was the first thing plugged in.

the tank was taken out of the van, put in its place and the gravel thrown back in and new water prepared to temperature, water conditioner well mixed in and added to the tank, making sure to try and roughly match the temperature setting on the heater.
heater was returned to the tank, along with the filter, decorations, plants and the remaining old water.

while it was all running and clearing we floated the fish in their bags in the water and opened the bags

they were very, very slowly re-introduced to the water over about 2-3 hours, adding a small amount of the tank water to the now open bags, at a time.

obviously it's a very time consuming way of doing it, everyone was working around me to bring the furniture into the house, but it was worth it in the end as all fish survived and there was no trouble with water quality.

this was only a 60 litre tank however, with a 120 it may be a bit more difficult, but this was just how we did it x
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Old 03-02-2013, 20:27
malaikah
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I've just done this ... and it did previously with a 4' tanganyikan tank. Everyone survived despite being bagged for about 48 hours or something excessive

Get some fish bags from your lfs, and if it is cold put them in a freezer bag/ cooler box.

This time I left the tank until very very very last - drained most of it - bagged the fish and put them safe - put all tank decor pump etc in a bucket - moved the lot and placed the bagged fish somewhere safe while the tank was set up. My 15 odd weak and non hardy common tropicals this time all survived well a 36 hour inprisonment in a yucky mucky bag of crappy water and as I type are all frolicking in their fresh new tank since last night. I left the filter media in place. So for ammonia 0
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