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MOVING: transporting fish?
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Mark Allison
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Joined: 14 May 2006
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

PostPosted: 2006.06.02(Fri)18:28    Post subject: MOVING: transporting fish? Reply with quote

I have a 125 gallon and a 40 gallon tank that will have to be moved about 900 miles to a new location. Any suggestions on the best way to move my fish with the least amount of risk in losing my pets? Thanks
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FloridaBoy
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PostPosted: 2006.06.02(Fri)22:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best way is to pack them with oxygen into double bags and pack the bags into styro coolers... but I simply would not put them through it.
I have done this, but never again.
My strong suggestion is sell or give your livestock away and once the tank is settled start over with new livestock.
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CCS
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Location: SLO County, CA, USA

PostPosted: 2006.06.03(Sat)17:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe you could ask a friend/relative to keep your stuff with them and then they could mail it to you. Or, if you are flying to your new location, you could mail your fish and pick them up when you get there. They're just ideas.
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FloridaBoy
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PostPosted: 2006.06.04(Sun)15:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

CCS wrote:
Maybe you could ask a friend/relative to keep your stuff with them and then they could mail it to you. Or, if you are flying to your new location, you could mail your fish and pick them up when you get there. They're just ideas.


The shipping cost alone would make replacing the livestock a better choice... and there is no guarantee of live shipment. To my knowledge, unless you have the proper equipment and licenses mailing them would not be a simple matter.

From the FedEx site:

Live Animals and Ornamental Marine Life (Including Live Fish)
FedEx Express does not accept live-animal shipments as part of its regular-scheduled service and does not transport household pets such as dogs, cats, birds and hamsters. FedEx Express may accept certain shipments of live animals such as horses, livestock and zoo animals (to and from zoo locations only) on an exception basis if approved and coordinated by the FedEx Live Animal Desk (call 1.800.405.9052).
If approved by FedEx, we may accept non-venomous reptiles, amphibians, live/tropical fish and beneficial insects on an exception basis under the following conditions:
Shipments must be from a business to a business (from a breeder to a pet store, for example).
The shipper must have its packaging tested and pre-approved by FedEx Packaging Design and Development for the type of animal being shipped. Call 1.800.633.7019 for assistance. It is the responsibility of the shipper to adequately package shipments for all temperature extremes and handling conditions.
Contact your FedEx account executive for details and additional requirements.
http://www.fedex.com/us/services/terms/popup_tc_us_body.html
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Mark Allison
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Joined: 14 May 2006
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

PostPosted: 2006.06.04(Sun)17:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks FloridaBoy. Shipping them would not have been a consideration. I do appreciate the thought though. It's about a 10 hour drive to our new destination. I guess I'd have to have their new tank up and running ahead of time and then add our kids once we got there. Is it advisable to keep as much original water as possible as it has been cycled? I'd rather not have to start up a new tank and have it cycle before we'd arrive. I don't believe time would permit me to do this a month or so ahead of time. Any comments? Thanks again to all that have replied.
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FloridaBoy
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PostPosted: 2006.06.04(Sun)21:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is your list of livestock?
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Mark Allison
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Joined: 14 May 2006
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

PostPosted: 2006.06.06(Tue)6:06    Post subject: Livestock List Reply with quote

Livestock List:

125 tank---Sailfin Tang, Hippo Tang, Niger Trigger, Blue jaw trigger, Porkfish, Sabae clown, 3 scooter dragonettes, 3 damsels, blue cheek gobie, and of course the controversial banded shark (3 weeks old).

45 tank----dogface puffer, one damsel, twin spot gobie, engineer gobie, and 2 percula clowns.

The plan is to transport the 125 occupants to at least a 300 gallon in wall tank.
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FloridaBoy
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PostPosted: 2006.06.06(Tue)18:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. All of these are common species that can easily be replaced at your new location. This is my best advice to you as stated before. The stress associated with moving them, driving, acclimating them, ammonia spikes, etc.--it's just not worth it in my opinion and you run a high risk of losing them after going to all the trouble. You will have plenty of other things to worry about in your move besides livestock. I have been there/done this, never again. I think moving fish like this is actually more stressful in some cases than boxing and transporting wild caught species, which I have also done when I was a licensed collector here in Florida. Your comment, "I'd rather not have to start up a new tank and have it cycle before we'd arrive," shows me you have no idea what you're getting into.

2. If you decide to ignore my best advice, get a hold of a tank of medical grade oxygen from a hospital supply outlet and some heavy fish shipping bags from your LFS (do NOT use garbage bags, ziplock etc.). the LFS can also supply styrofoam fish boxes for a small fee get those also. The LFS will show you how to bag the fish and pack them in the boxes.

3. Make SURE the new system is fully cycled and has a strong bio filter with a heavy duty skimmer, all functioning perfectly. Your comment about the "cycled water" shows confusion and is cause for concern; you must understand the principles of an active, established bio filter before attempting this move, you are adding a large biomass to a new tank all at once and without the proper break in and prepared/established target system, you will have an ammonia spike which will prove a disaster. Saving your aged water is good and will reduce shock, but that is not the same as a biofilter. You should also have a second hospital tank ready for problematics. If possible, making several trips over a month or so will allow you to move a few animals at a time, much better. Of course, the proper acclimation is required, there are other issues/dangers here, temp, salinity and pH shock, etc... I'm only hitting the broad strokes.

4. Get a new ammonia test kit and be prepared to make massive water changes; most fish are lost within the first few days or weeks AFTER the move due to shock and stress and/or ammonia poisoning.
Here are links to more opinions, best wishes for your wisdom/success:

http://www.wetwebmedia.com/movingaq.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/movelvstkfaqs.htm
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chatyak
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Joined: 26 Apr 2006

PostPosted: 2006.06.06(Tue)19:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm gonna chime in on this and ask...

Would you say to sell livestock if you were only moving 30 miles or so?
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FloridaBoy
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PostPosted: 2006.06.07(Wed)19:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

The miles are not really the important factor... fish can be shipped many miles if properly packed and handled... the critical question is whether they are being moved into:

1. a new, uncycled tank or

2. another cycled and established system or

3. simply being dumped into the SAME tank which has just been moved and set up the same day the fish were moved. The first and third options can be disastrous in my experience.
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