Transporting an Aquarium to College - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Transporting an Aquarium to College

I need suggestions on transporting my aquarium to school. I chose to start up a 10 gallon tank to make transporting "easier." I need to drive 5-6 hours to get to school so it's quite the trip. I have a '93 Ford Explorer so room is not an issue.

I was planning on securing it in the back seat (seats folded down flat). I was going to lower the water level to 50-75% and place plants and decorations prone on the floor so they stay submerged and give the fish that will stay in the tank more room. Also there won't be any danger of any decoration falling and crushing anyone. The stock will be changing because of some potentially volatile relationships and incompatibility (Chinese Algae Eater Bamboo Shrimp and Zebra Danios). I need to see if the LPS has them in stock but I'd love to get some Chili Rasboras or neon tetras (I know they'll have those).

The extra tank water will be kept in ultra cleaned milk jugs so not all the water will be replaced when I get to school. The tank will be placed back inside the original packaging (the box it came with) but with a layer of bubble wrap/styrofoam on the bottom to give me something to grab onto on the top of the aquarium so I can remove it.

I was going to remove the Betta I have in the tank and put him back in his horrible small bowl for shipment. This will prevent added extra stress from the close quarters and if the Betta gets antsy he won't be able to attack anyone...especially if they have no place to run.

Once I get to school the first thing that I'm doing is setting up the tank.

I'm not too concerned about the lack of oxygen because there will be disruptions on the surface to allow for the exchange of 02 (is that a naiive thought?). I'm more worried about the stress of the trip but I can't prevent the trip.

Does anybody have any suggestions on what I should do to make this drive as stressless as possible for my little friends? Has anybody done anything similar?


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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 03:00 PM
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I would avoid keeping the fish in the tank if possible. I have tried this in the past while moving into a new place across town. I kept the tank %50 full and drove, it was a nightmare, water was sloshing around everywhere, tidal waves were aplenty and the fish were getting banged around pretty bad. I even hada tetra go overboard. And I wasn't even driving recklessly, i was going below the speed limit the whole way. I think all the sloshing will be pretty rough on your plants as well. You would probably be better off just wrapping them in newspaper/paper towel and bagging them for the trip.

It would IMO be less stressful on the fish if you were to but them in a covered bucket... Even bagging them with lots of oxygen should be fine for a 6 hour trip. I recently moved across the country and brought all my fish and plants with me. I bagged everything, kept them all in a big rubbermaid tote with blankets wrapped around to keep everything warm and there were no problems.

Trust me...making the trip with the fish in your 10 gallon tank will be a serious PITA.


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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 03:02 PM
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I would remove all of the fish from the tank and put them in a bucket/buckets, that has a top, filled with tank water. I would then drain 95% of the tank and remove all plants and decorations. You can float the plants in the bucket if there's enough room or put them in ziploc bag with some water to keep them moist. I know alot of people on here have moved successfully utilizing this formula.


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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 03:19 PM
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Check out some ideas on this thread:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ge...ml#post1228190
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 03:40 PM
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Most pet stores will give you free fish bags if you ask. Just bag the fish and take as MUCH water as possible out of the tank (otherwise you won't be able to lift it and the risk of cracking it goes way up).


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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 03:57 PM
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I actually bring my 10g to my residence too. I definitely wouldn't keep the fish in there. You could try keeping the fish in a bucket and putting another smaller bucket on the top to kind of form a seal, it's what I do for my 1.5 hour drive to campus. 50-75% is also probably too much as already mentioned by some of the other members, I drain my tank to about 10-20% enough to keep the plants submerged..though I only have java fern and moss in my tank...but this level of water has yet to cause any disaster. The hood on my 10g also helps to keep the any splashing contained (which WILL happen). For rooted plants...i'm not sure. But one thing i'm sure of is your substrate will be quite disturbed regardless of how you drive so rooted plants will possible get uprooted.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 04:22 PM
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I drive my fish back and forth to college, and it's a 7 1/2 hour drive one way. I just get an insulated box (like from walmart), free bags from petco/petsmart, and then put them in there. I also have some warmers from when I used to ship fish, but those aren't that necessary. I wouldn't worry about keeping the water--I would just keep a 5 gallon bucket, put the filter media and plants/decoration in there and put a lid on it, because that's where most of your beneficial bacteria are going to be. If you have a special substrate in your tank for plants, I would just leave that in there and just keep it slightly covered by water...it shouldn't be a problem that way. Good luck--fish are so relaxing at college!
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 04:43 PM
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5g buckets with lids at lowe's will cost you maybe 5 bucks apiece.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 05:25 PM
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Do not EVER leave water in the fish tank when moving it.

Put any live plants in a zip lock bag with some water in it. Or wrap in wet newspaper and place in a sealed plastic bag.

2-1/2 foot square styrafoam Shipping containers from fish shops are ideal - it is how fish are shipped. Ask your fish shop.

Also dumpster dive at fish/pet shops as many throw them out; they don't want to be bothered with providing to aquariusts.

If you don't use a fish shop plastic bag , be careful as some plastic bags for trash have anti-mold or anti-smell coatings that could be harmful to fish.

If you put much more air than water you are probably good for such a trip. Close the bag to avoid sloshing water out.

Probably best not to feed the fish for 48 hrs prior so as to not have fish poop foul the bag and reduce the oxygen.

When I shipped killies all over the USA/Hawaii I use "bag buddies" from Jungle labs to oxygenate the water.
http://www.amazon.com/TopDawg-Pet-Su.../dp/B000N30LDK

But I ship killies in only a few ounces of water and LOTS of air in the bag - for about 3 days shipping time.

The insulated box is important to keep the fish from getting too hot or too cold.

Some people use airstones in a slightly open bag to allow re-oxigenation of the water. There are battery operated pumps
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...aquarium&ajr=3
or some people use 12-volt invertors. I personally don't think such is necessary if your water to air ratio is about 1/8 or better.

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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffgong View Post
I would remove all of the fish from the tank and put them in a bucket/buckets, that has a top, filled with tank water. I would then drain 95% of the tank and remove all plants and decorations. You can float the plants in the bucket if there's enough room or put them in ziploc bag with some water to keep them moist. I know alot of people on here have moved successfully utilizing this formula.
that is my exact sugesstion as well. moved cross country that way no losses.
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Those seem like better options. I'll definitely get one of those insulated boxes the next time im there. I'll also make a stop over at Lowes. Thanks for the ideas.


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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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What would be the best way to transport my Betta? Is placing him back in the cup I got him in ok for the trip? I don't want to place him in a sealed bag because he may run out of oxygen. I also don't want to place him in an unsealed bag because of spillage.

Will being transported in that cup be too stressful?


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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 12:02 AM
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If you're worried about him running out of oxygen in a sealed bag you could always just stop every once in a while and open the bag back up. I wouldn't suggest dumpster diving like someone above suggested, my boss caught someone diving in our dumpster at the lps I work at, he called the police.
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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If you're worried about him running out of oxygen in a sealed bag you could always just stop every once in a while and open the bag back up. I wouldn't suggest dumpster diving like someone above suggested, my boss caught someone diving in our dumpster at the lps I work at, he called the police.
I was just going to go ask lol. I also have only 4 fish to transport so I won't need that large of a container (to hold the bags/cup)


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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 12:42 AM
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trust me, he won't run out of oxygen... Just get the bags and you'll be good to go.
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