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I wanted to share with the forum my recent experience of moving fish and plants long distance during the winter - in this case, a 3+ day journey on the ferries from Seattle, WA to a small community in SE Alaska. In short, the trip was a complete success, all of my passengers arrived safely, no worse for the wear.

Along for the ride I had two adult bettas (one male, one female,) 4 guppy fry and 5 good sized ghost shrimp. Also, a pretty significant number of plants - a bunch of small crypts, various anubias, some foxtail, scarlet temple, bolbitis huedoltii, a small tangle of java moss and several other stem plants that I wasn't able to identify.

The containers I selected for travel were gallon/4L sized water jugs. They are made of clear plastic, square in shape and have a great carrying handle on top. I found them at the local grocery store for $.99 each (containing distilled water).

I packed the plants first along with some seeded gravel and bio noodles to help get things started at the other end. The night before travel day (Thursday night) I transferred the fish and shrimp into their respective containers with the guppies riding shotgun for the shrimp. The jugs were loaded into a milk crate, which I then secured into the passenger seat of the car when it was time to leave. When the car was parked I opened the jugs up for gas exchange.

Once I boarded the ferry (about 5pm Friday) I took the crate up to one of the lounges, opened up the tops and dropped in small 15w nano heaters into each of the two "tropical" jugs - the shrimp and guppies were left unheated for the duration of the trip. That night I left the crate plugged in, unattended, covered with a towel.

The next morning I moved the jugs up into a window and left them unheated for about 8 hours while they grabbed some sun. Tops off. I fed the fish a small amount. When I left the lounge I capped the bottles and stowed them into the crate in case of rough seas. Once the sun was down, the jugs were returned to the crate and heated for the night.

The third day, Sunday, we transferred boats at about 6am - the crate was secured into the passenger seat and left unheated for about 4 hours in the parking lot in Ketchikan while we waited to load onto the second boat. I found the fish a window seat and left them in the crate for the rest of the trip. When we encountered rough water I removed the heaters and capped the jugs, just in case.

I finally disembarked at 6pm on Monday night, and within the hour they were plugged in again, and remained heated overnight.

Tuesday I had the aquarium and substrate delivered and got everything set up. Since the water was so cloudy I left everything in containers until Wednesday when the water was clear. I cut the containers open, planted the plants, added some rocks and finally the fish. Amazingly, everyone made it, including the shrimp.

Total time in jugs - 6 days. Final ammonia reading? 0. Success! :)

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