Get help on those urgent fishkeeping problems!


Postby cobden28 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:28 am

Some time within the next year I am expecting to be moving house, and my big problem is that I have a 4 ft tropical tank that's moving with me - also the inhabitants of my goldfish pond in the back garden. The pond fish are only common goldfish but all healthy and home-bred, and I'd hate to have to leave them behind when I move!

Does anybody have any advice on how to move house with a fishtank? As my goldfish are currently in an outdoor pond I'm going to have to buy another 4 ft tank (at least) & stand to accommodate them. At a pinch I suppose I could keep the goldfish in the bathtub until such time as the tropical tank is set up & plants established again, when I'd transfer the tropicals from their temporary tank to the planted tank which will thus free up the other 4 ft tank for the goldfish.

I anticipate that my house move will take place over two/three days; day 1 to relocate goldfish from present outdoor pond to bathtub at new address and set up temporary tank to accommodate tropicals. Day 2 to relocate tropicals and as many plants as possible from existing tank, plus dismantle & empty existing tropical tank. Day 3 - main move with existing tropical tank, stand & gravel being transported separately from household furniture. Hopefully I will have another day to get fully moved, but can't guarantee this as it will all depend on how the whole house-move goes.

I've never moved house and taken aquarium/pond fish with me, so could any of the fishy experts on this forum advise how best to tackle this? How would I best be advised to pack & transport the fish, for starters - would it be worthwhile asking my local fish shop if they could spare any of the containers they get their fish delivered to them in?

The move won't be for a good few months yet (current home not on the market at the mo!) but I'm after finding out as early as possible in the proceedings how to move with fish. Any help and advice will be greatly appreciated!
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Postby Carylnz » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:55 am

Are you referring to an old bath outside, or to put the goldfish in the house bath? Here's hoping, if the latter, you have a shower there as well :lol:
A bath is a good substitute for the pond.
I would consider transporting the tank with the substrate and plants left in it. You can actually empty out all the water and leave the substrate and plants there as the plants can cope with a few hours out of the water. If you do this, I would suggest getting a good solid board to slide under it to support the base, otherwise it is not a good idea in a tank that big. It may also be too heavy to lift.
It is best if you can get a number of food safe plastic containers to store the fish and water in. If you can save at least half the water, it is less of a shock to the fish when you shift them from a pH etc point of view. There is very little bacteria in the water so that has nothing to do with it.
Can you get a large container with a lid? If so, put some tank water and the fish in it for transport. When you reach your destination and there is a hold-up, it is easy to drop an airline, heater or filter into the container.
Do not feed the fish for 2 or 3 days before the move. This means less waste = less ammonia build-up.
If you have to bag the fish, you can buy fish bags from your lfs usually. Do not put too many per bag. 1/4 water to 3/4 air. Stand the bags upright in a carton. Pack scrunched up paper around them, if required, to stop them moving or falling over. There is usually no need to use poly boxes as most people keep their cars reasonably warm. Turn the heater on :wink:
If you have another tank to temporarily house fish that makes things easier. Empty main tank into containers. When water level is low, catch and bag the fish. Finish emptying then put plants in separate bags. Shovel gravel into something to transport it. It will need a rinse at the other end.
Move tank and stand to new house. Add substrate and water. Add heater and filter. When back to temp, put plants back and add fish. Shouldn't take 3 days to do it all.
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Postby cobden28 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:25 pm

When I refer to 'goldfish in the bathtub' I'm talking about the bathroom inside the house. The goldfish would have to be transported in lidded buckets from where we live now to the new address (in the same locality so not far away and with the same water supply) where they'd need to go straight into the bathtub at the other end.

Moving the tropical tank with the substrate in isn't an option because even empty the tank is virtually impossible for my husband and I between us to lift together; it's a 4 ft tank and both of us have angina so heavy lifting and shifting won't do either of us any good. There's the entire contents of a 25 litre bag of gravel in the tank so I'm going to have to empty the tank completely and transport the gravel in whatever buckets and containers I can find. The goldfish will have to be moved first, thus freeing the buckets for transporting either the tropical fish of gravel as a separate trip.

I am considering needing to buy another 4 ft tank & stand at least prior to the move so that I can get this set up with water, heater & filter simply so that I can have somewhere to keep my tropicals while I get their 'proper' tank set up. Currently my tropical tank has medium-grade gravel which I'd like to replace with fine gravel as this might suit my loaches and corydoras catfish better - I could keep the medium grade gravel for the goldfish tank.
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Postby ady » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:10 pm

as for the bath tub as temp home... would give it a major rinse out before hand to ensure no soap residues are present which will not be good for your fish.i used to use this method when cleaning out my old cold water tank years ago....put goldies in the bath...they loved the extra room to swim.also it would make em feel more secure if they have items in there to provide cover.

check the plug seals tight and you will be fine.
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