College Dormitory Fish Tank Dilemma
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College Dormitory Fish Tank Dilemma

This is a discussion on College Dormitory Fish Tank Dilemma within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hi there, Today marks the third week I have had my fish tank (first ever for me!) established in my college dormitory. The issue ...

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College Dormitory Fish Tank Dilemma
Old 10-18-2009, 05:46 PM   #1
 
Exclamation College Dormitory Fish Tank Dilemma

Hi there,

Today marks the third week I have had my fish tank (first ever for me!) established in my college dormitory. The issue of transporting my fish from here back to my home (which is an 8 hour drive) has always been on my mind. Unfortunately, as time ticks ever closer to my first break I still have yet to figure a safe way of doing so.

My 10 gallon currently houses 2 young goldfish (one fantail i purchased at Pet Smart, one comet won from a carnival fair). Honestly, I am already considering replacing these fish because I know they are going to eventually outgrow the tank, however, keeping them alive and healthy comes first.

I originally planned to keep my fish here in the dorm for my short breaks (ranging from 5 days to a little over a week) since I've read that fish can go days without feeding. If worst came to worst, I would have gotten an automatic feeder. Sadly, university rules dictate that I must unplug all electrical appliances during breaks, and that I must bring pet fish home.

With that said, any and all advice that can be offered from the Fish Forum community to aid me in this dilemma will be greatly appreciated.

Some issues to address:
1. Suggested way of transporting fish (an 8 hour drive) home for 3 breaks (2 one-week breaks, 1 three-week break).
I do not have a tank back home but I plan on purchasing a 3-5g to house my fish while I am staying at home (I hear Marineland Eclipses [3 or 6] are good). Also, I am probably going to take the bus back home, eliminating the convenience of bringing a lot with me for the trip (unless I can get my father to drive me! haha)

I am relatively familiar with the process of transporting the entire tank to another location(via internet research), but I am hoping that isn't necessary until I move out of my dorm at the end of the academic year when space can be afforded with my father's car for buckets and etc.

2. Tips for establishing a temporary tank for back home.

3. Tips for maintaining beneficial bacteria over the breaks.

4. Best way to "replace" (rid and disown sound so mean!) Goldfish (selling, trading etc).

5. Advice for replacement fish.
I plan on establishing a tropical tank (I already ordered a heater!) but that won't happen at least until next year when I live in on-campus apartments where the transportation of fish won't be much of an issue, since there are no "bring fish home" and "unplug" rules.

Initial plan:
6~7 zebra danios (in hopes they will school/shoal)
1~2 dwarf gouramis (centerpiece, 2 because 1 by itself would be lonely :[ )
3~4 cory catfish (bottom feeders to aid in the pick-up of any food that was left)


Is that a good combination, and would the numbers be plausible for a 10g tank?


Thanks for your time and words of advice!

Last edited by hulu; 10-18-2009 at 05:58 PM..
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:55 PM   #2
 
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hmmm get a bubbler and a cig to home plug adapter as long as they have air they will make the trip fine and i would replace them with some more exotic and colorfull with alittle aggresiveness maybe a puffer there cool and easy to take care of
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Old 10-23-2009, 01:21 AM   #3
 
I would take the filter material with from tank to tank, that way they stay established. Just put it in a ziplock bag w/ some tank water and it should be fine. As for the fish, simply bag them 1/3 water 2/3 air and they should be good for the trip. Keep them somewhere dark to reduce the stress.
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Old 10-23-2009, 02:50 AM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southamericancichlidguy23 View Post
hmmm get a bubbler and a cig to home plug adapter as long as they have air they will make the trip fine and i would replace them with some more exotic and colorfull with alittle aggresiveness maybe a puffer there cool and easy to take care of
sorry but i disagree with the puffer idea they NEED a species only tank and would kill anything else that isnt a puffer. your wish list looks pretty nice, maybe throw in some neon tetras for color they school nicely.
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Old 10-23-2009, 08:38 AM   #5
 
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Darn Money you always say what is on my mind ...LOL... but i have to agree with the above for transport dark is best!!! be sure to float them at each location so that you don't go through all this trouble just to shock them .... as for "re-homing" fish there is the classifieds here, craigslist, eBay , LFS, get some one mad by giving them as a gift LOL...... lots of ways that are safe for the fish...
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Old 10-24-2009, 03:32 AM   #6
 
I had a similar problem you had last year. I went home a weekend ahead of time and set up another tank at home, and floated an old filter bag in it. Bagged fish, unplugged the tank in the dorm, didnt drain it cuz i had live plants, and just left it. Took the fish home for break, and then rebagged and brought em to school. Ziploacks work well, just double bag em to ensure no leaks. There is no need to worry about your school tank's bacteria over a break, leaving enough water to keep the gravel wet and having an old filter sponge moving from home to school wil be sufficient. Even if you were to have a mini cycle, goldfish are hardy enough to handle it.

For getting rid of your fish, the best way is to find a lfs that will take em or find a enthusiast who wants em.

As for your tank plans, your plan overstoacks your tank to double its capacity with the minimum numbers to triple your tank capacity with the higher numbers <-- did that make sense? With a 10 Gallon, your gonna be heavily restricted in terms of getting fish that swim in shoals or schools. In your case, your much better off with 1 dwarf gourami and 2, maybe 3 corys will max out your tank. This is, of course, assuming your filter is roughly just enough for your tank.

In terms of keeping a puffer, unless its a dwarf puffer, you shouldnt even consider having one in a 10 gallon tank. And if it is a dwarf puffer, it should be kept alone as they get very agressive and will proabbly end up alone anyway. Alsow ith puffers their diet is much more complicated than that of goldfish or common tropical fish. Often times, puffer keepers keep a snail tank as a food source for teh puffer as well as a variety of frozen foods. I have never seen a puffer accept flakes unless starving.
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Old 10-24-2009, 05:25 PM   #7
 
Thanks for all the suggestions guys!
The ziplock bag idea sounds pretty good. Just need to figure a way to keep them out of the light now haha.

@SinCrisis
About the overstocking, yeah I started another thread asking for suggestions about that and everyone said my tank would be overstocked. What someone suggested was to keep 1 dwarf gourami and a school of 6 cories. (I run a 20g Penguin Power Filter w/ Bio-Wheel).
Sadly, I don't think I'm quite ready for cories because I just gave my tank water an ammonia test and came up with a whopping 2.0~4.0 reading. That really shocked me. Nitrate and nitrite levels showed at 0- does that make sense with the high ammonia reading? (I did just swap my old 10g filter with the penguin one and I tossed the old filter cartridge, maybe that's what went wrong). I still need to learn how to properly maintain the tank water health.

Last edited by hulu; 10-24-2009 at 05:29 PM..
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Old 10-24-2009, 05:35 PM   #8
 
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Sadly, I don't think I'm quite ready for cories because I just gave my tank water an ammonia test and came up with a whopping 2.0~4.0 reading. That really shocked me. Nitrate and nitrite levels showed at 0- does that make sense with the high ammonia reading? (I did just swap my old 10g filter with the penguin one and I tossed the old filter cartridge, maybe that's what went wrong). I still need to learn how to properly maintain the tank water health.[/quote]


You said the tank have been up 3 weeks?? it may still be cycling. when the cycle is complete you should have 0ppm ammonia & nitrItes and you WILL have a nitrAte reading
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:05 PM   #9
 
Still those numbers are strange if he has had fish in the tank. The goldfish are messy enough to jump start the cycle. Do you change your filter floss each time you clean your filter? If you do it may be causing mini cycles.
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:53 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hulu View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions guys!
The ziplock bag idea sounds pretty good. Just need to figure a way to keep them out of the light now haha.

@SinCrisis
About the overstocking, yeah I started another thread asking for suggestions about that and everyone said my tank would be overstocked. What someone suggested was to keep 1 dwarf gourami and a school of 6 cories. (I run a 20g Penguin Power Filter w/ Bio-Wheel).
Sadly, I don't think I'm quite ready for cories because I just gave my tank water an ammonia test and came up with a whopping 2.0~4.0 reading. That really shocked me. Nitrate and nitrite levels showed at 0- does that make sense with the high ammonia reading? (I did just swap my old 10g filter with the penguin one and I tossed the old filter cartridge, maybe that's what went wrong). I still need to learn how to properly maintain the tank water health.
Im gunna start off with your very high ammonia. Lets get through some questions first,

1. how often do you feed?
2. what are the nitrIte levels?
3. When was the last w/c
4. Frequency of w/c and amount?

Ok i also wanna address the very high level, if you are using strips these are known for their inaccuracy. i would switch to a liquid test if you havent already. you may also want to test your tap and let us know what that reads. When you remove the filter floss you force a mini cycle since a good amount of the BB live there. there are many threads on here on how to properly clean your media w/o killing off your BB.
The nitrate hasnt peeked yet because it sounds like your tank is cycling all over again. and right now you have next to none of the bac that converts ammonia to nitrIte.

Cycles go like this in terms of how the levels peek and go down. Ammonia>NitrIte>NitrAte

Hope this helps your definately going to need to get things undercontrol before you add any fish there.
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