So about 12 hours road time counting stopping for gas, coffee & food, maybe closer to 10 if you're indifferent towards speed limits & don't mind eating on the fly.
Big fish, fast it for 2-3 days before the move. The tank will be one of the last things you pack, and the first things you unpack, if at all possible. Use a large cooler for the fish, about half full of water, if it has a drain tape that thing shut. You'll want to fill the cooler 1/4 of the way with tank water, 1/4 of the way with fresh tap water of the same temperature that's been dosed with a 4x dose of Prime. This will effectively be a 50% water change with a double dose of Prime, which will take care of any ammonia issues for 24-48 hours. Save a spot in the back seat of a car or other temperature controlled area for the fish.
You'll also want to keep your filter media wet for the trip, fish bags are great for this. A 5 gallon bucket with a metal handle is good for substrate. A second bucket is good for any other decorations. Since you've got the tank set up, take down is the opposite.
When you get to the new place set up the tank, take your cooler with the fish, do a drip acclimation since the cooler is only half full of water. This will acclimate the fish to the new water parameters slowly. Feed lightly for the next week, this gives any loss of nitrifying bacteria a chance to play catch up. Light feeding is also less stressful for the fish.
As far as moving itself, you want to make sure the tank is completely empty, no water, no substrate. Dry it good, pack light household items in it, bath towels, a couple comforters, light but bulky things. An old blanket or some such layered evenly underneath it, and having it packed so it doesn't shift, or things don't slide into it helps if like me you are a bit indifferent towards speed limits & such.
Thank you very much. I have two tanks…I'm only keeping the one…but I thought I would acclimate the fish to that tank and move his tank to the new home to have it ready for him when we do the last move.
Another helpful thing would be a battery powered air pump. Exactly the same as a normal air/bubble pump for an aquarium, but battery powered. Very useful, I wouldn't move a fish fish that far without one.
If it were sitting in a cooler motionless, redoing a fishroom would be a good example, then yes, you'd want something to create surface motion to aid in O2 exchange. Since you'll be driving that in itself will create surface motion, the same as fish that are bagged & shipped. As long as the fish is fasted to keep water fouling to a minimum your biggest issue is temperature control.
Yeah, it can be done without one, but I'm just saying I'd have a battery powered air pump. Or even a few plants from ur tank in there to create a bit of oxygen. But I've never moved a fish that far, so I'm no expert here.
I thank all of y'all for the helpful information. Just thought of some questions…My parrot is just bigger then my hand and nice and fat. I will fast him for three days. My question is how big of a cooler do I need to get to house a fish my hand size in…along with an aerator, and be able able to fill the cooler up half way? I also thought I'd add some of the plants. I also have to house a finless upsidedown catfish that keeps well in a loose ball of java moss. I'm going to put them together in the cooler for the travel. Do you think that'll work?
48 quart Coleman cooler, with handles. I moved a 14" plec in one, among other fish. It will handle being loaded to the top with ice & beer, half full of water is no problem. I've beat the snot out of this one over many years, it's got quite a few battle scars.
It sounds like it will work with the plants & cat, once it's all said & done the tank will be set up, the cooler will be empty & needing that ice & beer!
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