While this is not something which someone normally spends anytime thinking about, it can be a real problem if you plan on taking a trip and have no choice but to take your pet fish with you. If you own a fish you know how sensitive they can be and how even slight changes in their living conditions can be fatal for them. Hence, you need to plan carefully if you want to bring your pet fish along without hurting them.
If you get some time to give yourself a vacation, you should not be forced to stay at home for your fish. In fact, we’d like if you take it along with you. However, we know that it can be quite a tricky situation. That’s why we are here to help you with all your homework and take all the necessary steps to keep your pet fish healthy. Do remember that each fish is different and these are more basic guidelines than specific rules.
What are the things you should consider?
1. The duration of the trip
If your trip is less than a day, the set-up will obviously be minimal, but if it’s more than that, you will need something better to make sure your pet fish remains healthy. This article will mostly focus on the shorter trips, or rather trips which will involve just one ride, not multiple stops over long perods of time.
2. Tank type
While most of our suggestions will help those who have tanks which do not get cycled, you will still be able to do a few modifications if your fish do live in cycled tanks.
3. The number of pet fish
A lot of people have more than one fish, often of different species. While they may co-exist in an aquarium pretty easily, small tanks in your car may prove difficult for them. So we suggest you to put the fish in different containers.
Gear for your travels
Like any good travel guide, we also have a list of necessary gear you would need to keep your fish healthy.
● Transparent containers (plastic)
● Water that has been treated
● Aquarium salt
● Cloth towels
● Paper towels
● Fish net
Options for the container
If you think that the best care you can offer your pet fish is to carry the entire aquarium with you, we are here to tell you you’re wrong. It is neither safe nor smart, especially when your aquarium is made of glass. The amount of water that will slosh against the walls will be a huge risk for both you and your fish. The best way to go about this is to use a small container that can hold about half a gallon.
You should make sure the container is clean (no food, soap, or dirt). You can either poke some holes in the lit or periodically remove the lid so that fish get fresh air. You can use a zip-lock bag as well but you should use double bags for each fish, put them in a proper containers and periodically open the bag for aeration.
Another option, one for longer trips or multiday trips, is to get a travel tank. They have secure tops along with holes for aeration. This container should also be about half a gallon. Too little or too much water can impact the health of your fish.
We advise you to prepare in advance as doing everything on the day of the trip can prove to be overwhelming and leave significant chances for mistakes, endangering your fish.
1. Fasting to reduce waste
While some people don’t agree on this, a lot of people like to make their fish fast the day before the trip. This reduces the waste the fish generates on the day of the trip, thereby keeping its water clear for longer.
This is one of the most subjective parts in our article. Everyone has different ways of preparing their fish’s water. Whatever method you have, do it a day earlier. Do not try to make the water any different just because you are travelling.
If you change the water partially, it will give your fish an environment which is cleaner than before while also keeping its familiarity.
3. Conditioning the water
Fill the cleaned container with tap water along with some tank water and add some conditioner approved for your fish. Follow the instructions carefully. You should let the tap water sit a day before the trip as the conditioner will work better. You can also add some aquarium salts into the mixture but once again with great caution. They help in relieving your fish from stress. Mix it a day before so that it doesn’t cause rashes on your fish.
1. Transferring your pet fish
Make sure the water in your container is the same temperature as your tank. Use the fishing net to transfer your fish.
2. Taking the tank
If you plan on taking the tank with you, empty the tank and remove all decorations and accessories.
● Removing the water
You can remove the water in a couple of ways, and tipping the tank is not one of them. You may do it cup by cup, or you may use some good old physics and siphon the water out using a hose.
You can clean the tank before the trip or after the trip and we advise you to clean it thoroughly.
3. Securing your fish
Now that you have done everything, you can finally walk towards your car. Make sure to strap your fish using the seat belts. If it proves tricky, try to use more cords. The less the container moves, the better. Make sure the temperature of your car is ideal for your fish.
Once you reach your destination, you will need to carefully set everything back up. Follow the same precautions we stated above, and as you can guess setting up is just the opposite of getting everything apart.
Now that you have successfully transported your fish to another destination, how about you start planning your next trip with the little buddy?