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Transporting Fish


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Going to be driving from Denver, CO to Tampa, FL in a couple weeks, and need to take about a dozen grown Koi Swordtails, and about 8 grown White Clouds and about 20 White Cloud fry, roughly 1/4" long, but getting baby brine daily to bulk them up before the move. All fish will be in transit for about 3 days. 


Scenario #1

Bag the fish and put them in a cooler to avoid temp swings. 


Scenario #2

Use two 5 gallon buckets, one for white clouds and one for swordtails, each with a USB air pump.


My main concern is trying to keep the 5 gallon buckets cool while traveling, I don't really have room for them within the AC of the car. They would likely be in a uhaul trailer that I would be checking on 1-2 times a day during the trip. Can't really do water changes, but could add ice during the heat of the day. If I bag the fish, I could keep them in the car, but they would have much less water overall. 


Thoughts, ideas, opinions...?



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I'll weight in... I'm thinking maybe option 1.5? That is something in the car thats not 5 gallon buckets? If you have a USB air pump and maybe a small piece of cycled sponge in a container (and don't worry about water changes) they don't need that much room really. Of course that that would mean you have some random space in the car. 

If there's no room at all then you don't really have a choice. Bag up 20 fish and 20 fry in a lot of small-medium bags putting them in the cooler with an insulated small frozen water bottle or an ice pack in there and they would be fine. I imagine shipped fish go through worse in the back of a UPS truck. 

Good luck with the move!

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I’d see if you can pick up smaller buckets and keep them in the climate controlled area. The hardware stores around me sell 2 gallon, food safe buckets (so no weirdness leaching out) with lids that are much smaller and could be sealed. I’d also put some sponge in your tank now to cycle and put that in the bucket when you travel to help. Have some back up water on hand in case of spills. 

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I'm would go with @ccc24 & @ScottieB's option 1.5 on this one.  All things considered , a cramped car ride will be far less stressful than 3 days in the trailer for the fish and you. Unless you own one of the HIGH $$$ coolers, you will have little temperature control in the trailer.  If you know a cat lover, cat litter buckets are square, hold 4.2 gallons and have a smaller footprint. I would also consider making aquarium ice cubes in advance.

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