Are fish waterproof?

Transport of fish

Transporting fish

Fish can remain in transport bags for a long time. For example, an hour is not a problem. Sometimes fish are also sent in transport bags, whereby the transport takes longer than 24 hours. On the way to the dealer, fish are much longer in bags or boxes.

However, not too many fish should be packed in one bag. The exact number depends on the type and size of the fish.

The ratio of water to air in the transport bag should be 1/3 water to 2/3 air. In the case of very long journeys over several hours, oxygen tablets can be added to the water.

A few pieces of activated charcoal can also be added to the fish bags to bind toxins that may arise after long transport.

Armored catfish should never be transported in a bag with other fish. At least some armored catfish give off a poison when stressed, which can stun or kill other fish.

Bags are best placed across if the opening is securely tight. Due to the larger water surface, there is better gas exchange between water and air.

The fish should be brought to the aquarium as quickly as possible. Bumpy roads should be avoided.

Container for transporting fish

Any container that is large enough and watertight is suitable for transporting fish. This includes the typical transport bags from pet shops, but also simple buckets with lids.

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With older buckets, the inside of the buckets can be quite rough. Panicked fish can injure themselves. This is why a large plastic bag, e.g. a garbage bag, should be done in the bucket.

New plastic detergent boxes, e.g. from drugstores, have a well-fitting lid. They are inexpensive and have the advantage that they are rigid in order to protect the fish well. They also fit in thermal bags when it's cold or hot.

Normal freezer bags can be used. They have to be checked carefully for leaks because they are often not completely leaktight.
With freezer bags there is little risk that fish can get caught at the tips of the bags if they are kinked. E.g. when putting the bag down or when putting the bags in boxes or pockets. If care is taken, it's not a big problem. Special fish bags are therefore rounded off.
Instead of freezer bags, freezer cans can also be used.

Transparent plastic basins with e.g. 20 to 30 liters of water, which every well-stocked pet shop has, can be used if the cracks in the plastic lid are sealed.
To do this, a narrow strip of cling film is stretched over the edge of the basin and only then is the lid put on. Such containers can be easily clamped and fixed in the footwell on the passenger side of the car with the front seat.
In this way, for example, ancistrians have easily survived a 6-hour drive.

Insulate the transport container against cold and heat

Newsprint is wrapped around the transport bag as insulation in cold or very warm weather. The whole thing is put in a shopping bag.

Medium-sized, sturdy cardboard boxes with lids are also suitable. The inside of the box and lid are lined with styrofoam approx. 2 centimeters thick.

There are also ready-made polystyrene boxes for transporting fish. Butcher shops may also have small styrofoam boxes that are very stable and even have recessed grips.

The fish bags can simply be put in an insulated bag or box or cooler bag. For longer transports, an insulating blanket from the first-aid kit can be wrapped around the bags beforehand.

Transport fish in the dark

If fish are transported in clear bags or containers, they should be wrapped in newspaper.

In addition to insulating the transport bag, the newsprint also has the important advantage that the fish do not notice anything from the environment because it is dark in the bag. So it is actually time for the fish to go to bed. You do not have any stress because shadows can fall on the bag from above. The fish calm down best in the dark.

The long sloshing in the water is stressful for the fish. If the bags are not darkened, there is a constant change between light and dark. Shadows from above are the typical signs of a predator. The fish would like to flee, but they cannot leave. So you have enormous additional stress. The stress of catching and moving, getting used to new water values, etc. is enough.

Many sensitive fish have already died due to light transports. Or after a few days apparently from an unknown illness. It is then often assumed that the fish have already been bought sick.

Always have the transport bags with fish wrapped in newspaper. No matter what time of year.

How the transport bag is closed

  • When the water with the fish is in the bag, place the transport bag on a table. Stand with the edge of the bag up.
  • With one hand, quickly snap around the bag entrance and press the bag entrance to push.
  • Usually enough air is trapped this way. Otherwise start all over again.
  • Loop a rubber ring around the compressed area.
  • When the first layer of the bag is closed, fold the resulting knob, i.e. the rubber ring bulge on top, down again. So that the bag is practically double.
  • Wrap the rest of the rubber ring or another rubber ring around it again

Blow or not blow into the transport bag?

Exhaled air has less oxygen than non-breathed air. However, humans use very little oxygen when breathing. The figures vary between 4% and 17% oxygen, which humans consume when breathing. With the wagging, there is then 21% oxygen in the bag, with blowing approx. 17% percent. The difference is negligible.

So there is still enough oxygen in the transport bag when the bag is blown open. Otherwise mouth-to-mouth resuscitation would not make sense in an emergency. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from person to person is of course meant, not from fish to person.
It should just not be smoked or eaten kebab beforehand.

However, every oxygen particle can be useful for longer transport routes. Some professional fish transporters and even some aquarium dealers therefore put pure oxygen in the bags. Care must be taken that there are no surface animals or suckers in the bag. If these are then out of the water, burns can occur.

For some fish species not only pure oxygen is bad, but also overpressure. Possibly this includes labyrinth fish. The transport bag should therefore not be inflated too tightly. Not much more air in the bag anyway. Instead, the bag is better filled with a little less water.

Sedatives for fish transport

To minimize stress when transporting fish, water additives such as JBL Acclimol can be added to the transport bag. It is unclear whether these agents really work or are just a placebo for the aquarist. In any case, the experiences with it are good.

Vitamin B1 is also an anti-stress agent. Vitamin B2 is contained in water conditioners. Some dealers therefore put a splash of water conditioner in the transport bag.

Tips for transport and repositioning

  • Take as much water as possible from the dealer in additional bags or containers. It is best to take enough water from the breeder with you so that you can keep the new fish in it for a whole day if necessary. The new water can then run in very slowly
  • Put the fish and water from the transport bag into a dark tub. Connect the oxygen vent and pump in the tub.
  • Slowly pour water from the aquarium into the tub. The adaptation should go on for hours or a whole day even at approximately the same temperatures. In any case, the fish needs a lot longer to really adjust to the new water. The greater the differences in water quality, the longer it takes to adapt.
  • Before the fish are placed in the aquarium, switch off the aquarium lighting and leave it off until the next day.
  • Do not feed the fish with a small portion until one day after they have been transferred. Never feed immediately after moving.
  • It is best to have the breeder give you the first meals for the fish. This makes feeding easier in the Aquarim and does not cause any problems for the fish to move. Red mosquito larvae are real garbage eaters. A favorite food of red mosquito larvae is blue-green algae, which are sometimes not entirely non-toxic. This could be one of the causes often described problems after feeding red mosquito larvae.

Do not feed immediately after moving

Fish should not be fed immediately after being transported and relocated to a new aquarium. become. Digesting food is a physical burden. The oxygen curves over the course of the day speak volumes here. In addition, there are numerous regulatory mechanisms that can be affected in the course of an implementation campaign. It doesn't matter whether it is a well-conditioned fish that is just grieving with the new water or a completely emaciated animal. The physical strain associated with digesting and turning food can be fatal for both.

In commercial fish farms for the food industry, a large number of fish are turned over. Since it is relatively complicated to adjust the water in the transport containers of a truck with 4mm hoses, it has to be much faster.

At least one company tries to adapt the original water to the future water long before it is transported. In doing so, one essentially limits oneself to oxygen, carbon dioxide and temperature.

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A week before moving is given generously. There is no feeding the day before the transport. is. After the transfer, there is no feeding for a day. Then fed with a quarter of the usual ration. The target ration is then gradually increased over a week.

With this method, there are only minimal losses during and after transports or removals. Before that, immediately after the transfer, the feed intake was used to test how healthy the fish are. That cost a lot of fish their lives. The outbreak of various infections after the transfer was only associated with this feeding after a long search. Initially introduced pathogens were believed to be the cause.

If you buy directly from the breeder, it is certainly not a problem to proceed as suggested above. If the fish are transported through many stations and temporarily stored, the fish are often very emaciated. If you buy such fish at all and hunger becomes a danger, light food and very little of it should be fed. Here, too, the rations should be increased slowly over the course of days.

As a rule, however, no emaciated fish should be bought. The risk of failure is too high.

Last update on April 27th, 2021 / * Affiliate links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API