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Old 06-28-2012, 02:05 AM   #1 
OMB
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Driving cross country...what to do with my bettas?

I'm moving at the end of the next month, driving cross country from AZ to MD. I'm in a dilemma - should I bring my bettas with me? I have an older VT and a young CT.
Do you think they could make it in a 2000+ mile car ride? I could also try shipping them? I'm concerned a bit since my VT is a bit older (got him from craigslist and he came to me with bad finrot - he looks great now, almost a year later but I can tell he had a hard life prior) and has been slowly getting less and less active, seemingly weighed down more by his tail now.
Any advice would be great including HOW i should either ship or bring them with me. I think I'll be driving for at least 3 days with stops here and there. I've also thought about giving them up...but that kind of scares me too ..as I want to make sure they are taken care of the way they deserve to be.... help! (thanks in advance!)
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:09 AM   #2 
Purple
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How long will your trip be? Bettas can survive 3 weeks without food, probably more.
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:13 AM   #3 
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the trip will take at least 3 days of driving....
what about the jostling around with the movement of the car? will it cause a lot of stress?
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:37 AM   #4 
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You could keep them in jars/bags in a cooler with newspaper or bubble wrap wrapped around them. Heat packs are a must. Make sure to use tank water, not fresh water. They're less likely to be stressed that way. Whichever you use, make sure to only fill it 1/2 of the way. This way they have room to breathe. Some people say that you shouldn't feed your fish during your journey or a few days before to reduce the risk of constipation or SBD.

Sorry about my first post, I thought you were just going on vacation. :P Don't give your fish away just because you're moving. People ship fish across the country with absolutely no supervision with success all the time. You might want to call a LPS and ask how they ship their fish.
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:44 AM   #5 
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thank you so much for your advice! I'm more concerned about my older VT's stress level. I think shipping might be difficult because I think I'd have to send them overnight - but I won't be at the destination until at least 3 days later.
If it's a 3day trip - should I change out the water (with tank water) every day to get rid of ammonia build up?
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:53 AM   #6 
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You should probably keep them with you on the trip there, not send them, unless you have someone to send them to. I think you would be better off not doing that. You want to keep it as stress-free as possible. Since they won't be pooping/eating it might not be that bad.
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:39 AM   #7 
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Yes, they can make the trip. I took mine from Alaska to New York - which was 10 days of driving and only 3 hotel stops. The most important thing is tempature. Since my trip was in the dead of winter and during an extreme cold spell - I kept them under 3 blankets with the heat on full blast ALL THE TIME. We're talking -40F temps for 1/2 of the trip. Sadly 20/24 died in the yukon due to an open window and my fish were under the damn window . The survivors moved into my lap for the next 8 days. I had all my fish supplies within easy reach so I could do water changes at the hotels and I had a 2G storage container that i let them swim in for a bit in the hotel before putting them back into their cup.

If they can survive the alaska highway, they can take any road in the country - just keep the window shut.

This is what the survivors were in, and under like 5 flannel blankets.


Fish chillin in a hotel someplace in canada


Dog not happy to be sharing his mommy's lap with fish


did i mention that I also had a dog and chinchilla on this journey >.<

SInce your trip is from AZ to MD and its summer, I'm not sure heat packs would be a good idea.

I wasn't the driver but if you are doing the driving, I would put them into a cup - maybe a coffee cup with a lid so you dont have to worry about bags and getting fresh air. Secure the cup into a small cooler or something. I originally had petco cups taped into a cooler but since the number went from 24 to 4, i moved them into the little rodent carrier since I wasn't using it.

Last edited by Tikibirds; 06-28-2012 at 03:49 AM.
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:49 AM   #8 
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Tikibirds : I read some of your story when I did a search on these forums on this subject. So sad! Will the jostling of the water be okay? Not too stressful for my elderly VT? I'll make sure to only fill their containers halfway full so the water won't spill out but I know there will be A LOT of bumps along the way the route we're going. Should I just use like mason jars with a lot of holes poked in the top - and change the water during our overnight stops? I'll make sure to keep them warm in our a/c car with some of those hand warmer pads. I was thinking of putting the jars inside a box to keep them dark during the majority of the drive. Is that helpful?
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:58 AM   #9 
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Woah - those pics weren't there when i was typing that up! thank you - that's helpful! So putting them back in their plastic cups and filling it only halfway should be okay. Do you think I should add anything to their water to help with stress relief? I wont feed them a day or two prior to the drive.
The car will be blasting with air conditioning most of the time...so maybe I'll just bring some of those heat packs along and see how it goes. Maybe if I keep them in the back far enough from the a/c they wont need them.

thanks for the pics and advice! really helps and I'm feeling much better about not having to give up my babies.
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:00 AM   #10 
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and cute Eskie!! definitely does not look happy to have to share your warm lap! lol !
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