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Old 10-15-2013, 04:38 PM   #1 
CapitalistPig
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Question A couple questions about transport

I recently started college, and when I found out we were allowed to keep fish in our dorms, I decided it'd be a nice hobby for me. I did originally make the all too common mistake of doing very little research on betta care and had my betta, Pancakes, in a bowl. However when I did more research I quickly upgraded to a ten gallon tank with a heater and a filter, and Pancakes has been doing great.

A thought struck me the other day though. Being in college, I will have to move around a lot. Over the Summer I will likely be staying at home, as well as getting a new dorm next year. Obviously I can't haul around a full ten gallon tank, but to empty it completely to move it is going to kill the beneficial bacteria and cause it to have to cycle all over again.

Does anyone know of a way I could possibly preserve some of the bacteria when I have to move the tank? The only thought I had was to leave enough water in the tank to keep the substrate covered, but not so much as to have it spill out in the car. Any bacteria in the filter wouldn't make it, but at least any in the substrate would have a chance. Do you think this would work? Do you have any other suggestions for me to try?

I've heard there are products that add beneficial bacteria to help cycle the tank more quickly, and given my circumstances those sound like they'd help. Do you recommend any of those products? Something like this, as an example: Microbe-Lift Aquarium Cycling & Water Conditioning Kit at PETCO

Other than that, I was just wondering how you all transport your bettas? What kind of containers do you recommend to keep them safe and happy while being moved?

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Old 10-15-2013, 05:11 PM   #2 
leejohn02
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What other fish do you keep in the tank, if it none I wouldn't worry, I personally never cycle a Betta tank, if you have more you can always just add the filter to the water and leave it in there, you only lose the beneficial bacteria if it drys out
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Old 10-15-2013, 05:16 PM   #3 
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As of now it's only the one betta in the tank. I've considered getting some shrimp but it's probably not for the best right now given how much I'll have to move. That, and I'd be afraid Pancakes would eat them.

So if the bacteria will only die when it has dried out, my idea to keep enough water in the tank to cover the substrate should help? I could toss the filter media in the water with it as well.
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Old 10-15-2013, 05:33 PM   #4 
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Yep pretty much if you keep it wet, the bacteria shouldn't die provided it is short term. Some people in this forum even send their old filter media for people to "seed" their own tanks with it. I would leave enough water to cover the substrate (even putting it in a bag w old water from your tank would work fine) and I would use a bag filled with water from your tank and toss the filter in there. As long as it stays wet, you should be good to go.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:21 PM   #5 
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I did a super long move with my goldies and bettas not long ago.

So, I didn't want to re-cycle the goldies, so....

I took the filter media out of the filter, double bagged it with the water from the filter in a large gallon ziploc freezer bag. I put this in a small bucket. I then took my gravel, after it'd been vacuumed, and bagged it in freezer bags as well. I also put these in a bucket, with a little bit of tank water (not too much, the bags got super heavy and I didnt want any bursting or leaking). I removed as much air as possible from these bags. There was some serious spacial problems when we got to the new house, so everything stayed in those bags almost a week, and all my live plants stayed in a 3 gallon plastic tank with some water, but not planted in the tank.

The fish themselves... the goldies, cories, and one shrimp I had (I'm sure that shrimp got eaten by now..) were all individually bagged with extra air, and water conditioned and treated with stress coat. Put the bags in a bucket to keep them all stable. For the bettas, I kept the cups they came in from the pet store. Same sort of water as the goldies.

Did water changes for the bettas at 50% every day until I set up their tank, which was new. They have a slow air pump and and undergravel set up. I did not put ANYTHING of weight in my tanks when moving with them. My brother had moved my 10g ahead of time and it wound up breaking because he kept other things in it. I had to buy a new 10g because of that. I think you could get away with setting a betta cup (or, better, a small critter keeper, wrapped in a towel at the bottom and part of the sides (so it doesn't wiggle in your tank) would be safe since it's just a 10g. But I wouldn't put the gravel / substrate in it to move, especially with water. Too much movement. I personally wouldn't risk that.

I use a small bucket found in the mop/ housekeeping section of most stores. Its kinda oval. I think its 3g.

My heaters, I placed them in a pair of thick wool socks, then wrapped in two bags (like plastic grocery bags). My general aquarium decor went in another ziploc. (Silk plants, marbles, plastic plants, and my decorations.)

It's not too bad. Cories got their own 5g home depot bucket with bubbler, as did goldies, for the days before I got their tank set up. I buckled my large tanks into the back seat (50gal and 29gal--barely fit!) for my drive. They got here in good condition.


The only time I DID move with a 10g with substrate in it was when I moved with my frog, but that substrate was much softer and weighed less, and was not very deep at all. I put my frog in the cup he'd come in, to move with him. Cleaning bucket held anything that could move/ fall/ get in the way/ the cricket keeper, his food, misters, clamp lamp and heating pad.


It took a lot of thought and figuring out, but once I had a plan, and drew it out on paper, I was a lot less stressed. You should be able to fit everything for your fish in the passenger seat of your car (and in front of it), giving you the trunk and backseat for the rest of the things you have to bring home from school. :)

Hope this helps!
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:29 AM   #6 
CapitalistPig
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I'm glad it shouldn't be too much of an issue. I was pretty concerned about that. Having to go through cycling so much would have been stressful for both me and my betta.

Thanks for the help, everyone. I really appreciate it.
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