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Old 11-16-2010, 10:24 AM   #1 
Moldau
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Considering different options, need advice

I will be leaving for Thanksgiving break at the end of this week, and will be gone for 9 days. I have considered for quite a while, (even before I got my betta) what I would do during this time. He currently lives in a cycled five gallon tank. I have read that he should be able to survive that long without food, but I am really leaning against that. I would probably have a hard time enjoying my break when he's stuck there alone without food for that long. I would also be worried about something happening (power out, him getting sick, etc). What I am really leaning towards doing is taking him home with me (2 hr trip). I have looked up how to transport fish with as little stress as possible. I still have the cup he came in or I can get a bag. I also have a big styrofoam box I can put his cup or bag in so he'll be insulated and in the dark. At home, he can live in a 2 gallon+ container. I would, of course, bring home his heater as well. Does this sound like an okay plan?

Another concern I have is keeping the cycle. It took a really long time to finally establish, so I don't want to lose it. One thing I thought I could do is bring home the filter and try to find a way to keep the media damp during the trip, then use the filter at home as well. Or, I could leave the filter, and put some raw shrimp in the tank (in a container so it doesn't make a big mess) while it is empty. I don't know how long it would take for the shrimp to start producing ammonia, though. Which would be more practical and more likely to work?

Thanks to those who read all of this. I really want to do what's best for my fish, so advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:46 AM   #2 
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Do you have anything else alive in the 5gal tank...like a snail or live plants? these will keep the cycle while your gone.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:42 AM   #3 
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i would just bring the 5 gallon home with you. its not that big of a tank, and a 2 hour drive wont kill your bacteria off, especially once you get it filled with water and your fish back in it when you get there.
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:17 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Do you have anything else alive in the 5gal tank...like a snail or live plants? these will keep the cycle while your gone.
No, there is nothing else like that in there. I'm not sure a snail could survive for that long in there with no added food, anyway. There isn't even any algae growth that I can see.
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:47 PM   #5 
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Since a 5G tank isn't all that obtrusive or heavy, I would just take it home with you. This way you could keep the bacteria in the filter and the gravel alive and your fish won't be as stressed out if he has familiar surroundings to return to. Drain the water out of it, just leaving enough so the gravel is moist, then wrap the filter media in a paper towel that has been dampened with tank water and put it in the tank during your travel. That would be the easiest way to do it.

If possible, you should consider bringing some water from your school home with you. It would be easier to adjust the fish to the new source of water if you mix it with some of the old.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:49 PM   #6 
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Thanks for the advice. The only reason I was reluctant to bring the tank home was because of all the decorations in it (silk plants, gravel, rocks and driftwood). That really shouldn't be too much trouble, and it does seem like it will be much less stressful for him. Also, thanks for the tip about bringing some of the water from here back home. I'll make sure to do that.
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