I'm a junior at Northern Arizona University and am interested in getting a 10 gallon tank for my dorm room, I'm new to the fish keeping hobby. I drive between college and home for summer and winter break, which is an 8 hour drive, and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on how to transport the tank and fish? Would the fish survive an 8 hour car ride? I know these tanks can weigh around 100 pounds when filled, which is heavy. I haven't purchased anything yet and am still in the researching phase so any tips will be a great help.
I'd just bag them and also keep the water in a container when you move. Then once you're back at your room or home un-do everything. You'll have your cycled media in the container and your fish will be in bags.
As far as how to keep them well in the bags..someone else will have to chime in. I've never had to transport an aquarium. Last time I moved a fish for a 12hr car drive I hung onto his bowl for dear life.
When moving fish, I first turn off the heater and allow to cool. Then I drain the tank, saving the water in 5 gallon buckets (super cheap w/lids), another bucket gets all of the gravel/sand/substrate that I can remove. Otherwise, you are likely to blow out the glass on the bottom of the tank, bad news for everyone!
Depending on how many fish we're talking about, I then do the following:
Fish go in one (or more) of the first tank water buckets, I don't fill it more than halfway or so and keep my siphon off the bottom, unless I've got a LOT of fish in one tank, then I may use a big rubbermaid tote because it's got nicer handles, with a sticky thermometer on the outside. Filter, heater, and any fake plants /decor go in a clean Rubbermaid tub with a lid. If I am moving a betta, he/she goes in a cup, floating in the bucket with the lid on until move time, then I pull the cup out, and it gets wrapped in a dark-colored towel and tucked into a box or tub, so that the little guy rides upright and doesn't get tipped.
On arrival, Betta cups go back into the buckets, (more water=more stable temperatures) and the lids go back on, it helps with stress, then we basically do the whole process in reverse. I gradully convert the fishes over to the new water in the new place by small water changes frequently during the first few weeks. :)
I've moved round a bit, and always take all the pets with me. The biggest thing to preserve the microscopic life in the aquarium as much as possible, match temperatures and acclimate slooooowly. :)
I'm getting a 16 gallon in the next week or so, myself :)
I've also been told to remove all the substrate/gravel from a tank for long moves, as well, as it puts a lot of pressure on the seams. Apparently you can get extra plastic-fish bags from your local petstore, too, if you ask.
Thank you for the advice. I'm looking at getting a male betta fish along with other friendly community fish, but I'm not sure what yet. Do you have any suggestions? I've heard corys are good tank mates for bettas. I also like mollies, swordtails, tetras, and guppies. If you have any other species in mind, I'd love your input.
Another option I'm looking at for stocking the tank is having all male bettas and dividing the tank, but I think the fish would like it better if they had more room to swim around. What do you think? One male betta and community fish, or divide the tank for multiple male betta fish (and how many, 2 or 3 or 4)? I know based on the 1 inch of fish per gallon rule, a betta needs 2.5 gallons minimum.
I'm thinking of having a male betta as the "jewel" of the tank with a small shoal of either dwarf or peppered corys, or the betta with a cory and a small shoal of neon tetras. Is one of these options better than the other? Are dwarf corys better than peppered corys for a 10 gallon tank, or vice versa?
With the water, fish, substrate, decore, plants, etc. in 5 gallon buckets, what would the approximate weight be for the load? The only reason why I'm not going out now to get a 10 gallon setup, and am debating different smaller sized tanks, is the weight and transportation concern. I don't want to get a setup that's a pain to transport over such a long distance.