I've moved with my bettas plenty of times before, but only to like, one town over. This time, I'm moving half way across the country.
I have live plants, three bettas, 6 tetras, two cories, 5 shrimp, a bunch of snails, and a goldfish that need transporting.
I'm honestly not entirely concerned about the tetras, cories, shrimp, snails, or goldfish. It's the bettas and plants that I'm worried about.
What would be the best way to move everything without risking them dying?
The last time I moved, I lost both of my bettas. They developed dropsy due to all of the stress and temperature fluctuations during the move.
I believe the move will take about two days of travel. We'd leave here, stop somewhere overnight, and then go the rest of the way there. I don't know how soon upon arriving I'll be able to get the tanks set up.
Hmmmm. I've never moved cross country with bettas, only a few hours away.
I would try to find some type of cooler (obviously you wouldn't be using it to cool but to keep the water warm) or insulated box (there are some boxes mad of styrofoam that would be perfect for this). make sure you pack bubble wrap around the bags or containers (in your case I would recommend double bagging) so that they do no move too much.
If you are stopping for the night, is there anyway to take the fish out of their bags and get them each into a small tank (like 1 gallon or something) heated for the night? If not, then I suggest at least changing most of the water (all if you can but I can see how that will be difficult) in the bags before the second day of driving.
You also have the added benefit that it is summertime in the states so the weather is fairly warm.
I do suggest that you set up the tanks as soon as you can. I understand that it will be tough (especially if you are moving with your family) but try to explain to them that it is extremely important that you set up your tanks ASAP because your fish can die if you don't. In the meantime, keep the bags as warm as you can. Place them in a warm part of the house or something.
I forgot to mention that I would fast your fish for 2 or 3 days before you move. I know 5 days seems like a long time to go without food but it really isn't for them. Just feed them as soon as you get their tanks set up.
We have too many fish, so I don't think putting them in a small tank would work out. I do plan on changing their water though, before we leave the hotel.
I plan on setting up the tanks as soon as possible, but it really depends on when we get our dressers brought into the house. My tanks go on my nightstand and dresser, and so do my sisters' in their room. So unfortunately, that part isn't up to me. :( Hopefully we'll get everything unloaded and moved in right away though.
Not sure about styrofoam boxes, but coolers and cooler bags are a great idea! Also make sure you place them in the most sturdy place possible in the car, likely the floor of the vehicle. Seats and the trunk are places they'll move around in, and places their water will move around most too due to turns, torsion, etc. Keep in mind everything in the car is moving at the same speed as the car itself too - this is why sudden stops hurt for people - they also hurt for fish, who will slam into the sides of the container. Remind whoever is driving to accelerate and slow down smoothly, try to avoid sudden stops, and to also try to avoid bumps and tight turns at too fast a speed (I know, where's the fun in driving like that? haha). But it will make a big difference for your fish :) Also keep thermometers in their containers, so you can monitor any large fluctuations throughout the trip and try to correct them if necessary. They should be OK, although a little stressed, between temps of 60 - 85 ish.
Also set them down within the house to stabilize and get their "feet back on the ground" for at least half an hour - 2 hours once you arrive at your destination, before putting them in a new tank. And keep them in a dark space for the duration of the move and at least 24 hours after moving them. When it is time to turn the lights back on, do it gently by exposing them to the room lights only, and then tank lights. (I realize they'll see room lights at periods where you change water and first move in, but do try to keep this as a minimum, as it actually confuses them more. If they just think it's night the whole time, they'll relax and sleep a bit).
Best of luck with the move! I hope everything runs smoothly.
EDIT: It also sounds weird, but don't forget to try and move as much of their original tank water as possible! It will help when you acclimate them to the water in the new area, so that the water in the new location doesn't shock them when their tanks are set up.
Hmmmm I don't know where you can find them. My mom gets medicine shipped to my parent's house in them so before I move I always ask her to save one for me. I would go with a cooler. Maybe your family has an extra one or just one in general that you can use. Just make sure you put bubble wrap between and around all the bags with fish. This will keep the bags as still as possible.
I've decided to go with the bagged fish in styrofoam box plan. Only problem is, I have nooooo idea where to get the styrofoam box big enough to fit all of the fish (three bettas, two cories, 5 shrimp, 6 tetras, 2 otos, one goldfish, and lots of live plants), or where to get bags for them. Any suggestions?
Hmm. I've seen at my local Walmart that they sell those styrofoam coolers. I'm not exactly sure of the dimensions of the cooler though. And maybe you could use Ziploc bags for the fish? They heavy duty ones so they won't leak. Not sure if that will work but just throwing it out there.
I would try walmart as well. Maybe even target if there is one near you?
Bags - try to use the gallon size ziplock (but make sure you secure the top with a rubber band, similar to how the bag looks when you bring a new fish home from the store). You could also just go to petco/petsmart or a local fish store and ask you can buy a few bags from them. I did this once and the petco ended up just giving them to me so thats something you can try.
So there is a possibility we could be moving before the end of the year and since I'm a bit of an OCD over planner, I'm trying to plan out what to do about the fish just in case. What do you guys think about using these jars for transport? We have three so exactly enough for my boys. (Snails will go in the bucket with all the plants) This one has 4 cups of water in it and it locks tight so nothing will leak. It would be a cross country move so probably around 3 ish days. I was thinking each one in a jar wraped in a towel and placed in a bucket or a small cooler on the front passengers floor? Can't put them in the back as there will be two dogs and a toddler back there but no one in the passengers seat.