FAQs about Moving Marine Livestock
Related Articles: Moving and Transporting your
Livestock and Tanks By Amy Janecek, Moving Aquariums,
Related FAQs: Moving Livestock 1,
FAQs on Moving Livestock: Plans, Gear, Techniques... Success Stories, Troubles/Fixing, &
Aquariums 2, Moving Aquariums 3,
Moving Aquariums 4, Moving Aquariums 5, Live Rock Shipping/Moving,
Moving Tank - Question on acclimating livestock
I am purchasing a 96 gallon tank with a variety (~ 20 pieces) of soft
and hard coral, 2-3 shrimp and 5 fish (tang, wrasse, clowns). The tank
comes with live rock and all the plumbing equipment. It has been
operational for about two years and seems to be very stable. I
have read your moving FAQ's and found it all INCREDIBLY helpful. You are
wonderful for cataloging all this information. Thanks to you I have a
detailed checklist and responsibility table and a full plan for moving
The total distance of the move is about 30 miles (around NYC this will
take about 1.5 hours). I have rented a large truck to transport
the water, tank, rock and equipment. The livestock will travel by car.
I am moving everything but the substrate. I have bought new substrate
for the new location (CaribSea Oolite) and plan to install a DSB.
<Do rinse this well; in advance. See WWM re SOP>
I searched your website but could not find an answer to my specific
questions: 1) Do I need to drip-acclimate the livestock when it is
reintroduced to the tank in the new location?
<Not if most all the water is transported from the old location>
The live rock will travel "wet" (in tank water), and about 70-80% of the
water will be same (we plan to lose some water when we bag the fish and
are planning on a 20 gallon water change).
The only thing new will be the live sand. 2) Is there a desired
length of time I should let the tank rest / cycle before reintroducing
the fish and corals?
<Mmm, no; best to get all settled in expediently>
It seems like all I am doing is a "water-change" but fear that the
introduction of the new substrate adds a new complexity that I had not
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not provide you with an update on
the email response you sent me below. The fish and coral in the tank
referred to below are thriving. The brain coral was delivered an intense
blow but only went down on one knee and is now standing again!
Thanks for all you do.
<A pleasure to serve, share. Bob Fenner>
Water Conditioners for Live Fish Transport?
I am a licensed commercial fisherman and am interested in the use of
water conditioners to aid live fish transport. Anything that reduces
mortality would be helpful.
<There are a few... a fave and available w/o paperwork is Jungle
Lab's "Hypno"... http://www.junglelabs.com/
there are other "fishy anesthetics", oxygen-generating
The said additives need not be food safe, as this would be for
hauling live saltwater baitfish. I am familiar with the use of
additives to reduce ammonia toxicity,
<Never seen any of these that were actually effective>
but are the "slime" type products such as Seachem Stressguard
I ask because typical hauling densities are fairly high, on the order
of 1 - 1 1/2lb of fish per gallon, or approximately 24-36 fish per
gallon and abrasion can possibly occur. Anything that would reduce post
haul losses would be useful. I would appreciate any thoughts or
experiences you might have in transporting live marine fish.
Thanks in advance!
<Best to keep such fishes as cold as practical, the water
well-oxygenated, the light excluded, and prep. the animals in advance
(no feeding for a few days, baths to eliminate external parasites...),
ship in "new" water of low/no metabolite content... to reduce
mortality. Bob Fenner>
Re: Water Conditioners for Live Fish Transport? 1/24/12
Thanks for the prompt response! I'll look into tranquilizers, thank
you for pointing me in that direction.. I do have some further
questions - the ammonia binders on the market (Chloram-x, Amguard,
Amquel, etc) are not effective in your experience?
<They are not>
They are marketed as having some utility for live hauling.
<The operative term here is "some"... very limited>
Some of what you've mentioned as good practices I have incorporated
into my routine; my transport tank is insulated and the transport water
cooled by 10F from the ambient water temp. Aeration is as strong as
practical via venturi pump, spray bar and diffused air. I am
considering incorporating diffused O2 as a backup oxygenation
<This last, sparging liquefied oxygen in particular, is a superb
Lowering temperature while providing super saturated oxygen and water
I do not always have the opportunity to hold and condition/prep the
fish prior to sale, though. Whenever possible I do so, but many times
they will be on their way less than 6 hrs after capture. These fish are
captured in a trap fishery and tend to have a full stomach from
munching on bait; as you imagine, they puke their guts out and just
make a huge mess.
<Yes... would be immensely beneficial to flush the water our almost
completely, continuously for a day or so>
Significant metabolic waste could be an issue; they're tough little
guys and I can't say that I've had any major losses from
ammonia poisoning yet (knock on wood) but I am investigating various
ways to reduce stressors under my control and improve the product
delivered. Delayed mortality crops up every now and then and I am
looking for ways to reduce it.
Thanks again for your advice, much appreciated.
<Welcome Alan. BobF>
Leaving fish in a bag 5/17/11
Hi crew, I was planning on getting a new fish this weekend.
Unfortunately, it will need to be in a bag for approximately 24 hours
due to the distance from my fish store and other plans I have. I know
they can handle this but I was wondering if there is anything I can do
to maximize my success of bringing my new fish home alive and with
minimal stress to the fish. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
<Yes, oxygen (from the dealer hopefully) double, oversized bags and
water, and a light and thermally insulated container. Read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Shipping... SW lvstk., reading
I am moving from VA to CA and I'm trying to ship my fishes ( powder
blue, purple tang, blue hippo, mandarin dragon and 2 ocellaris). Is
there a proper and secure way to ship the fishes?
<Oh yes... and best you have a local fish store or fellow hobbyist
hold on to these and ship them to you once you're there, settled.
Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/movelvstkfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Upgrading Tanks, SW, moving, reading
First I want to thank all of you for everything you have helped
Secondly, I am working up the courage to change out a 55 gallon,
non reef ready aquarium, to a 90 gallon reef ready aquarium.
I searched your site and couldn't find much on the
I am currently running a 600 gph overflow box that feeds into a
proflex 100 refugium. I have attached another proflex 100 sump
where my Tunze 9011 skimmer works day and night. I am pumping
water into the sump with a powerhead that is placed where the
filter socks go into the refugium. The water then flows back to
the refugium through one inch tubing.
<Not much flow can be handled by such a diameter line>
My lighting is the 48" Nova Extreme T5 HO 8 Bulb fixture. I
just changed the bulbs with 4 ATI Blue Plus, 1 Purple Plus, 1
6500k Daylight, a 12kk White actinic and one more I can't
remember. I have about an inch of fine grain sand with a bit of
crushed coral mixed in for substrate, around 60lbs of live rock,
several different types of coral (leather, sps, lps, and
Zoanthids), a big beautiful Sebae anemone that is Queen of the
tank, a Green Bubble Tip anemone,
<Dangerous to mix Actinarians w/ other Cnidarian
3 cleaner shrimp, a 4" Blue Hippo Tang, Fire fish, Yellow
Watchmen Goby, Bicolor Blenny, Pygmy Angle, 2 Percula Clowns and
some snails and Hermits.
I am concerned that I might cause the tank to cycle and hurt my
livestock. What is the best way to go about this process?
<The process of moving all to the new system? Read here:
and the linked files above>
The tank is 3 years old but I have only had it for a year. My
Nitrates fluctuate between 5-10, Phosphates are 0,
<Mmm, not really. Your stinging-celled life would not be
PH is 8.2-8.4 and KH 7-8.
I would appreciate any help you can give me. If there are topics
on this that I did not find, I apologize. Thank you very much for
all of your help, past and future!
<Certainly welcome. After reading, do write back if your plan
isn't clear, complete. Bob Fenner>
Re: Upgrading Tanks; and anemone comp., test kit grade/SW
Thank You for the quick response. I do have a couple of
questions. I read that a Bubble Tip anemone
*can* get along fine with a Sebae anemone.
<Can... have photographed them in the wild, contiguous>
Mine do well. I got the Bubble Tip prior to discovering WWM or I
would have forgone that acquisition. I have tried to get the
Bubble Tip out, after reading that there can be a problem,
You showed doubt in my Phosphate readings, something to do with
my stinging-celled life. I truly get 0 phosphates when I check
<Assuredly, the measure is less than 0., perhaps less than
0.0... but not altogether absent>
My Nitrates never get to 20. I either misunderstood your
reasoning or my test kit is not very good.
<Likely the test kit precision to significant figures>
I guess I am unclear on what you wrote.
<And I apologize for not being clear/er>
If my test kits are not accurate then I should purchase a better
<Mmm, not really. I suspect your kit/s is/are fine for what
you have in mind>
I am using API.
<Not the best, but passable for most aquarists'
Thank you for the link. Most times I find what I am looking for.
I no longer purchase anything of importance without referring to
WWM. Thank you for this awesome site.
<Certainly welcome John/Tracey. BobF>
Re: Upgrading Tanks 11/10/10
John Aurelio here. I wanted to thank you for your help in
All is well. Everything is settling quite well. I did find
something quite interesting in my new tank that I didn't even
realize was in there. In fact... just see for your self ;-) I
document lots of images. I was looking through them and noticed
this picture. It was purely by accident.
I didn't even realize what I had until then. That old man in
Lots of fun. Cheers!
<The sea slug? BobF>
Re: Upgrading Tanks
No sea slug. The mouth is a Bi-color Blenny Backing into his
<Ohh! Now I see it/this fish... Had just gotten in from flying
for a day (in a jet!). Cheers, B>