Moving koi fish to new pond in another state

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by Homesteader, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. Homesteader

    Homesteader

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    My mom has terminal cancer and has asked me to take the koi fish in her 750 gallon tank buried in the ground to my small dug pond (6'dx15'wx30'l). The challenge is that I live 288 miles away. I need advice on how to honor my mom's wish and move her 20+ koi fish (12"s to 28"s) via my small economy car without losing too many or none.
    From my research, I have identified the following points:
    1. Fast the fish for 3 days prior to shipping. This accomplishes 2 things. 1. It lowers their metabolism. 2. It helps ensure that they don’t poop in the water thus polluting their small water supply.
    2. Dark is better than lighted conditions.
    3. Use mom’s pond water for transport. Fill my travel containers with mom’s pond water prior to netting fish to get as clean as water as possible because the netting process stirs up the pond water with particulates (poop/dirt).
    4. Salt has been shown to significantly reduce transport stress on your fish. 1.5 teaspoons of salt per gallon of water.
    5. Transport in coolers to minimize temperature changes during transport.
    6. 2 of the smallest fish per cooler and only 1 mid or large fish per cooler. I can make as many trips as needed while using this rule since I have some time to complete the transport. I can fit 5 coolers in my car per trip.
    Any feedback is appreciated.
    THANKS!
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
    Homesteader, Jun 11, 2017
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  2. Homesteader

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    For a trip of this length, aeration will be an absolute necessity.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Jun 11, 2017
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  3. Homesteader

    sissy sissy

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    I would rent a van from a rental place and make sure it has a plug in port .Most do any ways .Less stress on you and less on the fish .Most you can rent for around 20 or 30 dollars .
     
    sissy, Jun 11, 2017
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  4. Homesteader

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Hello and welcome. So sorry to hear about your mom!

    Sounds to me like you've already figured it all out, so guess you're more asking for validation than for advice. But I do like the idea of renting a van -- less stress on the fish to all make it in one trip.

    But I'm really curious to know how has your mom maintained 20+ koi in a 750 gal tank? How big are they? Oh, I just saw: 12" to 28".... Wow!

    And adding those to your pond.....how many fish do you already have? Just making sure you've thought all this out, beyond the initial move. I know this is a stressful time for you, but you still need to think of future care and maintenance for the fish once you get them moved.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
    Mmathis, Jun 12, 2017
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  5. Homesteader

    Homesteader

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    Thanks to all of the replies.
    Meyer Jordan: I was hoping I could avoid aeration because of all the containers that may be involved. This is definitely something I got to figure out.
    Sissy: Neat idea about a van. I will have to explore this idea. I did have a friend offer her pickup for the trip, but a van would allow me to cool the inside to a better temp though.
    mMathis: I have been researching my options to honor my mom's wishes. I have initial thoughts, but don't presume I have all of the answers. Me taking mom's fish seems to be VERY important to her. I offered to try to find someone local to take her fish,but she was not open to that option. She knows how much enjoyment my fish bring me and she wants her fish to get that kind of attention too. I could be wrong about mom's tank size. It may be bigger, not sure. Some of her fish she has had for many years. She grew them from minnow size. She utilizes a filter system and a waterfalls. She has a constant battle with algae blooms until her various water plants cover the surface enough to block sunlight. My pond is a lot bigger. I have 3 bigger koi and maybe 50 goldfish from fry to 12"s. The goldfish reproduce yearly. Since my pond is a dug pond with 3 natural springs it produces all kinds of aquatic organisms. I have a 2nd pond upstream of my main pond about the same size that I mainly use as a continued source of fresh water. I will likely put a few of the fish in it too.
    Thanks again for the ideas and if anyone else has any wisdom to share to help me make mom's wish come to reality, PLEASE share.
     
    Homesteader, Jun 12, 2017
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  6. Homesteader

    Usman

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    true lol i think she meant to use that tank as carrier ? that small dug pond is huge 30ft 6ft dp im happy for koi
    it shud take 5hrs atleast? i know the fishes can travel for day+ in bags with pure oxygen and sleeping pills but its for professionals only , u can do in ur small plastic tank with less then half water , fast them before , go at night , aerator of good size is must , i wud personally say if its easy , take few at a time so u wud know if any problems in the 1st trip , have it covered tightly , do check each hour how they r doing , do check if the new pond is cycled with balanced readings , before adding them in new pond let them get used to the new water and temp gradualy , if u can add some sort of padding in the container from bags or some thing that will b good as they have great chance of geting injured thats the main concern , have some extra water if they get dizzy u can add fresh water and remove some old , drive carefully
    i found this it looks good to prevent injuries
    [​IMG]
    (1) How to Move Koi - Ask #48 - YouTube

     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
    Usman, Jun 12, 2017
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  7. Homesteader

    sissy sissy

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    I rented a van several times for 19.99 a day and moved fish and had a plug in aerator .I had no choice the liner took up the whole back of my truck and had only hours to get everything apart and out of there before bulldozer came and destroyed it all .
     
    sissy, Jun 12, 2017
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  8. Homesteader

    Homesteader

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    First I want to thank each of you who have provided thoughts and ideas for me to consider.
    Well..... I have completed my first transport via my car.
    I had 5 containers of varying size. The smaller of the coolers I only placed 3 of the smallest goldfish. The biggest 2 containers only had larger koi fish (5+lbs) (1 per cooler). In all I had 12 fish. In each container, I placed ice and some water inside a ziplock bag to slowly cool the water. I filled each container with mom's pond water prior to trying to net fish. The water level was determined by the size/height of the fish being transported in the container - 1" over their back. I traveled in the evening and then after dark to avoid heating the car from direct sunlight. I stopped and checked each container at 1 hr and 3 hr intervals. The fish showed some stress at the 3 hr stop, but were all alive.
    The trip length was about 4hr and 45 minutes.
    Results:
    10 fish made the trip successfully, 2 did not.
    One of the casualties was a beautiful butterfly goldfish. There were 2 other goldfish of similar size in the same cooler which made the trip wonderfully. Idky???? The other casualty was a large koi fish of 7 lbs. It was one of the fish that was showing stress at the 3 hr stop. For some totally unknown reason, the water was warm. All of the other coolers were cool. The ice was completely melted and warm too. I have no clue why the water in this container was warm, where the other coolers were cool. Both of these 2 fish were dead upon arrival.
    The other 10 fish appear to have made the trip well, transitioned the conditioning to my pond water well and survived the night.
    It will take 2 more trips to get them all. Mom seemed to be doing ok with the removal of her fish. She is already trying to make plans to visit the fish later in the summer as her health allows.
     
    Homesteader, Jun 19, 2017
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  9. Homesteader

    Lisak1

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    Glad to hear you had a mostly successful transfer. Could the fish mass itself have caused the water to overheat?
     
    Lisak1, Jun 19, 2017
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  10. Homesteader

    Homesteader

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    Hey Lisak1. Good question. I have asked many similar questions. With fish being cold blooded, I would have thought that they would assume the temp of the water that they were in. I wouldn't have thought that they would regulate their own temp not alone the water environment temp. idk? If I don't understand this correctly, someone please advise me.
    The 7+lb'er that died had a 1/2 gal jug of ice in the container where the 5+lb'er had a gal jug of ice. In retrospect, I SO WISH I would have reversed those ice containers. Big O (7+lb'er), was 100% orange without any other color markings on his body and was one of mom's favs. It was one of her first fish 10 years ago.
    Most of the 10 successful transplants were observed today feeding on pellets I provided. The 5+lb'er was vivaciously feeding. lol He is bigger than any of my previous fish, so I guess he is the big boss now. Mom has one bigger koi to be transported. It is almost 100% white, almost, and is pushing 10lbs and 30"s in length. I need to find a cooler big enough to transport it first. She has approx. 7 more decent size koi (14 - 30"s) and about 10 more various goldfish (6-12"s).

    Next trip I will have a reserve supply of ice and maybe even a reserve container of back up water.

    Thanks again for all of the support you all have given.
    I will keep updating on the progress. 2 trips to go yet.
     
    Homesteader, Jun 19, 2017
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  11. Homesteader

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Thanks for the update! We appreciate that! Most of the time we never hear back from folks. Sorry for the losses, but despite the best care it was likely bound to happen.
     
    Mmathis, Jun 19, 2017
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  12. Homesteader

    Usman

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    good to hear but unfortunate u lost few , u made them fasted and had aerator ? yes that wud help having some extra water u can add in midd of journey to refresh it , it might be they got injured or stress , cant do more u did all possible so its ok 1% loss in such a big journey , later they will be happy and grow well in bigger pond , dont tell mom that it died lol u can add one new orange one to the pond , send us pics of new pond and fish when all safely home

    anyway i wudnt call it failure ... so good luck hope better this time :)

    thnx for update
     
    Usman, Jun 20, 2017
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  13. Homesteader

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Under these circumstances, probably not as most heat is generated by fish in metabolizing food. Since these fish had been starved there would be very little heat generated. More likely, the quality of the cooler played a large part.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Jun 20, 2017
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  14. Homesteader

    Tula

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    It's also possible the water was high in ammonia, as fish create ammonia from their breathing. Maybe take some ammonia binder when you transport the big fish and test the water?
     
    Tula, Jun 20, 2017
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  15. Homesteader

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    I don't believe that this question has been asked.
    How many fish did you already have in your pond?
     
    Meyer Jordan, Jun 20, 2017
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