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 Post subject: Live Fish Transport
PostPosted: Jan 24th, '15, 10:59 
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In 5 or 6 weeks I have 150 trout to bring home from a trout farm in the mountains a bit over an hour's drive away, with some very steep roads to negotiate, so the container will need a lid that doesnt leak too much water.
I'll have to add a vent for the aeration air and CO2 etc to escape too.

The big B store has 150 litre insulated boxes for $258 that look like they would be suitable for the job, once I drop in a couple of air stones supplied from a 12V air pump.

From my reading, Ammonia levels will be kept down if the fish dont eat for 48 hours before transport, and keeping the water as cool as possible will help survival rates, as will salting to about 1ppt.

At this stage I dont know what size the fish will be, but I suspect at least 12-15cm. I've emailed asking for a size estimate, but if I think they look a bit big to pack in, then I'll make 2 trips.


Does anyone with experience with live fish transport have any other tips and things to watch out for?
TIA.

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 Post subject: Re: Live Fish Transport
PostPosted: Jan 24th, '15, 11:11 
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Do you know if the trout farm bags them up and injects oxygen into the water? I would think for 150 fish it would be easier to transport them in bags in smaller lots, rather than a big container all together.

I transported 20 in one bag roughly the same distance and they did fine, they would have been on average around the 12cm mark each. I just propped the bag in an esky to stop it moving around.

Maybe ask if they can bag them up for you before spending any money on an esky just for one trip.

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 Post subject: Re: Live Fish Transport
PostPosted: Jan 24th, '15, 12:00 
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That's how I collected my last lot of 80 (~8cm long) trout, which eventually had about 7 hours of transport, but the trout farm have assured me that this lot will be too big for bags.

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 Post subject: Re: Live Fish Transport
PostPosted: Jan 24th, '15, 12:26 
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You can hire large fibreglass ice boxes from party hire places. I got one with a hinged lid and just ran a piece of thick
foam around the opening side to let the airlines in and stop too much splashing. a couple of pieces of Perspex or similar inside the top 150mm or so as baffles may be a good idea the water does surge a fair bit in a big tank


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 Post subject: Re: Live Fish Transport
PostPosted: Jan 24th, '15, 18:21 
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First off I'm not an expert but I did alright with a batch of about 30 rainbow trout this size or larger (6 - 8 inches) for a bit over two hours. I think a cylindrical cooler would work better than a rectangular one like I used - no corners for the fish or water to slosh into. I believe it's harder for the fish to hurt themselves by running into a wall with a cylindrical transport tank. Having more space inside isn't necessarily a good thing either, if it just means hitting a wall inside the container. You do have to be able to get them enough oxygen though.

I used a regular (for the USA) 120 V air pump and an inverter hooked to my cars cigarette lighter. I should mention that I had access to an oxygen tank and regulator as well. If the waters cold enough it should be OK without.

For smaller fish than what you're transporting or maybe even up to the size you're getting, I'd probably use 5 gallon buckets with tight fitting lids and airstones inside a cooler or coolers (with an air vent near the center of the bucket lid). At least that way if it spilled it would be contained.

I don't know if you have access to any coolers like these but with modifications some of these would probably work well for larger fish - http://www.homedepot.com/p/Rubbermaid-10-gal-Orange-Water-Cooler-FG1610HDORAN/202260809
On some coolers like this the lids screw down which would help limit spillage. Keeping them stable might be a bit more of an issue because of the shape.

I'd use multiple containers but I suspect some would think these containers are too small, I don't know, they could be right but that's my 2 cents worth :dontknow:

FYI: I found a review on fish transport that might have something you can use - http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/af000e/AF000E05.htm

edit: Forgot to mention that you might find a good transport tank available as a bait tank - for example - http://www.catchnbait.com/keepalive-shad-bait-tanks.htm
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 Post subject: Re: Live Fish Transport
PostPosted: Jan 24th, '15, 19:21 
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Thanks Scotty, I'd already read right through the FAO document- lots of useful info there!

I've just had a reply back from the trout farm, and they tell me they'll only be 50mm or so, which means bags with O2 will be fine. This is a lot smaller than I was expecting, due to the loss of the 10000 trout I posted about in another thread.

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 Post subject: Re: Live Fish Transport
PostPosted: Jan 24th, '15, 19:56 
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Hi Gordon, I remember your post about the trout losses but I didn't know this is where you were going for your fish. Having the smaller fish certainly makes the transport easier.


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 Post subject: Re: Live Fish Transport
PostPosted: Jan 24th, '15, 19:58 
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That's a good idea with the 5 gallon buckets in the esky scotty,
would also let you pack a bit of ice around the buckets for a long trip


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 Post subject: Re: Live Fish Transport
PostPosted: Jan 24th, '15, 20:07 
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Beat me to the post Johnh

Yeah the ice is good as long as the fish have time to adjust and the temperature change isn't too fast. Way back when, the fish were transported on trains in 10 gallon milk containers where ice melted on top and dripped down into the container. The ice keeps the water temp low which help keep the Dissolved Oxygen level high while the metabolism rate is kept down. They transported huge numbers of fish from the national hatchery in specially made train cars this way. Later they used smaller specially made 5 gallon containers with ice in the top, that could haul as many as the larger containers could.

-------------

As an add on to my earlier post about what I'd do - I originally used two 14 gallon rectangular coolers for the 30 fish.

For anyone thinking of transporting larger fish - The people supplying the fish have a good idea what it takes to transport them and since I'm not an expert, don't just blindly follow my lead - ask the supplier if they think your method will work. I know some places here in the states will even rent/loan the tank and equipment for you to transport small quantities of fish. There may be other options as well if they make regular stocking runs near your location.


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 Post subject: Re: Live Fish Transport
PostPosted: Oct 21st, '16, 09:07 
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I actually took 220 trout, see:
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=24153&start=75#p501873

and earlier this year, I brought over 400 40-90mm trout back with the same transport system. They easily survived the 1 hour trip back, although the water was quite dirty by the time I got home, as they had been eating right up until the time they were netted out of the large tank at the trout farm.

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 Post subject: Re: Live Fish Transport
PostPosted: Oct 21st, '16, 09:32 
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doesnt your trout farm bag them into appropriate amounts and add oxygen?

when i get trout i have over an hours drive too, always just bagged and they always survive.


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 Post subject: Re: Live Fish Transport
PostPosted: Oct 21st, '16, 09:39 
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They do it for fry-small fingerlings at the end of the year - Sept-Dec, but not from January onwards, which is when I pick mine up. I think bagging 400 would be more of a hassle than transporting them in my tank anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Live Fish Transport
PostPosted: Oct 21st, '16, 10:04 
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thats fair enough, i tend to buy around march, but i do tend to buy yearlings. :shrug:


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 Post subject: Re: Live Fish Transport
PostPosted: Oct 21st, '16, 15:50 
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In light of the thread..

Outback Ozzie used to transport up to 5000 trout from Perth to Kalgoorlie (700km). He used an IBC, continually topping up with ice along the trip and direct injected pure oxygen. I don't believe he ever lost any.

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 Post subject: Re: Live Fish Transport
PostPosted: Oct 21st, '16, 16:02 
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Clearly they must have been very small, since they only had 200ml of space each!

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