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Article - Moving and Transporting Fish

Having fish in your quarantine tank


Since Hurricane Katrina, many southerners have been able to return to their homes and reclaim ponds as well as houses. Others have relocated and are in the process of taking their fish with them to the new home. Still others are moving, rock by rock, the old pond to the new location. I happen to be in touch with a number of these unfortunate pond owners. They are already doing what I am about to begin shortly. I am in the process of selling my house and will move sometime this fall to a warmer climate. Naturally, the fish are going with me.

That brings me to the question of exactly how the fish are to be moved from one place to the next. In my case I expect to purchase a home with pre-existing in-ground pool that can, with a bit of Microbe-Lift bacteria and Dechlorinator Plus, accommodate my pets. But that still doesn’t tell me how to get them from here to there.

I considered buying one of those transport tanks, but I don’t have a pick-up truck, so it probably would be a waste of money. I also considered using the double-bag-method-with-oxygen-and-cardboard-boxes as the next logical solution. And then, what would I do with the boxes? Do I rent a U-Haul to pack the boxes and drive them down to Florida? It would be a two-day drive so that really didn’t sound like an ideal situation for the koi stuck in those bags, especially if it was hot at the time.

Well, taking this one step at a time made me realize I couldn’t do it alone. I began asking for help. Friends came out of the woodwork. Some simply wanted to buy my fish -- not an option. Others said sell the fish and buy new ones once you get settled in. One offered to help ship them by air since it requires a license to ship koi since 9/11/01. That sounds very attractive, however I still need help catching, bagging and delivering them to the airport at the last minute in order to be able to get to Florida to meet the plane, or be on the same plane perhaps and move them to the swimming pool.

Initially, that was the accepted solution. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I am probably not going to get my house sold as long as I have the pond. The pond is going to be filled in and the fish have to be put somewhere else, long before they become airbound. And on the day of departure, I would be in no shape to do all this.

Another koi dealer offered to come out, collect the fish, keep them at his place until I am settled in at the new home, and when I call him, he will ship them by air so I can just drive out and pick them up. It’s a 2-hour plane ride. Will it cost more? I’m not so sure. It may be more costly with a U-Haul… and less stress for the fish!

A true story and ongoing saga...