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Author Topic: Earthquake rescue fish.... help!  (Read 835 times)
wiki
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Earthquake rescue fish.... help!
« on: March 20, 2011, 03:46:52 AM »

Hi
I rescued some goldfish from a pond today in Christchurch NZ (hit by a big earthquake 3 weeks ago)... the house and garden including their pond has been deemed unsafe for ppl and the only reason i could get to them is that i am doing emergency work (even the owner of the pond isnt allowed in...) ... the owner said if i caught them i coiuld have them (Im not stealing, he hasnt been able to feed them and the pump and filter is off cos there isnt any power... I cant let fish die...)

Well... the question is... I am going back to my home town tomorrow (a 5 hour drive and 4 hour boat ride). At the moment they are in a very small bucket (3 fishes)... prob about 5 litres which i think is 2 gallons... There are no pet shops open here so i cant oxegenate the water or get some oxygen-weed (or testing kit)... I plan to get them a lovely big tank when I get home in 24 hours... will they be ok til then?... i dont want to kill them - they have been through a major earthquake already!

 They are in their original pond water (murky and full of dead leaves which i have removed) and i tipped some un-chlorinated fresh water in recently to help re-oxygenate it and start the cycling thing...  They seem pretty happy in their bucket... they were gulping at the surface a little bit (uh-oh) and seem to be lying low at the bottom for the rest of the time... Will they cope for the 9 hours without food on the journey? is it better not to feed them so they produce less waste and ammonia? (i have food for them so that is not a problem...)

I really know nothing about goldfish except what i have learnt on here in the last couple of hours!

Thank you very much!

Wiki
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nabi
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Re: Earthquake rescue fish.... help!
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2011, 04:17:24 AM »

Yea i saw the news about the earthquake in Christchurch NZ and now the more recent one in Japan. The pictures of the destruction caused by these earthquakes are pretty  sad and difficult to look at. 

How big are the goldfish. .. Since you don't have access to a test kit or a water conditioner (dechlorinator), you probably can't change the water.  I guess the current container will have to suffice. You definitely should not feed them any food, since uneaten food will foul up what little water they have and will likely cause more ammonia.  Goldfish can go for a week or more without food so that shouldn't be a problem.  Depending on the size of the goldfish, there's probably about 50 percent chance they will survive the trip.  The most important you can do now is   keeping the temperature of the water steady.   If the water gets too  warm , there will less dissolved oxygen available in the water and this can stress them even more.  Try to keep the container out of direct sunlight during the ride in the car and boat.   Once you get them home, transfer them to a larger container or an aquarium and slowly acclimate them to the new water.

Do you have an established aquarium already at home? If not, you can read more about the requirements for keeping goldfish here.

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wiki
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Re: Earthquake rescue fish.... help!
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2011, 04:28:46 AM »

The 2 small ones are about 2 inches long and the big one about 3 inches.  I am most worried about the water they are in now... it is green and cloudy! I dont want to shock them by giving them too much new water too suddenly. They will be out of sunlight on the trip... I will also transfer them to a spill-proof plastic bag in the morning before we go.

They are still gulping at the surface... is this bad?

No I do not have an aquarium... I have never had a fish before!

Thank you for the links Smiley

Wiki
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nabi
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Re: Earthquake rescue fish.... help!
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2011, 04:44:48 AM »

No, don't put them in a  plastic bag. The water needs to be exposed to the open air so oxygen exchange between the water and air can occur. If you put them in a closed plastic bag, the goldfish will suffocate . Keep them in the current bucket or if you have access to a larger bucket, that would be even better.

How did you get access to unchlorinated water? Water coming out of the tap in most cities have chlorine or chloramine in them, which must be removed with a water conditioner first before using .

Remember to read the two links i gave you so you have a general idea how to setup and cycle an aquarium. You can research more about cycling a tank by googling.
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wiki
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Re: Earthquake rescue fish.... help!
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2011, 04:51:07 AM »

unchlorinated water? We have to boil our drinking water out of the tap at the moment (cos it may be contaminated) so we have had some boiled water sitting on the stove for 12 hours... I believe that is enough to remove any chlorine that was in it to start with (if there was even any anyway considering the stqate of the water supply at the moment...)

Aaaagh I dont know how to transport them now! i spilt half their water on me in the 10 minute drive from the pond to the motel! I will have to leave them in the car on the boat too... no animals allowed on deck...
I hope it isnt rough... what about a half full bag with lots of air sealed into it?

I am pretty sure that I understand the cycling process... I will do it once I get them to their new home!
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nabi
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Re: Earthquake rescue fish.... help!
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2011, 05:02:55 AM »

You can keep goldfish in a sealed bag for short duration trip (30 minutes or less), usually from the pet  shop to your home.  A 9 hour trip in a sealed bag is probably too long for them to survive, along with ammonia buildup and lack of oxygen.  Maybe you can come up with something creative.
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fantailer
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Re: Earthquake rescue fish.... help!
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2011, 07:16:20 AM »

Fill up a five gallon toat box they'll be okay in there for half a day.
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Summer Time
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Re: Earthquake rescue fish.... help!
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2011, 07:57:26 AM »

Gulping at the surface could be a sign that there isn't enough oxygen, or that there is too much ammonia. If your hand is clean, maybe you can agitate the water every once in a while to build up some oxygen.

Does the owner have any aquarium chemicals in their house that you can use, something to neutralize the ammonia? I use Prime for this purpose, and there are other brands too that do the same thing.

Or if you ask around, you might run into another fish keeper and they can give you what you need to get them home more comfortably.
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Nossie
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Re: Earthquake rescue fish.... help!
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2011, 09:35:36 AM »

They should make it, I think, goldfish are incredibly hardy after all, and all my fish have gone through journeys in 10 liter buckets and survived without issues Smiley The travels took about 1 hour +.
I'd try to fill some more water into the bucket somehow, or buy a larger container to transport them in. You don't need much water in that, the important thing is surface area!!
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bubblez
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Re: Earthquake rescue fish.... help!
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2011, 10:37:30 AM »

you kind off a hero Grin
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wiki
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Re: Earthquake rescue fish.... help!
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2011, 06:48:36 PM »

Well, just so you guys know... I got the fish home safe and sound in big plastic bags (they got one each) They seemed to be pretty happy for the journey.

They are now enjoying their new aquarium and seem pretty happy... They grow fast dont they?  I will have to look at a bigger tank for them soon!
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Summer Time
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Re: Earthquake rescue fish.... help!
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2011, 08:01:23 PM »

Great job!!  Cheesy

They do grow fast!
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fantailer
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Re: Earthquake rescue fish.... help!
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2011, 04:41:20 AM »

Yeah wiki are a hero.
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bubblez
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Re: Earthquake rescue fish.... help!
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2011, 02:04:27 PM »

your story makes me smile
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Nossie
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Re: Earthquake rescue fish.... help!
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2011, 11:21:50 AM »

Nice to hear that they made it!! Smiley How big is the current tank?
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