I quite often buy fish in a shop which is quite far from home. What I mean by far is about an hour’s drive, because in that shop I usually can buy fish and plants directly at the same place.
Usually when buying fish, the fish must be wrapped in plastic. I sometimes wonder how long can fish last on a trip? Because usually I go straight home when I buy fish to prevent the fish from dying because they have been in the plastic for too long.
After I searched for some information, usually fish can last from 7 – 9 hours, some even up to 1 or 6 days. How long fish can last on a trip depends on the situation in the plastic in which the fish is placed and the conditions outside.
Then what are the factors that affect the length of time the fish survive on the trip?
The amount of water in the plastic
Maybe you think the more water in the plastic the better for fish. However, that is not entirely true.
You need to remember that fish not only need water, but also need oxygen to survive. If the plastic is filled with water, then there will be no place for oxygen. The ratio that is quite frequent and even becomes the standard is 1/3 filled with water and 2/3 contains oxygen.
With this comparison, the fish still have enough water to swim and there is still enough room for oxygen so the fish can last longer than plastic filled with water.
In addition to oxygen, when the water is shallow enough, fish can swim and cause water movement which directly causes the replacement of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the water. This will increase the oxygen in the water which will also affect the length of time the fish stay in the plastic.
how to add oxygen to fish bag
After knowing the ratio of water and oxygen, now is the time to delve deeper into the type of oxygen used.
You may think that this is easy, because oxygen is all around us, so we can use it immediately by quickly closing the plastic container for the fish so that it fills with air a little. This method is not wrong, but in my opinion this method can only be done if the distance that the fish will travel is only for a short time. Maybe a few minutes to 1 hour is possible to use this method.
However, if the fish will travel a long distance then this method is not recommended.
The main reason is the type of oxygen present in the air directly with oxygen at different pressures. In addition, fish need oxygen that is dissolved in the water instead of that which is in the air. So, you should use pressurized oxygen which is usually in the tank to fill the oxygen in the plastic. This way the fish will have more dissolved oxygen.
The number of fish in the plastic
The number of fish in the plastic also plays a very important role in determining the length of time the fish can survive the journey. If you want to send fish, you should not fill too many fish in the plastic, especially since the size of the fish is quite large.
More fish means more oxygen is needed. So, it’s best not to overfill fish because the fish can be deprived of oxygen on the way if there are too many fish and not enough oxygen.
If the fish are small like a tetra or zebra danio it may not be a problem filling a large amount of plastic at once because the fish are small. But if the koi fish or goldfish are large enough, you should use 1 plastic for 1 fish to avoid oxygen deficiency.
Plastic bag size
The size of the plastic bag used is also very important to make the fish last longer while traveling.
This is because the bigger the plastic bag it can hold more water and also more oxygen. Fish will be able to survive longer if there is enough oxygen.
With a large plastic bag, it can also accommodate more fish, especially fish of small and medium size. If you use a plastic bag that is too small, the fish will lack oxygen and the water will get dirty faster.
Water conditions while traveling
In addition to oxygen, water conditions also have a significant influence on the condition of the fish in transit. Of course the fish will excrete dirt on the way and cause the water to become dirty. Because there is little water in the plastic, the water will get dirty quickly and cause ammonia which is toxic to fish to increase.
Then, if the trip is too long, the fish are likely to be poisoned and even die. Usually to avoid this, before being sent the fish will not be fed for several days to empty its stomach of food. If the stomach is empty then the chances of the fish excreting will be smaller or at least less in number.
That way, the water conditions will last longer and the ammonia will not rise quickly. This will also affect the condition of the fish.
Fish delivery time
The time of delivery of fish is an external factor that greatly influences the condition of the fish at the time of delivery. I realized this because I often saw trucks carrying fish unloading in the morning at a fish shop near my house.
Then I thought what time the fish was sent?
The answer is, the fish are sent at night. Fish are sent at night with the excuse of avoiding the heat from the sun. You just imagine if you are in a plastic filled with water, then in a closed truck with hot sunlight from outside.
Of course the place feels like a sauna, the water in the plastic will get hot and the oxygen will run out faster because the fish are panicking. Therefore, fish are sent at night because there is no hot sun that can cause fish death.
Pack the fish well
When shipping, packaging is very important to protect the fish. You should always use double plastic wrap to prevent water loss in the event of a leak in the first plastic.
In addition, always use a cork to protect all sides of the cardboard that you will use as a fish holder.
Cork functions as a protector and cardboard reinforcement to make it resistant when stacked with other items. In addition, the cork also functions to keep the temperature inside the cardboard stable.