Please help me help my ichthy friends
July 23, 2012 4:28 PM   Subscribe

Mollies in quart-sized tupperware--what can I do so they're ok overnight?

Eight hours ago I scooped about 7 full-size adult mollies, 15 mid-sized adults, and a couple dozen frys into 3 quart-sized disposable tupperware--more wide than tall (5"x8"x3"). The plan was to hand them over to someone today, but they never showed, but will be by in about 12 hours to get them. I'd rather not put the fish back in the tank and rescoop them tomorrow because I'm painfully slow at it. I can chase those buggers around all day and never get them.

Right now the lids are off (I'll only put it on when the person comes to collect them) and they're covered with screen door mesh to stop them from jumping out but to still allow gas exchange with the air (it doesn't actually touch the water though, and I'd be worried about what's on the mesh if I used it that way). Will they be happy over the night? My main tank doesn't use a system that I can just drop in to aerate it--is there any kludge I can use? How much effect will gently stirring the water provide?

(If you tell me to put the fish back in the tank, I will do it. But I'd like options to avoid that)
posted by artifarce to Pets & Animals (6 answers total)
Best answer: Do you have an extra bubbler around? If so, I'd hook it up in there. Also, water temperature could be an issue; could you float the Tupperware in the tank? Don't do that if you think there's anything on the container that could contaminate the water, but otherwise, it might help keep them happier.
posted by limeonaire at 4:47 PM on July 23, 2012

Best answer: I say this ONLY based on my own limited experience with keeping fish in Tupperware in emergency situations (hurricanes, new fish who attacked my other fish): they'll be fine. Not the optimal home, but they'll live. Stirring the water won't do anything but agitate the fish.
posted by fiercecupcake at 4:47 PM on July 23, 2012

Best answer: Mollies thrive in brackish water, believe it or not. They can handle a day or two in tupperware. I transported 3 baby black mollies in a jelly jar in the dead of winter in a VW bug with no heat (yes, I know this is redundant), by having the jar nestled between the thighs of my passenger. They survived the 10 hour trip.
posted by plinth at 5:23 PM on July 23, 2012

Best answer: Float the tupperware in the big tank if only to keep the water temp more stable, fluctuating temps aren't good for fish. I'd do maybe a couple of gental partial water changes with water from their original tank, say no more than 10 - 25% at a time over the next 12 hours to help replace the water with more oxygenated and cleaner water, stiring the water around will just stress them more. Keep the tank lights off so they don't feel so exposed to reduce stress.
posted by wwax at 7:23 PM on July 23, 2012

Response by poster: limeonaire: no bubblers at all. A power filter has been fine for my tank so far, but I should probably get a bubbler soon if nothing else for power failures.

Should've mentioned this before, but the temperature is probably the smallest worry--this may seem crazy, but our room temp in summer is about 78 already, same as the tank. (Blame my husband...)

I will totally do water changes though. I did one earlier, but I could probably fit two more in before I trade.

They're looking pretty calm and not at the surface. Thanks for the tips. I will check back!
posted by artifarce at 7:34 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: They were handed off without issue. Thanks for the responses and assurances.
posted by artifarce at 8:38 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

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