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Fish transportation, a cautionary tale

lkelly

Members
So this year I ended up coming to the BFD solo without my trusty sidekick (my son). Since there is always a compelling need to haul a bunch of stuff up andback, naturally I took my wife's Pilot. It's hard to fit much in my old Prelude since it's the equivalent of a 20 Long in need of a reseal.

Anyway, had a great time at the event. Put in plenty of miles driving there, saw a bunch of friends, met new ones, witnessed the best raffle win ever (the little kid in camo winning the Tank tank), and heard some amazing speakers. Fast forward to Sunday afternoon and I'm all loaded up to go home to Richmond.

I have three 5 gallon buckets of fish on the folded down seat behind me. Each has an airstone connected to a pump. Since I lost a few of my lids, one has a plastic lid lightly pressed on top and the other two have towels over the top held in place by rubber bands. Each is around 50% full.

Now as you may know, if you live in the continental United States, 95 south occasionally has some traffic. At one point I think they must change the posted speed limit to 3 miles per hour just north of Occoquan. Ironically enough, I'm not sure you could even qualify for a speeding ticket despite that limit. I'm "cruising" down 95 in sporadic stops and starts and I hear a weird noise coming from one of the pumps. Heart rate increases a little and I sort of glance/reach back to see if maybe the airstone has come out of the water or perhaps one of the airlines is pinched. Nothing. I turn back around and see the car in front of me at a dead stop maybe 30 feet away. My heart rate doubles as I stomp on the brake and yell out a new word that I learned from Tony at the Auction. Hooray for the Honda Pilot brakes and the slew of engineers that figured out how to stop a heavy car so quickly!

And now, the really fun part that I've made you wait to read.

As Isaac Newton (is he available to speak at next year's BFD?) once told us, "An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force." Hopefully I quoted that correctly since I just copied/pasted it from a Google result. He probably had a few "thous" or "heretofores" mixed in when he first said it. Regardless, the practical application of said Law is this: When you stomp on the brakes, five gallon buckets sitting on the folded down seat behind you don't just sit there. A literal (OK, Matt Chambers, maybe it was figurative or fugitive) TSUNAMI of water crashed into me from behind. I mean drenched. It hit the <Tony word> windshield. My sweatshirt had a fry saver volume of water in the hood. Gum wrappers were floating out of the door storage bins. Holy <Tony word>!

At this point my heart rate has now gone to the logarithmic scale. I'm inches from the back bumper of that Prius in front of me. I'm feeling like I either went to Great Wolf Lodge without remembering to bring a swimsuit or else I sat in the front row of a Gallagher comedy show without knowing any better. With foot firmly on the brake pedal I turn around certain that every bucket is flipped over and that there are fish spread through the entire passenger area. What the <Tony word> am I going to do since I'm in parking lot traffic?! Much to my surprise all three buckets are still upright. They are a good 12" closer to me than originally but at least it isn't a total loss. I eventually manage to cut off a bunch of people and get in the right hand lane to find the next exit. I pull over in apartment complex and open the door. It's a lot like when they pulled Tom Cruise's Porsche out of the lake in Risky Business as water is running out of the car from the floor boards. I must have somehow put 10,000 gallons into three 5 gallon buckets. File that away for a future DIY video, Joey.

So for the animal lovers still wading through this missive, not a single fish was harmed in the making of this tale. Everything was still swimming in (less) water that was surprisingly oxygenated all of a sudden. I managed to find the one plastic lid in down by the gas pedal (maybe it hit me in the head and I was too stunned to notice). I didn't have any replacement water or dechlor to think about topping the buckets off, but I figured the lowered levels may help from here on out considering my driving skills.

I almost hesitated to post this since I made one other mistake. I didn't tell my wife when I got home because, well, she was already exasperated after having to deal with the kids solo for three days. Why mention something that ended up OK? That didn't go so great as she stormed into the bedroom this morning asking my why little Lane was soaking wet right after he got in the car to ride up to the bus stop. And why didn't I bother to fold the <Tony word> seat back up?

Sigh.

So I hope you learned something from this. First, don't actually click on one of my posts because it's way too <Tony adjective> long. Second, don't let me transport your fish. Put them in the hands of a competent adult. And third, Honda Pilots have great braking systems and quite absorptive seat cushions.

Thanks again to everyone who helped put on a great convention and please remember to remind your fish to wear seat belts.
 

npbarca

Members
After helping you load the car, I definitely have a vivid picture of the whole scene. Glad everything worked out in the end.
 

dogofwar

Global Moderators
What did your wife say when you arrived home in a damp, fish smelling car? ;)

Great hanging out this weekend,
Matt
 

Jeff721

Members
I almost had the same issue in my Subaru. Seats were down, almost hit the car in front of me, bucket tipped over. But somehow – miracle probably – the only water that spilled was a tiny amount from the hole drilled for the airline.

I had to pull over on the shoulder to fix the now 45 degree angle of the bucket that was hanging over my GF's backpack which contained her laptop. The lids that Lowe's sells for their buckets are amazing apparently.

I'm sorry I got the luck that you missed out on. We could have split it had I known.
 

lkelly

Members
I almost had the same issue in my Subaru. Seats were down, almost hit the car in front of me, bucket tipped over. But somehow – miracle probably – the only water that spilled was a tiny amount from the hole drilled for the airline.

I had to pull over on the shoulder to fix the now 45 degree angle of the bucket that was hanging over my GF's backpack which contained her laptop. The lids that Lowe's sells for their buckets are amazing apparently.

I'm sorry I got the luck that you missed out on. We could have split it had I known.
Considering the near token effort I put into making the buckets water tight (at least I used a towel on the top and not Kleenex), I actually consider myself pretty lucky. If I had had the 45 degree angle situation or a full dump, I would have been toast. Next time around I'm definitely getting real lids and will do the drilled air hole thing. That's assuming that I don't fill the car top carrier with water and turn it into a mobile outdoor pond.

#ANOTHERDIYTHEREJOEY
 

lkelly

Members
What did your wife say when you arrived home in a damp, fish smelling car? ;)

Great hanging out this weekend,
Matt
Fortunately (?) she didn't see the car until early the next morning when she went to take Lane to the bus stop. Her language after coming back inside was positively Horos.

Agree, great to see you too. One of these years I really do want to try the Uruguay thing. Maybe I need a kickstarter campaign to make it a financial reality.
 

FishEggs

CCA Members
Staff member
I'm generally not a violent man but for you, i can kick you to get you started. How much will it be per kick?
 

JLW

CCA Members
BTDT. :)

Driving to one of these shows, I had the wire that connects the gas pedal to the, well, the gas snap (yea, these are things that can only happen to me). I managed to coast to the shoulder, but I had to get a tow.

Car filled with fish in buckets, tanks, etc.

Tow truck.

45-degree angle.

Yea, this was not a fun day
 

clearsky5

CCA Members
Lane...
how many of us can say
been there done that...

It happened to me once, but a; because i had the van packed so tight, and b; the bucket that opened was not full I did not get the full water park experience you did...

but.....
i did learn that a bucket full of water, (or half) inside a tied off plastic bag does not spew out water the same way...

grasshopper, take my words of wisdom I always travel with bagged water now.

bet you will do differently now.
 

chriscoli

Board of Directors
Staff member
I can attest to the fact that water does indeed move in amazing ways (and apparently increase in volume) when one stomps on the brakes. Fortunately I was still the proud owner of a pickup truck back then and it merely looked as though I had just come from a car wash.


Sent from my iPhone using MonsterAquariaNetwork app
 

lkelly

Members
Between Josh's, David's, and Christine's replies I'm starting to think that this is some sort of hobbyist right of passage and I have now arrived as one of the elite. If I could just find out the Frank once drove his car into the Potomac while backing up in his driveway then I'll feel secure.
 

Jt731

Members
When I did my move I found that there is a lid at Home Depot for their homer buckets that turn it into a screw on/off. Keeps the doh to a minimum. (They are a little pricey compared to the bucket)
 

lkelly

Members
When I did my move I found that there is a lid at Home Depot for their homer buckets that turn it into a screw on/off. Keeps the doh to a minimum. (They are a little pricey compared to the bucket)
So keeps the "d'oh" to a minimum...





But not for the minimum amount of dough?

 

Frank Cowherd

Global Moderators
Staff member
I've driven a boat into the river a few times but never the truck.

With all my containers of fish, even with lids, I end up with gallons of water splashing out. Then it takes about a year to get the floor of the truck dried out. So now I line the back with a tarp and arrange it so the water puddles in the back. When I open the door, water pours out. ANd more water comes out with every container I pull out. I do not use aerators as you have probably noticed. Shallow water dissolves sufficient oxygen for all the fish I can load into a container. Occasionally I do get one of the sweater boxes on the top of the pile to slide off the top and loose a bunch of water, but the lid, though not water tight, prevents fish loss and there has always been enough water left to keep the fish moist and alive. I also learned the hard way, in a sudden need to hit the brakes. So now I use a panel of plywood to prevent the boxes from coming forward.
 

chriscoli

Board of Directors
Staff member
I've driven a boat into the river a few times but never the truck.

With all my containers of fish, even with lids, I end up with gallons of water splashing out. Then it takes about a year to get the floor of the truck dried out. So now I line the back with a tarp and arrange it so the water puddles in the back. When I open the door, water pours out. ANd more water comes out with every container I pull out. I do not use aerators as you have probably noticed. Shallow water dissolves sufficient oxygen for all the fish I can load into a container. Occasionally I do get one of the sweater boxes on the top of the pile to slide off the top and loose a bunch of water, but the lid, though not water tight, prevents fish loss and there has always been enough water left to keep the fish moist and alive. I also learned the hard way, in a sudden need to hit the brakes. So now I use a panel of plywood to prevent the boxes from coming forward.

Spoken by a man with a lot of experience with this stuff!
 
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