Sometimes you need to carry a fish or fishes in a bag with a view to transporting the fish from one place to another.
When the question arises, how long can fish stay in a bag or how long can it survive in a bag? The simple answer is, it depends.
Depending on the type and size of the bag you are using to carry, the fish can stay 7 to 9 hours. Some fish manage to survive for two days even without oxygen with shallow water conditions.
Anyway, it doesn’t mean that you should leave your fish in a bag for that long. There are various reasons that can cause different oxygen utilization rates.
How Long Can Fish Live in a Bag
The time of survival for the fish depends on the size of the bag, how much water and the air you have in the bag,
weather conditions surrounding the bag, and the most important thing size and numbers of the fish in the bag. I will discuss the facts below that will help you make sure the proper way of carrying fish in a bag.
Selecting the Ideal Bag Size for Your Fish
A larger bag in size comparatively can carry more air. When you went to buy aquarium fish in the fish store, you may have observed that only one-third of the bag is filled with water and the rest of it is pure air or oxygen.
Increasing the size of the bag will allow you to get more water and air in the bag, and that’s how the fish will stay longer.
Depending on the size and number of the fish you should increase the size of the bag, and you can also fill more pure oxygen in the bag to contain the fish for a very long time.
How Much Water you Should Have in the Bag
The proper ratio of having water is one-third of the beg, and the water capacity depends on the size of the bag and fish. You should also take care of the number of fish. More fishes require more space with more water.
How Much Air the Bag Should Contain in it for the Oxygen Supply
Naturally, you should have two portions of a third of the air in the bag. Now you have to go through some matters like the size of the fish and the numbers of the fish.
If the numbers are high and you don’t have any bigger bags to carry, you can put some extra pure O2 gas in the bag that will keep fish alive for a longer time.
Weather Conditions Surrounding the Bag
Weather conditions should be ideal, not so cold, not so warm. In extreme cold or warm conditions fish probably cannot survive for long.
Some fishes are comfortable with cold water like sea fishes, so depending on the type of the fish you should choose the weather conditions surrounding the bag.
Size and Numbers of the Fish in the Bag
Depending on the size of the fish and the number of the fish, the bag size should be ideal. Make sure the fish should have enough space to move freely in the bag.
Otherwise, the fish can be stressed soon, which will greatly impact their survival. And there is another benefit of having space in the bag,
and that is if anyhow the fishes are out of oxygen they can move themselves which will help them to gain some extra oxygen by circulating the water.
Suitable Bags for Carrying Fish
Mostly three types of bags are usually used to carry the fish. They are zip lock bags, poly bags, hard plastic bag for fish.
I will help you choose which one is more appropriate for you by marking out these three.
Zip Lock Bags
The zip lock bags are usually used to carry the fish for a very short time as they are thin and the possibility of leakage is very high. Most of the zip lock bag’s quality is very disappointing,
and the chances of leaching the bag’s chemicals in the water are also there. You cannot transport the fish for more than 30 minutes, and if the fish is from saltwater,
the carrying time should not be more than 15 minutes as saltwater will quickly leach with the bag’s chemicals.
Polybags are thicker than a zip lock. Even most of the pet fish houses consider it as an easy, cheaper, and safest way to transport the fish.
It has flexibility in terms of size; you can have bigger poly bags according to your needs. Polybags are usually 1.5 to 3mm thick, and that is quite good for carrying the fish;
and the risk of leakage is lower, and it is even better in terms of saltwater compared to the zipper bags. Usually, it’s ideal for 3 hours or slightly more to transport the fish in it.
Hard Plastic Container Bags
These are usually best for transporting the fish for a long period of time. As the component is hard to take the pressure, you can add a good amount of o2 gas with huge water capacity,
and the risk of leaching is comparatively lower than other carrying options. Usually, this type of hard container is not used for carrying small fish.
Small fish should carry either zip lock bags or poly bags. You can easily transport the fish for more than 12 hours, and with a proper O2 supply,
fish can survive more than two days in it. This is the best way who are looking for how to travel with fish.
Depending on the above matters that I mentioned, I hope you will get the answer how long can fish stay in a bag or how long can I carry them? But if you are looking for a specific answer,
then my reply is 7 to 9 hours, and many pet fish stores can add extra o2 gas in the fish carry bag according to your needs, and that will be ideal for fish to stay up to 48 hours.
Always remember the water to air ratio, choose the correct size of the bag considering the size and number of the fish.