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Moving An Aquarium

October 14, 2021

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Moving An Aquarium

Although transporting an aquarium can be difficult, it is feasible to properly transport your fish if you are moving to a new home. Because moving can stress your pet fish, it's better to just take them with you if you are only moving a short distance. We recommend finding a new home for your fish for lengthier moves (more than a few hours away) to ensure their safety. If you're only relocating a short distance and plan to relocate an aquarium, here are some guidelines to keep in mind for transporting your fish safely.


Preparation for moving a fish tank


  • Make sure the floor at your aquarium's new location is level and capable of supporting the weight.
  • Make sure there's a power outlet nearby.
  • Make sure that doorways and stairwells are broad enough for large or unusually shaped aquariums, and that you have enough turning space in tight corners and stairwell landings.
  • Compare pH, alkalinity, and other water chemistry parameters in the new location's water supply.
  • Make sure you have enough staff and vehicle space to carry large tanks on a separate day or numerous days.
  • If at all possible, avoid moving an aquarium from one location to another during periods of severe weather conditions.
  • Two weeks before the move, perform a 25% water change and softly vacuum the substrate.
  • Clean the filter lightly two weeks before the relocation, but be careful not to disrupt the biological medium.
  • Set up clean, conditioned water in the new location a day or two before the move – at least 25% of your tank's volume.
  • Feeding fish should be stopped 24 hours before the move.

Moving your fish tank


Remove the heater from the aquarium after unplugging it and allowing it to cool for 30 minutes. Check the heating tubing for algae and mineral deposits now, while the heater is still moist, and remove them. Filtration and circulation pumps should be removed. Place any underwater plants in old aquarium water or a sealed container to keep them moist.


After that, siphon the tank water into transport containers, then gently remove any décor objects or artificial plants and box them appropriately. Make sure there are no fish hiding in any cavities or crevices in the décor.


Using a net or colander, remove the sand and place it in buckets or watertight containers. To keep vital nitrifying bacteria alive, keep the sand wet. Once the tank is empty, clean it out using a wet/dry vacuum.


Wrap the tank in blankets or other protective material once it has been carried into your vehicle. For added safety, fragile items like covers and lights can be placed inside the aquarium. To protect the tank from sliding around, surround it with water, sand, and rock containers.

Where to keep fish during a move


A friend's fish tank or a pet store tank are two frequent possibilities for fish owners seeking a place to keep their fish during a transfer.


Some pet businesses may be able to provide you with fish boarding and feeding services while you are on the go. If you locate a pet store that provides boarding services, read any documentation or contracts carefully. Make sure you understand all of the details so you know which duties the pet store will take. For an extra cost, some pet retailers will pack and air-ship your fish to you. Keep in mind that this might be quite costly since you will most likely need to leave your fish there for a few weeks.


Packing fish for a move


You can put your fish in sealed bags half filled with air for a short time. Filling the bags with oxygen rather than air can help to lengthen the time frame marginally. You can ship the bags by air by placing them in a padded, partitioned container. This is the same strategy used by shippers to deliver fish to pet shops. A sealed bucket, rather than a bag for each fish, is used for larger fish or longer journeys.


If you want to know more about moving an aquarium, contact the Pet-Friendly Movers in CT


Moving an aquarium can be a daunting task, especially larger tanks. With proper planning, it is certainly feasible to safely move an aquarium and its contents from one location to another location up to a few hours away.
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