How to Move an Aquarium and Fish Safely

by Dusty Rhodes on Apr 27, 2017  in 
  • Pets

There are many different items that have to be moved from one place to another when you are relocating homes, including clothes, furniture, electronics, bedroom suites, dishes, silverware, etc.  All of these things are very important to people, and they want to make sure they can safely and successfully transport them to a new living area.  Of course, we can’t forget about the extended members of the family that also have to come along – those animals that we all love and could not go anywhere without.  One of the more popular pets that sometimes goes without mention is the fish.  It goes without saying that when you move your fish to a new location, you must also move their home as well.  Listed below are the steps that need to be taken in order to move your fish’s habitat successfully. 

Before the Move- One of the first things to keep in mind when you are moving a fish tank is that every tank has its own individual ecosystem that helps keep your fish calm and in its natural environment as much as possible.  With this in mind, one of the most important aspects of the tank is the water that occupies it.  It is a wise idea to take a small amount of water out of the tank each day four or five days prior to your moving day.  Doing it this way will allow your fish to remain healthy while never taking their entire natural environment away from them at one time.  Also, do not feed your fish for one to two days before the move.  Not to worry – fish that are properly fed can survive up to a week without food.  Lastly, if your move is going to take an extended period of time, it might be a good idea to get your fish boarded by a pet store.  This will allow them to stay safe and secure while you are taking care of other the aspects of your move. 

During the Move/Moving Day- Aquariums are one of the last things you want to pack, and one of the first things you want to unpack when making a move.  This will allow your fish to remain comfortable in their home for as long as possible.  Also, for trips less than two hours, put your fish in plastic bags, and for trips longer than two hours, it is a good idea to use bigger buckets.  Making sure your fish has plenty of air is also something to keep in mind.  Plants and trees are also a big part of the overall success when it comes to moving aquariums and fish.  Take any trees or plants you may have in your tank, and place them in buckets or bags with water from the tank.  This will help keep alive the good bacteria that your fish needs.  One of the last and most important things to remember is to transport the tank while it is empty.  Transporting it with objects inside could lead to breaking or cracking of the glass. 

After the Move- Once you arrive at your new location, there are steps that need to be taken to ensure that your fish enjoys a positive transition.  You can begin to fill your aquarium with the water that you kept, placing the plants and trees in there as well.  If your fish were kept in bags during the transition, keep the fish in the bags and place the bags in the tank, allowing them to float on top of the water.  This will help get the fish acclimated to the temperature difference between the plastic bag and the tank.  Once the temperature between the bags has adjusted properly, you can release your fish into their new home to swim and live freely. 

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Dusty Rhodes