Moving an Aquarium

Moving an aquarium can be very stressful for your fish and their environment.  Before your move, check with a local pet store, preferably a store that specializes in aquarium fish if you can find one in your area.  Find out if they will provide “boarding” for your fish while you move or if they can place your fish in bags or containers for transporting.

Moving your fish and their aquarium over long distances is not advised, the following tips and precautions are intended for moving an aquarium over short distances only.

  • Siphon some of the aquarium water into the container you will be using to transport the fish.  Also place some additional water into another container, using this water when reinstalling your tank will help preserve the aquarium’s bacteria colony (which is very important for the health of your fish and their environment).
  • Collect the fish and place them into the container you are using to transport them.
  •  Drain the remaining water from the tank.
  • If there are any live plants, remove them now and place them in reusable plastic bags with a small amount of water.
  • Remove the filter medium from the filter and place it in a hard container.  Do Not clean the filter, this is important for maintaining your aquariums bacteria colony.
  •  Remove any decorations and the tanks equipment (heater, pumps, filter, etc…) and dry as thoroughly as possible.  Then pack these items the same way you would pack any fragile item.
  • You should move your tank, not the movers.  If you have no choice then be sure to supervise the packing process and inform your movers of any special considerations you want them to make.
  • Once you arrive at your destination make the aquarium one of your first priorities.  Place the aquarium in its prepared location and reassemble the tank.
  • Begin by placing the decorations into the empty tank and then reassemble the equipment (including the filter medium).
  •  Re-plant any live plans you have (tweezers work great for this).
  •  Gently refill the tank, begin with the water you saved from before then top it off with tap water (water treatment chemicals may be a good idea depending on the quality of the local water).  Remember to leave a little room for the water that is being used to transport the fish.
  • Allow the aquarium to sit for 2-3 hours with the heater on and the filter running.  This will allow the water to stabilize and limit the stress on your fish when it is time to put them back in the aquarium.
  • Once the temperature has risen to within a few degrees of normal you can begin the process of placing the fish back into their home.

With a little planning and care you can help your aquarium recover more quickly from the stress of a move.

Wishing everyone a safe and stress free move,

Unique Moving Inc.