Learning About Moving Across The Country

How to Move Your Aquarium Safely

by Allan Washington

Some items are more difficult to move than others, even if you are only moving locally over a short distance. An aquarium is one of those items that falls into this category. If you are moving locally but need to also transport your aquarium, this guide can help you do so successfully.

Plan ahead

You should start planning the aquarium move a few days in advance by withholding food for a day or two. This way your fish can empty their digestive systems. This will ensure they don't release too much ammonia-rich waste into the water when they are being transported. This avoids illness after the move.

Package the fish

On moving day, prepare an individual bag for each fish. Do this by filling the bag about a quarter full with water from the tank. Then, place a single fish in the bag and allow the rest of the bag to be filled with air as you seal it closed. Make sure there is enough water so that the fish remains submerged. Your fish should be okay in the bag for a few hours, but you may want to open it periodically so that the oxygen can be replenished. Place the bags of fish in a single layer in a secure container, such a foam cooler or plastic tub.

Pack up the plants and décor

Plants are easier than fish to pack up. They just need to be kept moist, so package each plant in its own bag with a small amount of water.

Decor items, including the gravel, should be removed and placed in sealed bags as well. There is no need to rinse the items or wash them if you will be placing them back in the tank soon.

Prepare the tank

Moving the tank is one of the more challenging parts of moving an aquarium. Begin by draining it. Remove a bucketful of water and keep it in a clean container before draining the tank completely. You can use the water you set aside to repopulate the tank with the same helpful bacteria that was present before. Once the tank is empty, dry it thoroughly.

Wrap the tank with blankets or towels, taping them in place. Then, slide a box over the top of the tank. Flip the box and tank over so the box is upright. The reason to pack the tank in this manner is so you don't lift the tank by the top edge, as this can damage it. Only lift a fish tank from the bottom.

Make sure the fish tank and the tank stand are the last thing your movers load onto the truck, and instruct them not to stack anything on top of the tank. This way the tank will be the first thing unloaded once you arrive at your new home, and you will be able to quickly move the fish back into the comfort of the aquarium.

Talk to a local moving company such as Christos & Christos Moving and Storage for more advice when it comes to moving challenging items.