We have talked about how to move with pets earlier. However, what suits air-breathing animals, does not work for those who live under the water. Today we will explain how to move a fish tank and avoid damage or loss.

At first, moving a fish tank might seem like an easy task. You just unplug everything, empty it and just put in the back of the car. However, it’s not that simple. Fish tank moving includes three stages: before, during and after the move.

First stage: preparation for the big move

1. Get your fish ready

It is recommended not to feed your fish 24-48 hours before the move in order to make sure that their waste is passed before the move. This tip is very important for those who move long distance.

Sounds scary? There’s no need to worry. Your fish won’t starve to death. They can survive up to a week without food.

Small fishes can be put into small plastic baggies with the water from the tank. However, for a longer move or if you own bigger fishes, you should use larger buckets. The buckets need to be filled with tank water too. To avoid spills during the drive, you can use the duct tape.

2. Clean the tank

Once your fishes are placed in temporarily home, you can unplug everything and remove plants and other accessories. Put them in the bucket with the water from the tank.

You should clean and dry décor elements and accessories. Then put them in the bubble wrap and paper to make sure they safely arrive at a destination.

Finally, remove light, pump, and heater. Be careful! Pack them properly to avoid damages too. It is recommended to keep filter damp and packed in the sealed container.

3. Empty the tank

When emptying the tank, keep in mind that you need to save up as much water as possible. It is recommended to refill the tank with the same water after the move in order to minimize stress and health risk for the fishes. Thus, it is recommended to transport tank water in clean 5-gallon buckets.

4. Pack the tank

The lid should be removed and packed separately from the tank. Use bubble wrap to protect it from breakage. The tank itself should be moved in the box. In order to avoid shifting, you should use insulating foam to fill gaps. Finally, stuff the tank with paper or foam – it prevents from scratches.

Second stage: The move

It is recommended to transport tank and fish in your own vehicle. It adds an extra layer of security. You will know that it’s a fragile item that includes living creatures. However, if it does not fit into your car, inform your movers that they need to be really careful with this box.

Third stage: After the move

1. Set up your aquarium

After a short distance move, you can use the old tank water. Fill the tank and get water running through the filtration system. Before you let your fish back to the old home, you have to make sure that water’s temperature, PH balance, chlorine and ammonia levels are normal. Any differences can be dangerous for fishes.

If it was a long distance move, you will need to set up the tank from scratch. This will take a while, but you cannot skip any steps in order to save your fishes and plants.

2. Let your fishes inside!

Water condition is back to normal? Great! Now you can let fishes come back home.  If they were transported in the plastic bags, you should place the bags into the water for a bit and then let them into the tank. It helps fishes to get used to the temperature.

If you transported fishes in the buckets, you will need the net. Fish them and put in the water. Do not forget to feed them too. They might feel hungry after a long journey!