How To Move A Fish Tank To Your New Home

18 May 2015
 Categories: , Articles

If you plan on moving from one place to another in the same town or county, then think about hiring household moves to deal with your furniture and boxed items.  Unfortunately, movers cannot take care of everything, but they can reduce your stress so you can deal with the fragile and sensitive things that you need to move yourself.  Your fish tank is one of these items.  It is not recommended to move a fish tank a long distance, because your fish may not make the journey.  However, your fish have a good chance of surviving if you are not traveling that far.  Follow the tips below if you want to move your fish tank successfully.

Prepare Your Fish

Your fish tank is set up to provide your fish with everything they need, filters are used to remove the ammonia and nitrites from the water, and the cascading water helps to oxygenate the water.  You likely have a heater as well to keep the water in the tank a consistent temperature.  To move your fish without harming them or stressing them out, you need to provide an environment that is similar to the one you have set up in your fish tank.  Purchase or find a holding tank to use as your makeshift aquarium during the move.  A cooler will work well for this.  

Locate a long rectangular type of cooler that is made out of rigid plastic.  If you have a 5, 10, or 15 gallon aquarium, then think about purchasing a 50, 65, or 75 quart cooler.  For tanks that are 20, 25, 30 gallons, or larger,  look for a 110 or 120 quart cooler.  You will also need a portable battery pack  or a car cigarette lighter plug adapter that allows you to plug in electrical items.  Purchase a tank bubbler as well.

When you are ready to move your fish, use a pitcher to fill up the cooler with water from your fish tank.  Move the heater from the tank into the cooler and also place your bubbler inside.  Use a fish net to move your fish one by one into the cooler.  Allow the cooler to sit for about 10 minutes and make sure that your fish are comfortably moving around.  Carefully move the cooler to your car at this time.  A flat surface is ideal.  Use your battery pack or adapter to plug in the heater and the bubbler.

Get the Tank Ready

Once you have removed all the fish, prepare your tank for the move.  It is imperative that you keep the bacteria alive within the fish tank during the moving process.  These bacteria help your filtration system remove the wastes from the tank.  Two different types of bacteria are required to convert ammonia and nitrite to a less harmful substance called nitrate.  These bacteria live on the rocks at the bottom of the aquarium, and they also reside on the ornaments and filters.  The beneficial bacteria live in the water specifically, and this means that you need to keep your substrate, ornaments, and filters wet to keep the baceria alive.

Remove the hood, lights, and filters from your aquarium.  Add some of the aquarium water to a large, closable plastic bag and place your filter cartridges in the water.  Close the bag and then remove the majority of the water from the aquarium.  Leave enough water to cover the substrate and ornaments in the tank.  Ask your movers to help you lift the aquarium.  The largest aquariums can weigh over 300 pounds when they are empty and this weight increases substantially when even a small amount of water is left inside.  Make sure the aquarium is set on a flat surface as well.

Once your fish and tank are ready, drive them to your new home and set up the tank.  Add new water as soon as possible so you can place your fish back into the aquarium.