How to move an aquarium with fish
Are you worried about moving your aquarium pets without any harm? Fishkeeping is a wonderful hobby but moving an aquarium with fish inside can be a considerable challenge. But that doesn’t mean you should leave them behind! With thorough preparation and a careful approach, you and your fish can manage the move without any unnecessary stress. So, how to do it?
1. Move the aquarium safely and consider your situation in advance
Unlike moving with animals such as a dog, you can’t just put the aquarium (or a fish tank) on a seat and head off. Before moving your aquarium, a few essential steps await you. Make sure you go through them and plan sufficiently in advance.
First and foremost, you should think about the way you will move the aquarium and its inhabitants:
You can move smaller aquariums just as they are, but you will need to remove the water from larger aquariums and move its inhabitants and other contents separately.
Keep in mind that most fish can handle travelling for a maximum of 48 hours. A longer trip could prove fatal for them.
If you plan on spending the night somewhere on your journey, definitely do not leave your fish alone in the car but take them with you (which also applies to all your pets).
Fish are not animals that you could take along on vacation or for a weekend at the cottage. Relocate them and travel with them only when it is absolutely essential, like when moving.
When moving abroad and travelling by plane, ask your airline carrier about the conditions for the transportation of aquarium fish.
2. Do not feed your fish shortly before moving them
It is important to make as few changes as possible to the aquarium environment (and especially the water) before the move. Do not feed the fish 24-48 hours before moving. You don’t need to worry about them going hungry; if you took good care of them, they can last without food for at least a week.
3. The water is important
Water is the most important component when moving an aquarium. Five days prior to moving, change roughly 20% of the water in the aquarium each day, but no more. This ensures the fish have fresh water. Then wait until the last minute before moving them. Deal with the fish only when you have everything else packed and loaded.
Prepare plastic bags for the fish, which you can buy in any pet store.
Fill one-third of each bag with water from the aquarium.
Take out a fish and place it in the water in the bag. Never put more than one fish into a bag at the same time!
To make sure that your fish will be as protected as possible against the bag tearing and water leaking out, put another bag around it.
Tightly tie up the bag with a regular elastic band so that the water has no chance of leaking out.
If your journey will take more than one hour, you will have to also ensure the fish get a regular supply of oxygen (either blow up the bag with it or use, for example, liquid oxygen). Ask your breeder or a pet store about the best approach. You can also place a live plant from the aquarium in the bag.
Place the bags with the fish into a clean bucket, watertight transport box or “picnic” cooler. Fill the bucket with the rest of the water from the aquarium and close it with a watertight lid.
If you do not have a watertight transport box (or there is not enough water left in the aquarium, provide bubble wrap for the bags with the fish.
4. Moving the aquarium
If you have a small aquarium, you can move the fish in it. Before moving, take out all the rocks, decorations, filters, and other objects. They could injure the fish during transportation. Also pour some of the water out of the aquarium before you close it and secure it against spilling.
Moving an aquarium full of water increases the chance that it will crack or otherwise get damaged during the trip. Plus, they are relatively heavy, so it is easier to move the fish in bags (see point 3). Don’t even think about moving large aquariums with the water inside.
5. Bon Voyage!
Don’t feed the fish during the trip, as it will be stressful enough for them as it is. When you arrive at your destination, first put the bags with fish in the new aquarium and wait until they adapt to its water temperature. Only then release them from the bags into the water.
When moving the containers with fish, handle them carefully and choose helpers that you can rely on. The professionals from STĚHOVÁNÍ Praha will lend you moving boxes and make sure that your pets and personal items will be safe during transportation and there will be less stress for you and your fish.