Warmer weather is upon us and for many that means it’s time to move – and for a handful of those people it also means that an aquarium full of live fish must be relocated.There’s no getting around the fact that moving an aquarium
is unpleasant business. It’s a process that requires a plan and if you don’t think ahead it can end up being the worst part of a move, especially if it results in death by toilet for a tankful of innocent guppies.Nobody wants that on their conscience, so use this step-by-step guide for moving an aquarium to save your fish from a watery grave.Step 1: Plan the day and set the time for the aquarium move (which may or may not be the same day you move everything else).
Moving an aquarium is kind of like robbing a bank in that it takes crackerjack timing combined with infinite patience. Your fish should spend as little time as possible outside of the aquarium habitat, which means they must A) be taken out at the last possible moment and/or B) have a standby tank, but you must also give yourself plenty of time to move carefully.Step 2: Clean the tank BEFORE the date/time established in Step 1.
The last thing you want to deal with is a dirty aquarium after
you’ve moved it. It’ll create a mess in your new space while increasing the time your fish are out of their habitat. So, clean it and all the items you use with it (gravel, lid, aquarium décor
, heater, filter, etc.) before you move. This way, all you have to do is bag up the fish, drain it, dry it and move it.Step 3: Bag up your fish.
The first trick to doing this right is to use the water from the tank in the bags
. This water is (or should be) already pH-balanced and at the right temperature so your fish won’t go into shock. The second trick is to not use re-sealable bags, because at the end of the day you just don’t want to rely on the seal. Use tall fish bags (you can buy them at any pet store that sells fish) with ties so you know they’re secure.Step 4: Drain and dry your aquarium and accessories.
There’s no trick to draining and drying the aquarium and accessories
, except to take care not to break anything.Step 5: Pack wisely, grasshopper.
This part is best laid out in bullets:- If your aquarium is riding shotgun and you only have a few fish, place the bagged fish in the tank and pack the accessories for easy access upon arrival to your new place.- If you have lots of fish (i.e. lots of bags), stow them in a tough and sealable storage container
with a lid. If the bags don’t wedge in snugly against one another, add some filler like a balled-up shirt or something else soft to force a snug fit so the bags don’t roll around.- Bag the gravel and décor separately, and pack all accessories along with (or inside) the aquarium so that you don’t have to dig to find it.- Wrap your aquarium in soft material (think towels or sheets) and secure it with tape. Once wrapped, pack it right-side-up only
.Step 6: Move with care!
Everything being moved, from the fish to the aquarium to the accessories, is obviously very delicate. Take your time and try not to rush.We hope these steps make it easier for you to keep your fish healthy and happy the next time you have to move your aquarium.