It’s no surprise that aquariums are a tough tow. Due to their size and delicacy, fish tanks are often sold off or given away in the moving process. Their glass structure makes them heavy and easily cracked. What’s more, there are few fish species resilient enough to survive the trip (depending on how far away you’re moving). Long distance moves are especially hard on fish, even if you take the best precautions. It’s not impossible though. And if you take the proper steps in packing, you can save yourself a trip to the pet store for a new aquarium.



What to do with your Fish?

Give them to your neighbours or sell them

Alright, so maybe you won’t be saving yourself a trip to the pet store, but giving your fish away to someone with an aquarium could save their fishy lives. You can also sell them if you have the time to do so, but don’t expect many offers. This is the recommended solution if you’re moving more than a bus ride away. It’s unfortunate, but the shock from moving from aquarium to bag to temporary tank and back to their aquarium is too hard on most fish.

Moving your fish

Start by cleaning out a suitable temporary aquarium that you’ll be able to move the fish into during the move. This temporary container should be big enough to house all your fish comfortably. As well, it should be a similar habitat to their current one in terms of water quality. Placing them in sealed bags half-filled with air will only provide you with an hour or so to make the transfer. During the transition, don’t bother feeding them since they’ll likely be too stressed out to eat. Once you arrive, filling and acclimatizing your aquarium is your top priority so that you can provide your fish with a suitable environment.



Moving the Tank

If your move is close by you’ll want to start by preparing the aquarium to be able to take your fish. This could mean taking the tank first thing in the morning on moving day to do all the preparatory tasks. These are simple tasks such as clearing a spot for the aquarium, putting water in the tank, plugging in the filter, and so on. If you’re doing multiple trips, it might be best to leave someone (or have yourself stay) at the new place to set things up while your helpers pack up another truckload. Whichever the case, make sure that your aquarium is placed on a level surface and is close enough to a power source so you can plug in the filtration system and lights.

Draining your Aquarium

Start by removing the fish from the tank and placing them in whichever transportation container you’ve chosen be it bag or bowl. If you own an aquarium, you already know the difficulty that comes from having to drain an aquarium when cleaning it. After unplugging and removing all objects from the tank, attach a hose to your sink and put the other end into the tank. By running the faucet while the hose is attached you should create enough suction to remove water from the tank. If possible try and keep this water in order to retain the healthy bacteria that you’ll want to keep alive for the new place. You can do this by siphoning it off into sealable buckets, but try to keep the weight spread out enough that you’re not left with 100lbs of water in a single container. For more information on this, click here.

Should I take apart my Aquarium?

This might not be necessary depending on how packed your move is going to be. However, if you’re worried the glass will be damaged due to space constraints, this might be the solution for you. Be warned though, taking apart an aquarium can be dangerous and will take hours to dismantle. It is recommended that you consult a professional on this topic before breaking out the piano wire and plaster knives. For information on how to do this, this might be of assistance. You can also ask the professionals at Blue World Aquariums if you live in the downtown Victoria area.

For all others means of transportation, a roll of bubble wrap and some careful helpers should be sufficient. If you’re still worried about the aquarium being damaged in the back of the moving truck, you can always take it in your personal vehicle. This might be ideal if you’ll be staying behind on that first trip in order to set up your fishes’ new home.



Still Need Help?

Aquariums can be cumbersome things to transport. Some movers simply don’t have the expertise necessary to keeping something so fragile intact. This is even more important if you’re going the distance and crossing a provincial or national border. Here at Hendra, our professionals are provided with the tools and know-how necessary. And if you’re new place is out of town, our partners at Allied Van Lines can provide you with climate controlled transportation so your fish don’t cook on the open road. Request an estimate today.