Moving a fish tank is an intimidating process. The logistics are complicated, and there is a high risk of damaging your fragile aquarium. If you are relocating cross-country, it may make more sense to sell your current aquarium to a local buyer and start over in your new home. However, with some careful planning, it is possible to move your fish tank to its new location safely. If possible, drive the tank and fish in your vehicle. It takes specialized handling to transport a fish tank, and not every mover has the capability.
1. Prepare Your Fish for Transport First
First, drain some of the tank water for your fish to travel in. It’s crucial to keep the fish in the same water to avoid shock. For less sensitive freshwater fish, you could use a mix of tank water and fresh distilled water, but for marine aquariums, using the existing salt water is a must. Your fish can “ride” in a clean, never-before-used pail or plastic bags; leave room for air. Be careful which fish are riding in which buckets. Keep aggressive species away from the fish they usually pick on.
2. Drain the Remaining Water
Next, drain the rest of the water into clean pails. For a saltwater tank, bring this water with you, if possible. This step reduces the time you need to wait before putting your fish back in the tank. If you have any live rock or live sand, make sure this stays in the water the entire time to keep your invertebrates and microorganisms from harm.
3. Pack the Equipment
Third, pack any water filtering mechanism, pumps, and heaters you use in your tank. For a short, local move, you can place your filter medium in a sealed pail and reinstall it at your new home. For a long distance move, start over with a new filter.
4. Disassemble the Tank
Then, carefully disassemble and wrap your tank. Now is an excellent opportunity to make sure the aquarium is clean and ready for its new home. Keep in mind that anything used to wrap your fish tank equipment will likely get wet and sandy, so do not use the movers’ provided blankets. Place the pails with fish, live rock, and live sand in safe places where they will not be jostled too much or encounter falling objects.
5. Set Up the Tank
Finally, set up your tank in your new home. Ideally, wait until the tank is established before moving the fish back in. You can keep your fish in a pail with adequate filtration and heating until the tank is ready. Reassemble the filters and heating system. Reintroduce the water and allow the tank to cycle for a few days if you can manage. Be especially careful that your rock work is settled in its permanent location before moving your fish back to the tank. Unstable rock work is a hazard to fish and invertebrates in the tank and may kill your pets.
We hope these tips help you move your fish tank with ease! If you’re looking for affordable Manhattan moving services, fill out the quote form or call us during business hours for a free moving quote.