Time for Moving! Protect Your Pet Fish During the Move with These Tips

The top pets in America might be dogs and cats, but fish rank number three

Relocating fish and their aquarium homes to a new house requires careful thought and lots of preparation. Although the task of moving fish is time-consuming and more intricate than relocating other types of pets, with a little preparation, it’s possible to do it successfully. 

Your fish should be the last thing packed and moved out of your old house, and the first thing you unpack at your new one. Find out how you can get your beloved fishies from your old home to your new one safely with this helpful guide.

1. Reserve a good percentage of the fish tank water.

Save as much of the tank water as possible — 75 to 80% —  to protect your fish during the precarious transition. You can store the fish water in a clean, food-grade plastic bucket with a lid with a rubber seal, so it doesn’t spill. 

Remove the water from the tank and place it in the designated bucket. Move the fish to the bucket as well, until right before transport time. You can drop an aerating hose into the water bucket if needed until it’s time for the move.

2. Preparing your fish tank after water and fish removal.

Once you have removed the fish, live plants, and reserve water from the tank, it is time to focus on getting the tank itself prepared for a move. Naturally, the larger the tank, the more time-consuming this process will be. You should:

  • Drain out any additional water from the tank and discard it
  • Unplug and dismount the lights, pump, filtration system, and cartridges and place them in a sealable bag
  • Remove any large rocks, shells, or decorations — clean, dry, and pack
  • Place live plants in another bucket of reserved water from fish tank
  • Remove gravel in the tank’s base with a wire strainer or colander
  • Place the gravel in its own bucket to keep it damp to maintain good bacteria
  • Wrap lid separately

Then protect the tank itself by wrapping it in a moving blanket and place it in a moving box. Put bubble wrap or foam pieces between the box and the tank so that the tank is stable and doesn’t shift around inside the box.

Make sure to label all of the boxes and containers with your fish supplies as “fragile.” 

3. Transporting your fish.

For your fish, plan to transport them in your own car. Pick up a few fish bags from your local pet store. These bags are chemical-free and won’t harm your fish, and with a little practice, you can tie them off with some air inside to last through the trip. A few other tips to keep your fish safe:

  • Keep the bagged fish in a place out of direct sunlight
  • Be mindful of temperature requirements for the type of fish you have and try to hold close to that temperature in your vehicle

4. Reassemble the Tank

As soon as the tank arrives at your new home, start the reassembling process. 

  • Replace the gravel, rocks, décorations, and plants
  • Refill the tank with the reserved  water from the bucket
  • Set up the filtration system, pump, heater, and light
  • Before adding your fish, regulate the water, temperature, chlorine level, pH balance,  and ammonia level 
  • Return your fish into the tank 

Simplify Your Move with Professional Help

Moving with any pet, including fish, can be a little nerve-rattling. Make sure you reach out to professional movers to help with the rest of your move so that you can focus more time on your beloved pets. Get a free moving quote from us today. Let’s get your moving process started.