Packing And Moving A Freshwater Fish Tank: A Simple Guide

When it comes time to move, certain items are easy to pack up: your clothing, dressers, tables, sofas. Other items are a bit more challenging. Your freshwater fish tank, in particular, can't just be carried into the moving truck and hauled off. Thankfully, however, packing and moving a fish tank is not as complex as you may imagine. Just follow these steps.

Step 1: Prepare the fish.

Don't feed the fish the day before you move them. This will help keep the water a bit cleaner so the water is easier to drain. Invest in some plastic fish "storage" containers with lids. Fill each one with some of the water from the fish tank. Then, transfer the fish to these containers. Put only two or three fish in each container. Overcrowding them may cause some species to stress in such close quarters.

Step 2: Drain the tank.

Once the fish have been removed, use a siphon hose to drain most of the water from the  tank. House as much as possible in plastic buckets with lids so you can use the same water when you arrive at your new home. This will minimize trauma to your fish.

Step 3: Prepare for transportation.

Remove all features, such as rock formations and filters, from the tank, and wrap them up separately. Pack the tank with towels or sheets and wrap it in bubble wrap. Load everything very carefully into the moving truck.

Make sure the vehicle you'll be using to move the actual fish is warmed to room temperature -- around 68 or 70 degrees -- before putting the fish into it to transport them.

Step 4: Unpack everything.

Once you arrive in your new place, unpack everything and reassemble the aquarium. Pour the water back into the tank, and then let it sit for at least 12 hours. This will allow the water to come back to room temperature if it has become hotter or colder during transportation. Once this time has passed, you can put the fish back into the tank. Add the water in their "storage containers" to the tank along with them, and feed them as soon as they are in the water to help them settle back in.

If packing and moving your fish tank sounds too time-consuming or complex, consider hiring a moving company like Two Guys Moving to do this for you. Most will offer fish tank moving as an add-on service for an additional fee.