Long-distance Moves Made Simple

How To Move A Freshwater Aquarium

by Stanley Lynch

Freshwater aquariums are a joy to look at, but they can be a hassle to move. You should be mindful of the fragile nature of the fish, plants, and aquarium. With the right tips, you will be able to move your aquarium and its inhabitants safely.

Packing The Tank

Packing a big glass box may seem intimidating at first, but it's manageable with the right supplies. Make sure you have these things on hand before you get started:

  • Containers for your fish and plants
  • Quart sized sandwich bags with zipper
  • Packing tape
  • Bubble wrap
  • Newspapers
  • Paper towels
  • Siphon hose
  • Box for the aquarium

First, drain water from the aquarium into the container for your fish. A plastic tub with a lid is a good container to use for short moves. After the water is drained from the aquarium, transfer your fish into the container.

Next, unplug and remove your filter, pump, and heater from the aquarium. Wrap your aquarium filter in a damp paper towel and place it in the sandwich bag and seal it. It's important to keep your filter damp so the good bacteria in the filter can repopulate your tank after you move. Remove any ornaments from the tank and thoroughly wash them with water, pat them dry, and wrap them in the newspaper to be moved.

For the tank itself, clean it thoroughly and wipe it down with paper towels. Your tank must be drained fully to be moved safely. When the tank is clean and dry, wrap around the edges of the tank with bubble wrap. Place it inside of the box and fill the remaining space with newspaper. You can place a piece of cardboard on top of the tank or use insulating foam. The idea here is to pack the tank so it doesn't move inside the box and to prevent the box from collapsing inward.

Keep Things Temperature Appropriate

If your move is a longer distance, you may want to invest in a foam cooler for your fish. The foam will help insulate your plants and fish to keep the temperature more consistent. There are also battery operated aquarium heaters that you can place inside the container you're using to transport your fish. The more consistent the temperature, the less stress on your plants and fish.

Getting Everything Set Up Again

Once you arrive at your new location, set up your aquarium as quickly as possible. You don't want to wait long because the longer your fish and plants are outside of their habitat the more stress they experience.  When packing the container your fish and plants will be in, make sure to include their old substrate. Using the old substrate in the newly set-up aquarium will reduce the time needed for the tank to cycle. The old substrate will keep dangerous ammonia levels to a minimum so your fish can adjust easily in their new home.

Contact a company like Redondo Van & Storage to learn more.