Moving to a new home can be an exciting time. However if you choose to move your existing aquarium and fish to a new location, that can get a little tricky. Can you transport your tank and fish without damaging them? You can do it safely by following these simple rules.
At least two weeks before your planned relocation, prepare your tank ahead of time by cleaning it and changing out one fourth of the tank water with dechlorinated tap water or distilled water daily. Prepare a shipping box for your tank and line it with towels or foam to give the tank support for the move. Getting a shipping carton prepared in advance and checking the tank for any damage ahead of time will reduce the amount of time that it will take to have it ready for transport, and it will also get your fish ready for when you need to handle them.
Get your fish ready by treating any illnesses, skin or scale problems now. Trying to transport sick fish is nearly impossible, and you don't want to traumatize them with the move. Prepare clean containers that allow for enough water for each fish and some air at the top to give the water enough oxygen when transporting. Each fish should have its own clean, plastic bag lined container for the best results. Plastic food storage or Styrofoam containers work well for this. For small fish, you may also opt for foam cups with lids.
At least 48 hours before the move, stop feeding the fish. This will ensure that they have empty stomachs for the move and reduce waste in their container water. Don't worry, the fish will be ok if they don't eat for two days. On the day of the move, skim some of the top water from their tank into each container, filling it about halfway full, then add clean dechlorinated tap water o r distilled water and allow it to come to room temperature. Then gently scoop each fish with a net into its container and place the lid on each container.
Once all the fish are safely in their containers, carefully empty the tank by scooping out the remaining water. Remove plants and accessories and put them into another plastic container or a plastic bag. Then get help with lifting the empty tank and place it into the prepared shipping box. Load all of the fish containers inside the tank and then head to your new destination. To set the tank back up, just follow the instructions in reverse. Be sure that the fresh water added to the tank is allowed to come to room temperature before adding any fish. Your aquarium and fish will be safely in their new home and everyone will be happy.