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How To Move A Fish Tank To A New House

Published by Chris Townsend

How To Move A Fish Tank To A New House

Moving can be a daunting task – even more so when you have pets involved. Your animal friends, whether they be feathery, furry, or scaly, must be carefully considered in your moving plan to ensure that they get to your new house as safely and effortlessly as possible. If you have a fish you need to learn how to move a fish tank to a new house effectively and efficiently.

When it comes to moving a fish tank, you not only need to think about how you’re going to physically move all of the fish, but also how you will move the tank and make sure that it is set up as soon as you arrive at your new house. After all, relocating an aquarium full of fish isn’t as easy as unplugging it and being on your way.

While it may seem challenging, moving a fish tank isn’t all that difficult – assuming that you have a good grasp on all that needs to happen and when. With that said, follow these five steps to successfully move your fish tank to your new house:

1. Gather The Necessary Supplies To Move Your Fish To A New House

Before you even think about moving your fish tank, you want to make sure that you have all the essential supplies in advance. Taking the extra time to get organized in the beginning will ensure that you’re not scrambling come moving day. Some of the items outlined below you may already have, while others you may need to make a trip to a local retailer to collect.

Here are all the supplies you’ll need to move a fish tank to another house:

  • Plastic bags, five-gallon buckets, or other containers: The container that you use will depend on your fish. Small sized fish can be put inside plastic bags and then secured with a twist tie, but only if you’re traveling a short distance. Alternatively, you can use plastic containers with lids. However, if you have larger fish or intend on traveling a longer distance, you should get some five-gallon buckets and lids. You’ll also need buckets for submerging any plants that you may have in your tank.
  • Duct tape or packing tape: This will help keep the lids secure on the plastic containers and buckets.
  • Siphon hose: This will be for getting the water out of the tank.
  • Fishnet: The purpose of the fishnet is to safely and efficiently transport the fish from the aquarium into their specific container.
  • Additional packing supplies: Make sure you have enough packing supplies for décor, equipment, and also the aquarium itself. This includes moving boxes, packing paper, plastic padding, and more.

2. Place Fish In Their Containers

Regardless of the type of container you intend on using, you should move the fish early enough for you to have time to disassemble the tank and clean it. Though, wait as long as possible before moving the fish into their containers to minimize stress. Also, you want to use the water from the aquarium to fill their transport containers, and leave a little bit of air at the top.

3. Prepare To Transport The Fish Tank

When it comes to moving a fish tank, the process of moving the fish and the process of moving the actual tank are equally important. Once the fish are in their containers, you can prep the tank for transport.

  • Remove plants and place them in buckets with water from the tank and some air at the top.
  • Siphon out the rest of the water and, if possible, place it into a large bucket.
  • Clean, dry, and pack all decorations. For fragile items, make sure you pack them with packing paper or padding material.
  • Put sand or pebbles from the bottom of the tank into a plastic container.
  • Remove, dry, and pack all the equipment carefully. Though, be sure to leave the filter slightly damp.
  • Finally, give the tank a good wipe down and let it dry completely.

4. Pack And Load The Fish Tank For Moving

pack and load the fish tank for moving

Since fish tanks are very fragile, it’s important that they are handled with care. Should any cracks occur during transport, the aquarium will no longer be usable in your new home. With that said, start by taking off the lid, wrapping it with bubble wrap, and securing it with packing tape. It’s recommended to haul your tank in a box, provided that you can find one big enough. Wrap the aquarium with plastic padding and place foam board insulation on the sides, in between the box and the tank. There should not be any space for the tank to shift around inside the box.

Finally, seal, label, and mark the box indicating which side should face upwards. As far as transport goes, it’s best to put both the fish and the tank in your own vehicle rather than in a moving truck. If the tank won’t fit in your vehicle, make sure that your movers know that it is fragile and should be loaded and unloaded with extra care.

5. Set Up The Fish Tank At Your New House

Once you’ve arrived at your new house, you should start setting up the tank immediately. After you confirm that the tank is still in good condition, you can rebuild your fish’s habitat. Replace the sand or pebbles, followed by the equipment, decorations, plants, and finally the water that you brought with you in buckets. Then, use the fishnet to gently place the fish into the aquarium and pour the water from their transport containers into the tank as well.

setting up the fish tank in your new house

Wait a couple of hours before you turn on the pump or heater to give the water some time to regulate back to room temperature. Check on your fish often to ensure that there are no signs of stress – as this is common after moving. If you have any concerns about moving your fish tank to your new house, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts!

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Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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