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Tips on Moving with a Fish Tank

Moving is a challenging process that entails a lot of effort, but it can get even more complicated if one has pets. While moving all kinds of animals-whether feathered, furry or scaly- is tricky, transporting aquarium pets is the trickiest for a number of reasons.

A fish tank has multiple components that need to be dismantled and packed with padding before transportation. And once the owner reaches their new abode, they have to unwrap everything and put it all back together.

Executing the compounded task of disassembling and reassembling a fish tank for a move can become an uphill battle. However, if the person moving house takes the proactive route and plans everything in advance, they can smoothly transport their scaly friends with minimal stress.

Fish are not the most resilient species and perish easily once taken out of their natural environment. Therefore, a fish parent needs to work swiftly and efficiently to ensure their little water-loving friends survive the move. To carry out a successful, casualty-free move, follow these guidelines, and we promise you and your aquatic pets will arrive at the new residence in one piece.

Gather Supplies for Deconstructing the Fish Tank

Before emptying the water in your fish tank, you need to remove everything else inside it, which includes your fish, equipment, plants, and decorations. For all those elements, you’ll need separate containers to ensure everything remains intact. Here’s a list of all the supplies that you’ll need

  • A bucket/plastic bag or container for the fish: For small fish, you can use plastic bags, but only if your ride is one hour (or less) long. For a longer journey, place your fish in a large bucket or container that has a lid. Don’t forget to leave some space for air at the top.
  • Buckets for plants: Take the plants in your aquarium out, dry them off and pack them in buckets to keep them safe.
  • Ducking tape: Use a thick tape to secure the lids of all your containers in place to keep the inside items safe.
  • Fishnet: To transfer the fish to their containers.
  • Siphon hose: To empty the tank. Don’t drain the water; instead, save it in a container to use later.
  • Packaging supplies: Air-filled padded packing supplies, moving boxes, foam boards to store the miscellaneous items in your fish tank that include decorations, stones and pebbles, and the tank itself.

Dismantle the Tank

Once you have emptied the tank, wipe it and let it dry completely. If you want to speed up the process, use a towel or dishcloth to dry the tank. After drying, take off the lid and wrap it in a bubble wrap or air-filled packaging. Next, place a piece of foam board at the bottom of the tank and fill up the remaining space with a towel. Lastly, wrap the container in a padded packaging to keep it safe from cracking and place it in a moving box.

Pack all Outside-the-Tank Items

Don’t forget to pack all the aquarium related items that you keep outside the tanks, such as fish food, aquarium test strips, water de-chlorinator, and the stand on which you keep your tank.

Put Everything Back Together

After taking everything apart and transporting them to your new home, unpack everything, and put them back together. Make sure you use the same water to fill the tank that was in it in your old house. Doing so will ensure that your fish feel at home and swim around comfortably.


Don’t forget to hire professional movers to help you with the relocation process to avoid running into unnecessary setbacks. DIY moving can be a lot more taxing than you might think.


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