If you're a fish lover with a fish tank at home, you know how important it is to keep your aquatic pets happy and healthy. Sometimes moves can be unavoidable, whether it's for work, school or simply because you decide to move house. Transporting your fish and their tank can be a difficult and stressful task, but by following a few tips, you can make the process easier and safer for your aquatic pets.
When it's time to move, there are certain objects with which special care must be taken. Of course, all those belongings that are of sentimental value to us, but also those items that, due to their delicacy, could break or deteriorate when handled or transported. Among the most delicate things to move are fish tanks or aquariums, as transporting this type of container involves a certain technique and, if it is not done correctly, both the water and its small inhabitants could be ruined.
What do you need to transport a fish tank?
Before you start preparing your tank for transport, it is important that you have the following materials at hand:
- A fish net
- Thick, strong plastic bags
- Cardboard boxes
- Towels or bubble pads
- Adhesive tape
- A thermometer
- A portable aquarium heater (optional)
How to prepare your fish tank for transport?
The first step in preparing your tank for transport is to clean and empty it completely. Be sure to remove any decorations, plants and other items that may be moved or damaged during transport. If the tank is small, you can place it inside a sturdy cardboard box to protect it during transport.
It is important to keep the water in your tank clean and oxygenated during transport. To do this, you should fill plastic bags with water from the tank and leave enough air in them for your fish to breathe. Use the fish net to catch your aquatic pets and place them in the plastic bags.
Before closing the bags, make sure to remove as much air as possible, but without crushing the fish. You can also place a towel or bubble pad inside the bag to keep the water temperature stable during transport.
If the move is long or the weather is cold, you can use a portable aquarium heater to keep the water in the bags at a suitable temperature for your fish.
How to transport your fish tank?
Once you have prepared your fish and tank for transport, it is important that you take a few precautions to ensure that they arrive safely at their new home.
If the fish tank is small, you can transport it in a sturdy cardboard box and make sure it is well protected with towels or bubble pads. If the fish tank is large and will not fit in a box, make sure it is securely fastened in the vehicle and will not move during transport.
It is important to keep the bags with your fish in a safe and stable place during transport. If you are driving, make sure the bags are in a back seat or on the floor of the vehicle to avoid sudden movements. If you hire a moving company, make sure the workers know that you are transporting fish and that they treat the bags with care.
Transport of fish and aquaria over long distances
When transporting fish over long distances, you should be sure to follow the same steps as for a regular move, but with some additional precautions.
First, make sure that the plastic bags containing your fish are tightly sealed and do not leak water. To prevent the bags from tearing during transport, it is advisable to wrap them with an additional layer of plastic or place them inside a fish transport bag.
It is also important to keep the water temperature in a range suitable for your fish during transport. If the weather is cold, you can use a portable aquarium heater to keep the water in the bags warm. If the temperature is too high, you can cool the bags by placing them in an ice pack or wrapping them in a damp towel.
In addition, it is advisable to avoid feeding your fish a few hours before the move to reduce the amount of waste they produce and to keep the water cleaner during transport.
During transport, it is important to avoid sudden movements and to make sure that the bags with your fish are protected and do not get bumped. If you are driving, you can place the bags on the floor of the vehicle or on a back seat, making sure they are secured with seat belts or bubble pads. If you hire a moving company, make sure the workers know that you are transporting fish and that they handle the bags with care.
Finally, when you arrive at your new home, you should allow the bags with your fish to acclimatise to the water temperature before releasing them into the tank. This is done by placing the bags on the surface of the tank water for a few minutes and then slowly adding small amounts of tank water to the bags to allow the fish to gradually adapt to the water conditions.
What to do after transport?
Once you have arrived at your new home, it is important to put the tank back in its original place and fill it with fresh water. Make sure that the water temperature is right and that there is enough oxygen in the water for your fish.
It is advisable to wait at least 24 hours before putting your fish back in the tank to allow the water to stabilise and reach the correct temperature. When it is time to return your fish to the tank, be sure to do so carefully and slowly to avoid stressing or injuring them.
- In addition to the tips mentioned above, here are some additional tips for transporting your fish tank safely and effectively:
- Plan ahead: Make sure you have all the necessary materials and tools to transport your fish and their tank.
- Maintain the right temperature: It is important to keep the water temperature stable during transport to avoid stress or death of your fish.
- Make sure the bags are properly sealed: The bags must be completely sealed to prevent water from escaping and damage to the fish.
- Avoid feeding your fish before the move: Feeding your fish before transport can increase the amount of waste in the water and worsen water quality.
Recommendations for moving a fish tank
So, if you are thinking of moving your fish tank or aquarium, take note of these recommendations:
- In a move, fish tanks or aquariums should be moved last.These are very fragile items and require special logistics to ensure that they are not damaged when they are moved.
- Keep in mind that long journeys are not pleasant for fish and the poor animals will suffer the longer the journey.
If the journey is less than 6 to 8 hours, it is advisable to do the following:
- Putting the fish in special plastic bags inflated and filled with oxygen tablets. It is important that it is oxygen and not air so that the fish does not die from suffocation.
- Put those plastic bags into some opaque bag or box so that the fish do not receive light and do not get stress. The ideal is to use a cooler bag which, in addition to protecting the fish from light and possible impacts, maintains a constant temperature.
For avoid re-cycling water of the fish tank, you can follow these recommendations:
- Store water in carafes.
- Keep the filter from the aquarium running in a bucket of water to your new home.
- Take the opportunity to clean the gravel: Take it out and add substrate if it is missing, or renew it.
- Line a cardboard box with foam or cork and put the fish tank in it for protect it from shocks.
If the journey is only a few hours and the fish tank is small:
- Drain 80 percent of the water from the aquarium and store the remainder in a carafes.
- Fishes in the plastic bags as explained above.
- As already mentioned, it is not advisable to transport an aquarium with water in it. Therefore, once you have emptied it completely or left 20 percent of the water in it, drag it to from its point of support to a table in order to prevent cracking.
- It is very important to move the aquarium onto a board or straight surface throughout the journey.
- Even so, great care must be taken to ensure that the glass does not break or that no cracks appear that could leak water later on. Check at your destination that everything is in perfect condition before reintroducing the fish.
However, moving an aquarium is a very delicate task, so if it is a medium or large aquarium, our most important recommendation is that the relocation is carried out by a professional company..
In short, transporting a fish tank can be a difficult and stressful task, but with proper preparation and a few helpful tips, you can ensure that your fish arrive at their new home safely and healthily. Make sure you have all the necessary materials on hand, prepare your tank properly and take precautions during transport. And remember, if you have any doubts or questions, don't hesitate to consult an aquarium expert for additional advice and guidance.