The idea of moving fish and all aquarium animals is not a good idea. If you are planning to relocate to a new place, it is always better to sell off your exiting stock of fish and getting new fish at your new destination because travel is very stressful on fish, and there is every chance of losing many of them even if you take the best of the best precautions. But even then if you insist of moving your aquarium
, then consider the following tips which will help to reduce the pain and loss of fish.
How to move fish and the aquarium?
The task of moving fish and the aquarium involves two main tasks:
- Moving the aquarium
- Moving the fish
Do not move the fish in their tank.
Moving the Tank
When you move the tank, the main problem is the filtration system. Once you move the aquarium without the flow of oxygen-laden water, aerobic bacteria start to die just after few hours. For a short distance movement, there is not much of a problem , but with longer distance, it becomes a problem to preserve your bacteria colony. In such a case, it is better to restart the bacteria. The entire process of packing, unpacking and setup time takes time. So you need to consider the following:
- Drain your tank completely for long distance but if the destination is short, preserve some of the water to help preserve the bacteria colony.
- Put your fish in a holding container.
- Disassemble your tank.
- The plants inside the aquarium plants will survive a considerable amount of time if their roots are kept wet. If the move is short, put your filter medium in a sealed container without cleaning it. For long distances, either clean or discard your filter media.
- Pumps, heaters, etc. can be packed like any fragile appliance.
- Move your tank. It is advisable not to use a professional packers movers unless you have no other choices. It is much better to move it yourself. If you take the services of a movers packers , then you can supervise them packing the tank and loading it in the truck.
- Reassemble your tank at your new place. You should have enough dechlorinated/treated water available to fill your tank on arrival and moving water through your filter. Initially, put in a few hardy fish to form the nitrate cycle. After the tank is stable, put the fish from your old home back in.
Moving the Fish
In moving fish, three problems are involved:
Where do you put them while you're moving the tank?
There are two options for this: A friend's tank or a pet store tank
How do you pack them?
For few hours, you can put the fish in sealed bags and they should be half-filled with air. Put the bags in a padded, compartmentalized container, and ship by air. So if you keep your fish at the pet store, they will store tham in this way and ship by air. For larger fish, or longer hours, one can use a sealed bucket for each fish, rather than a bag.
How do you support them while they're being moved?
Dont feed the fish before travelling. You do not degrade the water quality with the food. Usually they won't eat during the move as well. Fish can survive a week or so without food if they've been previously well fed. Try to maintain an even temperature. If you are moving the fish by car, use a battery-powered airpump and airstone. After the move, slowly put the fish to the new tank location.
Top Mistakes in Moving Aquarium
- Overfeeding Fish and Invertebrtes
- Moving Too Fast
- Overloading the System
- Inadequate Filtration and Water Circulation
- Livestock Incompatibility
- Using a Poor Quality Fresh Water Source
- Lack of Proper Tank Maintenance
Also read Pet Moving