A Guide to Moving a Large Fish Tank to a New Home

A Guide to Moving a Large Fish Tank to a New Home

Among all the stressful aspects of moving to a new home, the transition for your pets should be discussed more often. It’s a significant change for you, but in many ways,, it’s even more significant for them. 

Very active, aware pets like dogs and cats are one thing. While it’s as simple as just loading them up in the car and taking them to the new place, the difficulties are acclimating them to an environment that they are not familiar with.

With a fish tank or an aquarium, the situation is quite a bit different. Once you have them in the new house, things are okay because their environment is in the tank itself and not the actual house. There are a few little things to do, but you’re mostly good to go.

The hard part is getting the tank from the first house to the next without putting the fish or the tank itself in danger. Since fish must stay in the water to survive, this is not a simple process.

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There are a few ways to ensure that transporting a giant fish tank from one home to another runs as smoothly as possible. It will likely still be somewhat of a stressful experience, but let’s take a look at how to make the move:

A Guide to Moving a Large Fish Tank to a New Home

Remove and Safely Prepare the Fish

Maybe not the most challenging part of the operation, but undoubtedly, the most stressful is what you must do to get the fish ready to move. First, I suggest that you do all this in one trip so that the fish aren’t spending too much time out of their tank.

Start simply by netting them, as you do when cleaning out the tank. Where you keep them while you move will depend on the size of the fish. Since this is a big tank you’re dealing with, I’m assuming that there will be quite a few different fish involved.

For the most part, you should use the plastic bag method. If you have a big bag, you can keep the fish in there for upwards of a couple of hours. Because you need to tie a knot at the top, there will be finite oxygen, so you can’t leave them there indefinitely.

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If the fish is too big for bags, then you could also use a bucket or a substantial Tupperware container, but be warned that you can’t keep them in a closed container because oxygen is just way too limited.

A Guide to Moving a Large Fish Tank to a New Home

Save the Water

This will seem like a strange suggestion, but it’s a good idea to siphon some of the water from the tank and save it. For saltwater fish especially, this is a good idea because it’s difficult to replenish their water.

But even in the case of a freshwater tank, fish get used to the water they are in, and as you know from your cleaning, you usually take out only about one-half to three-quarters of the water anyway.

It will be much less of a shock to their system if they are returned to the same water. So, use whatever method you usually use to remove tank water. A specially designed tank siphon is the best option, and transport it to the new place in a bucket.

A Guide to Moving a Large Fish Tank to a New Home

Ready the Tank Accessories for Travel

So once the fish have been removed and the water is siphoned, the next step is to take everything else out and prepare that, too. For rocks and most decorations, you should clean them, dry them, and then pack them up in any container you like.

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The plants and coral must be submerged in water in buckets or containers. These are aquatic plants, so they can’t be kept out of water for a long time. You should also remove and clean the gravel before packing up.

As you can see, you need various water-filled containers to accommodate your fish and plants. And then, as for the tank itself, some can be disassembled, but for the most part, you have to transport it in its complete form.

Being made almost entirely of glass, they are very fragile, so you need to be extremely careful with this. Clean and dry the tank first, then fill it with packing paper and wrap it in a few layers of bubble wrap.

Put this in a cardboard box, and make sure it’s transported in a position in your car or van where it won’t move much. Wrap up the lid in bubble wrap, too. And then, of course, drive carefully!

A Guide to Moving a Large Fish Tank to a New Home

Reassemble the Tank in Your New Home

This should be the easiest part because you’ve set up the tank before, but there are a few things to remember. First, do this as soon as you can because you want to get the plants and the fish back in there immediately.

Be sure to check the tank for any cracks or chips as you set it up, and then put the gravel and the rocks in first. Add the siphoned water and the top of the tank if needs be. The plants can go in before you top it off; there needs to be water in the tank before they are placed inside.

And then wait about two hours after everything has been put back together before you turn on the heater or the pump because otherwise, any particles disturbed during the move won’t have time to settle.

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You don’t have to wait to put the fish in, of course; they will be okay for an hour or two without using the pump and heater.

Moving a Large Fish Tank to a New Home

Give Your Fish a Little After Care

Once the fish are back in the tank, they will be slightly flustered from the move, so you need to help them calm down. You will need to put a few drops of a stress-coating liquid in.

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Keep an eye on the water over the next few days because moving water around or water from different mains can lead to some biological imbalance. So, it’s essential to check for things like ammonia and treat the water accordingly. 

Also, you should think about investing in some plants which help to keep these issues under control and which are also stress relievers. Indian Almond has many benefits, including antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it a great addition to your tank.

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