Moving to a new place will present a few new opportunities for you as well as some challenges. One of the biggest and most difficult things to move is a fish tank. Travel is highly stressful on fish and even if you take the best precautions, you may lose several of them. Some experts will suggest that you sell the fish before moving and then buy new ones once you are settled but if you have grown attached to your fish and you have to move them then you should follow this guide.
Let me start by saying this, you cannot move your fish inside the tank, 1) tanks are extremely heavy when filled with water and 2) the water will become very unstable which is terrible for the fish.
How to move the tank
From my experience, the biggest part of moving a tank is the filtration system. If you have a built in filtration system, these can be very heavy. The filtration system is vital in order to create aerobic bacteria which has to be present for the fish to survive. This bacteria, can die in a matter of hours and if your move is short, you may be able to save the colony, otherwise you will have to restart the production of the bacteria. Follow the following guide to transport your fish and your tank:
Drain the tank between 80 and 90% into a large bucket. The 10 or 20% left over is enough to preserve some of the bacteria in the water. If you are moving far away, you will have to drain the tank completely as well as remove any plants, or rocks that could crack your tank during the move.
If the move is short, you can leave the plants in a bit of water during the move
For a short move, you need to put your filter medium in a sealed container that is free of any chemicals, do not clean the medium. For a longer move, you can clean the medium or discard it and buy a new one.
Pack the thermostat and any other pumps such as the air pump the same way you wold pack and fragile objects.
By keeping some of the water in the tank, you are preserving the bacteria. When you reach your destination you can pour clean water into the resting water in the tank and add a dechlorinator to the water. Leave the water to settle and let the dechlorinator do its job. If you drained the tank completely, you will have the tank fully running for about a week before you can start adding fish.
Where do you put your fish while you move the tank?
The bucket that you drained the tank water into is what you are going to use to transport your fish. This water has enough oxygen and bacteria for the fish to survive a short move, an hour or 2. If the move is longer, you will have to fill bags with the drained water and place a couple of fish in each bag.
Better Moves are experts in moving homes and offices and we will ensure that your tank as well as your fish will arrive at the destination in one piece.