How to pack and move a fish tank

Moving guides - September 10, 2019

Moving a fish tank is no easy business. It is not an everyday job, even if you are an experienced mover. Howbeit, experienced movers would know exactly how to execute this task so that it ends with success. So, hiring Carroll Gardens movers is a smart move to make when it comes to this delicate procedure. Still, if you wish to pack and move a fish tank on your own, the text in front of you will prove to be the perfect guidance.

Apart from the task of packing and moving your fish tank, we will go on a limb and assume you wish to keep your fish alive as well. Now, that is not nearly as easy as it might seem. So, let us shed some light on certain important notes that will help you go about these goals.

a white fish on a black background
In order to pack and move a fish tank, you ought to be mindful of the fish as well.

Important notes on how to pack and move a fish tank

Before you delve into following the steps we will layout, consider first reading them. This ought to give you a clearer picture of the overall procedure, and maybe change your mind towards hiring Brooklyn moving service after all. With that said, you ought to keep in mind that:

1. Fish greatly differ, and not just by color or shape

Now, we know that this information will not exactly land on the cover of the New York Times. Still, it is important to note. Freshwater fish are as delicate and sensitive as they are graceful. The smallest changes in their environment can affect them greatly. A relocation indicates that they will be spending a certain amount of time outside of their comfort zone, and this can be detrimental to their health. Keep in mind that changing several containers during this period can make them tremendously stressed-out. And such distress can make the fish’s adaptation to the new surroundings that much harder. On some occasions, these sensitive creatures have refused to eat, while a certain number failed to even make it to their new home.

If the aquarium move is not an imperative part of your relocation, it might be smart to reconsider.

2. An army tank and a fish tank share only but a name

In order to pack and move a fish tank properly, you must be acquainted with what you are dealing with. Fish tanks are designed to rest on a flat surface. They are not exactly ready for any added stress. The glass walls are in most cases held together by glue. Now, keep in mind that these structures require a special kind of attention when being moved. You need to secure them in a way that they are not exposed to any kind of pressure or irregular vibrations. If this already seems like too much to handle, maybe this free estimate can help you make up your mind.

A bowl with fish, water and a plant in it.
Does this fish tank look as firm and resistant as an army tank? Didn’t think so.

3. Be mindful of the time when you pack and move a fish tank

The rule here is simple: the less time your fish spend in transit, the bigger their chance of survival is. This is crucial to keep in mind when planning your packing and moving schedule. That is to say, try to make your fish tank one of the last things you pack, as well as the first thing to unpack.

Options to consider when you pack and move a fish tank

Depending on the distance you plan on traveling, bringing your fish along might not be the best decision. If you plan on having a long-distance move, and by your judgment, the fish might not make it, you have these two options to consider:

  • gift your fish to a friend that already has an aquarium. Move just the fish tank to your new place, and get some new fish once you arrive.
  • leave the fish along with the aquarium, and acquire new ones once you settle in.

And if you simply cannot move the aquarium, leave it as well.

The equipment you need to pack and move a fish tank

In order to pack and move a fish tank, you cannot just drain the water, put your fish in a cup and move. That is, you can, but we are not sure that the outcome would make you content. The equipment you need to make this process work is:

  • Buckets and lids. A 5-gallon bucket will do the trick. Be extra sure that both the bucket and its lid are clean and leak-proof. The number of buckets you need to get depends on the size of your aquarium. Keep in mind that the majority of the water will come with you, considering that filtering a full aquarium of water takes a substantial amount of time.
  • Plastic bags for the fish. You can get these at your local pet store. This is also the best place to come by them since you can be sure they are durable and free of any harmful residue.
  • Supplies for the fish tank gear. If you intend on carrying a pump, heater, nets, extra gravel, and other accessories with you, you want to pack them in proper boxes. It is smart to handle them with care and keep them clean so that you can use them instantly after the move.
A nice looking aquarium fish
Transporting your fish via plastic bag that comes from the pet store is the best way to go about this task.

The relocation itself

To pack and move a fish tank, you will first begin with you catching the fish with a net, and placing them in their designated and previously prepared containers. Once that is done, proceed with carefully removing the decoration and accessories from the aquarium. These include everything from plants, rocks, and castles, to pumps, tubes, lightning fixtures, filters, and heaters. Now comes the time where you drain the tank. It is best that you make it as dry as a bone. Anything left exposes your aquarium to the possibility of damage. If there is any gravel or sand on the bottom, make sure to take that out as well. Put it in a spare bucket, so that it is ready for use after the move.

Once you have ensured that your fish tank is completely empty, wrap it in as much of pliable transparent plastic material as you can. In addition, we suggest that you then wrap it with moving blankets. This will make it extra safe for the trip. Remember that keeping your tank as flat as possible during the transit is super important for its well-being.

We hope this helps you pack and move a fish tank successfully!

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