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The Best Way To Move Your Aquarium and Aquatic Pets

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You might be asking if there is a safe and effective way to move your aquarium and aquatic pets when a move is on the horizon. It’s time to move and you have some “finny” friends you’d like to take with you.

Your moving company is up to the task, but you’ll be doing some of this yourself.

Move Your Aquarium and Aquatic Pets

How To Move Your Aquarium and Aquatic Pets

No matter what, no moving company is willing to take living creatures on anything more than a 24-hour move. Many times, they absolve themselves of that, too. Bottom line, it’s really not safe your aquatic pets.

When my children were little, we had a mid-sized 20-gallon fish tank filled with lots of colorful aquatic pets. They loved it and were always mesmerized staring at them for hours at a time.

Move Your Aquarium and Aquatic Pets

When we moved, I gave the tank away rather than dealing with moving it. But, that doesn’t have to be the case for you. There are lots of smart ways to move your finny little friends. 

Moving Fish

Depending on your particular species and the details of your move, you may be able to take your fish to their new home in something as simple as cups with plastic wrap rubber banded over the top and a few holes poked for air.

You can use a 5-gallon bucket as a temporary home as well. Before you house your aquatic pets in it, rinse it with aquarium water to remove any residue.

Move Your Aquarium and Aquatic Pets

Yet another possibility is a large storage tote with a top that latches. All of these work well as temporary aquariums for all but the most sensitive fish species.

If you own seahorses and pipefish be sure to keep them in large cups or mugs allowing them the vertical movement that they seek.

 Move Your Aquarium and Aquatic Pets

This is much more comforting for them than bags that can easily flex or very large storage totes that may be unwieldy to carry. Try to keep your species as close together as possible.

If you are transporting in plastic storage totes, keep lids closed to prevent unwanted mixing between aggressive species and more docile ones.

Move Your Aquarium and Aquatic Pets

Moving Snails

It’s best to house aquatic snails in plastic baggies filled halfway with water. Make sure it contains a small amount of java moss or an equivalent.

Be certain that these little guys have access to water and air and they should be perfectly happy on their way to their new home.

 Move Your Aquarium and Aquatic Pets
Photo by Abbey Lee on Unsplash

Keep the bags out of the sunlight and never leave them in your vehicle. Try to avoid putting them in the direct path of your heater or air conditioner in the vehicle as well. This can easily overheat or chill them very quickly.

Moving Other Invertebrates

As far as shrimps, crabs and other bottom cleaners go, you can house them in cups, baggies or sieves. 

Plastic containers often allow these little animals a chance to escape. They’re just too good at popping the lids and scrambling out if the water level gets near the top.

Your Biomedia

Your biomedia, also known as your substrate and filter tab, are two of the most important aspects of your tank. Many fish keepers lose their cycle when they move, but it’s possible to keep it healthy!

Using a 5-gallon bucket, pour a significant portion of your aquarium water into the tank. Scoop several scoops of your substrate into the bottom of the bucket.

This allows you to keep your biomedia wet and retain your beneficial bacteria throughout the move. You can also toss your filter media in the bucket as well, keeping it safe and damp.

Move Your Aquarium and Aquatic Pets

Keeping Your Tanks Safe

Let’s face it, moving a big, glass box is nerve-wracking no matter how great your movers are. The ideal mover will ask you to empty the aquarium and dry it prior to their arrival.

They will fill the tank with padded blankets and then use another to wrap around the sides. After this, they will build a cardboard box around the entire thing and tape it tightly together.

For large aquariums and fish tanks, wooden crates may be used to reinforce the sides even further.

Move Your Aquarium and Aquatic Pets

Aquariums are often some of the last things loaded so that they can be placed up and away from items that may crush them. Ready your fish for 48 hours out of their environment even on day-long moves.

Move Your Aquarium and Aquatic Pets

It’s also a good idea to stop feeding them two days before the move. You’ll want the water to stay clean. There’s no reason to worry as most well-fed fish can go without eating for about a week.

The Best Way To Move Your Aquarium and Aquatic Pets - Sassy Townhouse Living

Don’t forget to read How To Turn Adversity Into Your Greatest Ally too!

How To Turn Adversity into Your Greatest Ally - Sassy Townhouse Living

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