If you are moving, you may be looking at your aquarium with speculative eyes. The larger the aquarium, the more difficult it will be to move, and many people simply decide to get rid of the fish instead. While many local aquarium stores will take displaced fish in, you can also look into options for transporting your fish as well. While the task is time consuming, it is entirely possible.
24 hours before the move, stop feeding your fish. While they will not like this, this prevents them from soiling the water in their moving containers.
Start the process by draining some of the water from your fish tank and saving it in gallon jugs. This ensures that the water you use at the new place can be properly acclimated. Lowering the volume of water in the existing tank will also make your fish easier to net. Remove the plants or hides that you have in the tank, wash the plastic and wood and pack them as you would anything else.
Fill water-tight plastic bags with water from the tank and drop your netted fish into them, tying off the top. Do this for every fish that you want to keep. Afterward, place the plastic bags filled with fish into a Styrofoam container. Styrofoam container allow you to moderate the temperature, which in turn keeps your fish much healthier.
At this point, you can drain and dismantle your tank. Many people choose to save the water so that it is easier to acclimatize their fish at the new location. Be careful with your tank, particularly if it is made of glass.
When you transport your fish, make sure that you keep them in the front seat with you, not in the trunk. It is very important that your fish stay in a temperature-controlled environment, not one where the temperatures can fluctuate very quickly.
When you get to your new location, you are ready to set up your tank as it was before. Remember that you should test the new water and that you should always make sure that you know what you are putting your fish into!
If you have only a few fish and a very small tank, you may be able to move the fish in the tank itself. Drain the water by half or one third so that there is less chance of the water splashing out and remove any heavy objects in the tank so that they will not get tipped over and risk injuring your fish. Then, transport the fish in its tank very carefully, ideally sitting on someone’s lap.
If you want to make sure that your fish stay stable in their bags while they are being transported in a Styrofoam box, look for plastic bags filled with air that you can use to keep them sitting still. This is a good way to make sure that your fish do not become bruised on their travels.
If you have decided to make the commitment to transporting your fish to your new location, make sure that you use a method that will not harm them. Plan your transport carefully and you’ll soon be enjoying your fish in your new home!