How to Move an Aquarium
Moving to a different place can be a stressful experience, particularly if you have a number of valuable items or possessions that are difficult to move. Aquariums can be particularly challenging as not only are the tanks unwieldy, fish can be very easily stressed and often do not respond well to being transported.
If you are planning to move in the Sydney area, you must take particular care during aquarium removals. Even after exercising all possible precautions, it is quite possible that you will lose one or more fish so don’t be surprised if this occurs. However, there are a few things that you can do to reduce your losses.
Steps for Moving the Fish
#1 Find a Place to Board Your Fish
More likely than not, you will need to board your fish during the move while the aquarium is packed and shipped. Many pet stores will board your fish for you so check in with several stores to determine which price and store policies are best for you and your fish. Ensure that you have a signed agreement with the store dictating what their exact responsibilities will be. Some stores will even ship your fish for you but this can be quite expensive.
#2 Packing Your Fish for Short Trips
Fish can be transported in sealed bags half full of air for up to two hours. The bags should then be placed in a padded compartment so that they will not shift around. For slightly longer trips, you can place the fish in a sealed bucket.
#3 Providing for Your Fish During Travel
Due to the stress, fish will rarely ever eat during travel. Additionally, contaminating the water by adding food is not advisable. Keep the fish at a stable temperature and make sure to add an air stone and pump if traveling for longer distances. Make sure when you are resetting up the tank to take the time to properly acclimate the fish once again.
Steps for Moving the Aquarium
The filtration system is the most challenging aspect of moving an aquarium. Without water, the oxygen is depleted and the aerobic bacteria die off within a few hours. Unless you are only moving one or two hours away, the odds are that you will have to start colonising healthy aquarium bacteria from the beginning.
#1 Remove the Fish
As described above, the fish should be taken out of the aquarium and placed in the appropriate traveling container.
#2 Drain the Aquarium of Water
You should only drain all of the water if completely necessary. If you are only moving locally in Sydney, leave some water in the bottom of the tank to conserve the aerobic bacteria.
#3 Take the Tank Apart
When taking plants out of the tank, keep the roots moist. This will most likely keep the plants alive and healthy long enough to replant them in the new location.
#4 Pack the Filter
If the equipment removals are being done in the hopes of a short and simple move, place the uncleaned filter in a sealed container for transport. However, if you are traveling a longer distance you will have to clean or even replace your filter media completely.
#5 Pack Fragile Items Carefully
The more fragile items, including the heaters and pumps, should be packed very well to ensure they don’t break during the moving process.