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We easily form attachments to our fish; they depend on us and they are beautiful to observe. When factoring fish into a move it is usually advisable to sell or give away as many as possible to eliminate some of the burden, but for many, parting with their gilled friends is not an option. Our guide is here to provide support for those planning a move with their fish.

What you'll need
  • Containers
  • Trash bags
  • Packing boxes
  • Packing tape
  • Newspaper or bubble wrap for padding
General Tips
  • Change 1/5 of the water everyday for a week before your move.
  • Do not feed your fish for the last 48 hours before you place them in containers or during travel so the water stays clean and uncontaminated.
  • If traveling by air there are other things to consider if taking fish along such as airline requirements or pressurization they will encounter during the flight.
  • Ensure to open the containers to change their air every 4-5 hours. This option may be the best for tropical fish that may not do well in smaller containers with overcrowding or sudden changes in water temperature.
  • Purchase a healing agent in your local pet store for your fish in the event they become bruised en route.
On moving day
  • Remove filters, heaters, thermometers, and any decorations you may have in your tank. Carefully wrap any fragile items and place everything in padded boxes.
  • Right before you walk out the door, drain as much water from your tank as you can without interrupting your fish's normal activities.
  • Disperse your fish into as many secure containers as possible. Large or untamed fish should be one per container. Ensure that the lid is tightly shut and place the containers in trash bags in case of a leak. You don't want your fish getting away!
  • Make sure your fish are moved to a temperature that will remain constant.
  • Drain the remainder of the water and remove the gravel to lessen the weight of the tank.
  • Load everything into your vehicle in a manner that will prevent the shifting of the supplies, tank and fish.
When you arrive
  • Remove tanks from boxes and place on a steady table or platform as soon as your arrive. Gently wipe the inside of the tank with a moist sponge or towel.
  • Fill your tanks until they are ¾ full with water that is at 75-80°. You can measure the water temperature with an aquarium thermometer and regulate with a heater.
  • Add neutralizers to the water to neutralize any chemicals that may be present.
  • Place gravel on the bottom of your tank and any equipment or decorations you would like to add.
  • Open containers and release fish into the tank while turning on filters, heaters or any other equipment. Feed your fish as usual.
  • Let ‘em swim!

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A Moving Company's Moving Story
June, 2012

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