Some offices sport small aquariums which can present a difficulty when it’s time to move. It’s very challenging to get fish from one point to another still living and breathing. The longer the distance of the move, the greater the chance that the fish will not make it. So if possible, do not attempt to move fish more than a short distance. It’s better to grace the next tenant with a healthy fish tank or sell off these little friends than to move fish long distance. However if the move is not too far away and you are willing to take several precautions, then follow these instructions.

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First you will need to remove the fish from the tank. Place them in study plastic bags filled with half water and half air or small travelling “aquariums” just like you would get when first taking this little creature home from the pet store. Do not add food to the water as the fish will likely not eat until it feels settled. Take them back to a pet store to temporarily “board” the fish in some of their tanks or if you have a friend with fish perhaps bring yours over for a few days.  If the move is long distance, you may be able to ship the fish via air mail. Be sure that whatever container the fish is traveling in is firmly sealed so that it will not leak in transit.

Next you will need to prepare the fish tank for the move. This may sound odd, but it is important not to kill off the aerobic bacteria that live in a fish tank.  If possible, do not drain all the water, but instead leave a small amount in the tank so that the bacteria do not die off entirely. Next disassemble the tank as much as possible. Remove aquarium plants, pebbles and decorative structures. Plants can be placed in a bag with a little water, similar to how the fish are stored. Put the filter in a hard sealed container such as a clean Tupperware. Carefully pack the pump, heater or any other attachment with bubble wrap or packing paper and place in a moving box. If you are going a short distance and are leaving some water in the tank, then move the tank in your own vehicle. If you are moving a long distance, drain the tank completely, dry it out thoroughly and then pack it with bubble wrap and a sturdy packing box. Be sure to note on the box that it contains a fragile item.

Upon arrival at the ending location, set up the aquarium as before then begin to fill it with water. Give the tank some time to filter before putting the fish back in the tank. For longer moves in which you must set up the tank as if it was new with no water in the tank to begin with, give it at least a week to filter before adding the fish.  Put the fish in little by little, adding the strongest fish first.  If they do not survive, give it a little more time before adding the others.

In most cases all of the work of moving the aquarium will be left up to you. Moving companies do not transport living items such as plants and animals so these will be left entirely to you. Also, if any water is left in the tank for the move, then you will need to move it in your own vehicle. In a moving truck there would be too great a chance for the tank to spill onto other items causing damage.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Sacramento employs a staff of over 40 Full-Time Movers and Drivers, with a fleet of 10 trucks. We have performed home and business moving services in and around the Greater Sacramento area for almost 10 years. Our award winning services include full service moving and packing services and we also sells boxes and packing supplies.

With comments or questions contact Carolyn Durkee, Marketing Coordinator at the Sacramento office of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® at 916-852-7411 or contact us here.