How to move fish when you move home

How to Move Fish when you Move Home

One of the things I was really worried about when moving home was moving our two fish tanks. We have one large tank with two big goldfish in and one smaller tropical fish tank.

I’ve done quite a bit of research into how to move the fish tanks so I thought I would share it with you.

Make sure that you have everything that you will need…

Fish nets

plastic bags to keep fish in

box / strong bag to hold fish

rubber bands

tubs to hold tank water

water siphon pump

  • The day before you are due to move your fish don’t feed them.
  • The day of the move turn off any heaters for 30 minutes before you want to move them so the heater can cool down.
  • Empty some of the water of the tank into tubs to take with you.
  • The fish will be easier to catch when the tank is half empty. Slowly and carefully transfer your fish into strong plastic bags. Try to keep fish separately – one per bag.
  • Make sure there is plenty of air in the bag – it should be at least half air. Tie securely with a knot or rubber band.
  • If you are moving far store the bags of fish in an insulated bag. Make sure they can’t roll around. If you are moving locally a sturdy box should do.
  • If you are moving far you will want to empty the tank and securely pack it up. Make sure you pack the filter pads in a bag with some of the tank water. The same goes for any gravel. If you are moving locally as we are we left some of the water in the tank so we didn’t need to move the gravel and filter. I sat the tank carefully on my lap while my husband drove to the new house.
  • When you get to the new house, set your tank up straight away. Refill it with the water you took with you and top up with any fresh water (treated in the usual way). Place the fish in their bags in the water in the same way you would when you buy new fish to let them acclimatise. Slowly add water from the tank to the bag and finally move the fish into the tank.
  • Let the fish settle with the room darkened and don’t turn on the aquarium light. Don’t feed until the next day. You will want to keep an eye on ammonia and nitrate levels for the first month or so and treat accordingly.

Moving our fish is was of the most daunting parts of our move but some forward planning and making sure you have all the right bits and pieces to hand should help ease the process.

25 thoughts on “How to Move Fish when you Move Home

  1. Wow I’ve never thought about this being an issue and I own fish myself! An excellent post that I am positive I’d be googling for whenever the time comes to move! X

  2. This is such a good post. There’s so much that goes into looking after a pet fish and a lot of people don’t realise it. I’ve kept many fish in the past – tropical and coldwater and they can be hard work. x

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