Moving fish is something that allot of people stress out about and it’s totally understandable. As if moving isn’t stressful enough you add to it moving a fish tank and it gets much more complicated but I’ve got some tips that I can give you that’ll hopefully make the move as stress free as possible.
The most important advice I can give you in this video is to make a plan. Figure out the best way to do this and know long before you move exactly how you’re gonna do it. Don’t let this be one of those things where you’re in the middle of your move and you think “oh crap, what about the fish tank”. Try to imagine the whole process of the move in your head before you even start and be prepared for anything that might happen.
First lets talk about an in town move where your just moving into a new place down the road or maybe the next town over. My recommendation would be to move your tank or tanks independent from everything else meaning you move all of your stuff and leave the fish tanks in the old place. Once everything is moved then dedicate your time exclusively to moving your tanks.
Doing it this way will not only help you but it’ll help the fish because they’ll be out of the environment they’re use to for the shortest amount of time. Just imagine how stressful it would be on them to drain the tank, throw them in buckets and then just throw everything in the truck with all your other stuff. Who knows when you would get to them not to mention if the tank completely dries out because you were so busy with other things it sat there forever.
A better way is to have a day set aside just for your tanks, make this part of your plan. If you only have one tank you might be able to just do it last after you’ve moved all your other stuff but i you have multiple tanks like so many of us do you might wanna set aside a whole day.
Go back to your old house, net your fish and put them into some 5 gallon buckets with an airstone hooked up to a pump. This will keep the fish safe for quite a while, they wont be thrilled about it but they’ll be ok. A couple other tips about this bucket, you might want to stick a lid loosely on the bucket if your fish are jumpers AND if it’s a cold day and you’re in and out of the house allot it might be a good idea to stick a small heater in the bucket (remember the plan).
So since your fish are safe its time to address the tank. This is really simple folks. Shut everything down and drain the tank BUT if it’s possible try to keep the substrate in water. What I mean is drain the water down to just below the substrate line so that it not only keeps the substrate wet but it also keeps it submerged. I’ve done this with tanks all the way up to 150 gallons so don’t freak out and say “oh my god it’s gonna be too heavy”, (come on suck it up you baby). I’m not talking about leaving 30 gallons of water in there, I’m just saying keep the substrate as wet as possible.
Next is the filters. If you’re using hang on the back filters try your best to keep the water in it. I know this is difficult but believe me if you can pull this off it’ll be well worth it. Just shut the filter down and lift it off of the tank keeping the filter cartridges and media in the box in the water. Transporting it this way can be tough but the best way I’ve found to do it would be in a large tote, that way if it tips over it won’t flood the floor boards of your car.
The bottom line with the tank move is try to keep everything in your tank as wet as possible. Remember that if it dries out the bacteria is gone and once you set it up at the new house you’ll need to start the cycling process all over again.
So once you have everything moved over to the new place set the bucket with your fish in it in a quiet area, make sure they’re ok and then take your time setting up the tank. Don’t rush this.
Once you have everything set up, filler up and put the fish back in. If you take my advice and keep everything as wet as possible you should be able to fire everything up and put the fish right back in and everything will be fine, you wont have to worry about recycling the tank.
Most people that i’ve known that have moved cross country have just sold all of there fish, moved and then started all over again. It sucks if you’re really attached to your fish but hey, whataya gonna do.
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