Moving fish from one container to another means making sure both environments are safe. (Mikael Damkier/

By Laura Gee, Content and Social Media Manager,

On several other blogs throughout our blogging network, we’ve talked about helping our furry pets move, but we’ve yet to discuss fish! Moving a fresh water (not salt water because that is a whole different ball game) aquarium is a common problem that many people face. Aquariums and smaller fish tanks are beautiful, relaxing, and provide lots of entertainment…until moving day arrives and you have to figure out what to do with thing. Have no fear–here are some basic procedural steps to take when moving a fish tank from one location to another:

Establish a Temporary Tank

Moving an aquarium can be a daunting task. Take it step by step to make the process easier. (paul-prescott/

You’ll want to find a vessel that is portable and big enough to house your fish. After you locate one of a good size, fill it with some of the water from the current tank to help the fish adjust. If need be, fill the tank up more with new water. Be sure to test the levels of this water to make sure it is safe for your fish.

Remove the Fish Carefully

Using a net, not your hands, remove the fish from their current tank and put them into the new one. You’ll want to put this new tank into a dark area and try to leave it alone as much as possible. Any unnecessary stimulants like light and motion can harm the fish while their in this altered state of living.

Transport the Fish

When moving your fish to your next location, again, you’ll want to refrain from exposing the tank to too much sunlight or excess movement. Also, be careful not to leave the tank exposed to changes in temperature. Just like mammals, fish don’t like being left in a hot car all afternoon!

Transport the Original Aquarium

When moving the original aquarium, you’ll want to have enough people helping you to move it so you can retain the structural integrity of the piece. If it is a small tank, you should be able to handle it on your own, but bigger aquariums require more assistance  You don’t want to put stress on the seals for they make break or you run a greater risk of dropping the tank if it is too heavy. ALSO, during this step, you’ll want to drain as much of the water as you can. If possible, save the water in brand new containers to use when you set up the aquarium at your next location.

Moving fish from one container to another means making sure both environments are safe. (Mikael Damkier/

Set Up the Tank

Try to put the tank in its final place. You’re fish, and your back, will appreciate it if you leave it be after putting the water and the fish back inside. Make sure your new area can support an aquarium.

Putting the Fish Back

First, set up all of the decorations and what not in the tank like they were previously. NOW is the time to fiddle with setup–not once the fish are back in it. Next, fill the tank up with your water supply and again check the levels of the water. Now you can gently put your fish back in.

Monitor Your Fish

You’ll want to watch for any signs of disease or distress and will want to keep the environment as stable as possible for a while. Other than that, you should be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy your aquatic family members!

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