Any who has attempted to move an aquarium knows exactly how challenging this endeavor can be. Just moving the tank by itself is difficult enough, never mind transporting the fish in a manner that will ensure their survival. Transferring an aquarium, no matter what size it happens to be, takes not only a really good plan but a good amount of patience as well. Before enlisting the services of a residential moving company, here are a few guidelines to move your aquarium and the fish inside it with the least amount of inconvenience for both you and your aquatic friends.
If you have ever attempted to transport an aquarium in the past, or hired a local moving company, and suffered the unfortunate loss of some of your fish, one of the primary causes might have been a lack of sufficient amounts of oxygen in the water. It is very important to remember not to feed the fish for several days before the move, as this contributes to the oxygen imbalance. The digestive system within the fish population needs to be purged well in advance to keep the water from being overly contaminated with digestive byproducts. Your fish will certainly be able to survive without food for a few days during the transition. It is better for them to be a little hungry than to expire from unhealthy conditions in the water. Moving them will put them under terrific stress, and heavy amounts of excretion in the water will deprive them of the required oxygen levels.
The next procedure is to transfer your fish into plastic bags filled with water from your tank, and store these bags in a cooler large enough to hold your entire fish population without stacking them on top of one another. Make sure all the bags are sealed as tightly as possible with elastic bands. In addition, it is a good idea to place the aquarium filter, along with some of the tank water, in a plastic bag as well to ensure that you preserve the filter’s bacteria culture safely. The identical process used to package the filter should be repeated for any decorations or plants that are part of your aquarium’s eco-system. Also it is very important to remember when filling your plastic bags with fish, that you group the fish by their species, and there is an adequate supply of tank water to keep them fully immersed while in the cooler.
The best advice for transporting any aquarium is that, if possible, it should be one of the last items to be moved from your old location, and one of the first things to be set up in your new place. Once you have emptied the aquarium of all its contents, it should be well padded with blankets or similar materials to avoid any breakage during the loading, transport, and unloading process. You could also employ one of the professional packing services to accomplish this to help with packing and crating your aquarium. In addition, it is very important to maintain a constant the temperature in the cooler when the transporting the fish. If you are moving during the fall or winter periods, it may be a good idea to buy a few heat packs. By contrast, the cooler should never be exposed to direct sunlight. If you are moving over long distances never leave the fish in the plastic bags more than a few days without providing fresh oxygen.
Setting up your aquarium should be your first priority when you arrive at your new residence. Place new water into the tank, re-install the filter, and let the tank run for some time before slowly adding the fish to the new tank environment. Submerge the plastic bags containing the fish into the new water for ten minutes or so to allow the temperatures in the bags to reach the identical temperature in the aquarium. Then, pour a quantity of water from the new tank into the plastic bags prior to releasing the fish back to their familiar surroundings to ensure the least amount of stress as possible. After a while, your aquatic friends will re-adjust to their new environment in about the same amount of time it takes for you, or your local moving company, to completely unload, unpack, and get used to your new environment as well.