You have to transport your tank empty, which means having a plan in place for moving everything inside of it, including your fish, equipment, plants, and decorations.
Small fish can be moved in plastic bags secured firmly at the top with a twist tie, provided you only have to travel a short distance (an hour or less). You could also use small plastic containers with lids. For larger fish and/or longer moves, you’ll want to use clean, 5-gallon buckets with lids.
You’ll need a Siphon hose for removing water from the tank. Air-filled plastic padding, packing paper, foam board insulation, and moving boxes (cardboard or plastic).
Keep in mind that fish are prone to stress when moved outside of their environment. To help minimize that stress, wait as long as you can before moving them into their transport containers.
Use water from the tank to fill the container they’ll be traveling in, and be sure to leave air at the top. This will ensure that their environment is as comfortable and close to normal as it can be.
Stop feeding your fish 18-24 hours prior to moving them into their transport container. This will help keep the water clean during the move. (Don’t worry; fish are just fine to go without food for a day—and even up to a week, if they’re healthy.)
Once your fish are safely in their containers, get to work on prepping the rest of the aquarium for your move. Place plants in buckets and fill with water from the tank. Leave air at the top so water doesn’t spill out. Siphon out remaining water and put it into a large, sealable bucket if possible. You’ll want to fill the tank back up later on with as much of its original water as possible.
Wipe down decorations, dry them, and pack them. If they’re fragile, wrap them in air-filled plastic padding and/or packing paper before packing. Transport any pebbles or sand at the bottom of the tank to a bucket or other type of plastic container. Keep the filter damp. Wipe down the tank and dry it completely.
Be sure to label all of the boxes containing decorations, equipment, and other supplies. You’ll need to put your fish tank back together as soon as you arrive at your new home, so it definitely helps to know what’s where.
Take off the lid and wrap it in air-filled plastic padding. Secure with packing tape.
Cut foam board insulation to size and place it at the bottom of the tank. Fill the tank with towels or packing paper.
Wrap the tank in air-filled plastic padding and place in a moving box. Put foam board insulation around the sides, in between the tank and the box. The box should be large enough to accommodate the aquarium and insulation, but not so large that the tank has room to shift around. If there is space around it, use packing paper to fill in the gaps and help prevent it from shifting during transport.
Make sure to seal and label the box. Place arrows on the box showing which side is up so that the tank doesn’t end up upside down or on its side during transport.
On moving day, you or your movers will want to load the tank and its associated boxes onto the truck, being sure not to stack anything on top of the box housing the aquarium.
Moving trucks are generally not temperature controlled, so as a safety precaution always move the buckets with your fish in either the cabin of the truck or in your car.
Putting your fish tank back together is one of the very first things that you want to do when you arrive at your new home. The less time your finned friends spend in their moving containers the better, so take on this task even before you start to unpack other essentials.
Figure out where you’re going to put the aquarium. If you’re not sure of a final resting spot yet, at least narrow it down to the room it will be in. This is where you’ll want to set up.
After you’ve confirmed the tank is good to be refilled, start the process of rebuilding your fish habitat. Put the pebbles or sand down first and then set up your equipment. Place decorations and plants back in the tank and then refill with the water you brought over in buckets.
Using the fishnet, gently transport your fish back in to the tank. Pour the water from their moving containers back in to the tank, removing any waste first if necessary. If you need more water to fill up the tank, get some from your tap and de-chlorinate it before putting it in there.
Wait a few hours before turning on your heater and pump. This will give the water time to settle and get to room temperature.
Return to your normal feeding schedule with your fish once they’re safely in their new home. Your fish should adjust quickly and are back to their normal selves in no time!
When You're Not Sure Something Will Fit
There are times when a furniture item will not fit where you want it to go. The most common situations where this happens are with couches, large bed headboards, and queen sized box springs going around tight corners and up stairs with low clearance.
You can measure your items and the space they are moving through to see if they will fit in advance. Keep in mind that the clearance of a staircase with a sloped ceiling is not from the ceiling straight down. You should measure from the lowest part of the ceiling at a 45 degree angle down to the stairs.
Queen box springs can be tilted at an angle to get a little more clearance, but many smaller houses with converted attic bedrooms will not fit a queen box spring up those stairs. You can purchase queen box springs that come in 2 small pieces if necessary, and many modern bed designs don't use box springs at all. King beds always use 2 twin box springs and should fit, though the mattress may need to be folded and forced up the stairs, which is not recommended for mattresses with metal springs in them.Couches are more difficult to judge because they are a unique shape that can be lifted and twisted around corners that at first seem too tight. The legs of the couch should be removed if possible to give the item more clearance. Some refrigerators, freezers and exercise equipment may also not fit in some spaces, like down narrow basement stairways.
If there is a questionable turn that, even after measuring, you aren't sure your couch will fit around, we recommend that you have a backup location for the couch to go in case it doesn't fit. If your home has a walk-out basement we may be able to bring an item through that door instead of moving it down the stairs.
Our movers are experts at fitting items through tight spaces, so if it is possible we will get it there. We will not, however, hoist items up to balconies or use ladders to bring items to an upper level. If it is a really tight fit and our movers think that we may damage the item or the home while moving, we may require a risk of damage acknowledgement to be signed.