How to Move an Aquarium


You found the perfect new place to live and now it’s time for the big move. You’ve got everything packed and ready for the movers, but you’ve also got a killer aquarium filled with fish. Don’t trust the movers to move this delicate ecosystem. Fish get very stressed during moves and tanks are too heavy to move while full so you can’t just throw the aquarium into the back of a moving truck the day of your move. This is something that requires planning and consideration. Here are some tips on how to move your aquarium.

  • Get prepared. Gather clean transport buckets or containers and siphon tubes.
  • Establish where your tank will go in your new pad.
  • Once you’re ready, siphon out just enough water to fill the container that you will use to transport your fish. Carefully net your fish one by one and place them gently into the transport container. If they will be in there for longer than a few hours, place an aerator in the water so they will have enough oxygen.
  • Continue siphoning water from the tank into the clean containers you have until there is only enough water remaining to cover the gravel.
  • Move the aquarium tank. This will require help if you have a large tank. The sealants in large tanks can become compromised if the tank is not kept level. You want to make sure there’s no excessive pressure on the tank. Keep it level and supported the entire move. If your car is too small and you cannot fit the tank in while keeping it level, and you will be storing some things during your move in a newly rented Lock Up Self Storage unit, you can make one extra trip with the free move in truck provided by The Lock Up. Just be sure that the tank is sufficiently padded and secured so that it doesn’t slide around in the back of the truck during transport. Bring along the containers of tank water.
  • Refill the tank. Once you have the aquarium placed in your new home, begin siphoning the water in the transport containers back into the tank. You don’t want to pour buckets of water into the tank as that will disturb the gravel and make a mess.
  • Reassemble the tank’s technical aspects such as the filter, air pumps, heater, etc. Make sure that the proper environment of your tank has been re-established. You don’t want to shock your fish when you re-introduce them to their tank.
  • Move the fish from your old place to their new home. Gently net each fish and place them into their tank. Since you used the water they had been living in at the old place, they should acclimate just fine.
  • Discard the water that they were transported in since it’s likely polluted by the time you take them out.

Now you and your fish can enjoy your new home!

Do you have any suggestions on how to move a fish tank? Share them with us here!

Do you need somewhere to store extra things while moving? Visit to find a Lock Up Self Storage near you.


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