Moving house

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New Member
Mar 16, 2002
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I am due to move house by the end of may, and I have no idea what is the best way to move my fish! I understand that the tank should not be moved with any water in due to the risk of cracking, is this correct? Thankfully the distance is about 5 mins if that, but I am worried about temperature and general stress to the fish. Any advice would be very much appreciated.


Fish Fanatic
Jan 18, 2002
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Hi Liz,

i recently moved house, this was my experiance as it goes.

firstly i got some large poly bags from a lfs, pets at home gave my about 75 large bags and some baskets in which they get their fish delivered in.

on the day of the move i bagged nearly all the water from each tank and labelled it accordingly. (this ensured that the different fish went back into the same water conditions). i left approx 1/3 water in the tank for the fish. i then bagged up all the plants, rocks & decor. lastly the fish were caught and bagged too. the rest of the water was then drained and bagged. the gravel was left in the tank for transportation. i personally took the tanks, fish, water in my own car to the new house.

this is where i done things slightly different. i reset my tanks up in the garage as i had a new tank to set up which was in storage at my mothers.

the tanks were placed where they were going, water that was bagged was then put into the correct tank in which it came from. the heaters were switched on and the tanks left for about 1/2 hour. the fish were then floated in the bags in the tank as per normal.

this method seemed to work fine for me. the only fish i lost initally were 2 neons (this was because i put my large angels in the tank first before the neons and they became dinner for the angles) :=)

since the move 3 weeks ago i have lost more fish which were 1 otto, 2 platy's. but amazinly i have magaged to keep my clows alive and kicking.

i hope this helps you

gaza t


Fish Herder
Mar 21, 2002
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Good advice from the 'G'man. Try and save as much of the water as possible or you could try to incorporate a water change at the time of transportation. That way you don't have to bag absolutely everything. Just make sure the fresh water has been conditioned etc first. Remove everything from the tank you could even leave 1/4 of the water in the tank for ease. When yuo get everything set up at the other end and the fish are ready to go back in their tanks remember to put the little ones in first then any large females you have should go in before the males. As long as it's not too far the fish should be ok in the plastic bags(from your lfs) Idealy put the bags containing the fish in a box and try not to jossle it to much. It might be worthwhile doing a major clean of the tank at this time as everythings stripped down for the move anyway. If you take everything carefully and take your time you shouldnt have any casualties. It's some times a good idea to make a check list for what you need to do at both ends of the move that way you know everythings been done and you haven't forgotten anything.
Good luck and don't forget to turn off the gas and cancel the milk :D
PS whens the house warming party 8)


Moved On
Jan 18, 2002
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Easiest way to move fish a short didtance like you are doing. (I'm a pro at this..just moved 14 tanks 6x in 2 yrs.) Get a bunch of 5g buckets and tight fitting lids from a hardware store (make sure you rince them out real well before you use them). Don't feed the fish for a day or two before the move. It'll cut down on the waste in the containers the fish are in during the move.

*Put all decorations in a plastic bag (like a garbage bag or a heavy duty outside trash bag, the big black ones)
*fill buckets with tank water ( save a couple of buckets for fish)
*put fish in buckets
*close lid and duct tape the lid
*take to car and put padding around the buckets
*Put gravel in a bucket or something similar (if the tank is over 15g) other wise you can leave it in just be extra careful.
*don't forget to lable the buckets so you know what goes to who and to what tank.
*take the tank and stand to the car
*Load fish and other buckets and fish stuff
*haul butt to the new place
*set up tank and stand
*add gravel decorations filters and such
*add water from the buckets (that have no fish) first
*now put buckets with fish in tank
*release fish and water
*ignore the fish for 12-24 hrs
*All should be fine.

This looks hard but is way easier than every other way I have tried. Rose

Great Lakes

Always do right, not popular...
May 11, 2002
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Southern Michigan
I use a method quite similar to Rose, except for the plastic bucket.
I took a 40qt coleman cooler, drilled two holes in the lid, and glued two quarter inch plastic straws in them. I run a piece of airline in one, from a battery operated air pump to an airstone, the second hole is used for a vent. I have kept fish alive and well in this setup for 30 hours,(that was pushing it though). I also have two 5gal water jugs that I buy my RO water with, so I can transport about 20 gals of water from any given tank. Warning!!! Do not put a thermometer in any fish transport container. They contain mercury and are deadly to fish when they break! Found this out the hard way, to the tune of about sixty fish out of a 90gallon.
Good luck on the move!

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