Best Way to Move an Aquarium

The best way to move an aquarium is to not move it at all. In a perfect world you will never have to disrupt the aquatic environment. However, few people live in this imaginary world, so rest-assured that you are not the first to tackle this. When done carefully your fish should only be stressed for a very short time. Keep in mind fish need oxygen in their water, so the process needs to be done quickly. After the movers leave, your priority will be putting the aquarium back together immediately for the fish.


  • Stop feeding at least 24 hours prior to the move to keep their transport water as clean as possible.


  • Get one or more Styrofoam coolers to transport your fish.


  • Buy transport bags. Some use zipper-sealed bags, but you may want to just stop by your local pet store and see if they have any fish bags you can have. If you are a regular shopper they may be happy to help.


  • The best way to move an aquarium is to transfer the fish and some water from the tank into the bags right before you are ready to go. Place the bag in the cooler and put on the lid. The darkness will trick them into thinking its nighttime.


  • One of the smartest moving tips is to put the filter also in a bag of tank water. Many assume they should clean it, but transporting in water will preserve some of the beneficial cultures.


  • Empty the aquarium and pack it.


  • Aim to keep the fish at a consistent temperature. Moving services will handle the tank, but you will want to transport the fish in your car.


  • At the new destination, set up the tank and allow it to run awhile. Do not fill the water completely because water from the bags will be added.


  • When the water temperature is right, float the bags of fish in the water so temperatures can equalize.


  • When you are ready, cut open the bags, and allow the fish to swim out at their own pace.


Keep in mind that the best way to move an aquarium is with the help of professional movers. If you have a large, heavy tank, be sure to provide this information when you request moving quotes.



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