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How To Successfully Move A Fish Tank Without Breaking It

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Have fish, will travel. Is that you? For whatever reason, you're staring down the barrel of a move. And whether it's long or short distance, your fish friends are coming. How do you move their habitat without it breaking? You start by being smart.

How to Move an Aquarium

Can you move a fish tank with water still in it? Nothing is impossible, but some things just aren't smart. Your average tank doesn't seal like Tupperware which means it isn't spill proof. The first step in moving your aquarium is draining the water.

Your fish will need to relocate temporarily during the move. The safest place for them is a container designed to travel.

Once the fish are safely readied, drain the water from the tank. For short distance moves, you can save some water to preserve the healthy bacteria inhabiting the water. For long distance moves, it's best to remove the water and discard it. You should also take a few minutes to clean the tank. To prevent breakage, follow these steps:

  1. Disassemble the Tank: The inside of your tank is likely populated with décor to keep your little swimmer happy. Preserve their home by disassembling the tank. Remove interior décor and pack it separately. Live plants will usually survive a move if their roots are preserved. Bag them and move them separately by hand.
  2. Pack the Parts: Your tank likely has a heater, a pump, and other functional accessories attached. Remove these and pack them independently. You can wrap them in bubble wrap and place them inside the tank itself to help fill the open space with cushion.
  3. Plan Your Route: One of the best ways to avoid breakage is planning a smooth route. While you cannot predict everything, you can plan a driving route that avoids major traffic and limits bumpy or unpaved back roads. You can also plan how to move the tank into your new digs to avoid or prep for tight doorways and corners that could cause damage.

What material is your actual tank made of? Glass tanks should be carefully wrapped with bubble wrap on at least the outside. Tape it into place to protect the glass. Plastic tanks are less prone to breaks, but they can still be scratched. Pad and protect the exterior and interior.

Large tanks can be a challenge to move. Follow these same steps, but plan on enlisting extra manpower. Tanks that are more than 55 gallons, even when void of water, are best moved with assistance. Contact a moving company like RB Logistics for help.