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Capital Aquarium Maintenance - Serving Ottawa and Kingston

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Long Range Aquarium Moving Tips

Posted by ottawaaquariums on July 9, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Ever had to move an aquarium!?  Its about the most time consuming thing you can do on moving day.  Generally, to move an aquarium without killing anything can take anywhere from 6 to 18 hours depending on the size of the aquarium and the distance between the old and new location.

The basic idea behind all of my tips will be to minimize the amount of time that the fish are without filtration, aeration and temperature control.

Here are some tips:

1.  Move the aquarium on a different day as the rest of your belongings, if at all possible.  Otherwise, you will simply not have time to do it.

2.  Pack up non-essential items first, such as fish food, lighting, accessories.  Basically get everything out of the stand and off the tank EXCEPT for the filter and heater.  Leave these for last.

3.  Stop feeding the fish 72hrs prior to moving them.  Fasted fish will produce far less waste.  Also, clean the tank and filter approximately 10 days before the move and feed much less after this time.  This will allow for the filter to be relatively clean inside and the water to be pristine.

4.  When you are ready to move, put as much of the aquarium water as possible in camping jugs or buckets with lids.  Put the media from the filter inside a bucket of water, preferably with air from a portable air pump (battery operated).  Put fish in a bucket with a lid as well, also aerated if possible.  Gravel wash the gravel and throw away the dirty water, but again try to preserve and move as much as possible.  Keep the gravel in a bucket of water as well (or buckets).  Keeping the gravel and filter media in aerated water will go a long way to keeping your biological filter alive.

5.  Transport all gear and fish in a temperature controlled vehicle @ ~75F-80F (for tropicals).  Colder for goldfish.

6.  When you arrive, your first task should be a partial water change on the buckets with animals in them.  Remove half the water from those buckets, and replace with fresh water (or freshly mixed saltwater, if this is marine - much more difficult because you need to have pre-mixed a water change before hand at the last location).  This will keep your fish alive for tip 7.

7.  Put the tank on the stand, empty the camping jugs full of water into the tank.  Now fill the tank with enough new water to start the filter - make sure it is near the right temperature.  Put media back in filter and start it ASAP.  Put the gravel back in.  Put the heater back in, and put the fish back in.  This step should be your absolute priority; dont worry about accessories, just get the filter and heater running on the tank and get the fish back in the tank as quickly as possible.

8.  Don't feed your fish for 3 or 4 days after getting it set back up; this will allow the bio filter to re-establish itself.

Thats it!  I've moved many aquariums and never had a problem with following this method.


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