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How to Move your Aquatic Friends?

Friday, June 20, 2014  |   Atlas Vanlines

Going new places can come with special challenges. One of the biggest is moving a fish tank. Travel is highly stressful on fish. Even with the best precautions, you may lose several. Some experts even suggest you sell your fish and buy new ones after you arrive. However, if you must move your fish, follow the procedures below to minimize your losses.

Moving fish consists of two parts. First you move the tank. Then you move the fish. Never move the fish in the tank.

Moving the tank: The biggest challenge in moving an aquarium is the filtration system. Without a flow of oxygen in the water, aerobic bacteria start to die in a matter of hours. It will take you a few hours to tear down, pack, unpack, and set up. If you move a short distance, no more than one or two hours away, you might preserve the bacteria colony. Otherwise, you'll need to restart it. Follow this procedure:

Moving your fish: You have three main concerns when moving fish:
 
1.Where do you put your fish while you move the tank, which may take a week or more?
Locate a pet store that will board your fish during your move. Get a signed contract that details the store's responsibilities and what it will cost. Bear in mind you will leave the fish in the store's care for a couple of weeks or more. The store may also pack and air-ship your fish to you. This can be costly.
 
2.How do you pack your fish?
For short periods, two hours at most, you can keep fish in sealed bags half-filled with air. You may stretch the time a little by using oxygen instead of air. Put the bags in a padded, compartmentalized container, and ship by air. For larger fish, or for longer trips, you can use a sealed bucket rather than a bag for each fish.
 
3.How do you support your fish while they're being moved?
Fish won't eat during a move; they're too stressed. Besides, it's best not to degrade the    water quality with food. If previously well fed, fish can survive a week or more without food. Try to maintain an even temperature, perhaps by placing the fish in a sealed or compartmentalized cooler. For long trips, particularly by car, a battery-powered air pump and air stone is essential.
 
After the move, slowly condition your fish to the tank again, just as you would when adding new fish. With smart, careful planning, plus a little luck, your aquarium can thrive in your new home, and provide all the beauty and enjoyment you expect.

 

 

 

 

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