Guide to packing an aquarium for transport

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When it comes to moving, only a few things can be as tricky as packing an aquarium for transport. It is full of devices and parts that need to be detached. Then there are all the decorations like rocks, figurines, and gravel. But most importantly, it is full of living things, your precious fish! This means that, before you start tackling this sensitive task, you need a complete and detailed game plan. This is why we’re here to help. Before we begin, it is very important to note that fish can only survive up to 48 hours out of their natural surroundings. Because of this, you need to act fast and clear out a working area by placing some of your items in Renton self storage. With our help, your aquarium will be ready for the road, and your tiny aquatic friends will be perfectly safe and sound.

gold fish in a plastic bag
Don’t forget that fish can only survive out of the aquarium for 48 hours!

Packing an aquarium for transport requires some specialized tools

A delicate packing operation such as this one shouldn’t be rushed under any circumstances. You can’t just pack without preparing and hoping that everything will work out. With that in mind, you need to properly get ready for the job. And this implies getting a few important tools and supplies that will make the job easier. Given that you own fish, you might already have some of these, but we will list everything you need regardless. If you want the packing process to go smoothly, you will need:

  • An aquarium fishnet. You need to get your fish out of the tank somehow, and using a classic fishnet is the safest way to do so.
  • A couple of 5-gallon buckets to safely contain your fish, plants, and aquarium water.
  • A few plastic/rubber hoses. These come in great when siphoning the water from the tank to the buckets, and vice versa.
  • A traveling cooler to keep your fish at the optimal temperature.
  • Plastic tubs or bags to contain aquarium decorations and gravel.
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Bubble wrap or other protective plastic
  • Anti-slip paper to prevent the glass surfaces from sliding around during transport
people preparing an aquarium for packing
Be careful when removing your fish from the tank

Last but not least,  you will need an open working space with no obstacles. When packing a fish tank for the move, you’ll be working with a lot of water, glass, and living animals. This is why it is imperative to prevent any damages or mishaps. Regardless if you’ve already packed the other items in your room, you need to move them to another location. The best option is to rent out storage pods Seattle. This way, safety is guaranteed, and you can dedicate your full focus to the packing efforts.

Start preparing your aquarium for packing at least 48 hours in advance

When it comes to packing your aquarium for a move, two factors play a very important part. One is making sure that the tank itself is safely packed, and the other is the well-being of the fish themselves. You’ll be removing your pets from their usual environment, which can cause a lot of stress. The first, and most important thing to do, is to stop feeding your fish 48 hours prior to removing them from the tank. This leaves enough time for the water filters to cleanse the water as much as possible, and remove any impurities from it. This is very important because the water will be stagnant for the duration of the move, so it must be clean. While this is being done, you can move your other items to on demand storage Seattle. Now let’s see what you can do to make sure your fish are safe.

Packing your fish based on the moving distance

Fish are living, breathing animals, which means you can’t just put them in a cardboard box and call it a day. If you’re undergoing a local move, your fish won’t need much preparation, and you can use simple plastic bags to protect them. The move shouldn’t take more than a few hours, which means your fish won’t suffocate. Fill a bug with one-third of the aquarium water, and safely move your fish in it with the fishnet. If you have aggressive species of fish, make sure to place them in separate bags. Then, put the bags into a travel cooler to maintain temperature, and isolate them with a bit of bubble wrap.

empty aquarium on wooden palettes
The tank should be completely empty and dry prior to packing

If you have to travel over long distances, however, plastic bags simply won’t be enough. In this case, you’ll need the 5-gallon buckets we mentioned earlier. These buckets should be absolutely clean, and you have to make sure that they weren’t used for anything else other than water transport. In this case, it is best to buy brand new buckets. Fill the buckets with the water from the aquarium, and place your fish inside. Once you’re done, close the lead and seal it with a bit of packing tape. Remember not to tumble the buckets too much, as to not scare the fish. For added safety, you can add labels such as “fragile” or “live fish” on the buckets as well, so your movers know to treat them with care.

Safely packing an aquarium for transport

With all the fish out of the tank, it’s time to focus on actually packing an aquarium for transport. Start by unplugging and removing your lamps, heaters, and filters from the tank. Wash them in warm water, dry them fully, and then pack them in plastic boxes. Once all the electronics are out, you can safely remove plants, gravel, and other decoration from the tank. Wash them and place them into separate bags or boxes. Once everything is out, wash the tank and dry it. To protect the glass before moving, tape styrofoam padding on both sides of the glass, and then wrap it with bubble wrap. Once you place the tank in a box, fill any gaps with paper or packing peanuts. Then, close the box, tape it up, and mark it as fragile. Remember not to put anything on top of the tank, to prevent any possible damages.

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