Remember NEVER move fish in their tank. Take the fish out and then take out as much of the water as possible. The tank are rarely built to within stand moving and certainly not with the water still inside, you wouldn't want to lose your fish and have all that water flooding about in the back off your removal van.
Do not feed your fish for at least 24 hours before moving, this will not harm the fish. By doing this you will minimise wastes in the transport container, which could harm the fish especially larger fish which regurgitate food if stressed
Fish should be transported in clean, strong, polythene bags part filled with tank water. You can purchase these from your local pet shop. Make sure you seal the bags leaving a good air pocket above the water. Secure each bag with two strong rubber bands and try to double bag the fish to reduce the chance of leaks.
Gently place the bags into a polystyrene container. These are available from aquatic specialist. Clearly label the containers with their contents and the words "this way up".
Do not forget to keep living plants also bagged up with enough tank water to keep them moist.
Any electrical items such as heaters should be switched off at least 15 minutes before moving this will allow the appliances to cool down and thus prevent cracking. Wrap fragile items i.e. light tubes in paper and remember to label everything for easy access.
Protect your tank by wrapping in bubble wrap or blankets and remember to stand it on a cushioned surface. If possible it is best to transport the tank in the boot of a car rather than the van, you can then keep your eye on it and start to set it up immediately on arrival at the new property.
Remove any filters and transport separately and remember to get it up and running as soon as you reach your destination. With some filters if you store them for too long in static water then the beneficial bacteria within the filter may start to die off.
You need to try and get your fish to their destination as quickly as possible. Be careful of extremes in weather temperature. On a hot day the water will heat up causing the fish to overheat and die. On a cold day the water will cool down to a very low temperature in which fish also cannot survive. Consider buying a battery powered air pump if you are traveling on a long journey or in really warm weather. You will have to use a bucket or other temporary storage container if you do decide to use this option. Make sure the buckets have not been used with anything potentially toxic and rinse them well before use. The movement of the journey will help to aerate the water and agitate the water surface.
Settle your fish into their new home straight away and treat them as if they were new fish, de-chlorinating the water in the tank. Before you place your fish back in their tank ensure both the water in the tank and the water in the bags is at room temperature.
Obviously, the sooner the tank and filter are up and running again, the better - so make this a priority. For the next week or so monitor your fish as they may be stressed and check the water for nitrate and ammonia levels. If you do notice any diseases then a good website to have a look at is Fishdoc which offers advice on fish diseases, diagnosis, treatment, filtration and water quality.
A good idea is Waterzoo who offer a fish boarding service for people who moving house or redecorating. All you have to do is arrange to bring your fish or marine invertebrates in well in advance, preferably on a weekend. Your livestock will be housed in their own aquarium, fed three time daily, and cared for by their knowledgeable staff. www.waterzoo.co.uk
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