How to Move a Fish Tank


If you own an aquarium, you know just how heavy those things can be. If you’re about to plan a residential move, you may be filled with dread about how you’re going to move it. It can be a risky proposition, affecting both the health of your fish and the state of your delicate tank. This can be a challenging relocation project, but with the right preparation and the right movers on your side, it’s definitely doable.

Here are some tips and facts about moving fish tanks that you should keep in mind when preparing for the move.

Moving Tips:

  • Freshwater fish are extremely sensitive to minor changes in their environment which has been established for some time. Knowing that you have to transfer those delicate creatures into containers, taking them out of their comfort zone, you need to be aware that the move can stress out your fish immensely. Be prepared to find that some or all of your fish don’t make the trip, as many fail to eat when stressed.
  • You know by now that fish tanks are very fragile and need a lot of TLC. The tank is basically comprised of pieces of glass glued together. Uncharacteristic movements or vibrations can cause cracks, so take caution, advises The Moving Blog.
  • Minimize the time that the fish must be kept away from their normal environment. This means your tank should be the last thing you move from the home and the first thing you set up in your new destination.

Prepping Your Tank for the Move

The preparation stage of your project will prove to make or break its success. Follow these tips to ensure a safe relocation for your fish and tank:

  • Gather the right supplies necessary. These includes several five-gallon buckets – leak proof, with lids, opaque and clean. Get your fish net out, a siphon hose, a few thick cardboard boxes, packing paper and bubble wrap.
  • If you can, visit the new home to scope out where you’ll put your tank upon arrival. Setting up your tank right away is vital to the acclimatization period for your fish. Make those decisions now. Look for a spot that has electrical outlets nearby and shade from direct sunlight, with plenty of space for the tank itself as well as all accessories. Make sure the table or other surface you put the tank on is stable, level and strong enough to support the weight of the tank and all the water.
  • Refrain from feeding your fish for the day leading up to moving day. Your fish will be just fine but you will be able to keep the water free from waste during transport.
  • Drain a little water from the tank. Scoop out your fish one by one with a net and place them in respective containers filled with water from the tank — not new water.
  • Remove all decorations, dry them and place in bubble wrap. Save the gravel because you’ll need it later when setting up the new tank.
  • Drain all water. Clean and dry the tank and wrap it with bubble wrap.

Contact Advanced Moving Company in San Antonio

If you are looking for a qualified mover who knows how to pack and move a fish tank, contact us at 210-722-1322 or email us at We’re open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, located at 25900 US Highway 281 in San Antonio. Complete our online form for a free estimate.