Moving with Fish
Need to move your fish?
If you have collected a bunch of pretty, exotic fish, it can be very difficult to sell them because you have to move. Fortunately, though moving fish to a new home is difficult, it is still possible.
If you decide to take your fish with you on your move, you will need to create a safe, temporary fish tank that’s easily transportable. Here’s how:
- The Container – It should be big enough for your fish to have swimming space. If you have more than a few fish, purchase more containers. Suggested containers are clean ice chests, rubber maid storage containers, Styrofoam picnic baskets, or 5-6 gallon buckets.
- Plastic Garbage Bags – Purchase quality garbage bags big enough to line the inside of your container with about 12” extra.
- Rubber Bands – You’ll need rubber bands that are thick enough to hold the bags closed.
- Battery operated pump – Optional, but recommended, especially for long trips.
Preparing & Moving Day
- Line the moving container with a plastic bag as a layer of protection. Make sure the bag hangs over the rim of the container.
- Clean the tank and change the water as you normally would three days before the move.
- Stop feeding your fish 48 hours before the move. You want to keep their water clean by minimizing discharge during the road trip.
- On moving day, fill the container(s) half full with water directly from the tank, which the fish are already acclimated to.
- Catch the fish using a net, and place them gently in a container.
- Set up the battery powered pump according to the manufacture’s instructions, if you are using one.
- Seal the container or bag with a lid or a rubber band. Leave plenty of air between the seal and the water.
- Carry the containers out to your car, and place them in a safe spot within the passenger area of the car. Do not pack your fish in the trunk as it might get too hot or cold.
Note: During your drive, open the lid or untie the rubber bands every 4 – 5 hours to let in fresh air.
Leaving Your Fish Behind
Sadly, because of the unique needs of fish (i.e. clean water), not all fish can survive a lengthy move. If your move is more than a day’s trip away, it might be best to leave your fish behind, for their sake.
If you make the decision to find another home for your fish, you have options:
- Ask friends or family members if they want your fish.
- Check with your local pet store to see if they are willing to accept them.
- Donate them to a school. An elementary school teacher may love to have an aquarium display in his or her classroom.
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