How to Move an Aquarium When Moving House

Moving an aquarium when moving house is not easy. It can be a real challenge to move a fish tank or an aquarium by even a few inches. It is not as simple as ordinary items that you can just pick up and move to a new location.

Each fish requires special consideration, and you have to remove the tank safely to prevent leaks or cracks in the glass.

Here is an eloquent guide on how to move a fish tank to a new home:

It will be wise of you to set aside a separate day for moving your aquarium. Moving it on the same day as moving all of your other possessions could be far too stressful for you and your fish.
To move a fish tank to a new house efficiently and safely, you need to make sure that it is prepped and ready to go as soon as possible. If you plan ahead and prepare properly, you should be able to move the tank without too many problems.

Steps to move a fish tank or aquarium to a new house:

  1. Gather supplies to empty the fish tank
    • A fish tank needs to be completely empty, in order to move it safely. Leaving even small items like stones or a little gravel inside can become a costly mistake when moving it to a new house. You’ll need certain supplies to remove and pack everything.
      • Like a fishnet to remove the fish and any live coral and plants.
      • Plastic bags or large buckets with lids to carry them while being submerged.
      • Siphon hose to transfer the water from the tank to bags/buckets.
      • Packing supplies like boxes for the equipment and the tank and tape to seal them and secure lids.
  2. Siphon and save water
    • You should siphon water from the fish tank to put in the fish containers (plastic bags/buckets) to create a familiar environment during the move. You can save a sufficient amount from the remaining to help you prepare water for the fish tank after you move and drain the excess.
  3. Carefully remove the fish
    • It is advisable to remove the fish before moving any equipment, to reduce their stress. Use fishnets to gently remove the fish from the tank and place them in their containers. Try to minimize the time they spend in containers to further reduce stress.
  4. Remove the fish tank filters and other equipment
    • Stop feeding your fish 24 hours before the move, to keep the tank and their transport containers cleaner during the move. Memorise the positions and then turn off all the fish tank equipment like filter, fan, heater, and pump to remove them safely.
  5. Remove remaining items
    • Remove all remaining items like live plants and corals with great care. Use fishnets to remove any large rocks or decorations that you can dry off and pack separately. Submerge the coral and plants in their own bucket with fish tank water. Lastly, remove the fish tank gravel and sand and store them separately.
  6. Pack it all up
    • It can be very hard to disassemble a fish tank without a clear strategy. If you follow the above steps and do it orderly, then all you’ve got to do is pack the fish, the fish tank, the equipment, etc. with supplies and make sure that everything is safe and secure, and labeled properly.

Post move tips

  • You must reassemble your fish tank as soon as possible and bring your fish back into their permanent home. This will be a smooth and hassle free process if you memorise the original setup and have everything labeled and ready to transfer beforehand.
  • For a month or so after the move, the fish tank filter and other equipment will be re-adjusting. You should keep a close eye on ammonia and nitrite levels in the tank by using aquarium test kits. Feed your fish only if the levels are at zero.
  • Feed the fish every other day for the first two weeks after moving. Be prepared to do additional small water changes if necessary and do not over-feed or add any new fish to the tank during this time.


If you’re in need of movers and packers near you to help with moving a fish tank, make sure to check out JL Movers. With our guidance, planning, and support you can safely move your fish tank or aquarium to your new house and bring your finned friends along.

JL Movers is a moving house removalist based in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, and every other major city in Australia and their surrounding areas, and is well experienced in moving large and delicate objects across all kinds of distances and routes.

Our skillfully trained staff is experienced in packing all your goods with maximum protection to ensure safe transportation and minimum damage, making us one of the best furniture removalists. We follow industry leading standards along with using high quality tools and equipment. With our efficient and reliable house relocation service, we make sure that your valuable possessions are delivered to your new address safely and securely.