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How to safely move your house if you have fish

How to safely move fishHaving to move house when you have pets can be a very stressful experience, even when we are talking about dogs or cats, but what is the procedure when you own a large fish tank that is filled with tropical fish?  It can be a worrying time, but the good news is that there are a few tips to help you to move your fish safely to your new home.

The first piece of advice is to never try to move the fish tank while the fish are still in it.  Not only is this extremely hazardous to the fish themselves but it also endangers the rest of your possessions, due to the fact that the water in the fish tank is extremely unlikely to stay there once the moving company truck starts on its journey.

Another good tip is to purchase strong polythene bags in which you can move your fish.  These can be acquired from local pet stores.  You should fill the bag partly with water, being sure to leave an air pocket toward the top.  Putting fish into two bags is the smartest idea to avoid leaks, and you can then use elastic bands to secure them.

You can also make use of polystyrene bags in this endeavor.  When the fish have been all bagged up they can then be placed into a polystyrene carton – the kind that can be purchased from aquatic specialists.  You should make absolutely certain that the cartons have been clearly marked to identify their contents and to indicate the bottom and top of the box.

You should not feed your fish when you are about to move them.  Many fish can become so stressed by relocation that they will actually regurgitate their food.  In order to cut down on waste inside the transport container you should not feed your fish for a whole day prior to the move.  If you have plants inside the fish tank then you do not want to forget about them; they will also have to be bagged up with water from the tank in order to ensure that they stay moist.

Electric heaters and lighters should be given time to cool down.  Electrical appliances should be switched off at least 15 minutes prior to being moved to make certain that they will not crack.  The tank itself should meanwhile be wrapped in bubble wrap.  The tank should be protected by standing it on cardboard and then wrapping it.  If it is at all possible for you to transport the tank yourself in the back of your own vehicle rather than in the moving truck with all of your other boxes then this would be by far the best idea.  The filters should be got back up and running as soon as possible in your new home to stop the bacteria in the tank from dying.

Of course this is a general guide and you should always consult the owner’s manual for specifics.  As for professional movers allowing fish to be moved, specifics vary by region.  Check with your relocation specialist for how your situation is affected by regulations.  If you’re moving yourself, now that’s another story.

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