How to Move an Aquarium to a New House? Complete Guide (2022)

I just bought an aquarium or just want to move it together with all the accessories, equipment, and fish. What is the best way to move it into my apartment?

How to Move a Fish Tank in 10 steps

  1. First, you should catch all the fish with a fish net and put them in bags for the move. If there are fish in the aquarium that like to hide, like catfish or coolie loaches, proceed as follows. First, turn off all the electrical equipment, then carefully remove all the decorations, and finally catch and remove the fish.
  2. Fill as many containers as you can with aquarium water so that the fish will feel at home as quickly as possible after the move.
  3. You can either transport the plants in buckets with enough water to cover them or package them in plastic bags with some water as you did the fish.
  4. Now remove the last of the water from the aquarium, and transfer the substrate to a bucket or sturdy bag.
  5. Remove the electrical equipment next. Be very careful when moving the tank so that it does not crack or break and then spring a leak. The best method is to place the tank in a box lined with pieces of Styrofoam. This way, it is protected from bumps on all sides.
  6. When you arrive home, start by setting the tank on its stand. Then clean it thoroughly, but do not use any chemical cleaners.
  7. Wash the substrate with lukewarm water, and add it to the tank.
  8. Arrange the decorations in the tank, and pour in some of the water you brought along.
  9. Next, put in the plants, add the remaining water from the containers, fill to the desired depth with tap water at the correct temperature, and then switch on the filter and the other electrical equipment.
  10. Finally, float the fish in their bags on the surface of the water for 30-60 minutes so that the temperature in the bags can equalize with that of the aquarium water. Then open the bags, and add some aquarium water to each one. Close them up again. Repeat this every 10 minutes for about one to two hours. At last, you can release the fish into their tank. The move is complete!

Where should a fish tank be placed?

What must I take into consideration when deciding where to put the aquarium?

First of all, you would certainly want to set up your aquarium so that it fits in with your furnishings and gives you a good view of your fish. Apart from these aesthetic criteria, you should take into consideration a few additional guidelines when choosing the right location.

First, you must check to see whether the floor of your apartment or house is able to bear the weight of an aquarium. In a 125-gallon (500 L) aquarium, the water alone weighs about 1,000 pounds (500 kg).

Add to this the weight of the decorations, the tank itself, and the stand. With larger tanks, the load-bearing capacity of the floor can quickly be exceeded.

This is less of a concern with new construction than old houses, for example, those having a wooden beam floor. For large, heavy tanks, you should choose a spot next to a load-bearing wall to avoid overloading the floor.

Make sure that your aquarium is not in a high-traffic area. If the fish are frequently disturbed by people going to and fro, the fish will be stressed. They can perceive the slightest vibrations and will then try to escape or hide.

Placing the aquarium near an electrical outlet is very practical. Electrical cords trailing across the room are unsightly, and people can trip over them.

To care for the fish and perform routine maintenance more easily, be sure that the tank and equipment are easily accessible.

The floor covering around the aquarium should not be harmed by an occasional splash of water, something that is unavoidable when changing the water. Tiles are best in any case. Laminate flooring is not really suitable with an aquarium because unsightly bulges can develop along the joints if you do not wipe up every drop of water right away.

Naturally, the aquarium should not be exposed to excessive smoke since this could cause the water quality in the tank to deteriorate quickly.

Which room in our apartment is best for our new aquarium?

In principle, you can set up an aquarium in any room of your apartment. Most aquarium owners place their aquarium in the living room, where a large, beautifully planted tank makes an attractive focal point.

A comfortable sofa or a cozy seating arrangement invites you to relax in front of the aquarium and watch the fish. A workroom or office is also a suitable spot since watching the fish lets you take frequent, short breaks from your work.

An aquarium can also be placed in the bedroom, provided the humming of the filter and the splashing of the water do not disturb your sleep. You can also put an aquarium in a child’s room, although your children should be at least ten years old if you set one up there.

By that age, most children are sensible enough not to pester the fish or put things into the aquarium that do not belong there. Theoretically, you can even set up an aquarium in the bathroom.

Water changes could certainly be carried out easily there. However, the bathroom in many apartments is small, and space is at a premium there anyway.

Besides, the bathroom is seldom a place where you will spend a lot of time watching your fish. Hallways and vestibules are usually busy places and therefore unsuitable locations for an aquarium. The through traffic would be too stressful for the fish.

How to transport the fish to the new house?

properly package the fish in a plastic bag with rounded corners where the fish cannot get stuck.

You should wrap the bag in some newspapers. This keeps the temperature from dropping too much during transport, and it also prevents the fish from being upset by their surroundings.

If the trip home will take more than an hour, you should put the plastic bag into an insulated container like a Styrofoam box. This prevents the temperature from rising or falling too much. For shorter trips, a bucket with a tightly fitting lid is also suitable.

Make sure that the plastic bag is filled no more than halfway with water; the other half holds air. If there is too much water in the bag, it will not be oxygenated sufficiently during transport.

If you want to transport fish with spines or thorny processes – like those found on many catfish – you should put the first plastic bag inside a second one to be on the safe side. This way, you can prevent all the water from leaking out if a fish punctures the bag.

Once you take possession of your fish, you should get them back to your aquarium as quickly as you can. Do not travel around with them in improvised “aquariums” any longer than is absolutely necessary, as it is not good for their health.

Can the landlord prohibit me from setting up an aquarium?

In contrast to the situation with larger pets like dogs and cats, your landlord cannot prohibit you from setting up an aquarium, provided it does not damage the apartment.

Fish are considered to be small pets, and keeping them is regarded as conventional use of a rental property. Damage to the apartment is possible if a large, heavy tank exceeds the load-bearing capacity of the floor.

Therefore, you should find out how much weight your floor can take before you set up the aquarium. If you want to have a complete breeding setup with several tanks in your apartment, that might not be viewed as conventional use.

In order to avoid problems, you should talk with your landlord before you install breeding facilities like this. The legal situation here is uncertain.

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