Taking Your Tank with You When You Move
Moving can be a big hassle but, if you make the right preparations, including your fish tank in the move does not need to become an added source of stress. The key to moving a fish tank successfully is to make a plan and then stick to it. If you are moving a relatively short distance, you may even be able to set up your fish tank in the new house before you move so it has time to cycle before you put your fish back in the tank. If this is not possible, however, there are still things you can do to make the move easier on both you and your fish.
Before You Move
If you have the opportunity to visit your new place of residence before you make the move, it would be wise to decide ahead of time where you are going to place your tank. The ideal location for a fish tank is a place where it will be visible and accessible but not in such a high-traffic location that it might be knocked over. Your fish tank should also be kept away from heating and cooling vents and it should not be in direct sunlight or you may experience problems with excessive algae growth. Be sure the new location for your fish tank has easy access to electrical outlets and, if possible, it should be near a sink to make water changes easier.
If you have a quarantine tank set up for your fish, transfer them to the quarantine tank so you can move the main tank and get it set up in your new residence. This will reduce the amount of time your fish spend being displaced between tanks. If you do not have a quarantine tank, you may need to divide your fish up into separate containers. Make sure that each container is large enough to provide your fish with space to move without them becoming stressed. Use water from the main tank to fill these containers and make sure that some kind of filtration system is in place. If you do not have enough filters to put one in each tank, at least use an air stone to facilitate some water movement. You should also keep an eye on the water temperature in the containers and use your aquarium heater to keep the temperature as stable as possible.
Moving Your Fish Tank
The best thing you can do to ensure that your tank gets set-up and cycled quickly after the move is to bring with you as much of the water from the original tank as possible. Siphon the tank water into large buckets and cover them with plastic to prevent evaporation and spillage. You should also transfer the substrate from your main tank, keeping it in a bucket full of water to prevent the beneficial bacteria from drying out and dying during the move. When you reach your new place of residence, fill the tank with the substrate and water you transported and get all of your equipment set up. Add more water to the tank, if necessary, and treat it with a dechlorinating solution. Check your filter and heater to be sure they are functioning properly, then run a water test to check the parameters in the tank. Test your tank water at least once a day over the next few days. As the tank cycles, the ammonia and nitrite readings should drop toward 0 and you should get a nitrate reading on the test. Once this happens, you can safely add your fish back into the tank.
To ensure that you are adding your fish back into an environment that is as safe and healthy as possible, consider adding an EcoBio-Stone to your tank or some EcoBio-Pebbles to your filter when you are setting up your tank after the move. EcoBio products are made from natural, porous volcanic rock and cement and they are infused with the beneficial bacteria your tank needs to cycle quickly and to maintain stable water parameters. Adding an EcoBio-Stone to your tank after moving will help re-establish a colony of beneficial bacteria that will maintain the nitrogen cycle, keeping your tank water clean and clear for your aquarium fish.