How to Pack & Move Your Fish Tank

Our professional movers at Apple Moving DFW, LLC have a thorough understanding of how to pack and transports aquariums of various sizes. Below, we provide tips on what you should do to your fish tank before you move, during moving day, and after the move is complete.


Transporting a fish tank takes plenty of time and careful planning. If you plan on taking your fish with you to your new home, the following are steps to take to keep them safe in their temporary homes:

  1. Change 20% of the water in the aquarium every day for five days prior to moving.
  2. Do not feed your fish for around 24-48 hours prior to the move. It is important to understand that well-fed fish can survive a week or so without food.
  3. However, if your move lasts longer than a week, it is best to contact a local pet store that will board your fish. Some stores will even pack and air-ship your fish to your new home.


Fish tanks are often one of the last things you should pack and one of the first to unpack. When you’re ready to move your aquarium, follow these steps:

  1. Try to save at least 80% of the water from your fish tank.
  2. Based on the size of your tank and the length of your trip, use either plastic bags or five-gallon buckets with water from the tank to transport your fish.
  3. Ensure that the bag or bucket has enough air for your fish.
  4. Bag any plants from the tank.
  5. Remove any decorations and remaining water from the tank to prevent cracks from forming.
  6. If your move is short, place your filter media in a sealed container, but do not clean it. For long moves, either clean or throw away your filter media.
  7. Place pumps, heaters, and other fish tank accessories in a box or container marked “fragile.”
  8. When you tank is empty, you are ready to transport it.


The last important part is critical to the survival of your fish, since the aquarium needs to be set up properly so they can adjust to their new home. The following are steps to help your fish adapt to their new surroundings:

  1. Put back the rocks and decorations in the tank carefully.
  2. Start refilling the tank with water you saved prior to the move.
  3. Assemble your filters, heaters, and pumps.
  4. Return the live planks to the aquarium.
  5. If you have fish contained in buckets, you can either pour them or use a net to transfer them back into the tank.
  6. If you have fish contained in bags, let the bags float on the tank water to balance the temperature between the bag and tank. Once the water temperature inside the back is the same as the temperature in the tank, then you can pour the fish into it.

If you are interested in experienced professional moving services in Dallas, contact Apple Moving DFW, LLCtoday. 30+ years of professional moving experience!