How To Transport A Fish When It Leaves The Aquarium

This animal can suffer damage when being how to transport fish when moving can suffer damage when being transported and therefore it is necessary to know the keys to do it in the best way. and therefore it is necessary to know the keys to do it in the best way.

The transport of fish is a critical moment in which you must be clear about what you have to do if you do not want your pet to get sick or worse, die. Whether you want to buy one or if you already have them but are going to move, you will have to take them from the store to your home or from your house to your new home.

Fish depend on the environment in which they live so throughout their lives they are subjected to stress by changes in the aquarium or water. One of the worst moments in their life occurs during transport because they go from an environment in which they are used to living and to which they have adapted, to another very small and closed space with totally different parameters.

In this way, you should avoid unnecessary trips with your fish because they are not easy pets to transport. Forget taking them on vacation or walking them for fun. They are fragile animals that you can only transport on urgent occasions such as a move or when you take them home from the store. To make the trip as easy and stress-free as possible, you must take into account a number of aspects.


Before traveling, you should plan everything to ensure the safety of your pet. Most fish survive about 48 hours of travel but beyond this time the risk of dying increases.

If the trip is going to be by plane or train, find out beforehand to know the requirements in the transport of these pets. The best thing is that you do the trip by car so that you can be more aware and close to your fish.

A few days before packing, you will need to change the water in the tank to make sure it is clean. Exactly you will have to change 20 percent of the water daily for five days before transporting your fish and their aquarium.

On the other hand, you should be one or two days before traveling without feeding the fish or fish that you are going to take with you. That is because otherwise, the fish will make the water in which they travel even dirtier, but don’t worry, the fish survive without food for up to a week, so your pets will be out of danger. Finally, do not rush when putting the fish in the container to transport it, you should do it just when you are ready for the trip.

How to transport fish when moving?


First of all, you must be clear about what container you are going to use for transport. The most suitable are double plastic bags (to prevent dripping) that you must close with rubber bands or staples to prevent water or oxygen from escaping. You can buy them in any pet store but make sure they are made of plastic suitable for food use such as polyethylene. Note that the bottom edge of the bag is rounded so that the fish don’t get caught in corners.

As for the size of the bag, this will depend on how many fish you are going to introduce and how long the trip will last. The most recommended is to introduce one animal per bag, but it all depends on the size of the fish and its species.

You can read this article, Why Do Cats Like To Eat Fish?

Fill the bags with water from the surface of the tank, never from the tap. This water is cleaner since if you drink water from the bottom of the aquarium you would be introducing residues in the plastic bags. In any case, the bags must be filled with half water and half air and, in the case of trips lasting more than one hour, you must get pure oxygen and fill the bag with one part water and two oxygen.

On the other hand, if you have plants in your aquarium, put them inside the bags filled with water so that the fish are in the same conditions as in the aquarium and keep the good bacteria alive. As for aggressive species, if you are going to transport them in the same bag, you will have to pack them with plastic strips to prevent them from attacking during the trip.


In addition to plastic bags, you must make with a container resistant whose size will vary depending on the number of bags and carrying fish go. In any case, place the bags inside and fill the container with a little water from the tank in case any fish, such as those with pointed fins, fall out of the plastic bag.

Make sure the container has a lid that ensures that neither the water nor the fish gets out. In this same container, place bubble wrap between the plastic bags to make it more resistant. The best thing is that the container is also insulating, such as one made of Styrofoam or a refrigerant for outdoor meals.


Although fish can adapt to variations in water temperature, you should avoid a variation greater than 10ºC as this could cause the death of the animal due to thermal shock.

To minimize temperature changes during the trip, you can use as indicated Styrofoam containers or refrigerants for outdoor meals, which are very insulating. Lining your container with a newspaper will also act as an insulator.

During the summer and especially when it comes to cold-water fish, corals, and invertebrates, it is best to put ice or cold water bags in the container. In winter you can put heat bags that you can buy at any pet store.

Other options

Another less recommended option is to transport your fish directly into the tank if it is small. Aquariums can be transported with the water and fish inside, removing a little water to prevent it from spilling, but you must bear in mind that even small aquariums are difficult to move because they are very fragile and if they fall you could lose your pets. Also, fish tanks that are moved filled with water can crack easily.


To assemble the aquarium as it was once you arrive at your destination, you must empty it before traveling 80% of the water from its surface into a safe container for fish once you have removed these from the aquarium. Place the aquarium ornaments in the same container where you transport the aquarium water to keep the good bacteria.

On long moves, clean the filter and place it in a clean, sealed, chemical-free container, or buy a new one and throw out the old one. For short moves, you won’t need to clean the filter. Do not move your aquarium with water or objects inside as this will probably cause your aquarium to end up breaking due to the movement of objects inside.


Do not put items such as rocks in the container where your fish go. Your pet should be the only thing that travels inside it besides the aquarium water. Any extra object can move during transport and harm the fish.

To take care of the water temperature during the trip, avoid taking your fish in the part of the car where the air conditioning or heating is located and check, if possible, the water temperature from time to time.

The place where they travel should be dark, this way you will avoid them being stressed more than necessary. In addition, this helps them to be less active since if there is light the opposite effect will occur. You can place a blanket or paper over the container so that no light reaches them.

If you are traveling by car, take your fish with you every time you make stops to avoid leaving them unattended.


Once you arrive at your destination, your fish is the first thing to unpack. Assemble your aquarium as it was before by filling it with the water you have transported on the trip and the decorations. Put the filters, the pumps, and heaters and finally the plants.

Now is the time to introduce your beloved pets. If you have transported your fish in bags of water, you must introduce them (with the fish inside) to the aquarium and let them float. In this way, the temperature of the water in the bags will be regulated and adapted to that of the aquarium. Once you check that the temperature is the same in both places, you can remove the fish from the bags by removing the rubber or carefully breaking them.


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