How to transport an aquarium

Shipping animals is never an easy job to do. However, moving fish and their tank may be even more difficult and stressful. Compared to that, shipping cats or dogs suddenly seems a piece of cake! Find out how to safely move your aquarium and fish without causing any harm to these beautiful creatures.

Moving an empty aquarium

Glass aquariums are definitely fragile goods. That is why they need to be treated with care in all stages of removal. Transporting a tank by yourself is highly risky, yet possible. However, it is much safer and less stressful when you hire a shipping company.

aquarium removal

When you want to transport an in-use tank (for example during a home removal), here are the steps you need to follow:

  • First of all, carefully remove fish from the tank (we will cover the topic of fish transportation below).
  • In addition, empty the tank of the substrate: gravel, stones, shells etc. Put them in a plastic bag. Move aquarium plants to another bag and spray them with water before transportation. Wet plants are more resistant to bumps and other movements typical during shipment.
  • As always, the crucial part is to secure the aquarium before transportation. It is highly recommended to secure it (especially corners) with pieces of Styrofoam, cardboard and thick textiles.
  • Do not load an aquarium by yourself. Loading glass tanks always requires assistance. At least two people should be involved, especially if the tank is quite heavy.
  • Carefully choose the place where you will put the tank during car transportation. The boot may appear to be the easiest choice. However, don’t forget that car boots are usually bigger than tanks, so you need to fill the empty space around the tank to prevent any movement. You can do this by filling the aquarium inside and securing it outside with Styrofoam and sponges. Small aquariums may be shipped on the back seat. In this case, someone should sit next to the aquarium during transportation to control the situation. The driver must be really focused on the road and avoid sharp turns and sudden braking.

Moving a fish tank with water

If you are a fish lover, moving your tank to another place is the last thing you want to do. It may endanger the whole ecosystem created inside an aquarium. That is why some people decide to move both the tank and the water.

Here are some tips on how to move a tank with its water:

  • Put plants from your aquarium in foil bags filled with some water from the tank.
  • Buy special bags for fish and water in a pet store. Fill them 1/3 full with water.
  • Remove 80% of the tank water to other bags or containers. After the delivery you can refill the tank with this water to provide the fish with a familiar environment. Leave behind 20% of the water that was in the tank. That’s no loss because the most contaminated water gathers at the bottom of an aquarium.
  • Take the tank substrate and store it in a bag.

shiiping an aquarium

How do you safely transport fish?

It is better to travel with fish only over short distances. Long journeys are neither safe nor pleasant for any animal. However, there are ways to ensure safe fish transportation:

  • Firstly, don’t feed your fish one or even two days before transportation. Fish will survive without food; however, they may not be fine in bags full of contaminated water.
  • Remember that bags used for fish transportation have to be filled with water and air. You may wish to buy oxygen tabs at a fish store, especially when shipping involves a long-distance ride.
  • A larger amount of fish could be shipped in a barrel.

Shipping a fish tank with a transport provider

Fish are definitely one of the most fragile and unusual ‘cargos’. So, a really smart solution is to hire a hauler that will take a good care of them. Of course, this may be costly. Fortunately, you can explore a cheaper option on Our platform gives you access to thousands of transport providers that will compete for your listing!

A delivery of an aquarium depends on factors such as the distance, size and weight of the load. Shipping a fish tank internationally may cost around £50 to £130.

Check some listings regarding fish deliveries published on Clicktrans:

Shipping an aquarium from the United Kingdom to Poland  for £60

Shipping an aquarium (along with furniture and some parcels) from Great Britain to Poland  for £130



I am passionate about ecological solutions for transport. On blog I mostly present tips regarding the transport of heavy machinery, equipment and very unusual items. I am also interested in law and social aspects of transport and removals.

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