Transporting fish and aquariums

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Transporting a hamster cage is a cinch when transporting 'house' fish, spiders, stick insects or snakes. In a residential setting, all these animals live in aquariums - aquatic or dry. Especially if it is glass and sizable, an aquarium can seem problematic to transport. What can be done to ensure that expectations do not turn into reality? In this article we present practical tips for transporting an aquarium. In the first part of the article you will find general facts and tips for transporting an aquarium. The following paragraphs will be of interest for fish lovers: Find out what to do with your fish before and during transport.

How to secure an aquarium before transport?

Transporting an aquarium, irrespective of its size, is a task that requires proper preparation. Here are the steps you should take:

Emptying: The first step is to remove the water, fish and decorations from the aquarium. Small fish can be transported in special bags with water, while larger fish should be transferred to separate containers with sufficient water. Decorations such as plants, stones and roots should be packed separately to prevent them from damaging or breaking the aquarium.

Cleaning: After emptying the aquarium, clean and dry it thoroughly. Remember not to use any strong detergents that could harm the fish when refilling the aquarium with water.

Protection: The aquarium should be properly secured before transport. Ideally, it should be wrapped in several layers of bubble wrap and then placed in a cardboard box if there is room. The cardboard box should be large enough to accommodate the aquarium, but not so large that the aquarium can move around inside. In addition, you can use old towels or a blanket for the bottom of the carton for extra protection.

Transport: The aquarium should be transported in a horizontal position. Transporting the aquarium in a horizontal position helps to distribute the pressure over a larger surface area. Aquariums are usually designed to withstand water pressure evenly distributed over all walls. In the horizontal position there is less risk of the aquarium breaking due to vibration or unevenness of the road. Choosing this position is an additional safeguard against damage.

It is important that, during transport, the aquarium is not exposed to sudden movements or shocks which could cause it to break. Therefore, the aquarium should be placed in the rear of the car and additionally secured, e.g. with straps.

Re-setting: Once the aquarium has been delivered to the site, it is important to place it on a stable surface and make sure it is horizontal before you start filling it again.

Note that transporting large aquariums may require hiring a professional removal company with experience in transporting aquariums.

How do I prepare aquarium fish for transport?

Transporting aquarium fish can be stressful for both the owner and the fish. It is important to prepare and secure the fish properly to minimise the risk of complications. Here are some key steps:

Limit feeding: Feed the fish a minimum amount of food on the day before transport and stop feeding completely on the day of transport. This will avoid water contamination during the journey.

Preparation of the transport vessel: Prepare bags, containers or special bags for transporting your fish that are airtight and strong. Fill them with water from the aquarium the fish are currently in to keep conditions as constant as possible.

Dividing the fish: If you have a lot of fish, separate them into several bags to prevent too much waste in one place and reduce stress.

Double security: Each bag should be secured in a second bag in case of leakage. Remember to leave enough air in the bag.

Thermal insulation: Fish should be transported at a constant temperature. You can use special heat-insulated boxes or even a simple blanket to prevent rapid temperature changes.

Darkness: Fish tolerate transport better in the dark, so cover the bags or containers with dark material.

Positioning in the car: Place the fish containers on a flat surface in the car to avoid tipping over.

Acclimatisation: When you arrive, do not introduce the fish immediately into the new aquarium. Leave the container with the fish on the surface of the aquarium water so that the temperature of the water in the container gradually becomes equal to that in the aquarium.

Remember that these steps serve to optimise conditions for the fish during transport. However, any transport is stressful for the fish, so we always try to keep it to a minimum.

What does the price of transporting aquarium fish and aquariums depend on?

The cost of transporting aquarium fish and the aquarium itself by a transport company can depend on many factors. Here are some of them:

Size and weight of the aquarium: The larger and heavier the aquarium, the higher the transport cost may be. Larger aquariums may require additional staff to move and a larger vehicle to transport.

Distance: A longer distance between the starting and ending points can increase the cost of transport due to higher fuel costs and time spent on the road.

Specialised security: Transporting an aquarium requires specialised protection to prevent damage. This may include special packaging, cushioning materials, and proper securing of the aquarium in the vehicle.

Transporting the fish: The cost may depend on the number and type of fish to be transported. Fish may require special preparation and care during transport, which can increase costs.

Vehicle type: The type of vehicle used to transport the fish and aquarium can affect the cost. Small vans may be sufficient for small aquariums, but larger and heavier aquariums may need to be transported in vans or trucks with a loading platform.

Lead time: If transport is urgent, the cost may be higher.

Remember, it is a good idea to contact several companies to get a quote and compare quotes before deciding on a transport company. Also make sure the company has the experience and resources to transport aquariums and fish safely.


What types of aquariums are there and what is their average weight?

Nano aquariums: These are small aquariums with a capacity of 10 to 40 litres. Their weight is usually between 5 and 15 kg, which makes them easy to transport.

Standard aquaria: These aquaria have a capacity of 50 to 200 litres. Depending on the material used, such as glass or acrylic, they weigh between 20 and 50 kg. Glass aquaria are heavier but more scratch-resistant.

Large aquariums: These aquariums with a capacity of more than 200 litres are heavier and require more care during transport. They can weigh from 60 to 200 kg and more, depending on the design and material used.

Specialised aquaria: These are aquaria for various purposes, such as marine aquaria, plant aquaria or biotope aquaria. They can be of various shapes and sizes and their weight depends on the specific design.

When transporting an aquarium, irrespective of its size and design, care must always be taken to ensure adequate protection to prevent possible damage.