How to pack and ship your fish tank

Pets bring you great joy. It does not matter if you have a dog, cat, parrot, fish, or anything else, they are all wonderful companions. However, when you are moving from Japan, you need to think about your pets. Dogs and cats are relatively easy to relocate as they do not have to be underwater to survive. On the other hand, moving your fish is a little bit more complicated. You need to relocate their tank as well. Fish tanks are made of glass; thus, they are fragile. Apart from this, they can be quite big and heavy. For this reason, here are all the tips to follow when you need to pack and ship your fish tank 

Gather all the packing supplies to pack and ship your fish tank 

You need packing supplies. The reason is simple. You need to protect your fish and their tank. Therefore, get the following packing supplies. 

  • Buckets and plastic bags – plastic bags for small fish, but only for a short distance. On the other hand, for big fish or a long-distance, use buckets. 
  • Buckets again – this time for plants and the other accessorize.  
  • Packing tape – to secure lids on buckets. 
  • Fishnet – you probably already have one since you have a fish tank.  
  • Siphon hose – to remove the water. Again, you probably have this. 
  • Packing paper – for the tank. 
  • Moving boxes – again for the tank.  
  • Air-filled plastic padding 

In addition to this, you can find fish related supplies at pet shops. You can get the rest of the packing supplies from your Kokusai Express Japan movers. As you can see, you might have most of these items already. 

pack and ship your fish tank that has blue fish inside
Make sure to gather all the necessary packing supplies

Moving your fish 

First, you have to take care of your fish. Fish are prone to stress when they are in an unfamiliar environment. For this reason, you need to fill the container with the water from their tank. Leave the top open or make holes so your fish can breathe. Depending on the size of your container, usually, you should put three or four fish in the same bucket. In addition to this, stop feeding your fish one day before your move. This way, you will keep the water clean. Your fish can go without food for almost seven days, so there is no need to worry. You should start your moving preparations on time. Give yourself enough time to pack everything else and then take care of your fish. You will need to clean the tank after you put fish in the containers. Therefore, manage your time properly. 

Pack and ship your fish tank – how to prepare 

Once you take care of your fish, it is time for the tank itself. Take out all the accessories and put them in the buckets. However, first, wipe them and let them dry completely. Only then, you can pack them. Use bubble wrapping if your decorations are fragile. If you have live plants, you should also put water from the tank in their buckets while leaving the top open. Then, use your siphon to remove the rest of the water. You should save the water in the buckets so you can reuse it later. This will help to reduce stress in fish. In addition to this, put sand and pebbles in their buckets or plastic containers as well. Since you will have a lot of containers, make sure to label them. Use a black marker and shortly note down the contents.  

a small fish tank
Your fish is prone to stress when they need to move

Now onto the tank itself 

As mentioned, tanks are usually very fragile. If they sustain any damage or a crack, you will not able to use them again. For this reason, it is very important to pack the tank very carefully. First, clean the tank when you take everything out. Then, make sure to dry it completely. Moisture can damage your aquarium during a move. Next, take off the lid and use bubble wrapping or air-filled plastic padding. You need to secure it with tape. Then, you need to cut foam board insulation so it can fit at the bottom of the tank. In addition to this, fill your tank with towels and packing paper. Get the moving box so both your tank and insulation can fit inside. If there is space in the box, use packing paper. Your tank should not move during transport. Lastly, label the box.  

Pack and ship your fish tank – it is time to load the truck 

If you plan to use professional moving services, make sure to notify your movers about your plans. Some movers have special equipment for moving a fish tank. Others might refuse to move your fish tank. For this reason, first, check if your movers will transport your aquarium. When the moving days come, make sure to assist your movers. They should not put anything on the top of your moving boxes that contain the tank pieces. See who will move your fish. They should not be put at the back of the moving truck, especially if it is extremely hot outside. Rather, you should put the buckets in the cabin or you should transport them in your car. In addition to this, secure the buckets so they will not tip over during travel. Generally, it would be better if you transport your fish 

one fish in the tank
Transport your fish in the car

Putting your tank back together 

Putting your fish tank back together is your top priority once you move to your new home. First, unpack the tank. Inspect it. If you spot any damage or cracks, you cannot use it. You can file complaints against your moving company in this case. After the inspection, set up your tank. Place all the decorations and plants. Fill the tank with the water from the buckets. However, if you need more water, get it from your tap but first dechlorinate it. Then, you can gently put your fish back inside. After a few hours, turn on your heater and pump. Lastly, return to your old feeding schedule.  

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