Moving Fish To New House

  • #1
Hi, we recently bought a new home and will be moving the 29 gallon tank this weekend. There are 2 angelfish and 3 corys. I am planning to use several 5 gallon buckets to bring half the water, the fish, gravel, filter media, and plants to the new house, which is about a 15 minute drive away from our current place.

There will be no more than 3 gallons of water in each bucket. Should I put both angels in the same bucket, or 2 different buckets? I assume all three corys will be fine together.

My current plan to extricate the fish is to use two large nets, then use a mixing bowl so they're never outside the water.

  • #2
The most important thing is to keep your fitler media wet during the process. You don't want to lose your beneficial bacteria and have to go through a cycle again.

As for saving water...technically you can give them 100% new water as long as the filter is well established with beneficial bacteria. I have had to do 100% water changes on occasion and never had issues.

The main reason for saving water from the current set up is incase there are big differences between something like the PH between your current house and your new house. So it could be a bit of a shock.

But as long as you acclimate slowly and have a very well established filter, you are fine doing 100% new water. In my opinion. But again, it can't hurt saving some of the old water.

A 15 minute drive isn't much at all compared to some of the other "moves" I have seen on here. I See no problem putting them in the same bucket for the ride. I mean heck...most people make drives that long coming back from the fish store. And those fish are cramped tightly in bags. Certainly nowhere near 3 gallons of water! So I think they would be fine in one bucket. But if your are going to be bringing multiple buckets, then why not just give them their own.

As for the fish being out of the water....pulling them out with a net and plopping them in a would that 2 seconds out of the water? I don't think you need to worry about that at all. Fish can handle being out of the water for much longer than 2 seconds. Not that you should test it out or anything!! But my point is, you don't need to use a bowl in addition to the nets. Just have the bucket of water right next to you when you remove the fish.
  • #3
I'd say keeping them all in the same bucket would be fine. After all, they live in the same tank and get along, right? They will be shy and stressed and in a dark bucket so I don't think aggression would be a concern.
  • #4
I have always kept some water every time I have moved a tank, just because a sudden change in dissolved solids with a potential pH swing could provide unnecessary stress for the fish when they're vulnerable. A large water change in the stable environment of their normal surroundings isn't as stressful as being netted and uprooted and then having to acclimate to new water, after taking a car ride in a bucket.
Overall, my moving trips with fish have been fine, and I think yours will be, too. There's some unavoidable stress, but it should be ok.
Drain some water in your buckets, put fish in, drain the rest of the water down to where the gravel stays wet, drive away, put your fish and water you brought with you back in, acclimate slowly. This is how I've always done it and I have moved anything from a 3 gallon bowl to a 75 gallon tank, and everything has been fine and everyone has been ok.
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thanks for the replies!

The move went well. We ended up taking less water than I had planned, but still probably around 10 gallons, including two buckets with gravel, one with the angels, one with the corys, one with plants/rocks, and one with the bio filter material. Pretty much filled up the back of the minivan. It was about four hours of work all told, but everyone made it alive and seemingly not too stressed. Plus, the tank is a fair amount cleaner now...

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