How to safely transport goldfish

Moving your goldfish to a new home can be stressful and traumatic for both fish and owner, but unfortunately, there are times when moving your goldfish just can’t be avoided!

Once you have an established tank and all of the fish are healthy and relaxed, moving the tank or the fish can cause great upheaval. It can even lead to injuries and stress-related sicknesses among your fish.

So, how do you safely transport goldfish? Here are some tips to minimise stress and make sure that everything goes smoothly.

Transporting your goldfish

Prior to transporting your goldfish

Begin your preparation for the move a week or so before the day itself, by removing ornaments and other obstacles from within the tank.

Each day leading up to the move, perform a 15-20% water change, so that by the time you are ready to move, the tank water will be clean but also stable and mature.

On the day itself, preserve as much of the original tank water as possible, to re-introduce into the tank at the other end.

Packaging the fish

The best way to transport your fish is within thick bags, like the ones pet shops provide when you buy new fish. Acquire enough bags for your fish ahead of time then bag your fish up with sufficient water and oxygen for the journey. Make sure that the top of the bag is well sealed to prevent spillages.

Store the bags containing your fish in a sturdy box, padded with polystyrene or other filled bags to keep the bags secure and upright. Cover the box, as darkness helps to reduce stress in your fish, then secure the box safely within your vehicle.

While on the move

It should go without saying, but drive slowly and safely, and avoid sharp turns and sudden braking. If your journey is more than a couple of hours long then you may need to arrange for a rest stop to re-open the bags and allow oxygen to enter. Otherwise, try to avoid opening or disturbing the bags unless absolutely necessary.

Reintroducing your fish into the tank

When you get to your destination, you should get your tank set up again as quickly as possible.

Get the tank set up and watered, with all of the filters and air pumps running, and allow at least half an hour for the tank to settle. You will probably need to add more water to the tank, but try to keep this to a minimum and use as much of the original water as possible.

Finally, introduce your fish to the tank in the same manner as you would if bringing them home for the first time, by floating the bags with the lights off, allowing the temperature to stabilize, and gradually mixing tank water with the bag water before releasing your fish.

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