Moving & Handling Large Fish Tanks Properly

As a lot of Oscarfishlovers find out, Oscars need a lot of space, and quite a lot of us end up buying them huge tanks. Now through time, I saw people running into trouble when moving or trying to move such a big tank. And that includes me! Usually, you can ask friends and neighbours to help, but in moving big tanks that weigh in excess of several hundreds of pounds, you will need either professional help or very strong friends.

Full glass tanks are extremely heavy and when moving my 6x2x2 footer I had 4 people help me and we barely made it. We estimated its weight on 175-200KG. This would already be heavy for the 5 of us, but the trouble was getting through the doors. The guys who held the long sides of the aquarium didn’t fit through the door at the same time as the tank so the guy on the top end had to keep the whole weight of one end. That was too much and he almost broke his back. And almost dropped the tank, while shouting: ”I can’t hold on!!!”. Mind you this was the strongest guy I asked…

We used high-grade suction cups, used for moving glass windows, but during the move, some started to lose grip, so we had to grab hold of the bottom of the tank.

Wear sturdy gloves when moving a tank. We had bad cuts after the move for the bottom edges were not worked off properly.

  • Plan your route before starting to move. You will most likely run into obstacles like doors, hallways, and stairwells. Make sure you measure everything twice. I built a wooden frame with the exact measurements of the big tank and walked the route we’d have to walk to get into my house. Make sure you will be able to make it all the way, before getting stuck halfway.I forgot about the route out of the apartment building where I got the tank. So all of us didn’t fit into the elevator, and 2 of us couldn’t get out of the elevator once we put the tank in and the tank had to be put on the floor…

I know stories of door and windows were taken out just to be able to make the move. And remember heavy tanks are hard to handle and taking too much time lifting the tank will wear the helpers out.

I always have a huge pile of thick Styrofoam with me to put under the tank during transportation, but also to let the tank rest on in case the helpers cannot carry on without a break. And those were the worst moments when the guys shout that they cannot hold on anymore.

Well, I hope this article has been some help. If you have any questions you can find us on the forum

Article by Noddy