Freshwater Aquarium/moving Dolphin


Hi Richard, we are moving to Vermont next month and taking our betta fish, Dolphin, with us.
I was wondering if you could help me,

Here is her home setup:

Five gallon home,
with regular room lamp and a sponge filter.

She has a small live plant (Tied to a rock and needs to stay that way.)
some gravel (approx. 5 pounds)! and 3 plastic plants.

How can I pack Dolphin, her plant, and the tank?

Hi Miriam

Moving a Betta is much easier than moving other tropical fish. When I moved my Bettas, I put them in a large plastic cup with a lid and a hole in the top for air. I filled the cup with 1/2 water from the tank and 1/2 fresh water. I removed most of the gravel, the tank decorations and 90% of the water from the tank. Leave the water level in the tank about an inch above the gravel. Put the decor and filter media in a cooler or other water proof container in water from the tank just enough to keep them wet.

Put the tank on a pad such as a towel or blanket in the back floor board of your vehicle (the trunk or back of a truck will work as long as it is secure and won't move around)

You didn't mention how long your drive is, but my Bettas were on the road for 13 hours and were fine.

When you get to your new home, set the tank up immediately. Put the decor, filter in the tank and fill with clean water. Let it run for about an hour. You'll need to acclimate your Betta to the new water the same way as when you brought it home from the pet store. Use a small plastic bag such as a Ziploc bag and float him in the tank for about 30 minutes to equalize the temp. Then add 1tbsp of the tank water to the bag every 15 minutes for about an hour. It should be safe to release him into the tank at this point.

Hope this helps, good luck!


Freshwater Aquarium

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Richard Hight


I own and maintain several freshwater aquariums from 2 to 180 gallon. I can answer most questions about freshwater aquariums, including setup, cycling, maintenance, compatible tank mates, feeding. Moving? I've moved fish both across town and across the country and can help you get your little aquatic friends to their new home safely. I know and have experience with most freshwater community fish, South American Cichlids and African Cichlids. I don't answer questions about Goldfish or keeping Goldfish with Tropical Fish. I also don't answer questions about keeping crustaceans (shrimp, snails, crabs etc) with Tropical Fish, nor questions about saltwater fish or aquariums. I'm not available to answer questions on weekends, this is when I do maintenance on my own tanks.


Many years of personal experience with community tank fish, semi-aggressive fish (Barbs, Tetras, etc), Angels, South American Cichlids and African Cichlids.

HSG 2010-2011 prof

©2016 All rights reserved.