Relocating fish requires different steps than moving a dog or a cat, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. We've helped several pet fish make their way from one place to another and have received a few inquiries about the process, so we thought we'd provide a quick overview of what's involved.
Thinking of moving your fish? Here are a few points to consider:
To Stay or to Go -- Fish are valued and important pets to many people, but sometimes you have to start by asking a hard question like, "Is it actually reasonable and safe to move my fish with me?" The costs can be steep (we'll talk more about that below) and going long distances brings an inherent risk to the fish's well-being (especially types of fish more susceptible to stress and who require a very specific environment), so before you start planning the logistics, think about whether that beta fish (cute as he is) might not be better off staying with a friend.
The Details -- To relocate safely, fish will need to be carefully packed in plastic bags of water (water that is properly oxygenated and balanced with chemical levels the fish are used to), and these bags are then placed in a Styrofoam box or other secure container of some kind (see below for an example). An aquarium will not be provided or moved by PetRelocation (and probably not by whoever is helping you move, if you've hired assistance), so you'll need to arrange to have one ready on the destination side along with all the accoutrements the fish need.
A safe fish travel set-up
The Costs -- Airlines charge based on the weight and amount of space the fish container takes up, so it isn't necessarily cheaper than moving a cat or small dog (it could even be more expensive, in fact). Again, this is where measuring sentimental value comes in -- it sounds a little business-like, but you may find it's simply not worth it to move certain fish once you know costs could amount to $1200 or more.
The Timing -- It can take a little longer to price and plan a fish move due to the fact that fish shipping experts are harder to find. Making sure your fish are in safe hands means locating an agent who is qualified and available to assist in whatever city you need them, and it's safe to say that fish shippers aren't as plentiful as traditional agents used to transporting dogs and cats to the airport. Essentially, don't expect a fish move to come together overnight.
Here's more detailed information about how to relocate fish safely, and here's a fun story from our blog about some Koi we moved from Texas to Tennessee.
Considering moving your fish and have more questions? Feel free to contact us to speak to a Specialist.