How to dismantle an aquarium safely

    A fish in a tank

    Reasons for you wanting to take apart your aquarium are many. You could desire to scrub your tank thoroughly, fix a broken panel or reseal the whole construction. What’s more, you could be planning a move. While thinking ”will those last minute movers near me be able to dismantle an aquarium safely”, we suggest that you take this task upon yourself, and let them handle the rest. Still, whatever the cause for this action may be, a positive outcome is more than achievable. You will need certain tools, a bit of patience and attention, as well as some precautionary measures in order to dismantle an aquarium safely.

    A small fish bowl
    Of course, some fish tanks are easier to handle than others. We will address the ones that require a bit more effort.

    The tools necessary for this action

    In order to dismantle an aquarium safely, we suggest that you put that hammer down, and opt for a more gentle and steady approach. Safety should refer to the construction, your fish and yourself. Thus, certain tools will be a prerequisite for a job well done. For the preparation of the aquarium, you will need what is listed below:

    • a fish net
    • tongs
    • a siphon hose
    • plastic bags
    • a bucket

    For the dismantling itself, you will need:

    • a thin, long razor
    • safety cushions
    • a broom and a dustpan

    If you plan on moving, these are the essentials:

    Preparation of the aquarium

    Prior to you embarking on this quest, it is wise to have all the necessary steps well defined. For starters, you will need to empty the tank. That is if you want to avoid creating an utter disaster in the room that homes your aquarium. So, start by gently taking out your fish with an aquarium fish net. Transfer them to a plastic bag or a variety of them, previously filled with aquarium water. Next comes the taking out of the plants, rocks, and other non-living residents of the tank. Use tongs to help you with this action. Store these items in plastic bags. Now you need to address all that water. Unless you plan on moving, use your siphon hose to transfer the water into a previously prepared bucket. This way it will be ready to refill the tank once your mission is complete.

    A little kid putting his hand in a bucket
    Find a bucket big enough to hold all the aquarium water. Oh, and try to keep your kids from sticking their arms, legs, and their selves in the water.

    On to your quest to dismantle an aquarium safely

    Go to your local hardware store and try to purchase the thinnest razor they have. This is an essential part of your quest to dismantle an aquarium safely. Lay safety cushions around the tank, so as to prevent any unwanted packing mistakes. Howbeit, if a glass panel does fall down and brakes, you still have your broom and dustpan to help clean the mess as soon as possible.

    After you’ve made sure that your tank is dry, start by scraping off any silicone that is on the inside. Do this gently, so as to not damage the glass, yet firmly, in order to remove as much silicone as you can. Certain bits and pieces of silicone will fall off. You can clean these up with your broom. Once you have gone through this step diligently, try to find the spot where your razor can get through the tank. These spots are, of course, located on the very edges of your tank. You can search for them from both inside and the outside of the tank. Keep scraping off the access silicone until you can fit your razor between the two glass panels.

    Once you the razor has successfully penetrated through the meeting point, slide it up, or down, in regards to the point of the penetration. If it happens to be in the middle, chose either side and then go back for the other. You need to apply upward or downward force only. Not sideways.

    The steps that follow

    When you are finished with one side, go to the other of the very same panel, and repeat the procedure. Find the sweet spot, pierce and slide. After the second side is done, slightly move the panel to and fro. This will loosen up the silicone in the bottom corner of the aquarium. Go back to your trusty razor and continue with the scraping. You will now address the silicone on the bottom panel. While you are scraping with one hand, make sure to hold the panel with the other, ensuring that it does not fall. Once the silicone loosens, slowly remove the panel. Try to use as little force as possible. Really all the work is removing that silicone. Repeat all the steps with the remaining panels. To reuse the glass, you will need to scrape off the residual silicon from the glass.

    Packing for a move

    Now that you have managed to dismantle an aquarium safely, and if you plan on moving and hiring a reputable FL moving company, the time is right to pack your tank properly. Wrap every panel separately in paper padding. Follow up by placing them inside an appropriate-sized moving box. This box needs to be not to tight, but more importantly not too big. The goal here is to prevent any moving and shifting during transportation. After you’ve places the panels, proceed with placing cut pieces of foam sheets around, in between and on top of them. Make sure that every inch of extra space is filled with crushed packing paper. Label the box ‘fragile’ with big, bold and clear letters.

    A fragile sticker to insert after you dismantle an aquarium safely
    Sure, you now know how to dismantle an aquarium safely. However, try to ensure that the transport of the tank is also done safely.

    Handling a bigger aquarium

    If you were the one to splurge on a large aquarium, finding a box big enough for the panels might be quite the challenge. That is why we suggest that you use moving blankets instead. Wrap the panels in packing paper, and then add an extra layer of bubble wrap. Secure this big bundle with moving blankets, covering the entire piece. Wrap it tightly with packing tape. Besides being able to dismantle an aquarium safely, now you also know how to pack and prepare such a fragile item for a long road ahead.