How To Move Betta Fish To A New House? [Start to Finish]

When you’re moving to a new house, your pets become the biggest concern. Let us not sugarcoat anything. Traveling with a Betta fish and moving them to a new house is not an easy task. You need to take care of a lot of things. The reason is that Bettas get stressed pretty easily, and, of course, while moving a fish, you need to consider many things.

To move Betta to a new house, you need to take it out of its old tank and put it inside a temporary bag or bowl to transport, and then you need to arrange all the equipment and permits if necessary, take care of your fish during travel depending on the length of the trip, and lastly, put it back in a convenient place in the new house.

All this may sound like a lot of work, and it is actually. So, you need to do proper research before traveling with your Betta fish. Make sure you read this whole article to successfully travel with your Betta fish and move it to a new house.

What Are The Things To Keep In Mind?

Before traveling with Betta fish and moving it to a new house, you need to consider some factors. Betta fish can get stressed easily and develop diseases like dropsy. You certainly don’t want to stress your Betta fish during the trip and cause it to die.

We hear often that Betta fish do not survive a hectic trip. That’s not the case. Bettas are tropical fishes. They are exported to many countries. Let’s talk in-depth about the important things to keep in mind before moving your Betta to a new house.

Consider The Length Of The Trip

First and foremost, how long will your journey last? The preparation will be straightforward if the event is only a few hours long. If you are planning to go to another country or state, you’re expected to travel with your Betta fish for many hours. In this case, you have to take extra measures to keep your Betta fish healthy. 

In this article, we’ll try to guide individuals in planning short journeys. Where the Betta will travel by car or other transportation for a few hours and then be shifted to another house. We’ll also try to guide you if you’re planning to travel on an airplane or on a trip where you may need to stay in a hotel for a few days.

What About The Tank?

If you’re moving to a new house, you’ll need to move your betta fish tank too. You may consider the move if your new house is nearby or within a distance of some hours. But in most cases, people need to leave their old tanks considering their size.

Betta fish tanks are usually bigger than 5 gallons. If you do not use a cycled tank, there’s no need to carry it along with you. A cycled tank is easier to move. You just have to detach the parts and put them in a bag.

 Let’s assume you do not have a cycled aquarium. First of all, you need to make sure your new house has a similar tank or make sure you can buy one as soon as you reach there. Because here, you’ll be carrying your Betta fish in a smaller fish bag. It can not be kept in it for long.

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How Many Fishes Are You Travelling With?

Another important factor to keep in mind is the number of Bettas you’re traveling with. Bettas are friendly fish and can live in groups. But transporting Bettas is a different scenario. You must use separate bags or other forms of containers to transport Bettas to your new house.

You can also use a divider if you’re transporting them in a large bag, but using an individual bag for each Betta fish is better. If you carry two or three Bettas in one large bag, they’ll collide and cause more stress.

How To Transport Betta Fish In A Car?

If you’re going to transport your Betta fish in a car, considerably for a few hours, you can easily do it by following the right steps. The first thing you should keep in mind is placing the fish bag in a place where no other object will fall over it or step over it.

Do not place the fish in the trunk or the boot because you need to inspect the fish over the period of the journey. To make the whole journey smooth for your Betta fish, you can put some clothes or a cotton pad under the tank or fish bag.

Later in this article, we will discuss how you should keep your fish bag inside the car. Now have a look at the following things you’ll need for this journey:

  • Transparent plastic bag or box
  • Conditioned water
  • small cup
  • A fishnet
  • Rag or paper towel.
  • A thermometer

Let’s break these down quickly:

What Kind Of Bag Should I Use To Transport My Betta Fish?

First and foremost, you should never travel with a huge fish tank fully packed with all the equipment and filled with water. It is neither safe nor convenient. This is particularly true for tanks made of glass. In a conventional betta tank, water moving and splashing with a lot of force would not only cause overflow but also cause fractures in the glass.

If you were trying to move your Betta fish in a 10-gallon tank, you’d be astonished to see the amount of pressure water exerts on the surface. So, a full tank should never be transported.

Here we’ll discuss some convenient ways to transport Betta fish:

Breathable Fish Bags

The best method for transporting Betta fish is using breathable bags. This is a special kind of bag that allows the passage of oxygen and carbon dioxide while preventing water from pouring out. Robust and porous materials are used in these bags that resist shredding and narrow leaks.

You don’t need an extra layer of protection if you’re using this bag. Even the fins and claws of the Betta fish cannot penetrate it. The advantage of using this bag is, that you can completely fill it with air and no additional supply of oxygen is required from outside.

Transparent Plastic Box

A transparent plastic box can be used to carry your Betta. But in this case, you cannot fill the box with water completely. You have to leave one-third of the space for oxygen to pass through freely.

Choose a box with a screw-on lid. This will not accidentally open throughout the journey. Do not use an already used box. They may contain harmful chemical residues. Longer trips may necessitate the purchase of an air filter.

However, merely raising the cover on a regular basis allows oxygen to enter and carbon dioxide to escape. You must keep this box close to you so that you can check on your fish after certain periods.

Regular Plastic Fish Bags

We are all familiar with regular plastic bags that are used to transport fish from pet shops to your home. They are similar to plastic boxes. You need to check on your Betta fish throughout the journey.

The main problem with plastic bags is that they can easily leak by getting poked by any sharp object or pressure. Since the fish bag is just half full and not overflowing, it will swirl around fiercely, especially due to turbulence. As a result, the only feasible place to keep it is the space in front, other than in the overhead compartment.

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Preparation Before Leaving

You wouldn’t like to be caught off guard on the day of the trip. Make sure you’ve arranged all the equipment. There are some important things you must keep in mind, like preparing the water, feeding your Betta, transferring the fish, etc.

Should You Feed Your Betta Fish Before Transporting Them?

Some individuals choose not to feed their Bettas on the day they depart. Well, it is a personal viewpoint. In my opinion, it is highly dependent on your betta’s current routine. Bettas, too, are accustomed to habits.

They enjoy regular routines, and any disruption to that routine can cause anxiety in your fish. I’d recommend adhering to your feeding schedule if you currently have one.

But if your betta has a habit of fasting once a week, then this could be the day.

Water For Transporting Betta

Everyone appears to have a distinct method for preparing the water in which they will transport their Betta. You can stick to your old water-changing habit before leaving your home, but remember to do it one day prior.

You wouldn’t like to stress your Betta fish by putting it in a completely new and unfamiliar environment. A partial water change is better than a complete water change. This will ensure a familiar environment for your Betta fish while traveling and shifting homes.

Also, it’s very important to fill half of your fish bag with your old tank water. That’s why partial water change is recommended. But while doing so, ensure that the ammonia content of the old water is kept at zero. The water should be absolutely clean.

The rest of the fish bag should be filled with preconditioned water. It’ll help to provide a clean environment for your Betta without causing it more stress.

Conditioning Water For Transporting Betta

Water conditioning is one of the most vital things for your Betta fish. Here’s how you can condition water:

Ensure that the fish bag or box you’re using for transporting your Betta is free of debris. And when I say clean, I mean it. You cannot just shoot it out and be done with it. Hand-clean it thoroughly.

Fill your clean fish bag halfway with water. It can be distilled water or just tap water.

  • Now get yourself a water conditioner that is safe for Betta fish. Make sure you go through the instructions written over the conditioner’s bottle.
  • Leave the freshly conditioned water to settle down overnight. If you’re short on time, half an hour will do. The more you leave the conditioner, the better it’ll work. The conditioner neutralizes the harmful substances from the tap water.
  • You can also use aquarium salt. It has a variety of functions. But it’s well known as a stress-relieving factor. Add one teaspoon of aquarium salt for every gallon of water.
  • But never put aquarium salt in a tank with a Betta fish. Direct contact with the salt can cause ich on Betta fish skin.

Transferring Your Betta To The Fish Bag

Once you’re done arranging all the necessary items, it’s time to move your betta fish to the new travel bag. While mixing the conditioned water and the old tank’s water, make sure they are at the same temperature. Use a thermometer to measure it.

Follow these instructions to safely move your Betta fish to the fish bag or box:

  • Use a fish net and safely take out your Betta.
  • Put some of the mixed water in a cup and put your Betta fish in it.
  • Gently place the cup inside the plastic box or bag and let it swim into the bag on its own.
  • Using this technique will reduce stress a lot by adjusting the temperature.
  • Wrap Up Your Old Tank
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If possible, you can carry your old tank to your new house. But if you’re traveling on a plane, we don’t recommend taking it. Make the tank empty as much as possible and clean it thoroughly. Do not throw any waste directly into nature.

You can take out the sand, gravel, other decorating items, filter, thermometer, and heater from the tank and use them in the new tank.

Time For The Trip!

Safely place your Betta fish in your car in front of your seat. You can use a tape or strap to secure it further. If possible, place the fish next to you on the seat. You can use the seat belts to secure your Betta fish.

Placing the fish on a seat will make the journey smoother. Another trick is to use an additional box or clothe to wrap around the fish bag. It’ll help to adjust the temperature by not letting the cold air from the AC enter it. Do not let excessive heat or cold enter the fish bag.

Keep an eye on your fish throughout the trip. Check the temperature at least twice. You don’t need to stress if the temperature is within the range of 70 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If you park your car for some time, make sure the fish is not in direct sunlight.

How To Transport Betta Fish On An Airplane?

Yes, you can travel with your Betta fish on an airplane. But there are certain things to follow. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the authority in charge of it. Here are some important things the TSA would like you to secure before going onboard with your fish:

  • Transporting the fish in a transparent container.
  • The fish bag should not be leaking.
  • Visual inspection by a TSA agent

After clearing all the paperwork, inform the TSA agents about your fish and do the screening. Place the fish in the overhead bin if you’re using a breathable bag. You’ll have more legroom this way. Yet, you’ll need to place the permeable bag within a durable, solid place to secure your Betta fish even more. Plastic bags need to be transparent for clearance from the TSA.

Carrying a fish, regardless of storage method, allow you to exceed the limit of 3.4 ounces. After reaching the checkpoint, take out the container and show it to the TSA agents with the paperwork. You may need to reassure the officer that living fish exceeding the ‘3.4oz restriction’ is permitted by the TSA.

Setting Up Everything In Your New House

After you’ve reached your new house, it is finally time to set your tank up. Place your fish bag in a safe place and begin with the setup. Arrange a tank similar to your previous one. Clean it well and place the sand, gravel, stones, and other equipment.

You need to condition the water first by following the process mentioned earlier. If you have used aquarium salt in the fish bag, then you need to do it again in the new tank. Always try to maintain the optimum temperature throughout this process.

Lastly, put your Betta into its new setup properly. Do not rush or force your fish to do anything. Let it swim around and get familiar with the new environment. After some time, feed your fish.


Moving to a new house is a lot of work. And if you have a pet, it makes it more stressful. Moving a Betta fish to a new house is a stressful task. It needs to be well organized. Here’s the bright side, if you do everything right, your Betta fish can be transported with ease.

Make sure you follow all the instructions in this article. Keep your fish in a safe place throughout the trip and never drop it from a height. Remember, the less stressed your fish is, the better it is for him.

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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