I am a science teacher who inherited many class pets when my predecessor left. He made absolutely no plans for these critters, and now I feel horribly because with the COVID school closures I am unable to take care of the critters (I live 30+ minutes from school and cannot bring them home). Long story short, I am rehoming them.

I need to move a rather large cichlid and a rather large sucker fish out of their tank to be able to give them to the community members who are interested in taking them.

I've never had fish before. How do I contain these large fish to rehome them properly without causing harm? Would a large bucket full of their tank water work? I'm so overwhelmed at the thought of this.

Any insight would be so appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  • hi Megan welcome to Pets SE, how large are these fish in length? is it expected that you will be traveling with them by car or by foot? pets stores also sell quite large fish from time to time and maybe you could ask there for an appropriate sealed plastic bag, the same type of bag that they put the sold fish in. I think sealed bag is a lot safer that water-filled bucket, but I don't think the solution involving bucket is that bad, it's just the unneeded risk of splashing and other accidents.
    – lila
    Commented Nov 19, 2020 at 17:53

1 Answer 1


I had a big goldfish to rehome. There are empty 10l bins for painting your home sold in building markets. These are the ones you get with a cover and so you can close the bin and transport big fish.

Filling the bin with tank's water is a good idea and if the fish uses to get hold on something in the tank (like sucker fish I assume) then you need to give some root or at least a sponge to let the fish get hold on something in the bin. The bin should not be full with water, instead 1/3 of bin's volume should be filled with air, to provide enough oxygen for the fish.

The people, who get the fish, do they have already a tank, or do they need to cycle a new one? Because cycling a new tank (setting it up from scratch) needs some weeks of time. If you add fish before, then they will be stressed or even get risk of health.

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