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Long distance tank move


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Hello everyone,

I'm going to be heading off to college in the fall and a family member has shown interest in purchasing my entire setup. The only problem, he lives around 9 hours away.


I will most likely be making the trip with him to help get everything set up and running smoothly. But my question is what is the best way to move a large amount of live rock and coral such a long distance?


I know all the coral will have to be bagged up seperately and placed into a styrofoam container to keep them cool. However, the live rock is my real question. I've heard of people moving it semi-dry with just moist newspaper around it, but i feel i might get too much die-off and i don't really want that. I was thinking a couple of five gallon buckets full of water might do the trick. I currently only have one bucket that i use for my tank and if i purchased new ones what would be the best way to clean them? I know that soap is a big no no, so i assume just plain water would do the trick?


At the moment that's all the questions i can think of but im sure i will have more. All advice and comments are welcome.


I'm a little worried about this :P


Thanks in advance.

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Hi - I moved my system about 5000 KM across Canada, about a 3 day drive and everything lived. Bag your corals like you mentioned. I purchased several large coolers, drilled holes in the lids, filled about a 1/3 of the way with the aquarium water and put the rock in there. Each cooler was about half full with rock and water. During transport the water will move around a lot so you won't have to worry about stagnant water.


I prefered the coolers over buckets so I would not have to worry about them tipping over and you have more bottom to place rock instead of stacking it in a bucket. Less die off.


Of course my transport involved a lot more work for the livestock, seperate containers w/lids and holes in coolers with battery air pumps, power inverter for heaters, etc...


Good luck!



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Get a rubbermaid container big enough to hold everything, small enough to fit in the car. Move all the rock into it and the coral (best done with small plastic containers - gladware or something, with holes for circulation).


Add water to the rubbermaid, a powerhead, and the heater. Get a power inverter from Wally World - $20 or so - and plug the powerhead and heater into it during the trip.


You basically turn the rubbermaid into a complete tank - no die off, no cycling, and it can sit there as long as neccesary - put everything in it the night before, move it the next day, set it up the day after.

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i moved from baltimore to atlanta. my sps did not survive. most of the softies lived. best is to have heated salt water to put the coral in when you arrive.

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Thanks for all the different methods everyone has tried and the result.


This is going to be quite the adventure when it happens, I think investing in a power inverter may not be such a bad idea. However, there isn't a wally world around my area. Would wal-mart or somewhere like that have it?

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