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ServingAces15

Tank Moving Advice

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Hey all!

 

So I am getting married in less than 2 months and I am moving a state away, 230 miles (4 hour drive), from my current home. I have a Fluval 13.5 Evo with the following stock:

 

2 Ocellaris clownfish

2 blue legged hermits

1 scarlet legged hermit

3-4 assorted snailed (turbo, nassarius, etc)

1 pom pom crab

1 fighting conch

hammer coral (on sand)

duncan coral (on sand)

pulsing xenia (on rockwork)

 

I'm currently piecing together a 'game plan' for moving my tank and I am asking for advice and tips as to help the move to be as smooth as possible. This tank is my 'baby' and I recently lost a pearly jawfish (which I had only had for 2 weeks before losing it) and my female clown (which has since been replaced..sort of, you all know how clownfish work so my male will now become female....Squirt is now Squirtle) due to my tank being shut off for 27 hours. Long story short, my tank was plugged into an outlet powered by a wall switch that was turned off when a photographer came through to take pictures, as the house I currently live in was going on the market. I worked the whole day followed by spending the night away, returning the next morning to find my tank had been shut off and lost the 2 fish.

 

Anyways, I was devastated and I would like to not go through something like that again so all advice is welcome. My current game plan is that I have 3 five gallon buckets and 1 three gallon bucket. My plan is to drain water from the tank into each bucket, leaving just enough water in the tank to cover the sand bed. One bucket would hold my clownfish, one bucket would hold my hammer and duncan corals in fish bags, all inverts directly into bucket (separated by fish breeder boxes), and the 3 live rock pieces I have that are covered with xenia. The 3 gallon bucket would be used to house all of my filter media and the remaining 5 gallon would be filled with fresh RO/DI water to use to add new water for when I arrive at the new location Finally, the tank would be covered with plastic wrap as to prevent the little bit of water from splashing out during transportation. This would allow for me to transport and reuse most of all of the current tank water to help with the tank cycle but also allow for me to have new water to add to it upon re-setup of the tank. As for water movement and heating, this is where I'm stuck. Will everyone be okay for the 4 hour drive without any kind of water movement? I know that with the car and time of year I can maintain a relatively steady temperature for the water but the aeration is my main concern. Thanks in advance!

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Congrats on the marriage.

 

You'll probably need more water.  It's amazing how much will get lost and discarded during a move.  Also figure that you won't put more than 4 gallons in a 5 gallon bucket (less if you don't want to spill any, or don't plan to cover the tops).  I'd have at least 10 gallons of fresh saltwater available.

Don't save any water after you disrupt the substrate.

 

I tend to discard the water that you transported your rocks and corals in.  I'd also discard the little bit of water covering your sand bed.  Another option is to just save a cup full of sand (to seed a new bed), and replace it all.  This will reduce the possibility of an ammonia spike.

 

I usually just put the snails and crabs in with the fish bucket.  I'm not sure if the pom pom crab needs any separation (I've never had one, and don't know how they interact with your hermits).

 

2 hours ago, ServingAces15 said:

As for water movement and heating, this is where I'm stuck. Will everyone be okay for the 4 hour drive without any kind of water movement? I know that with the car and time of year I can maintain a relatively steady temperature for the water but the aeration is my main concern. 

You should be fine for four hours with no water movement.  I know some people will use battery powered air pumps (which would be great, but not absolutely necessary).

https://www.amazon.com/Marina-11134-Battery-Operated-Air-Pump/dp/B003TLWXOS/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1531289523&sr=8-4-fkmr2&amp

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2 hours ago, seabass said:

Don't save any water after you disrupt the substrate.

 

I tend to discard the water that you transported your rocks and corals in.  I'd also discard the little bit of water covering your sand bed.  Another option is to just save a cup full of sand (to seed a new bed), and replace it all.  This will reduce the possibility of an ammonia spike.

I agree, take this opportunity to wash out the sand bed! Just have lots of water as backup, maybe ready at the new place if possible, for any unforeseen circumstances.  Recommend those cheap styrofoam coolers—don’t leave the car without a/c at all times or at least in a completely shaded parking spot, even then heat can rise very quickly. A parked car in the sun, in mere minutes can be over a hundred degrees if not more.

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I'm not a huge fan of washing out sand beds and would personally just discard 90% of it for new.  I would use an inexpensive battery powered air pump to aerate the water with the fish.  

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The other nice thing about replacing the sand is that, it's time consuming to thoroughly clean out your sand bed.  Tank transfers are a busy time, and you want to keep it as short as possible.  They always seem to take more time than you think that they will.  You can always save the sand, and wash it out the next day, for use down the road.

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Get new sand. Save yourself the time and work of washing your old sand.

 

Buy the sand and wash it a few days before the move. Keep it in a bucket with a lid. Save a cup of old sand to seed it. That's all you need.

 

Make new water, have more made than you expect to need.

 

Day of move

 

 

Siphon water into bucket from tank.

 

Place livestock in one

Then remove the rocks and place in another.

 

Discard everything else once the rocks have been removed.

 

Move to new home.

 

Place air stone in bucket with fish. Better safe than sorry.

 

 

Clean tank up, set it up.

 

Place rocks in it, place sand, start filling with any water you saved and new water.

Get it running.

 

Once temp, salinity are correct and any fogginess has cleared enough to see the back wall, you can add fish and corals.

 

 

I would not reuse the water the rocks were in or fish were in.

 

Always have prime on hand just in case. 

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Buying new sand is great too BUT I would  rinse that too anyways, it’s going to have so much silt you want out of there...even if it says “no rinsing required”. 

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I was not expecting so much feedback! Thank you everyone.

 

After reading everything, I think I will replace most of the sand, with the exception of a cup full to seed the new stand. I am moving into my new home 2 days before the wedding so I think I will buy 2  more 5 gallon buckets and bring RO/DI water when I move everything else in. This way I will have plenty of water waiting at the apartment that can be kept at the proper temperature and everything. Thanks again for the advice. I greatly appreciate all of it.

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