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12scanlon

moving tank

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12scanlon

I am moving my 16 gallon biocube on Friday to my new house and was wondering if anyone has any tips or ideas on how I should go about this. I have never moved a tank before and I am really anxious about moving everything. I am planning on getting a 8-10 gallon tub to house my livestock in as soon as I get to the house. I will probably use a few whisper 10 air pumps for oxygen. I will also have about 8 gallons of saltwater on hand in case something goes wrong after the move and I need to do a big water change.

a few questions:

- should I get new live sand or keep the sand I have?

- anyone have ideas on how to get my rocks out of the tank without squishing my pistol shrimp, pom pom crab, and watchman goby.

- what should I take out of the tank first?

Thanks for reading...

 

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GraniteReefer

New sand 100%, have 16g of fresh saltwater on hand premixed up to temp at the new place.  

Remove non life support equipment(lights, controllers, secondary power heads). This will reduce the chance of damaging expensive electrical equipment during the next steps.

First thing to do is drain water from the tank into 5g buckets with water tight lids(2/3 with rocks).  You do this so the transport water is as clean as possible.  I used a 3g lees kritter keeper for the fish/shrimp and a few choice corals with a battery powered air pump to supply oxygen.  To keep water from sloshing I used bubble wrap. Fill the kritter keeper first so it is the cleanest, I fill about 2/3.  Put the bubble side down so air has channels to follow then pack as much is as possible to keep pressure on the water column to reduce sloshing.  Put this in a plastic tote in the car as a small amount of water will leak haha.  Combating the leaking is a fair trade off for being able to easily monitor in the clear tank.  Cobalt Aquatics DC USB Air Pumps (Rescue Air Pump Kit) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GRFLMG6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_CTdxDb6RAW0EN. This is the air pump which can plug into the USB on your car too so it is powered for long trips, and doubles as viable tank backup in power outages in the future.  I also add a heater to the kritter keeper and keep it plugged in while I deconstruct the tank and reconstruct it in the new location. An inverter could also be used to power a small heater in the car. Or do what I do and drive with the car heater on to 80.

Most of your rock work may be exposed at this point and if possible to deconstruct removing the top rocks and placing them in the buckets is advisable( do not move any rock in the sandbed at this time as this will cloud up the water making the next step harder).  

Catch all the fish/inverts and place in the kritter keeper. Any loose corals not grown into rock-work should also be removed.

Now you can drain more water into the buckets if needed

then you lift your base rocks(pull straight up so as not to crush the pistol/Goby as you will likely be unable to catch them until rocks are removed or they may just shelter in place in the rocks until back into the biocube)

all livestock and rock work should be in their respective transport vessel and you should be left with a nearly empty dirty tank with sand  and really mucky water.  Check thoroughly for all live stock(pistol shrimp will hide in sand so if unaccounted for put in extra effort to search before just tossing it.)  

I thouroughly clean the tank and all equipment under a hose(I have well water, if you have city you may want a dechlorinator to rinse the tank with afterwards but again no experience with these issues as I used well water)

now you have fish in a container which they can live in for a while comfortably

rockwork submerged in water with enough headroom in the buckets to supply air even when sealed in the car with their lids(2/3 full) I keep the lids cracked until loaded into the car and would maybe burp the buckets if it was longer than 1 hour

and a clean tank that just needs to be set back up once you reach your destination.  

When setting up the new tank I have the tank filled 1/2 way with new water and add rocks, then I add the sand. Then top off with more new SW.  obviously match temp and salinity but I disregard all other parameters as 100% WCs are the bees knees.  I allow the tank to uncloud as long as everyone in the kritter keeper is looking happy(not breathing quickly, still active). Then add the fish least aggressive to most.  Now focus on reinstalling non essential equipment as you should already have the main return pump and heater installed so as to keep things stable.  Sometimes I even add an extra heater to the display when I am scaping etc.

discard all transport water as it will be laden with CO2 and waste and you don’t want that in the new tank.

sorry this was the longest post ever but I have moved my tank 5 times and I know the first few times were stressful before I had the steps down.  I forgot some details but if you attack it with common sense it will be ok.  Good luck.

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12scanlon

thanks so much for this... 

The drive to my new house is only about 15 minutes (basically moved out of the country into the city). Do you think I need aerators in the car with that short of a drive. I mean my LFS is about 35 minutes away and everything does fine for that distance. thanks.

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Clown79

Your drive isn't far, so you could get away with no air pumps for the drive.

 

Having lots of new SW pre made will be really helpful.

 

 

 

The easiest way is first siphon water from tank into buckets.

 

Fish in 1 bucket, corals in another, rock by itself. You could bag corals if you have the time.

 

I would remove rocks last because the remaining water after removal of rock, you don't want to reuse.

 

Either ditch the old sand or wash it thoroughly before reusing. Buying new sand and pre washing it is probably easier.

 

Remove equipment and clean them.

 

Drive to new home.

 

Add battery run air pump to your buckets while setting up the system.

 

Set up tank, add rocks, new sand. You can fill a new spray bottle with sw and spray rocks while working on aquascape. This will keep them moist.

 

Add equipment, start up the tank.

 

Test params: SG, alk, temp, ensure they are correct.

 

Once water is clear enough to see the back wall add your corals and fish.

 

A good addition to have is a seachem ammonia badge just to monitor and seachem prime.

You shouldn't have any issues but better safe than sorry.

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ChristopherDido

Thanks all for this! We're about to move and I was getting a little anxious about this as well. I'll save this post to refer to. @12scanlon sorry for hijacking

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12scanlon

@clown79 thanks. The spray bottle is such a great idea. 

 

@ChristopherDido no worries. 

 

 

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12scanlon

Today I am moving my tank and just went to my LFS to pick up some new sand for my move. I asked them if they had any advice,etc... They said that I should use half new saltwater and half my old water. What do y’all think? I keep hearing varying opinions on this.

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Tamberav
20 minutes ago, 12scanlon said:

Today I am moving my tank and just went to my LFS to pick up some new sand for my move. I asked them if they had any advice,etc... They said that I should use half new saltwater and half my old water. What do y’all think? I keep hearing varying opinions on this.

You can treat it like a water change if you want. I have done it this way when moving. 

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Clown79

Any tank transfer I have done, I remove the water I want to use before disturbing the sand bed with moving rocks.

 

Once I remove the rocks, the remaining water goes down the drain.

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12scanlon

The move was successful... Everything survived and is starting to open up nicely. I am still working on some coral placement but that will come in time. Here is a FTS:

 

14312427-2925-4BA8-AD80-8BE483278A5B.jpeg

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sadie

wow, you would never know!!  Looks great.

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