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Anchoring rock to tank floor? Also, moving question


Tired

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I'm going to be taking my 5gal pico to college with me, which of course poses the problem of how to move it. I want to have a candycane pistol, and I'd hate to be disrupting his tunnels every time it moves, plus I'd be worried about crushing him while trying to lift the rocks out. So what I'd like to do is glue the bottom layer of rocks to the floor of the tank itself, so they can't shift at all. What should I use to do that? Is there anything that will work on wet (live) rock, or am I going to have to use dry rock only for this bottom layer?

 

 

And I think I came up with a way to move things with a minimum of sloshing. The problem with moving an aquarium, really, is that they're too heavy to do it full and just smack a lid on. If you've ever messed around with containers of water, you'll know that the half-full ones slosh way more. If you fill a container completely with water and shake it gently, anything inside will be far less disturbed than if the container is half-full. 

 

So what I have here is a way to have the aquarium partially full, but contain the water so that the actual area containing creatures is completely full. Basically, I'm putting a lid on top of the remaining water.

image.thumb.png.3ae0efc527e84339b591f1043f2c6a83.png

 

What I would do is build, essentially, a table with a handle on top of it, that fits perfectly inside the tank. Probably line the edges of it with slit airline tubing so it doesn't scratch anything, and wipe the inside off first so there's no sand involved. I would put that inside the tank, with a bit of water on top of it to keep air bubbles out, and weight it down with something. Probably beanbags sealed in ziplocs, something that would stay flat and not shift around too much. That way, the water would be trapped underneath it. No sloshing around the rocks where the creatures are, no water rushing in and out of the tunnels. Without any airspace for the water to flow into, the turbulence should be pretty minimal. If the rocks are fixed down so they can't shift, there's not much that can move in there to hurt anything.

I know water holds less oxygen than air, but this would only be for an hour, tops, and I can't imagine a tiny fish and a few inverts would use up all the oxygen in the water in that time. I'm guessing I'd have maybe half a gallon of water left in there? (The water level in the above drawing isn't to scale, just off the top of my head.)

 

Does the logic on this check out? 

 

I think I can make this as five pieces. A single flat acrylic piece to keep the water in, with the corners cut out. Then, four legs on the corners, with shelves halfway up. I put the legs in first, one by one, flush into the corners of the tank and resting on the bottom. Then take the acrylic lid, tilt it in whatever angle is required to get it past the rim, and rest it on them. The lid pushes the legs outward so they stay in the corners instead of shifting out from under it, and the shelves support the lid. Weight on top keeps the whole thing together. I'd put a handle on top of it somewhere for easy lifting, or maybe just a suction cup.

 

image.png.f64248f22d73e65d715b4d7bfa429c61.png

 

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14 minutes ago, Tired said:

I'm going to be taking my 5gal pico to college with me, which of course poses the problem of how to move it. I want to have a candycane pistol, and I'd hate to be disrupting his tunnels every time it moves, plus I'd be worried about crushing him while trying to lift the rocks out. So what I'd like to do is glue the bottom layer of rocks to the floor of the tank itself, so they can't shift at all. What should I use to do that? Is there anything that will work on wet (live) rock, or am I going to have to use dry rock only for this bottom layer?

 

 

And I think I came up with a way to move things with a minimum of sloshing. The problem with moving an aquarium, really, is that they're too heavy to do it full and just smack a lid on. If you've ever messed around with containers of water, you'll know that the half-full ones slosh way more. If you fill a container completely with water and shake it gently, anything inside will be far less disturbed than if the container is half-full. 

 

So what I have here is a way to have the aquarium partially full, but contain the water so that the actual area containing creatures is completely full. Basically, I'm putting a lid on top of the remaining water.

image.thumb.png.3ae0efc527e84339b591f1043f2c6a83.png

 

What I would do is build, essentially, a table with a handle on top of it, that fits perfectly inside the tank. Probably line the edges of it with slit airline tubing so it doesn't scratch anything, and wipe the inside off first so there's no sand involved. I would put that inside the tank, with a bit of water on top of it to keep air bubbles out, and weight it down with something. Probably beanbags sealed in ziplocs, something that would stay flat and not shift around too much. That way, the water would be trapped underneath it. No sloshing around the rocks where the creatures are, no water rushing in and out of the tunnels. Without any airspace for the water to flow into, the turbulence should be pretty minimal. If the rocks are fixed down so they can't shift, there's not much that can move in there to hurt anything.

I know water holds less oxygen than air, but this would only be for an hour, tops, and I can't imagine a tiny fish and a few inverts would use up all the oxygen in the water in that time. I'm guessing I'd have maybe half a gallon of water left in there? (The water level in the above drawing isn't to scale, just off the top of my head.)

 

Does the logic on this check out? 

 

I think I can make this as five pieces. A single flat acrylic piece to keep the water in, with the corners cut out. Then, four legs on the corners, with shelves halfway up. I put the legs in first, one by one, flush into the corners of the tank and resting on the bottom. Then take the acrylic lid, tilt it in whatever angle is required to get it past the rim, and rest it on them. The lid pushes the legs outward so they stay in the corners instead of shifting out from under it, and the shelves support the lid. Weight on top keeps the whole thing together. I'd put a handle on top of it somewhere for easy lifting, or maybe just a suction cup.

 

image.png.f64248f22d73e65d715b4d7bfa429c61.png

 

I followed you on the lid idea.  But if you have nothing on top of the rocks yet, then why not take the water level down all the way below the "peaks".  The rocks then themselves act as baffles, limiting the sloshing (probably won't be as good as you lid idea, but less hassle)

 

As far as gluing rocks directly to the bottom glass, super glue gel, aka your frag glue, should do the trick.  How else do you think we all glue frag to rocks? it's all done under the water most of the time 😄 anyway.    

 

 

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This moving plan would involve a pistol shrimp and possible shrimpgoby in the tunnels under the rocks. Minimal sloshing might not hurt them, but I'm not sure about that, and I worry it would blow sand into the tunnels and bury them. Fine for the pistol, but I don't know how well gobies can un-bury themselves. I thought about trapping them out, but I don't know how reliably they'd go into a bottle trap. 

 

Oh, so superglue gel does reliably work bonding things to glass? That was mostly my concern. 

Edit: probably acrylic. Not sure if that makes a difference.

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You've got a really small tank - it probably weighs less than 50 pounds fully loaded. Drain the tank down so your corals are just being covered in water and toss a clean rag over the top of any exposed rock to keep it wet and toss the whole shebang into a rubbermaid container that is slightly bigger than the tank.

 

I moved my 2g pico across the country on a multi-day move two separate times and never lost a single thing in that tank (can't say the same about my bigger 20g that I had to break down). Don't glue your rock down, don't worry about your shrimp - they will be totally fine.

 

This is how my 2g pico spent almost an entire week of it's existence:

truck_cab2.jpg.88dc5fe994a89068f2e842bc2082cff1.jpg

 

Edit: Since this was a multi-day move, I actually got a 400w inverter and literally plugged the heater, light, and return pump into it and the rank ran just as ususal while being driven a thousand miles. Those styrafoam coolers housed the coral and fish from my 20g and I just ran an air-pump to them - driving 10 hours a day they would go from 80 degrees down to about 75ish without a heater.

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That really seems like it'd slosh everything around pretty badly, and I'm especially concerned about shifting rock since the pistol shrimp is going to be UNDER them. Plus, I can't imagine his tunnels would stay intact, and the whole reason I'm not just taking the rock out is because I hate to mess things up for him. They put so much work into tunneling, and it'd be an added stress for him to have no safe place any more when put back in the tank. I'm trying to minimize stress, even if it wouldn't necessarily be lethal. 

 

I'm also rather inclined to isolate the corals, since there's palys in there, so I'm going to be taking some rocks out regardless. I know carbon will take the toxins out, but it seems like keeping them away from other things in the first place (and away from the water that's going to stay in the tank) would be the safest bet. 

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Superglue becomes inert when exposed to water so you are fine with that and acrylic. 

 

I follow you completely on the lid idea, I've used bubble wrap on the past for a similar thing. The lid would probably work better.

 

Could you find some smallish tubing (PVC or similar) to make a permanent tunnel and attach the rocks to this? For a safe tunnel for the goby? Or use rubble whatever

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5 minutes ago, Tired said:

That really seems like it'd slosh everything around pretty badly, and I'm especially concerned about shifting rock since the pistol shrimp is going to be UNDER them. Plus, I can't imagine his tunnels would stay intact, and the whole reason I'm not just taking the rock out is because I hate to mess things up for him. They put so much work into tunneling, and it'd be an added stress for him to have no safe place any more when put back in the tank. I'm trying to minimize stress, even if it wouldn't necessarily be lethal. 

 

I'm also rather inclined to isolate the corals, since there's palys in there, so I'm going to be taking some rocks out regardless. I know carbon will take the toxins out, but it seems like keeping them away from other things in the first place (and away from the water that's going to stay in the tank) would be the safest bet. 

If you aren't driving through Indiana and drive like a reasonable person, you shouldn't lose more than a tiny bit of water. I lost about 2 cups of my 2g in just about 1000 miles of driving, and I had to drive through Indiana. It was also carried into the hotel and loaded back into the truck since it was overnight. Nothing shifted or moved. This is what the tank looked like when it was moved - it was a fully stocked tank and nothing broke or moved:

2g_pico.jpg.52fa276999f193028a70fb7f9fc6fa14.jpg

 

Here is a thread I wrote about moving the first time I did it in 2014:

 

Edit: Apologies to Indiana, but your roads really suck - like, actually the worst. You should get on that.

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Beautiful tank, and gorgeous minimax nems! Have you had any problems with the LPS stinging things? I'm looking into LPS species that don't sting other corals any. 

 

I'm not worried about losing water. I mean the sloshing within the tank, the wave action stirring everything up and knocking the mobile animals around. Shrimp, plural, and probably a fish. And the sand would get blown around, including into the tunnels, and mess things up. If I can avoid all the sloshing, it'll just be driving vibrations to dislodge things, and the shrimp should pretty easily be able to repair any minor damages.

 

I thought about making some hard tunnels, but it's a pistol shrimp. They dig wherever they want. Plus, I love to watch them dig and sculpt, that's why I want one. 

 

I've realized I could make the lid a lot easier to design. Just drill four holes, one per corner, and put some kind of plastic dowel through each as the legs. I don't need the shelf thing- I can just rest the lid on the tallest rock. If the lid fits tightly inside, that will be enough, because it won't be able to significantly shift in any direction to get up on an angle. I just need one point to keep it from getting pushed downward. And that's a really easy thing to make, no hassle- sheet of acrylic, dremel or otherwise trim the edges for a perfect fit, drill a few holes, cut a dowel to size. Then I guess just double-bag some big handfuls of pebbles as weights so it stays down. 

It'd take maybe an extra 5 minutes to get that set up on moving day, too. Finagle the lid into place touching all the walls, slide the dowels in, pop the weights on top. Should cut the sloshing down to basically nothing. I know when I've transported things in full bags (short trip, 20min or so) they seem a lot less stressed than when in bags with air and room to slosh. 

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3 minutes ago, Tired said:

Beautiful tank, and gorgeous minimax nems! Have you had any problems with the LPS stinging things? I'm looking into LPS species that don't sting other corals any. 

 

I'm not worried about losing water. I mean the sloshing within the tank, the wave action stirring everything up and knocking the mobile animals around. Shrimp, plural, and probably a fish. And the sand would get blown around, including into the tunnels, and mess things up. If I can avoid all the sloshing, it'll just be driving vibrations to dislodge things, and the shrimp should pretty easily be able to repair any minor damages.

 

I thought about making some hard tunnels, but it's a pistol shrimp. They dig wherever they want. Plus, I love to watch them dig and sculpt, that's why I want one. 

 

I've realized I could make the lid a lot easier to design. Just drill four holes, one per corner, and put some kind of plastic dowel through each as the legs. I don't need the shelf thing- I can just rest the lid on the tallest rock. If the lid fits tightly inside, that will be enough, because it won't be able to significantly shift in any direction to get up on an angle. I just need one point to keep it from getting pushed downward. And that's a really easy thing to make, no hassle- sheet of acrylic, dremel or otherwise trim the edges for a perfect fit, drill a few holes, cut a dowel to size. Then I guess just double-bag some big handfuls of pebbles as weights so it stays down. 

It'd take maybe an extra 5 minutes to get that set up on moving day, too. Finagle the lid into place touching all the walls, slide the dowels in, pop the weights on top. Should cut the sloshing down to basically nothing. I know when I've transported things in full bags (short trip, 20min or so) they seem a lot less stressed than when in bags with air and room to slosh. 

 

I really wouldn't worry about water sloshing or worrying about your shrimp or goby - they will be totally fine bouncing around. Their natural habitat gets hit with crazy storms that are way more intense than a drive to school. If the tunnels collapse, they collapse - they will get rebuilt. I wouldn't count on them staying in tact no matter what. When I do a big move, I actually toss my sand and start fresh with new sand.

 

And thanks! That pico has been incorporated into my 20g now that I work at home, but I never worried about corals harming each other. As they grow, it's just something you deal with in a nano or pico. They go to war, one kills the other back a tiny bit, and life continues on.

 

Here is 5 years of growth on that same rock from my pico and you can see there are less individual corals (I did move some, but all the corals there except the acro are in the first picture), but you can see the LPS, SPS, Acro, Zoas, and Palys all still competing with each other. I stay mostly hands-off with this other than trimming the monti back a few times a year.

 

pico-rock-2019-10-16_sm.thumb.jpg.384dfc83dc2f54cbda1101daa00f9a07.jpg

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I'm hoping I can avoid sandbed issues if I keep the sandbed to an inch, max, and stir the non-tunnel sections now and then. Throw in some dwarf cerith snails, and I think that's a workable recipe. 

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