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Old 02-02-2013, 06:32 AM   #1
crcarlsontech
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Moving a Heavily Planted Dirt Tank


Hello Forum,

I have to move to a new home soon and I wanted some advice on moving my aquariums.

I currently have one 20 gallon long planted dirt tank and one 40 gallon long planted dirt tank.

Both tanks have a fair population of red cherry shrimp, and alot of plants.

The substrate is 50/50 MGOC / Pool Filter sand capped with filter sand.

This move kinda sucks because my dwarf hairgrass finally took good root and is spreading like wildfire.

Does anyone have any good advice on how to move these tanks efficiently so that I can resume the growth as quickly as possible? Is there such a thing as a "dwarf shrimp trap"? There is a large unknown number of these things in both my tanks! I dont want to lose any if possible.

Edit : I found a Dwarf Shrimp Trap DIY Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xb_k2Wg9ayI
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:43 AM   #2
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Default Moving a Heavily Planted Dirt Tank

I don't have experience moving a dirt tank. I believe that some dirt will end up with on top of sand. So you might have to recap it. When you move, drain the water out and leave only 2 inches in the tank, just enough to keep shrimps alive. My shrimps can live like that for up to 10 hours until I refill the tank full with water. Also for such a large tank, it's better to move with some support on the button of the tank, maybe a cart for good supporting and easy moving. One last thing, if it's a rimless tank, only option is take down and do a restart. All my experiences are from moving my tank 3 times within half a year. Good luck with the move!
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:48 AM   #3
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remove shrimp completely

remove as much water as possible...

tilt the aquarium slightly to the side to get the water to pool (youll need help)
remove that water too!

now your water level should be slightly below the surface of your substrate...and your substrate shouldnt move much when you transport your tank

set up your tank...fill with water...let temps come back up...re-acclimate your shrimp

should work (Ive done it a few time over the years)
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Optix View Post
remove shrimp completely

remove as much water as possible...

tilt the aquarium slightly to the side to get the water to pool (youll need help)
remove that water too!

now your water level should be slightly below the surface of your substrate...and your substrate shouldnt move much when you transport your tank

set up your tank...fill with water...let temps come back up...re-acclimate your shrimp

should work (Ive done it a few time over the years)
I agree. 2 inches of water left in the tank will a) make the tank heavier to move, and b) slosh around enough to churn the sand and dirt up into a huge mess.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:11 PM   #5
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Moving I've done just whats been listed regarding draining the tank as low as possible and removing vertical hardscape rocks and wood. My moves were using pickup trucks and a van and with the floors being corrugated it worried me because of the added weight of the substrate materials. I placed 55 and 90g tanks on 1/2" plywood for the move. After the tank drained I also placed an old bath towel over the plants soaked with tank water and carried 5g in a covered bucket full of critters. All the tanks I've moved were standard framed tanks.
(I admit to worry over the seams after refilling the first time LOL but no problems)
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:35 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info!

I think that what I had in mind is essentially what you guys are saying. This will give me a good opportunity to correct the things I did wrong setting these two tanks up anyways. These were my first experiences with dirt and sand and I have set up a few other ones for friends and feel to have dialed in my recipe for soil sand substrates, so I will likely try to ;

Remove as much life as possible and store them in containers safe for travel, using water from the aquarium.

Remove plants, wrap in moist paper towels, conceal from sunlight

Remove stupendously large piece of wood, some rocks

Shovel out all the sand, empty water,

move!

If I can take the time I will try to photo document the process.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:40 PM   #7
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Default Moving a Heavily Planted Dirt Tank

When I moved my 20 long (it wasn't dirt with a cap so I don't know how much it will apply to you) I just left the carpet in with about half and inch of water. I could move it fine on my own weight wise and my 40 had about an inch of water in it and that just took two people and it was no problem. If your going down stairs though take all the water out
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:35 AM   #8
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if you remove as much of the living things as possible, and drain all the water, you could probably get away with keeping your carpet plants if you cover them with wet towel/paper towels, as wkndracer suggested. i made a 3000 mile move with a planted tank, and i can tell you that any amount of water in it will beat the crap out of the plants. that said, the dwarf hair grass was the only plant that seemed to make it through with little damage. the substrate did accumulate around it and it was quite buried when i reached my destination.

my only substrate was sand, so it was easy for me to excavate the hair grass once i got where i was going. the rest of my plants ended up as a plant salad, thousands of little pieces that i had to grow out again.

also, if you move any tank with water in it, turn it so that its widest sides are facing front and back of your vehicle. that will give the water less room to move, which will make a HUGE difference. if going long distances (like i did) put a lid on a bucket, punch holes in it, and add one of the battery powered bait saver air pumps you can get at a bait shop. then fill the bucket most of the way with water. the lid will keep it from sloshing out too much, and filling it up nearly to the top will keep the water from being able to move around too much and beat your fish to death. things will get a bit wet around it, but its the safest way to transport your fish and shrimp long distances.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:43 AM   #9
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My girlriend and I decided to renew the lease and wont be needing to move after all.

Which gives me free reign to set up another aquarium. I wil be doing a tank journal on this next build.
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