Moving tank...tips? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Question Moving tank...tips?

I am moving my 55 gallon rectangular tank from upstairs to my basement. I have about 8 fish in there, 4 of them being beautiful blue and yellow rainbow fish. I also have a few small ones in there.

Anything I should know before moving them? I know it will be generally stressful for them, but I am trying to make it as least so as possible.

My plan now consists of:

1) draining the tank to half full
2) netting the fish and putting them in a few separate buckets
3) draining the rest of the water
4) moving the tank
5) placing fish back in tank

I am going to re-do the tank and get some new plants. Exciting!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 04:33 PM
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Thatís about all you can do as far as your plan goes. Use the water you drain from the tank to fill the buckets youíre using to store them in to reduce stress as much as possible. Do a quick acclimation once the tank is set back up before putting them back in and you should be good to go!


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Acclimation meaning?

Thanks!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 05:02 PM
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Acclimation meaning acclimate them to the new water, since you'll have replaced 100% of the water in the aquarium. Float them in cups in the aquarium, add a bit of water from the aquarium every few minutes for 20 minutes, then dump 'em in.


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My current project, a 65 gallon aquarium stocked with vernal pool fauna.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 05:25 PM
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If you have a cooler you can use, net the fish and put them in there with an air stone. They can stay there quite awhile if there is enough oxygen. For only 8 fish, even a large 5 gallon bucket would work. If you use a bucket, throw a towel over it, as Rainbows in a bucket can jump out quite easily.

Once you get it set back up, I would monitor the ammonia for a week or so. You are likely to get a small spike just from getting everything stirred up. As long as it's reasonable, like .25ppm, I would let it go and it should take care of itself. If it gets a bit higher, be ready to do some partial water changes, much like when you first cycle the tank.

I'm sure using as much tank water as possible would be good, but I have moved my 120G twice now and didn't save any tank water, and things worked out just fine. Good luck with the move and the new set up.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 05:37 PM
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One thing I don't see is letting the tank water settle a bit after it is filled. It will likely be a bit stirred up and it is better to not add them in a muc storm. A lot depends on what the bottom has?
Got a plan for adding water without stirring the bottom too much? Taking time to let the water run in slowly and using something like a plate, etc. to catch the water is a big help.
Will the room where the fish are kept be somewhat near the tank normal temperature? Good if that could be true!
Biggest idea is to keep the water pretty much the same but changing out 50% or more is pretty much like a good water change. Not a problem if all the new water matches the old somewhat close.
In this case, I would drain the tank way down to like 2-3 inches before trying to catch the fish. Then cut the chasing as much as possible. Nets are trauma but not as much if they are not chased back and forth. A large net held still and something else like a hand to "herd them in is one way. fish tend to look for hiding and a net which is not moving can look like a safe haven if there is a second net or hand which is moving and "hunting" them?
Get more than enough hands to move the tank without twisting it!!!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all very much for your insight!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 09:01 PM
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I just moved a tank this past week- to put it on a new stand- and my fishes ended up spending several days in the bucket. Because even though I was very careful, what with refilling new water and replanting the tank, it must have stirred up more mulm than I realized and my tank went into a cycle (it was cloudy for a bit also).

I did daily small wc on the bucket to keep parameters at safe levels for the fish- they had airstone at first then I switched to a small sponge filter w/established media when realized had to stay there for a while- and no wc at all on the home tank until it was done cycling- which even so took a few days.

Cover the bucket for sure, even if they're only in there a few hours. Last year I switched out substrate on my other tank, and lost a fish that jumped out of the bucket.

My fish were pretty stressed in the bucket this time around (very pale), but I felt safer keeping them there than having them go thru ammonia and nitrite spikes. You might feel different and prefer to put your fish back in the tank after debris settles, but keep an eye on the parameters and do wc as needed. If the tank does go into a cycle, it will take longer to finish if you're doing wc to save the fish from toxins.


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