Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Tanks that large do not get dragged out of the house for a thorough cleaning. They get cleaned in place. I keep a pump in the tank, and a hose running in and a hose running out to the garden. I scrub the tank down with salt and lots of rinsing.
I have re-done and moved most of my tanks several times, and will clean the larger ones (40 gallon+) in place.
Smaller tanks (up to 20 gallon, even 29 gallon) I will take outside. They are light enough for me to carry, and to turn them around and upside down for cleaning and draining.
Yes, removing all the plants, rocks, wood and so on, and draining the water down to a few inches is the best way to catch the fish.