Moving A Tank Across State - The Planted Tank Forum
 9Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 04:47 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
MouseWithADinosaurTail's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 15
Moving A Tank Across State

Hello all. I've had to take a leave of absence from school and thus will need to move my 10gallon planted tank from the finger lakes region of NYS to Long Island. It's about a 6 hour trip. I always try to just leave my tank where it is, but since I could possibly be away for close to a year, I figure I may as well just bring it with me. I've been doing research on the best ways to move a tank, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice on it? My main concern is the nitrifying bacteria colony. I've been doing a fishless cycle for about 5 weeks, and it just finished tonight. This cycle has been a very frustrating process, so if I lost my entire colony over the course of this move and I had to start the cycle over, it would be very heartbreaking. :'( Does anyone have any advice on how to keep a bacteria colony alive for the six hour trip? Will it be okay without a food source for that long? I've also been reading that it'll be necessary to take the substrate out of the tank for transport. Is this 100% necessary? I'd prefer to leave the tank as undisturbed as possible, but if it's definitely unsafe, then I won't risk it. Thank you.
MouseWithADinosaurTail is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 05:10 PM
Algae Grower
 
vacko000's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Serbia, Novi Sad
Posts: 52
Moving a tank is always a risky thing. But it is duble.
You can drain the tank so it has about an intch of water in. Don't throw away the water. Put it in a bucket and place your fiter media inside of it. That should be enough to keep the bacteria alive. Just make shore that the temperature inside the car stays as close to your water tempeature in tank. Put a plank on the back seet and put some styrophore on top of it, and than put the tank on that. Just secure the tank somehow so it doesn't move, it will be fine for the trip. Since you don't have any live stock in the tank you don't have to wory about that.
Take it slow and you should be fine....
sittinglynx likes this.
vacko000 is offline  
post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 05:31 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Streetwise's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,082
Research ahead for any road construction on your route!

Style: Organic potting soil, gravel, sand, wood, plants, algae, biofilm, snails, shrimp, fish, dual siestas
Tech : Small tanks, Fluval Plant 3.0, Top Fin MF10, Eheim Classic 150, Neptune Systems Apex EL
Tanks:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Streetwise is offline  
 
post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 05:52 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
JJ09's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Virginia, USA
Posts: 2,781
Get a battery operated air pump or usb pump from aquarium co-op. I REALLY like this one it's very quiet and you can plug into a usb battery pack which lasts longer than the regular batteries. Put on a small sponge filter or just airstone in bucket with your filter media to keep the bacteria alive during the trip. Useful in future for power outage, too (that's why I originally got mine).
SwampGirl and sittinglynx like this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
JJ09 is offline  
post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 07:42 PM
snails are your friend
 
Blue Ridge Reef's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,940
I've moved aquariums many times and tried different approaches. There's no perfect way to do something that ideally shouldn't be done, but my main advice would be to drain the tank last when that moving truck is all loaded up, and then set it up first as soon as you pull up to your new place. My second piece of advice would be to not even think about moving it with some water and substrate in it. Losing a bacteria colony isn't nearly as heartbreaking as busting the bottom panel out of an aquarium (like happened to me when I tried that on a 65 gallon reef). It's not saving you that much work to bucket your substrate and some tank water to bring along. If using tap be sure and test the water at your new place before moving and see how close it is to your current water parameters. This could impact your bacteria survival even more than the 6 hour trip if they are far off.

If you are going to be living there only for a year, it's a tough call as to whether I'd move a larger tank at all. By the time it hits that sweet spot and is really taking off, you'll be tasked with a much more difficult aquarium to safely move across state. Not trying to be a downer, just things to consider.
sittinglynx likes this.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
Blue Ridge Reef is offline  
post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 08:02 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PlantedRich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 12,312
Two big points that are not mentioned yet!
Hope for the best but prepare for the worst and things work out better! This really fits when moving a tank, so give some thought to what "might" happen, not what you "hope" happens. A ten is a small enough tank that it can often be moved without removing the whole sub and any plants, IF (BIG IF!) you assume the worst and prep for it. Take a look at what the move will require and then plan in such a way that you can move the tank without ANY twisting. This is normal but when tanks are moved with even an inch of wet sub, it can make it much more likely to twist it when one corner is lifted, like when you pick it up. Twisting breaks glass or seams! Putting the tank on a good strong board and then using the board to carry the tank is one way to reduce the odds of twisting. Having a second set of hands for the far end and even a third for opening doors is almost always nice but slow and steady is the big point.
Second point is to think of where/how to place the tank. The floor in some cars is good but check how hot it make get in some. Seats are not too good as they tilt but look for low down and stable spaces. Ditch the water except for any used to cover the media, etc. as a good deep water change beats using half dirty water when resetting. And that leads into how to carry the wet stuff. If you have significant water, do not depend on driving slowly to avoid spilling the water but go for large trash bags,etc. and seal them much as if you were going to ship things. You do not want to slam the back of a truck because you didn't want the bucket to tip, right? A bag in a bucket or box will often survive a pretty big incident with the the bag rolling out but not dumping it all. Avoid zip-lock bags as they flip open so go for tied or rubber bands, etc. ? Very important to not dump the water if you are moving fish! They don't last long flopping around in the floorboard while you run like crazy looking for water.
Any slight water movement from sloshing around with the car will likely be enough for the bacteria. I moved fish from St. Louis area to Austin , Tx with no pump, etc. and just opening the bag each night for fresh air to move in overnight. Moderate temps are good but not too critical for bacteria as they tend to go dormant if cool. Do avoid overheating them.
Assume there will be a time when you have to panic stop , prep for it, and it is very unlikely to happen. Those bad incidents often happen to the folks who assume they WON'T. Gremlins tend to work that way!
evil8 and sittinglynx like this.

Last edited by PlantedRich; 10-25-2019 at 02:00 AM. Reason: changed from saying with to WITHOUT twisting!
PlantedRich is online now  
post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 08:39 PM
Obsessed? Maybe
 
somewhatshocked's Avatar
 
PTrader: (501/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Middle America
Posts: 14,916
I've done this a few times - with cross-country and state-to-state moves. With sensitive shrimp and sensitive fish. It's a million times less scary than you think it is.

Some tips:

Put your filter media in some tank water and stick it in a cooler. It'll easily survive a day. I usually bag it up in tank water and it's fine for a couple days. Some will tell you it won't be but it is - I've done this too many times to count. Can also just put it in a bucket with a bit of water and a battery-powered air pump. that you turn on once an hour for several minutes.

Battery-powered air pumps, as mentioned, are great for livestock. But you can also get breather bags and pack your critters up in them for the move. Then just put them in an insulated, temperature-regulated styrofoam box or cooler. They'll be good in breather bags for a few days without problems and that's really good for much longer moves.

If you don't bag your critters up, then take an extra bucket of water (just water from your tank) with you in case it's needed for a water change half way. Also keep Prime handy if you're nervous.

As far as the tank itself? Completely drain it. Then seal it up at the top with plastic wrap and tape. Move it slowly. It'll be fine. I've moved much larger - and even rimless - tanks without issue. Substrate and plants intact. If you have rocks and hardscape you don't want to damage inside? Use wadded up newspaper or bubble wrap inside the tank to help cushion things.

Note for rimless: stick them on a board of some sort if they're small enough, as that'll make it easier to carry them.

Put blankets, padding, cushions, pillows, all kinds of things like that around the tank itself. I like to bubble wrap them up several times and still add padding. For a 10gal tank, you could easily place it in a large Amazon Prime Pantry box and pad around it. That'd give it tons of protection.

When you get where you're going, start things up. Test parameters after an hour or so. If all is well? Slowly acclimate everything. If there's an ammonia spike? Just keep your critters in a bucket, use Prime, do water changes. They'll be fine until things are ready.

One thing I like to do before a move is have an extra sponge filter "cycled" on the tank that I can use in a bucket once I get where I'm going. That'll keep things healthy in case there's an ammonia issue in the tank or in case I get delayed for a day.
sittinglynx likes this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

somewhatshocked is online now  
post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 12:26 AM
Algae Grower
 
sittinglynx's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 148
A lot of great advise here. I like the board on the bottom idea. Here's one more thing you might want to consider. If you have access to a 5 gallon (water cooler) bottle or two to fill with tap water from you old home, you can mix in you old tap with your new home's tap when doing water changes. The water at your new location is bound to have different water chemistry. If you can mix the old with the new for your 1st few water changes, you'll be reducing the stress on your live stock. Of course, your new tap may not be suitable for your stock depending on what you have, how different your new source of water is to your old, etc.. Having that extra bottle or two may give you enough time to figure out a alternate water source, or to find a good home to your old stock if you need to adjust your stock to your new tap. The good news is, your talking about a 10 gallon tank so it not too much space to accommodate extra water from your old tap for a few water changes.

"The Sea, the great unifier, is man's only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has literal meaning: We are all in the same boat" -Jacques Yves Cousteau
sittinglynx is offline  
post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-26-2019, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
MouseWithADinosaurTail's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 15
Damn everyone, thank you so much for thr advice!!! I feel a lot more comfortable doing this now. My one question is there seems to be some disagreement on whether to leave the substrate in the tank or not. Would it be safe? And if so, is it okay to leave the plants in the tank as they are? I could get a spray bottle to mist them during the drive so they dont completely dry out. And I have a big piece of driftwood, but Ill probably just move it in the bucket Im gonna pack the water in. Ive got a cooler I can use for packing up the beneficial bacteria. Im super glad to hear it'll survive the trip. But yeah, leaving substrate in the tank: yay or nay?

10gal lowtech planted-
Betta fish plakat male (1)
Cryptocoryne wendtii, java moss, red melon sword, anubias nancon, wisteria
MouseWithADinosaurTail is offline  
post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-26-2019, 02:29 PM
snails are your friend
 
Blue Ridge Reef's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,940
10 gallon tanks use pretty thin glass. It's always a risk, but if you could get the tank on a board of some sort, I think that would go a long way. I took from your first post that there's no livestock at all, just BB you're trying to keep alive, no?

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
Blue Ridge Reef is offline  
post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-26-2019, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
MouseWithADinosaurTail's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 15
There's no livestock in the tank, no. I do have a betta fish that I'll be taking with me, but he hasn't been living in the tank yet.

I went to Walmart today and grabbed a big storage bin big enough to fit a 10gal tank but with enough room for padding on the sides. I was thinking of putting the tank in that, and putting some blankets around it as cushioning? Do you think that would be enough to keep it intact and not risk the bottom panel falling out?
MouseWithADinosaurTail is offline  
post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-26-2019, 09:45 PM
Obsessed? Maybe
 
somewhatshocked's Avatar
 
PTrader: (501/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Middle America
Posts: 14,916
Yeah, that should be plenty. And you'll have the storage bin for future use - good idea.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

somewhatshocked is online now  
post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 03:44 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PlantedRich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 12,312
I like to do all I can to avoid the mistakes. One way to keep the tank twist rick lower is to use a really thick board like a short section of 2X10 or 12 as this board is strong enough that it will not twist even with a full ten gallon on it and picking it up on one corner. Thinking of picking up a tank with no handles versus picking up a board with ends that stick out a few inches? I do not mind spending a couple bucks on the board if I can avoid taking all the sub out and starting over.
The storage bin of plastic may work but only if the space where it rides is totally flat as the plastic does nothing for supporting the tank. The problem is that you get no notice that things are about to break, so one big bump in the road and one corner may go down enough to kill the whole deal.
PlantedRich is online now  
post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-28-2019, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
MouseWithADinosaurTail's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 15
Well, we did the move yesterday, and so far it seems to have gone fine! The tank- thank god- didn't break. The storage bin seemed to have enough cushioning to do the trick! So far the plants seem to be doing okay. Their leaves were a bit drier when we arrived than I'd hoped for; I sprayed the inside of the tank with a lot of water before sealing up the storage container with the lid. I was hoping it'd keep the humidity high and the plants wet, but it didn't seem to do the trick. But so far the plants don't seem dead. Betta fish made it fine too and is chilling out in a bowl for now. I dosed the tank with some ammonia last night to test if the nitrifying bacteria made it. I won't find out for another ten hours, but fingers crossed!

Thanks a ton for the invaluable advice, guys. I'm sure I woulda broken my tank without it!
MouseWithADinosaurTail is offline  
post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 02:32 AM
Planted Member
 
Botia dude's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Livermore, CA USA
Posts: 288
First things first. Contact the ATF about the legalities of moving your Tank long distances. The weight and size could compromise roadways and endanger overpasses. Generally the barrel of your tank needs to be tied down so as not to swing around with wind or sharp corners. A flatbed trailer is most likely required as well, as communities such as those in NY take a dim view of tank tracks in their roads. Texans are generally much more accepting of tank tracks because "MURICA.

As always practice trigger safety and always travel with your tank unloaded. Safe travels!


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Botia dude is offline  
Reply

Tags
moving

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome