Best way to move my tanks?? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Best way to move my tanks??

I'm moving into an apartment in a week and I figured I better start planning on how I'm going to get my aquariums there. I have a 50g and a 10g to move.

My 50g is relatively dense in terms of aquascaping but most of my fish are large. I was hoping that I could net them all out without tearing up all my plants and driftwood. Is trying to preserve all the aquascaping and substrate a lost cause here? I'm going to be moving up and down some flights of stairs; I feel like it'll be hard to keep everything from sliding around.

The 10g is very densely planted and populated by shrimp. I'm pretty sure I'd never get them all out even if I tried. My plan was to drain the water to about 40%. I think this should be light enough to move around easily without freaking out my cardinal tetras too bad.

Any thoughts?

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 02:39 PM
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You can move the 10 that way but the 50 will need to be drained and everything removed, tanks that big won't handle being moved with weight in them trust me I've tried and failed, now if it is some crazy construction, plywood, acrylic, extremely thick glass, etc. Then maybe you can but a standard aquariums isn't built for it, I would take slot of pics and draw a plan for where all your plants are and just reshape it when you get to your apt.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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It's not a standard aquarium, it has a slate bottom and a stainless steel frame on every edge. I'm pretty sure it could handle the weight but I'm not sure how maneuverable it will be. The tank on its own is pretty heavy.

This is a lousy pic, but it shows the tank construction.


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 03:27 PM
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I'd still be worried about moving the 10 with (even 40%) water level and substrate.


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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 03:39 PM
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i'd remove as much water as possible from both. if you had access to an elevator i wouldnt worry about what else was in it... but going up and down steps is going to lead to a disaster


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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 03:45 PM
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for the 10 I would remove at least 70% of the water

for the 50 that thing looks really heavy just by itself. It was a struggle moving my 40 gallon acrylic tank with 2 inches of substrate and 2 inches of water. I agree that you are going to need to remove everything or at least be prepared to remove everything.

get a couple tubs or buckets to drain water into for the fish and plants. I had fish trying to jump out of buckets so some sort of lid is probably a good idea during the actual moving.

after getting the water out try to move the tank. if its too heavy have buckets ready to put your substrate in.


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 04:33 PM
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Water weights about 8 pounds per gallon. An empty 50 gallon tank of glass is heavy; somewhere between 30-50 pounds is my guess, and the tank with a slate bottom would be even heavier. So you're talking a serious amount of weight to hand carry up and down stairs.

Just do the right thing and break the tank setup down for the move and avoid a serious accident.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 04:58 PM
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Are you moving very far? If so, I'd suggest getting some black trash bags to put the fish in. Using one bag per tank, put the bag into a styrofoam cooler type thing (with a lid). Double bag if you wish. Empty as much water as you can from each tank into their perspective bags, move the fish into the bag and add more water if there's room, making sure to leave space at the top for air. Tie the bags shut (leaving room for air), put the lid on the cooler and you're good to go. I move my 10 gallon tank 5 hours away like this and didn't lose a single fish. I realize it might be a bit more challenging with larger fish and/or a larger tank, but it worked for me so I thought I'd suggest it. Also, if need-be, you could probably use several bag/styrofoam container combos to separate everything from the 50 g into.

When you get to your destination, take some water out of the bags and put back in the tanks. Move the fish and add the rest of the water.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 05:03 PM
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A Metaframe tank? Nice. I've moved tanks up to 40breeders filled with wet sand and still planted. I dug away some sand in an end and the water filled it, small bottom dwellers were in there while we moved 20 miles down the road. If you have a friend and can keep it level, no issue with having it stay put just as much water drained as you can. You can drain half the water, turn lights off and with two nets, one small the other large, corral the fish into the big net that is in a corner. That way less stress on fish and less plant damage.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 05:08 PM
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I moved both my 40 and my 10 this last time with water/plants/fish/shrimp in them.

I lowered the water level to have about 2" in it then moved the tanks. I didn't lose a single Cardinal Tetra, Cory, or Oto. I did lose a bristlenose pleco though. Not sure about shrimp in the 10 because I never count them.

But, if I were to do it again I would take a 5 gallon bucket, fill it with tank water, and move the fish seperately.

I have about 2" - 3" of substrate in my 40B along with 2 pieces of driftwood and a bunch of slate.

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 05:17 PM
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50gal will be very heavy especially with a metaframe. Best to take all the water, fish, plants and substrate out and start fresh.

Buy a 20G Esky cooler (with wheels) + battery powered air pump. Put the fish, plants, filter media and some substrate in the cooler..

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flip9 View Post
50gal will be very heavy especially with a metaframe. Best to take all the water, fish, plants and substrate out and start fresh.

Buy a 20G Esky cooler (with wheels) + battery powered air pump. Put the fish, plants, filter media and some substrate in the cooler..
It may be heavy, but it depends on how you plan to move it and who you have for friends. Two strong friends (if the OP is fairly strong as well) and a furniture dolly and he can move it. It's only 4 Lifts - one to the dolly - one to the truck - one to dolly - one to the stand.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lnstevens View Post
It may be heavy, but it depends on how you plan to move it and who you have for friends. Two strong friends (if the OP is fairly strong as well) and a furniture dolly and he can move it. It's only 4 Lifts - one to the dolly - one to the truck - one to dolly - one to the stand.
I'm assuming you mean the empty tank? How could you put a tank w/contents on a dolly?

I'm pretty sure I'll be unable to move the 50g with any water in it, so removing the fish is pretty much a given. I'm pretty sure I can handle it with gravel and some slate in it, the question is whether I can actually get all the fish out without ripping everything out.

I'm only moving 2 miles, so fish transport is not a huge deal, I have plenty of 5gal buckets, all with lids. Also, my new building does not have an elevator, so the stairs are the way to go.

-John

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by shiloh View Post
I'm assuming you mean the empty tank? How could you put a tank w/contents on a dolly?

I'm pretty sure I'll be unable to move the 50g with any water in it, so removing the fish is pretty much a given. I'm pretty sure I can handle it with gravel and some slate in it, the question is whether I can actually get all the fish out without ripping everything out.

I'm only moving 2 miles, so fish transport is not a huge deal, I have plenty of 5gal buckets, all with lids. Also, my new building does not have an elevator, so the stairs are the way to go.
A furniture dolly turns into a 4 wheel dolly and lays flat.




If you have to move it upstairs thought it doesn't matter what kind of dolly you use, you are going to jossle everything in the tank around.

I would remvoe all the fish/shrimp/etc... and the plants and move it with just the substrate and tank.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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ok lol, i was confused how you thought any dolly was going to stay flat going up stairs.

-John

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