Moving across town - need some info - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Moving across town - need some info

Hello folks. I'm about 5 months away from moving to a new house and have started to think about how I'm going to move my tank.

Here is the deal. The tank is a 55 gallon - heavily planted - probably about 35-40 fish living in it (lost count - and there are a LOT of plants). It's a glass tank.

I'm already having nightmares about needing to drain this thing all the way and catching all the fish. There is just no way I'm going to pull that off without major plant uprooting. I'm moving about 10 minutes away. So, here is the question. How low do I need to go with the water to ensure that I don't cause a leak? If I can get about half of the fish out and leave say 3 inches for the harder to catch fish (SAEs and Ottos) - my life would be much easier. I'm just thinking about the seals cracking, and I'm scared

Any info from those of you that have moved a tank would be great. Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 01:31 AM
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If you have five months, I would season a sponge filter in your display tank and start netting your fish a day or two before the big move. As long as they're small enough, you can keep them in a cooler filled with tank water and filtered by your sponge filter for several days. While the sponge fiter is probably unnecessary, you have some semi-long-term storage in case everything goes wrong (like a dropped tank).

If I was the one moving, I'd drain all but an inch or two in the tank and move it. If fish are going to be in the last inch or two of water, make sure to pull out any hardscape items a week or two before the move in order to suck up any anerobic stuff that could be established under rocks, etc. It will also make the load lighter. While in transit, make sure the tank is on a flat surface. The last thing you want is a 4' pane of glass to torque on the way to the new home. Once it's time to go, the tank would be the last item to leave the old house and the first item to be set up in the new house. Once you're there, put 20 gallons or so in the tank and check for leaks. As an extra level of precaution, I'd add 15 or 20 gallons at a time until it's full. After that, you should be set to go.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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Great idea on the sponge filter. Having a couple days to catch the fish will be a major stress relief.

I'm probably going to rent a van to make sure I have a good wide open flat area to place the tank.

So you think an inch or two of water plus the substrate can be supported by the tank? I'm most nervous of lifting it off the stand, then back on. Probably have someone try to support the middle of the tank.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 04:39 AM
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What about getting a piece of plywood that's a bit bigger than the tank and placing it on there to do the move so that the entire time other than moving it from the stand-plywood and then plywood-stand in the new house it is evenly supported?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostman View Post
Great idea on the sponge filter. Having a couple days to catch the fish will be a major stress relief.

I'm probably going to rent a van to make sure I have a good wide open flat area to place the tank.

So you think an inch or two of water plus the substrate can be supported by the tank? I'm most nervous of lifting it off the stand, then back on. Probably have someone try to support the middle of the tank.
I do not believe that 1-2" of water, plus substrate is going to be a big deal, though I'm sure some would consider the move to be a little fast and loose for their taste. You will definitely need a friend, preferably two, to help you out.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by epiphany View Post
What about getting a piece of plywood that's a bit bigger than the tank and placing it on there to do the move so that the entire time other than moving it from the stand-plywood and then plywood-stand in the new house it is evenly supported?
Pretty much what I was thinking. Two of us thought of it - so it has to be a good idea.

Alright - I'm feeling better now. Thanks for the tips. Now I can start stressing over some other move related issues.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 04:16 AM
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I've moved countless aquariums between 150g and 10g. Just catch the fish, dump them in a bucket and take down the aquarium. You can uproot the plants as well while you're at it and put them in other buckets. I wouldn't worry much about it. Just go in there and start ripping things apart. It's not as big a deal as you might think.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 10:24 AM
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Yea I think the main thing you want to keep in mind is the aquascape is going to change. If you accept that, then moving is fine... if you want everything to be exactly how it was then it'll be difficult. Consider it an opportunity to rescape it a bit
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 03:11 PM
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Agree, just see this as a chance to rescape the tank. Make up a new planting chart and plan everything out now.

You can pack up the tank the day before moving if you are really pressed for time, fish in a bucket with the filter and heater on it, plants wrapped in wet towels inside the empty tank.

If you have a board that fits under the tank it should be fine to leave the dirty substrate and plants in wet towels and just move the fish in a covered bucket and the filter empty, dirty and wet to preserve the bacteria in case you don't get it plugged in for a few hours. In your new place refill the filter with treated water and put back on the bucket while you replant the tank and fill it.

Do a timeline for all the tasks you need to do those busy couple of days, it will be fine.


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