Best way to move an established aquarium? Help!! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Best way to move an established aquarium? Help!!

What is the best way to move en established aquarium without having to take it down all the way and without breaking the tank?

I have a 20g high that is soil/kittylitter substrates topped with sand and gravel. It has extensive rockwork creating a mountainous aquascape, in which cases in some places in the tank (the "mountains") the substrate and rock are 6in high. I did use some sytrafoam at the bottom to get more variety in height, without extra weight. It is pretty heavily planted with swords and crypts (well rooted in the soil substrate)

Anyway, the point is I have to move this aquarium because we are moving to a bigger apartment. Luckily it is right downstairs from where we are now, but I'm still struggling to think how to move this tank without destroying all my hard work and killing my fish. Even with draining all the water it will still be very heavy, so I'm worried it will break/we won't be able to move it. Anyone have any insights or tips?

Please help! I love this tank!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 07:38 PM
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you've really already answered your own question... if it's too heavy even without the water in it, then you've really no choice.

I'd suggest getting a rolling furniture dolly or something flat with wheels you can put it on, roll it from the old location all the way to the new one. you might have to remove all the fish and water though. go get some buckets from lowes or home depot
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 07:43 PM
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I would transfer all of the fish and any other critters to a bucket, and drain the tank completely, maybe storing the water in multiple other buckets. You could also try digging a hole in one corner (or somewhere where you can dig a hole) and once the water is drained, let the remaining water contained in the substrate seep out of the substrate into the hole, then siphon that out as well (if that makes any sense). It'll be messy, but it might save you from a complete overhaul. Also, if there's any rocks or wood that can come out, pull that out as well.

And finally, get a few BIG guys to help you. They can lift a lot more, in my experience.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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I was planning on removing the fish and draining it, but do you think the tank will break? I think I can get my strapping brothers to help carry it, so I'm more concerned with breaking it during the move.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuoVadis View Post
I was planning on removing the fish and draining it, but do you think the tank will break? I think I can get my strapping brothers to help carry it, so I'm more concerned with breaking it during the move.
if it can handle 150 lbs of water plus your substrate and rocks, it'll handle just the substrate and rocks
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 07:50 PM
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I moved my 90 gallon tank by moving all the fish to a Rubbermaid container, and putting a little battery powered air-pump thing in there. For the tank I just drained the water to the substrate and moved the tank with a couple friends and a dolly. Make sure you don't have any rocks stacked that might fall or slide around. I don't think you should have too much trouble with a 20 gallon as long as you have a friend to help. If you have some really tall stems you can pull them out and float them with the fish, this will prevent them from breaking and I think the fish enjoy some surface cover in the stressful situation as well.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 08:14 PM
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Put something under it, like a thick sheet of plywood.
One of the major problems in moving a tank is twisting it, putting strain on the corners.
By moving it very carefully onto the plywood then carrying the plywood you will minimize that twisting.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 08:54 PM
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to the plywood suggestion! I would also put a layer of the ultra thin foam they sell in Walmart, etc. for covering pantry shelves - it has a tiny waffle texture. It is made to keep things from slipping, and the tank won't shift on the plywood.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 10:39 PM
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My husband read about carrying straps online and did end up buying some after we moved the 100 gallon glass and 180 gallon acrylic tanks - empty. Oh well. I mocked up some with rope with loops tied in it for hand holds putting a bit of pvc in the loops to make it more comfortable for hands. Putting such carrying helpers under the tank/plywood in an x pattern so they don't slip out might be one way to go.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 11:33 PM
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if your going to be buying buckets for transport, dont forget the lids!
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