moving a 6 year tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy moving a 6 year tank

hello,

I recently bought a new house, and am moving in a couple of months. All great news until I thought about moving my tank. It's just a 55 gal, but is heavily planted, and has been soo healthy for the last 3 years, with all the plants having great roots. I am afraid when I move it I will lose vital processes. Does anyone have a good recommendation as to how to best go about this move? Surely it won't be like starting over; will it?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 12:53 AM
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Welcome to TPT

How far of a move are we talking here? Across town or across the country?

Across town shouldn't be any problem, just a PITA. The farther the distance, the more complicated it gets but it certainly doable.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 02:40 AM
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First off, welcome to the forum!

But we will need a few more details: If it's a dirted tank . . . This will be ugly. You'll need to get all the fish out in buckets and drain every bit of water out that you can from the tank. Then with the substrate and plants still in place, 3 or 4 of you will need to pick it up and move it. To refill, put a few layers of newspaper in there and CAREFULLY pour the water back in.

If it's a sand / gravel tank, honestly I'd just break it down as usual:
~uproot the plants and throw them in a bucket of water.
~Substrate in another bucket or two
~Fish in a third
~Don't clean your filter and make sure it stays wet (to perserve all the bacteria)
...Transport everything and set it back up.

As long as your substrate doesn't sit too long in a bucket (and go anoxic --> dead aerobic / anaerobic bacteria) your tank should be humming along in a few weeks once everything settles in.

Of course if you're moving 4+ hours away this whole operation will be even more complex...
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 03:20 PM
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no way around messy.

i recommend you bag per genus (makes replanting more organized) and include some damp paper towels per ziplock bag.

Livestock second since they are easier to net with a bare tank versus maneuvering around delicate plants. If you can manage to move them in a bucket, that's best. more room for them, less stress of a bag bursting for you.

buckets for the substrate. with a 55, you are likely going to use several 5 gallon tubs filled half way to make it easier to carry. Damp is fine, you dont need all the water from the old tank.

When you replant in the new location, it would be like a water change. I would set aside an entire day just for moving the tank.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 03:25 PM
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I would recommend building a "tank stretcher" to move it as well. Thick piece of plywood boxed with 2x4's. This way the entire bottom pane of glass is supported when moving the tank, and also beats trying to grip glass. I've moved a couple of established tanks this way with friends. Bring more people than you need. Tanks, especially larger ones with stuff in them, are very awkward to move. Removing everything from the tank would be the best course of action, but if you are going to leave substrate in the tank you should really build a stretcher.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys; great forum. The move is only a 20 min drive. It's not a dirt tank, so I'm thinking I will just uproot and bag the plants individually. I figured I should keep the filters wet, but was more concerned about the substrate. Should I add new substrate when I go to replant, maybe mix in some of the old with it, or just leave it as is?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 05:21 PM
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I just gave my roomie my 20gal long full of cherry shrimp. I didn't want to spend hours catching shrimp, so drained the water 3/4 of the way, put it on a board, carried it downstairs, filled back up with water, done.

20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

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