Moving 6 tanks out of state. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Moving 6 tanks out of state.

In about 2 weeks, I will be moving from Illinois to Michigan. The drive is about 3.5 hours, but realistically some of the fish might be in buckets for 6+ hours due to take down and setup time for the tanks.

Currently i have 6 tanks running from 5 to 55 gallons, all planted. I plan to keep as much water as possible (i will save approx. 70 gallons in buckets).

For the smaller tanks which mostly have shrimp I am just going to drain them down most of the way and just move them like that. Potentially leaving shrimp/snails/plants etc in the tanks. Any concerns with this? Should i remove shrimp or plants? They are amano and neos, and the plants are mostly just tough stuff like anubias, crypts, etc.

For the larger tanks I think i'll have to completely drain em and remove the gravel and everything. I'll take care to remove plants/fish first, then all wood/rock, finally scoop all gravel out. I wish i didnt have to do this, but don't think I will be able to move them safely (im on the 3rd floor here!) with gravel inside the tank.

All bio-filter media will go in the respective buckets of tank water with fish. Or should i just put the media in plastic bags to keep them moist?

Should i buy battery op air pumps for the fish buckets?

I have moved with tanks a bunch of times, but this is only my 2nd interstate move with aquariums (and the first one kicked my butt!!). Do any of you have other suggestions to ease the stress of moving a bunch of fish tanks to a new home? I HOPE SO!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 04:21 AM
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I've moved 6.5 hours driving, so probably closer to 8 hours by the time everything was set up. I know for a fact there are people who have gone longer, so time isn't a huge issue unless you have really finicky fish/inverts/plants.

My tank was a downsize though, so I had to remove everything. But I'm sure with the smaller tanks a little water wont hurt since they'll be easy to move. With larger tanks, just make sure everything stays wet...plants, media, fish (obviously). My java fern leaves were exposed, it died back but since the rhizome was kept wet it grew back again. My media was with the fish, though doesn't matter so long as it's damp/wet. Fast the fish/inverts beforehand so that there's less waste produced during the trip.

I never bought any battery operated pumps. Might be a nice backup in case of an emergency, but you get enough sloshing during the drive that they'll be enough oxygenation unless things are sealed tight.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 04:24 AM
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Will be watching this.

I am moving from Indiana to Oregon. :/. LOL im screwed


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
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Fast the fish/inverts beforehand so that there's less waste produced during the trip.
^ Great idea!

I dont have anything extremely sensitive. Assorted amongst tanks: Harlequin Rasbora, Rummynose Tetra, Dennison Barbs, Bosemani Rainbows, Black Phantom Tetra, BN plecos, otos, cory cats, Amano Shrimp and a few neos.... nerites, malaysian trumpet snail, and ramshorn snail. oh and a few misc betta.

I planned to use 6x5g homer paint buckets with lids on so water wouldn't slosh, and fish couldn't jump ship. (and then a whole bunch of 2.5 gal water jugs ive accumulated to save as much excess water as possible). Think putting the lids on the bucket will cause a problem? I could also split the fish up into groups and bag them like the LFS. I am not sure what approach is better. The bucket seems like it might be best due to the simple fact that there is more water volume, i am slightly worried about some of the fish injuring each other in the bucket if they thrashed around (like the plecos). idk.. i still have a bit of time to weigh the options.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 05:19 AM
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I moved from Colorado to Northern California with fish, dogs and cats. I kept fish, shrimp, driftwood and plants in one 5 gallon bucket and put them under the AC vent in the front passenger seat floor. I put the gravel in another 5 gallon bucket. The trip took 3 days. I kept kept the filters intact and had a back up battery pump. When we stopped at the hotels, we ran the filters in both buckets in the hotel room. I never used the battery pump. Both buckets had lids and there was lots of sloshing during the drive. Only lost a couple of CRS but the fish and plants all did fine. I kept the gravel alive so the tank didn't have to go through a full cycle (it was fluorite) when I set it back up. If I had a do over I would give the shrimp their own bucket with plants and wood so they're not affected by fish bio load.
When I've moved only a few hours, I've drained and saved the tank water, move shrimp and fish into a bucket and leave gravel and hard scape in the tank, cover with a wet towel, and put the tank on a piece of plywood. Only works for small tanks, though.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I am moving from Indiana to Oregon. :/. LOL im screwed
Wow, how long of a drive will that be? and how many tanks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayanjungledog View Post
When I've moved only a few hours, I've drained and saved the tank water, move shrimp and fish into a bucket and leave gravel and hard scape in the tank, cover with a wet towel, and put the tank on a piece of plywood. Only works for small tanks, though.
I will probably be doing this for all the small tanks that i can manage to carry with all stuff still inside. I am going to take the fish out, but think i'll leave shrimp in the small tanks with a couple inches of water... unless it's detrimental for them. Btw this is my first major move with shrimp, so im a bit nervous about it.. but amanos are supposed to be tough ?

I lost quite a few fish on my first interstate move (trying to avoid that this time) mainly due to the temperature dropping ... i think ... I have moved many other times locally without really losing anything, so hopefully this one goes well!
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 05:26 AM
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Not sure on how long, I think 3 days of driving? Will be moving a 55g (unplanted, thank god) and 10g planted shrimp tank. Depending on my stock I might just gift out the fish and keep the shrimp, then setup the 55 as a planted tank out west? Still a long time to think about it (April~)


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chan0482 View Post
^ Great idea!

I dont have anything extremely sensitive. Assorted amongst tanks: Harlequin Rasbora, Rummynose Tetra, Dennison Barbs, Bosemani Rainbows, Black Phantom Tetra, BN plecos, otos, cory cats, Amano Shrimp and a few neos.... nerites, malaysian trumpet snail, and ramshorn snail. oh and a few misc betta.

I planned to use 6x5g homer paint buckets with lids on so water wouldn't slosh, and fish couldn't jump ship. (and then a whole bunch of 2.5 gal water jugs ive accumulated to save as much excess water as possible). Think putting the lids on the bucket will cause a problem? I could also split the fish up into groups and bag them like the LFS. I am not sure what approach is better. The bucket seems like it might be best due to the simple fact that there is more water volume, i am slightly worried about some of the fish injuring each other in the bucket if they thrashed around (like the plecos). idk.. i still have a bit of time to weigh the options.
I used the 5gal buckets. By sloshing I meant put the lids on, just not sealed tight, so the water movement will allow for enough surface agitation to keep it oxygenated.

I moved an Ancistrus and it didn't seem to do anything except sit at the bottom wedged around the sides. And then I made the mistake of putting some Aqua clear bio media (which is in bags) in the same bucket...the pleco proceeded to get its spines tangled up in that.

I think with enough buckets you'll be fine with keeping some fish together so long as you don't cram too much in the same ones. You can also try using a large cooler for more volume. Bagging would also work, since you wont be moving as long as a fish would if shipped anyways.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 07:17 PM
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Tank, what part of oregon are you moving to?
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 07:28 PM
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When I moved to FL from NY I put all my fish into coolers. During a fuel fill I'd open them up and slosh the water around a bit. Took the tanks down in NY with nothing ready to go in FL 48 hours not a single loss. When I got here I bought a kid's wading pool and put everything in there for a few days til I cycled up a tank.
I found the coolers worked better than buckets. At least for me it did.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 08:25 PM
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Tank, what part of oregon are you moving to?
Just on the other side of the hill Bend.


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 06:04 AM Thread Starter
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So there has been an alteration made to the plan.

My father is holding a family reunion/bbq event thing this weekend that I am going to attend. My folks place is in Michigan, about 15 min away from my new home (and i already have keys to the new place ) So i am going to take advantage and move all my tanks to the new place this weekend, that way i won't have to deal with them on the big move day at the end of the month. I have someone who is going to stop over and feed a few times during the week I will be back in Illinois.

I think this will be a lot less stressful on me and the critters.

The top pic is after tonight, bottom pic is from a few months ago.

Tonight I removed all the big pieces of rock and wood, and the majority of the plants. That rotala is rooted in there like cement, so i'm gonna wait to pull that out until thursday when i tear down the whole tank to move it. Did a decent sized water change... mainly because i had to vac out tons of crud that had built up under the wood and rocks. I am going to feed tomorrow and then fast them until they are settled into the new place.

I have also been thinking about turning this into a dirt tank with gravel cap. Its low tech (no co2), low-mid light, use root tabs, and dose liquids once in a while(no cosistentsy). I imagine that the best time for me to do this would be during the move, since the tank will be fully torn down. Any suggestions or warnings? Should i think twice about doing this during the move since i might kick up a bunch of dirt and cause detriment to the fish? I'd rather keep it the way it is, than kill a bunch of the inhabitants.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 06:31 AM
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I may have misunderstood your question, were you going to add the dirt now or after the move?

If its the former, in my experience, which may be in the minority, moving dirted tanks is a pain and a half. I setup a 10g a couple years back with sand as a cap, planted it, then lowered the water levels and did the 6.5 hour move and it was pretty messy. Certainly fixable, just it seemed that a lot of large soil chunks were tossed to the surface and took a bit more cleaning up than I had expected. I would suggest not doing anything with dirt until you are at your new place and setting up the tank again. Once the roots get more established (moved the same tank only a few blocks away a year later) and hold everything a bit more in place it isn't as bad.

Otherwise, I'm all for switching to a dirted tank if you want to try something different. I've had good results.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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sorry, i guess my wording was confusing. what i meant was that once i get the 55 to my new place on thursday, i was thinking of putting down a 2 inch layer of Miracle Grow Organic Choice Potting Mix and capping it with the gravel that is currently in the tank.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 06:40 AM
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Got it, although 2" might be a bit much. I usually go with 1-1.5" at most. How thick is the gravel currently? I personally wouldn't do more dirt than cap, 1:1 or more cap seems to work best.
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