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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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Moving My Tank Home

So, fall semester has come to an end, and I have about a month and a half break before the next semester. Putting the money I have into my tank so far, I don't want to just leave it here and hope it doesn't destroy itself. So I'm moving it home for that time.

Here's my plan:
Catch and separate my fish into two seperate 5g buckets with lids.

Switch off canister filter, undo the tubes and pack it into the truck.

Drain the water into 3 5g jugs, put wet paper towels over all the plants and wrap the top in Saran Wrap.

Move the tank onto plywood and wrap in a blanket.

Set thin pillows on the back seat of my truck to level it out and set the tank onto that and strap it in.

Drive home, setup tank, run filter and put fish back in.

Does anyone have any suggestions for this move that I might've missed? A way to be sure the plants and the fish will be okay. Uprooting all the plants and removing gravel isn't an option, but I am considering removing the more favorite plants and wrapping them in paper towels separately.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 10:46 AM
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If the heat isn't getting turned off and blackouts aren't likely, I'd just leave it with an automatic feeder and light timer. Evaporation will be a problem. If you don't have an automatic top-off, make sure your heater isn't going to be exposed if you lose a lot of water.

If you do want to move it anyway, I'd suggest using one or more large coolers instead of 5g buckets for the fish. The temperature will remain stable for a long time. You can get an inverter and run a heater and an air pump for the trip.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 03:12 PM
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You've left out one of the critical items of the trip. How long?
If it's like an hour, leaving the media in the canister may be okay. If it's a day, maybe it would be far better to take the media out and put it in a plastic sack of water in a box. Bacteria needs O2 so the water sloshing will keep the O2 up as long as there is a good air space in the bag. In the sealed canister, O2 may run short much quicker.
Things on the seat are a bad plan as you should always pack with the thought that you may stop suddenly. On the floor is better but watch for hot spots where the exhaust may heat the floor. Look at the move the way people ship fish and they will be fine. A plastic bag, 50/50 water and air in a box will survive most surprise stops. A bucket with lid will not. Hope for the best but plan for the worst and you will survive many of the small things that happen.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
You've left out one of the critical items of the trip. How long?
If it's like an hour, leaving the media in the canister may be okay. If it's a day, maybe it would be far better to take the media out and put it in a plastic sack of water in a box. Bacteria needs O2 so the water sloshing will keep the O2 up as long as there is a good air space in the bag. In the sealed canister, O2 may run short much quicker.
Things on the seat are a bad plan as you should always pack with the thought that you may stop suddenly. On the floor is better but watch for hot spots where the exhaust may heat the floor. Look at the move the way people ship fish and they will be fine. A plastic bag, 50/50 water and air in a box will survive most surprise stops. A bucket with lid will not. Hope for the best but plan for the worst and you will survive many of the small things that happen.
Sorry about that. The trip is 2 and a half hours. So I'm gonna say 4 hours with packing up, driving it home and setting it back up. I don't think it'll be too bad and I'll let you guys know how it goes and the outcome of it. The seat will be packed and the tank seatbelted in. So no worries about that from me. But I get that!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 07:17 PM
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That sounds terrible... that's why I only had a 10G tank in college (and I didn't go home for winter break, so I only took it apart in the summer)
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 07:29 PM
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if its a 2 1/2 hour trip but a battery powered air pump into the canister or else all those beneficial bacteria will die. I pretty sure I read somewhere they start to die after about 15 minutes without air


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-13-2013, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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That sounds terrible... that's why I only had a 10G tank in college (and I didn't go home for winter break, so I only took it apart in the summer)
It didn't even occur to me id have to take it home when I started setting it up here until a couple weeks ago! Lol.

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Originally Posted by lamiskool View Post
if its a 2 1/2 hour trip but a battery powered air pump into the canister or else all those beneficial bacteria will die. I pretty sure I read somewhere they start to die after about 15 minutes without air
Yeah, I've read they die off pretty quick, and I've also read they can live for up to 24+ hours with oxygen. So who knows, but I'll keep you guys updated on tank parameters. Although I don't know how quickly they'd use the oxygen in the water trapped in the canister.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-13-2013, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
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And also, I made it home! Honestly, catching the fish was not all that bad. The worst were the Denison barbs. Although I did end up pulling all my plants besides my DHG as my barbs were tearing it up trying to get away.

For those that may need to do this in the future, here's my steps:

I put my rams, plecos, and a couple neons into one bucket, and my barbs, rest of neons and shrimp in another. With both bucks I floated quite a bit of rotala to give them some comfort/cover. I then put a lid on both of them.

I had 2 5G buckets that I filled about 3/4 for the fish and 3 5G Primo water jugs that I use to fill with RO. I filled two of those with old tank water, and the third with new RO water. I would suggest two more new jugs of water as I didn't have enough since I didn't want to use the water the fish were actually in.

So at this point, the tank is drained completely on the side with 4" substrate and about a 1/4" water on the side with sand and DHG. I took everything off the suction cups (intake, outflow, and heater) and then wrapped the top in Saran Wrap to keep the humidity in the for bacteria and DHG.

My friend and I lifted the tank and took it to my truck, where it sat on the back seat on top of a pillow to level it out and a pillow behind to keep the weight evenly distributed. I had a blanket laid out that I wrapped the whole tank with, and then I seatbelted the tank in for safety (it wasn't going anywhere).

I loaded up the filter, the CO2 pieces, and the stand into the truck along with the water. And then I moved the fish buckets onto the floor board of my back seat. They were snug up against the back of my seat an the seats in the back, weren't moving.

When I got back I set up the stand, got the tank and placed it on it, removed the wrap and filled it up enough to get the filter going. The water was a little chilly (60° or so) so I started taking some out and heating it up on my stove to a good temp to get the fish in quicker. I then got the tank to 78° and then used the heater to get the bucket the fish were in to the same (they weren't far off, just had to be sure). And then I put them all back in besides the barbs, those are in a bucket with a temp filter and heater until I can take them to my LFS here tomorrow as they're too big for my tank and they tear it up.

So, that was quite the book, but I'd say it was pretty successful and everything seems fine so far and they've been in about 4 hours. They're already colored back up and acting like normal.
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