Moving with a planted 55 gal and a planted 20 gal - Ideas - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Moving with a planted 55 gal and a planted 20 gal - Ideas

Hey, I would like to get some input in how to move with 2 aquariums.

We are moving almost 700 miles away and I am wondering what the best way would be to get the tanks moved. I have 2 ideas for the fish:

Idea 1: Put them in bags and then in a carton with isolation, similar to when fish stores get fish delivered. (So it would be dark)

Idea 2: Move the fish in buckets with a lid with a few holes in and a battery operated air pump.

What do you guys think?

Then, the plants also in a bucket or bags? Which way would work better.

We are taking down the tanks on a Saturday and should be able to put them back up either Sunday night or Monday morning. Would Friday be okay too to take down the tanks or would the time frame be too long?


There are following fish living in the 55 gal: 3 Angels, 3 Blackskirts, 2 Denison Barbs, 1 Betta, 10 Cory Cats, 1 King Tiger Pleco, 1 Red Lizard Whiptail Catfish, a few shrimp, 1 Hillstream Loach and a few Platies and Mollies.

In the 20 gal are Red Cherry Shrimp, 2 African Dwarf Frogs and 1 Bristlenose Pleco.

The 55 gal also has a canister filter: Should I leave the water in there? From the other tank: Transport filter media soaked in water or dry?

I know it's a lot of questions but I hope I can get this all organized so everything will move just fine

I am open to any suggestions, concerns, ideas. Of course I am trying to get everything moved alive and try to prevent big problems but I have never moved with a big tank like that.

Regards from Nadine
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 03:12 PM
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Idea 1 is safer..just make sure that while you are packing the fish you add some oxygen too...that way the fish will easily go through the journey. You can pack the plants in plastic bags and mist the plants, then seal the bag and wrap it in newspaper. Finally you put the plastic bags in a box with polystyrene.

Leave the water in the canister. That way the BB wont die.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 03:26 PM
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I just recently (December) moved 8 tanks (2 40s, 4 20Ls, 2 10s) from Michigan to North Carolina. I had a lot of concerns for the move and was expecting to lose 2/3 of my stock (largely cories, barbs, tetras, ottos, and shrimp). I only ended up losing one panda cory on the trip (and he actually went into shock during the tank breakdown and trying to catch him). The trip was around 800 miles or so and we made it over 2 days (with an overnight at a hotel).

I went the bucket route. 5 gallons with sealing lids. I didn't even put an air pump on them. Just filled them around 1/2 full with water and called it a day. I think I had around 12 buckets for all the stock. 6-10 or so fish and a good portion of plants per bucket. With the water that naturally sloshes it seemed to be more than enough air for them. When we overnighted at the hotel, I took all the buckets inside the hotel to drop an airline into each (and to keep them from freezing overnight).

The buckets also worked out well because it gave me a lot of water from their old tanks to help acclimate them to the new water and there were no concerns during the move of crushing or puncturing any bags or boxes. Plus they stacked nicely and you can never have too many buckets. I would suggest the bucket route for you as well, especially with the larger fish, but I think either could work.

Other thing I made sure to do was make the fish (and more importantly the aquariums) the last thing on the truck and the first thing off the truck. Turned down the heaters on my tanks 1-2 degrees per day over the week proceeding the move and also started cutting back the food. 2 days before the move I had the heaters completely off and stopped feeding all together. Then the morning of the move I got up early and broke down their tanks. First thing I did when I got to the destination was set the tanks back up (no scapes, just heaters, filters etc). Since I was largely filling the tanks with tap (approx 2/3 the tanks) I declored heavily and set the heaters to about 2-3 degrees above the temp of the water in the buckets. I put the fish buckets to the side and unloaded the rest of the stuff while I waited for the water to get up to temp (which took most of the day).

When I put the fish into the tanks, I had one bucket without any fish (just plants). I put the plants aside and poured that water into the first tank I was going to stock and then just emptied each buck of fish and tank water to their respective tanks. I ended up putting about 1/4 tank water in each tank by just staying one bucket ahead of where my fish were going. When the fish for a bucket were all out, then I put the water from that bucket into the tank that the fish from the next bucket were going to go into. The most hardy fish went into the tanks first (since the first fish in a tank got the most shock of changing water conditions). A drip acclimate would have been ideal, but I didn't have the time or energy for that.

It ended up taking me a few days to get all the plants into the tanks and I'm confident I lost a number of crypts because of the delay. But the fish were in the tanks and happy by the end of the first day. Fed them the next morning and they were no worse for the wear.

Big things to remember through the whole thing is to keep the fish in the buckets (or bags) as little time as possible (mine were in buckets for approx 36 hours with a bubbler for 6-8 hours in the middle). This is best accomplished by ensuring that they (and all the aquarium stuff) are last on and first off the truck. Make sure anybody your moving with also understand that so that nothing gets buried (sucks if the heaters are in a box in the middle of the truck) and also so that they understand that there is a reason for playing with your fish while there is work to be done. Only other big concern would be temp issues, but unless your going to be running through really warm part of the country, it shouldn't be too much an issue. But remember, if you have them in a trailer, it can get a lot warmer inside the trailer than it is outside.

As the the canister filters, I have no suggestions. I run sponges and HOBs.

I hope my experience is a bit helpful and I wish you luck on the move.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 08:40 PM
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The nitrifying bacteria will travel best if it is kept cool, and humid. It does not have to be under water.
For a very short move I have just drained the water then stuffed the filters (small HOBs) into a garbage bag. For a longer move I would take more care not to damage the filters. Put the media in a bucket with whatever water is dripping from it, disassemble the filter enough to fit it in the bucket or transport it separately. Whatever is safest. This would work for a can or HOB. Do not pack the media tightly. Allow room for air movement.

Leave it in the car overnight, as long as it won't actually freeze, or bring it in the hotel room and stash it in the coolest place.

When in doubt, add some bottled bacteria to each tank. Make sure you get Nitrospira species of bacteria, don't waste your money on anything else.
You will not have to give a full dose to each tank. Assume that you have killed maybe 25% of the bacteria? Just a little to help boost the population.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-08-2014, 02:33 PM
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I'll be moving my 55 in September. I was lucky enough to be given an extra tank and hob. Since I'll only be moving 30 miles , I'll start the extra hob on my existing tank a month prior. Taking 2 5-gallons buckets at a time out of my tank and moving it to the new one. Within a month, I'll have my original tank and a clone tank if you will. I realize your move is much longer, but thought I'd share my master plan


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-08-2014, 02:45 PM
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Every time I move I put the fish and plants into a 10 gallon cooler. Largest move was 9 hours- probably 12 hours between tank tear-down and setup. No fish lost.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-09-2014, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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I know we will drive the whole 700 miles in one day, no hotel stops. Since we have the moving truck with us I'm sure it will take longer than the 11 hours with our truck. So I would take tanks down Saturday night as we will be leaving very early Sunday morning. Will it help the fish if I split my plants up with the fish? And what maximum amount would be there for fish per bucket or bag? Didn't decide yet which I like better. They would be riding in the cap with us so it wouldn't get too warm.

Thank you all for some great answers, I'm now less nervous

Regards from Nadine
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-09-2014, 06:49 PM
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I don't have any great ideas or suggestions for you but good luck with moving your tank.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-10-2014, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dina-Angel View Post
I know we will drive the whole 700 miles in one day, no hotel stops. Since we have the moving truck with us I'm sure it will take longer than the 11 hours with our truck. So I would take tanks down Saturday night as we will be leaving very early Sunday morning. Will it help the fish if I split my plants up with the fish? And what maximum amount would be there for fish per bucket or bag? Didn't decide yet which I like better. They would be riding in the cap with us so it wouldn't get too warm.

Thank you all for some great answers, I'm now less nervous
If you are the one driving, then you are going to appreciate breaking down the tanks the night before. The day will be plenty long without you adding 4-5 hours to it by waking up early or even worse pulling an all-nighter. However if you can drive in shifts and can sleep in the car then you might he able to pull it off. But if you are going to do it that morning be sure to give yourself plenty of time. Nobody is going to want to be waiting on you to net out those problem fish in the morning, they will want to hit the road.

If you go the bag route, then plants and fish go in separate bags. If you go buckets, then you can get away with them in the same bucket.

Personally I would prolly go the bucket route and tear down the tank the night before. That way I can run bubbles in the buckets overnight and when I got to the destination before I got the tank set up. I wouldn't bother too much with a bubbler during the drive. To me buckets offer more time and leeway in how I do the rest of the trip. That said bags could also work (They make it across the country all the time.) I just don't have a lot less experience with them personally and I have seen the bucket method work.

As for how much per bucket or bag, it will depend on the size of bag, fish, and temperament. If going by 5 gal bucket (half full with water) I would say maybe around 12-18 inches of fish per bucket as a rough estimate. But basically unless you have more than 20 fish in a school (and maybe even if you do), then all of the species into the same bucket. If they are smaller schools (10 or less) then two species in the same bucket preferably from species in different areas of the tank -- like matching corys with tetras. With larger fish (like full grown angels) you might want to limit to 3-4 per bucket and that's only if none of them are known for being mean. When I moved a dwarf puffer got his own bucket just because I didn't want to risk what it would do to another fish in that confined of an environment (even though he lives in a barb and Krib community tank normally).

Last edited by cjipping; 06-10-2014 at 11:18 PM. Reason: added
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, thank you so much! Will go with the buckets. We are leaving now Saturday night so I have all day long to sort and catch my fish

Regards from Nadine
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