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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to move my 40 breeder scape to a new house. Luckily I don't have very many rocks or substrate in the scape and it's a small tank. Considering its size can I use some kind of manual lift? And a lubricant to slide it onto the lift? Maybe some shims?

Would I need a battery lift of some kind with a crane arm?

Any ideas?
 

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I need to move my 40 breeder scape to a new house. Luckily I don't have very many rocks or substrate in the scape and it's a small tank. Considering its size can I use some kind of manual lift? And a lubricant to slide it onto the lift? Maybe some shims?

Would I need a battery lift of some kind with a crane arm?

Any ideas?
You could get several buckets, fill them 3/4 full with tank water, place livestock and plants in one or two, three or four depending on the type of stock you have, plants can go in with fish. Transfer substrate to buckets, move tank reassemble.

Years ago I moved a 29gal, I drained the water down till the fish were basically on the substrate, got a friend to help me lift and move the tank then refilled the tank with no problems. This however has many, many ways things can go wrong, from spliting seams, dropped tanks, injury to livestock..... Bad way to do it but back then I was a little more daring and reckless:hihi:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Man, I really don't want to take it down. How do they move scapes to Aquarium Expos?
 

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I was at macna this last week I didn't see a single aquarium arrive with anything in it. All of them were delivered empty and set up at the show.
 

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Man, I really don't want to take it down. How do they move scapes to Aquarium Expos?
good question lol...

You will definitely have to break your tank down. It will not be fun.

I moved my 30 gallon to a new apartment and here's how I did it:

- Drain water into 5 gallon buckets. I saved about 1/2 the original water
- Keep filter media submerged in a container of tank water. DO NOT LET IT DRY OUT
- Take everything out - throw any plants/fish in the sheetrock bucketsof tank water
- Maybe rinse substrate (this might be a bad idea because of how much bacteria it kills but I did it anyways). My substrate was filthy. 3 year old tank.
- Set tank up in new location
- Put substrate back in tank
- Fill with existing tank water (again about 1/2) / fish
- Slowly top off with new water
- Put the filter(s) back on the tank
- Put plants and decorations back in
- Have a beer (or 5)

I only moved down the street but it SUCKS. IMO you should never try to move a tank > like 5 gallons that is any % full of water. If it breaks/cracks you are screwed. If you have to move far some people say to put airstones in with your fish to oxygenate the stagnant water during the trip.

This process took me at least 5 hours but I had minimal deaths. My entire fleet of about 6 danios died about 3 weeks later (except for 1 that is still alive lol). I don't know why... All other flora / fauna was 100% fine

Also do a lot of water changes because your tank might go through mini cycles once moved / filled with foreign water
 

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good question lol...

You will definitely have to break your tank down. It will not be fun.

I moved my 30 gallon to a new apartment and here's how I did it:

- Drain water into 5 gallon buckets. I saved about 1/2 the original water
- Keep filter media submerged in a container of tank water. DO NOT LET IT DRY OUT
- Take everything out - throw any plants/fish in the sheetrock bucketsof tank water
- Maybe rinse substrate (this might be a bad idea because of how much bacteria it kills but I did it anyways). My substrate was filthy. 3 year old tank.
- Set tank up in new location
- Put substrate back in tank
- Fill with existing tank water (again about 1/2) / fish
- Slowly top off with new water
- Put the filter(s) back on the tank
- Put plants and decorations back in
- Have a beer (or 5)

I only moved down the street but it SUCKS. IMO you should never try to move a tank > like 5 gallons that is any % full of water. If it breaks/cracks you are screwed. If you have to move far some people say to put airstones in with your fish to oxygenate the stagnant water during the trip.

This process took me at least 5 hours but I had minimal deaths. My entire fleet of about 6 danios died about 3 weeks later (except for 1 that is still alive lol). I don't know why... All other flora / fauna was 100% fine

Also do a lot of water changes because your tank might go through mini cycles once moved / filled with foreign water
+one don't try and move the tank with substrate deeper than a half inch or water more than half inch deep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Dang, that is a pain. When I asked DefniteAquascapeTV from YouTube. He said they move the tank "very carefully" They drain the tank and the refill it at the Expo. If you look at the tanks they all have established carpets of hair grass and HC etc... There is no way they replanted those setups. Maybe some, but look at Tropica's layouts. Do they have such dense growth that maybe they cut the foreground into large sections and then placed it back on the soil?

In this video you can clearly see the hair grass roots going down into the substrate. Given the substrate is very thin, so is mine.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aVESA3Q9Ls&list=UUnJlge221TRdnxm4eC4izlA

With a battery lift and crane arm I don't see why it can't be done.
 

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Well in the latest AGA journal Ole Pederen does say they (Tropica)moved their tanks to Interzoo 2014 by simply draining them and refilling them.

I have grown dhg outside and moved large sections of it into a tank before. It held onto the substrate pretty well fwiw.
 

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What is the bigger concern to you? breaking the tank during move or the water left in it tearing out the plants, etc?
Lots of various problems "could " come up, so drain and replant is safer for the tank but totals the other factor.
If breaking the tank is the big question, there are no totally safe ways to move without tearing down but there are ways to slant the odds in your favor. The tank can handle weight but not any twisting, so you can do the move IF you make sure there is no twisting. Depends on how the buildings lay out and what you have to haul it on or in.
Drained, slid onto something that will not twist like a commercial solid core door, carried out and slid into a cargo van? Good, steady, trust worthy guys and no stairs and you might make it. Seal the top during the move to keep the plants from drying too much and hope there is not enough water left in it to rush back and forth to tear plants out?
There's always risk involved in moving. Sometimes we just get to choose which poison looks better.
 

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I've done this several times without breaking down a tank. Bag the fish, drain the tank as low as you can get it. Save as much water as you can, I use empty water jugs something with a lid. You'll need 5 men ( upper body strength is crucial so chose wisely haha). One man on each corner and the 5th as an alternate/door opener/inspirational coach. If you have a dolly that turns into a cart even better, just lift the tank and set it down and push it to the truck. Lay down Blankets, towels, anything to absorb shock and protect the tank. Secure the tank with ratchet straps or rope so it won't move. Drive it to the new place with your buddies and set it up again. Almost forgot cover the top of the tank with saran wrap so it stays damp. If it was a long drive I would fill a squirt bottle with tank water and mist the tank if needed. Also if your not moving far set up a qt tank for the fish and move them first along with the filter, its much easier to deal with the fish and tank separately.
 

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Supporting the tank fully and evenly is the key. Even a twist that you cannot see might be enough to weaken the silicone.
Safest is of course to tear it down and redo.
If you want to risk it, however, go for it.

A sheet of (3/4" or 1" )subfloor plywood would be a good base, but the trick is to get the tank on and off it smoothly.
 

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I personally would drain it as much as possible, put livestock in a bucket, and just move it with the plants and rocks still remaining in the tank. Depending on how long of a move it is, it should be fine. With 2 people, and it being that size, I feel like it wouldn't split seams. But who knows. If you really wanted to, you could cut plywood to the exact size of the footprint of the tank, pick it up just to move it onto the plywood, and from there move the tank around by the plywood base.
 

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I moved a 75, 55, two 20s, and two 10s with two other people. We moved the tanks thirty minutes away. The whole thing only took 4 hours. No loss of plants or livestock. This included a 20L full of high grade CRS.

Everything except the 75 was simply drained, fish caught, and transported with everything else in it. The 75 gal had the major wood work and rocks removed, but substrate left in with about an inch of water. I didn't keep any water except for what was holding the fish and ten gallon from the CRS tank. Saving water is over rated. Don't waste your time lugging around jugs of water unless you have some very fragile specimens.

You do not need a crane to move a tank unless it's like 1000 gallons. Don't make this more complicated than it has to be. Drain the water, catch the fish, move the tank. Then fill it up and add the fish. Done and done! :)
 

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I have moved a few 20 longs and 29's. Drain the water, catch the fish. Then move the tank, with all the plants in it. You can cover the top with saran wrap to keep some moisture in. That should give you a reasonable amount of time to move the tank, at least a few hours, never took me longer than that. Plants should survive, etc.
 

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it sucks take it down, I have to move 15k of water twice in past year, plus all the monster fish that intail, the splash more but i am was always worried with my big tanks with little fish, especially the 30 neons..... btw lol how I moved my stuff was kegs,steaks and promise of those to friends
 

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..... btw lol how I moved my stuff was kegs,steaks and promise of those to friends
That's actually a big help. I have only had to move smaller tanks but I have never had help. I am telling my friend he needs to get on his 90 gallon reef tank but he think it won't be hard, as he has never done it. If we can get a 3 person team, it shouldn't be with enough time, with one person, it will not be fun, could easily become a 12 hour day of work.
 

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I've moved a 40 down the street. I had plenty of help, we walked it the whole way. Three people, tank just mostly drained, about an inch or so of water with all the big rocks removed. Two on the tank and one with the stand, running like mad to open doors and get the stand there first. It really wasn't all that bad.

We kept it as even as we could, but it sloshed a bit. I just worked to get it set up quickly after that and did some water changes. I tried to keep the time with little water and no filters to a minimum. I also bribed liberally, they helped me move everything else thought too. Just did the tank absolute last and took some time to get it up and running again.

If it was across the country I probably would have broken it down, but I knew we could do it in a few minutes. I'd have been comfortable up to a few hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I moved a 75, 55, two 20s, and two 10s with two other people. We moved the tanks thirty minutes away. The whole thing only took 4 hours. No loss of plants or livestock. This included a 20L full of high grade CRS.

Everything except the 75 was simply drained, fish caught, and transported with everything else in it. The 75 gal had the major wood work and rocks removed, but substrate left in with about an inch of water. I didn't keep any water except for what was holding the fish and ten gallon from the CRS tank. Saving water is over rated. Don't waste your time lugging around jugs of water unless you have some very fragile specimens.

You do not need a crane to move a tank unless it's like 1000 gallons. Don't make this more complicated than it has to be. Drain the water, catch the fish, move the tank. Then fill it up and add the fish. Done and done! :)

This is exactly what I am thinking. doesn't have to be a big deal. I am lucky. I am right next to the garage and there will be no stairs. I just need to come up with my own way of sliding it onto the lift. I am definitely getting some kind of movable table lift. Going to rent one. As well as several buddies. And I will be sliding the tank into the back of my Jeep, most definitely. I have moved drained tanks before, just never one with plants, wood and substrate. I love this scape too much and will not rescape. I think I can handle the task.
 
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