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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am moving to a new place. I have tank that is cycled and well set. Any idea on how to move it without tearing down the tank? The travel time will not be more than half an hour, though the road can get bumpy at times.
 

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Well grab filter media, put it in a bucket with a battery powered air stone. Plants wrap in newspaper and keep in dark place so they dont try to photosysnthesize. Tear down tank. Transport. Rebuild. Filter media should last about an hour or two with tank water and an air stone. U will still lose a lot of BB but it multiplies quickly besides ur plants are covered in bb too

And also its not wise to move a full tank. Bottom brace wasnt meant to handle that stress. Look at it like this. My 29 gallon weighs around 400 pounds with water, substrate and hardscape. Water is 8 pounds per gallon. Ur going to need to break it down. At least removing 80% of the water..
 

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I just recently moved a 29 gallon about 20 miles away by only taking out around 3/4 the water and removing anything that would break something. No problems not even a cloudy tank when i refilled it.

Just my experience.....
 

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Hey,

I'm just about to move house too. I have external filter. Was planning on shutting off water and just transporting like that. I figure the filter will be shut off for about 2/3 hours before being hooked back up to the tank.

Will this be a problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks HD Blazing wolf - I am planning to remove the water, however I dont want to tear down the tank. I have just spent too much time and effor in getting it to where it is. I took about a month to root out.. also, if I remove the plants, it will mess up the substarte. I have a layered substrate with 3 different components forming 5 layers. The move is sudden and was not factored in, otherwise I would have setup the tank only after moving.
 

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I remove most of the water and put the airsone in a bucket with the filter media over top of the airstone to keep the bacteria alive. I was just reading about bacteria, filter media, and power outages and the lack of oxygen for prolonged periods of time can kill of the BB. If you move the tank quickly with no other distractions I think you can do it easily, just don't stop for a Slurpee or to get gas, etc., so let us know how you did.
 

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Drain tank, lay newspaper inside to keep plants where they are. Don't pat it down. Will help increase stability. If the plants/scape moves it will be minimal.

30 minutes isn't long at all. Don't worry about bacteria.
Even at 24 hours bacteria is still alive and kicking.

Don't worry!!!

I suggest setting up your stand asap.
Add water back into the tank by pouring over the newspaper.
After filling in your tank, pull out the newspaper.
Scape should be 99% perfecto!

-Gordon
 

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I bought tank off of Craigslist a few months ago that was fully planted and had to transport it roughly an hour and half (90 minute drive). Here's how we did it:

  • The Night Before
    • The seller removed the fish (14 cardinals, 3 rams, a few otos and 6 or so amano shrimp) to a 5 gallon bucket with one of two cannister filters hooked up to it (an eheim 2232). The other cannister was left filled but off for roughly 24 hours.
    • Don't clean the filters
    • Four 5 gallon buckets where filled with tank tank water (roughly 50% of the tank)
    • Tank stayed overnight ~50% full.
    • Lights were taken down and packed away for transport
  • Day of move
    • Don't feed the fish in the bucket, they're fine
    • move everything that you don't need first before you touch the tank
    • Minutes before lifting the tank from the stand, drain it down as far as you can and keep or discard the water, up to you, remove any huge hardscapes that might shift, i had none so didn't have to worry, and cover with wet papertowels, newspaper, platic bags, or whatever you have to keep the moisture in.
    • carefully lift the tank. If you will be using a minivan to facilitate the move, try puttin the tank directly behind the driver/passanger seats that way you can slide the tank in from the side and remove it from the side without having to do any crazy back breaking bending.
    • think about laying the tank on 2x4 rather than flat on the floor of the moving vehicle. This will allow you to better ensure a flat surface (even though only a few points are touching) and will also allow space for your fingers/hands.
    • if you have to push or pull the tank into position in your vehicle, do NOT push by the upper lip or glass sides, instead try to lift and place as much as possible. If that's not an option, push from the lower lip and with equal pressure, do NOT jerk the tank.
    • move the stand and everything else after the tank is secure. You shouldn't have to worry about strapping it down unless you drive like a nut or the surface it's on is slick.
    • repeat the above in reverse
    • take a break and relax a while
  • Days after move
    • Be prepared for a bacterial bloom if the substrate shifted around a lot
    • Relax some more :)

I lost one fish during the move (famale ram) but I think she was on her way out of this world alreayd anyway. I'm sure the move contributed to it, but not fully.

Good luck

*edit*
I seem to have transitioned from "how we did it" to "how you can do it" without noticing... oops! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
150EH, gordonrichards, andrews02r - Thank you for the detailed steps.

gordonrichards - I had one question - "Drain tank, lay newspaper inside to keep plants where they are". When I remove the water, mostlikely the stem plants are going to hit the substrate, are you saying the paper should be on top of the plants or lift the plants, put the paper underneath? I wanted to ensure that I take all efforts possible to keep plants from moving around and upsetting the substrate. Also there will be water in the tank, I have tetras in the tank and am sure will not be able to get all of them out. Also there are shrimps in the plants that surface only sometimes and I frankly dont know where they are most of the time.

I move at the end of the month. Will keep you posted.
 

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Adding the newspaper will prevent the stuff from moving around a ton. This will help with you and your move. I'd take some time and remove any fish if you want it to work. Either way you're going to have to either drive like a grandpa, or put the newspaper on top of everything. Lay it out sheet by sheet after removing the water. You'll understand once you start doing it.

-Gordon
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So the move happened and it went well. I am settled in the new place. Here is a before and after

Before


After






Took the water down to minimum and then put paper on top. The movers and packers brought along a hydraulic lift ( something similar to a furniture dolly) but they couldnt fit it in the lift. Then it was the old fashioned way. 6 guys lifted the tank along with the stand, moved it out and onto the vehicle. Then it was a very slow ride to the new place and lifted and moved the tank along with the stand to the 3rd floor.

Minimal damage. The substrate at the front moved around a bit and the HC got uprooted. I have not had much luck with the HC, my fishes keep uprooting it and now it was the move. Planted most it back but then I put my angels in and it is the same story, they have to uproot it. They like palying with it.

Thanks a Ton for all the advice.
 
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