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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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I moved my 90g about 30 miles. Just drained it down where there was about an inch of water left. I couldn't catch all the shrimp and bottom fish. Removed the large wood and rocks. We used a furniture dolly for all the moving in and out of the houses with the tank on the stand. Then each set side-by-side in the truck bed. Canister filter was drained and closed back up but not cleaned. Day or so later after the mud settled you wouldn't have guessed the tank had been moved.

It took all we had for the two of us to lift it and move it around. It helped that my helper owned a fish store and service business and knew what he was doing. lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Its a 46 gallon tank and has a stand which is closed on all sides ( a cabinet). The difficulty will be to move the cabinet and the tank. I am afraid if I take the tank off the cabinet, the bottom might give away even if i just keep the substrate and minimum amount of water for the fishes that I wont be be able to get out of the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I moved my 90g about 30 miles. Just drained it down where there was about an inch of water left. I couldn't catch all the shrimp and bottom fish. Removed the large wood and rocks. We used a furniture dolly for all the moving in and out of the houses with the tank on the stand. Then each set side-by-side in the truck bed. Canister filter was drained and closed back up but not cleaned. Day or so later after the mud settled you wouldn't have guessed the tank had been moved.

It took all we had for the two of us to lift it and move it around. It helped that my helper owned a fish store and service business and knew what he was doing. lol
Thanks, I will defenitely try this. I had planned to remove about 80% of the water but didnt know how to get the tank and the cabinet out. I live on the 5th floor of an appartment comples and therefore the move becomes even harder and needs to be planned out. I have just spent too much of time and effort setting up the tank to have to tear it down, plus it is going to mess my substrate up if I try to pull the plants out...
 

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I moved my 45 gal w/ gravel, a couple plants, and about 1/4 water in it without the bottom showing any strain what-so-ever. No cracks or creaks. I lived on a 3rd floor in a complex and me and a friend were able to carry it down into a truck with a lot of effort.

It just being in that apartment complex and having those flights of stairs that is going to cause the issues...automatically rules out using a hoist or dolly. If you seperate the tank from the cabinet and drain at least 50% of the water...and have a strong friend, I think you should be able to do it. Keeping the tank completely full and/or in the cabinet just isn't going to happen.
 

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I've had to move my 55 gallon a couple times and I've found this to be the easiest method.

1. Get a couple 5 gallon buckets with bait bucket lids. These will have a lid in the center, will usually have small holes around the center lid and one larger hold on one side for an air hose. Get a small battery powered aerator for each bucket. If you have a sports store with fishing equipment nearby, they should have these items. Just don't use a Rubbermaid container. Don't ask me how I know this.

2. When it comes time to move the aquarium, start by filling each bucket needed approximately 2/3 of the way with water from your tank. Then, start catching fish and transferring them to the buckets. Be sure not to overcrowd them, but keeping the same species and similar type fish together seems to help. Turn on the aerators and set them aside. The fish will be the last to be loaded and first to be unloaded, so keep this in mind when loading your vehicle.

3. Take out any heavy rocks, logs or other large pieces.

4. Remove filter and any other electrical items like a heater. Drain enough water out of the filter so it can be easily moved, but keep some water in it to keep your bacteria alive during the move.

5. Drain as much water as possible. The substrate and any remaining water is still going to be pretty heavy. It will also help by doing the least amount of disturbance to the substrate.

6. Make the move once everything is loaded up. When you get to the next destination, start by removing the buckets with the fish. Then, set up the aquarium pretty much like it was new.

I've yet to have a fish die on me using this method. Though it's not absolutely necessary, I think keeping the water the fish are in aerated keeps them healthier during the move by stressing them a little bit less.
 

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I once moved a 30 gallon tank with 20+ cichlids 400 miles (in winter) w/o problems.

I'd tear the tank down completely. Put the fish, filter media, and substrate in buckets of the tank water. If it's only 30 minutes you don't need to worry about an airstone or heater.

Just because someone here was able to move a tank w/ water and substrate in it w/o a problem doesn't mean you'll have the same luck. IMO, it's well worth the piece of mind to tear everything down and move the tank empty than it is to move it with any amount of significant weight (esp water which will obviously move and shift the stress points).

Tanks are designed to sit on a level surface and hold water. It doesn't mean they will fail when put in another circumstance, but do you really want to risk 46 gallons of water letting loose?

I wouldn't.
 
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