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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we finally got our offer accepted on a home (Grand Rapids real estate market is insane lol). Closing will be in June.

I haven't posted pictures lately, but my FW 120 grows so fast now I can hardly keep up.

I'm not too worried about moving the fw tank, but the sw tank is going to be a bear. I know a lot of the FW stuff will be fine in baggies and what not (such as the plants), without air stones. And I have a big cooler for the fish.

But the SW tank is a whole other story. Its a 125ish gallons, and has softies, about 150lbs of live rock, and a lot of sand.

Does anyone have any advice for moving a SW tank? The new house is only a few miles down the road, but its hard to move one tank let alone two. Especially when I've never transferred a SW tank.

I have a spare heater, along with both 300 Watt heaters from the FW and SW tanks. I have a plethora of air pumps, which I think we can just run using the inverter we have.

Thanks in advance for any advice. We are going to have a moving company move our pool table and the FW tank as its glass, but the SW tank we are going to do ourselves more likely then not as it is acrylic, and I really don't want to deal with setting up two tanks at once.
 

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Moving a SW tank isn't too much different from moving a FW tank, but there are some considerations. You can bag up the fish and corals with out too much of a problem just like you do for FW. Since it looks like you'll be doing this project in June, you need not worry too much about keeping the livestock warm.

What your going to need at the new location is new SW. Get a couple of those 50 gal rubbermaid trash cans, a couple of power heads and heaters. Clean them out good. Mix up new SW a day or two before your going to move. Make sure the SG of the new water matches your tank.

You are also going to need new sand. If your going to use dry sand, you may need to prewash it. Do not attempt to move your existing sandbed, since stirring that up will release a lot of stuff you don't want in the water.

On moving day, bag up your fish, corals, and live rock. It is possible to ship live rock damp but you'll usually see some die off then. Bag up about 10 bounds of the existing sand, taken from the top layer. Discard the rest of the sand. This small amount of sand will be used to seed the new sandbed. Also bag up as much of the existing water as you can.

Transport everything to the new location and using the new sand set up the tank. Use as much of the old water as you can and fill the rest of the tank with the new water you mixed.

Monitor things closely the first few days. Feed very lightly. Your looking for possible ammonia spikes, but as long as you were careful with everything you often will not see anything.
 

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+1 to everything mentioned above. I have moved salt tanks 3x but not across state.

Rubber made tubs with lids work great for rock and water storage for the move. And plan everything ahead as much as you can, will make it easier on yourself.


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When I deal with storing water, I find the trashcan type items may often have some major faults as they are not designed to hold liquids. They tend to have weak spots or flex too much when filled repeatedly. When shopping, stick your head inside a trash container with bright light outside and you can often see the points where the plastic was injected. They show up as bright points. Those thin spots are potential leaks! It is not that they don't work, just that I find better alternatives.
In many metro areas, food grade barrels are easy to find and really much cheaper than the trashcans. Since barrels are designed for long term storage of liquids, they last much better.
Try checking local ads like Craigslist for barrels that will last forever and not rust. I like the vanilla or strawberry flavored that are used for cookies and cakes! They are a whole lot more fun to rinse out than the soy sauce!
 

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One other thing I should mention. Don't try to move your tank on the day of your actual move. On that day you'll be busy enough with everything involved there. Move your tanks either before or after that day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well the good thing, is we are just moving out of my BF's mothers house. So in reality, we can actually take our time with everything. Part of me almost wants to set up the 40 long we have outside in the yard (it could break at any time, both rims are cracked eek), and put the SW fish in there so we can take our time aquascaping the tank.

Is it really necessary to throw out all the live sand? That crap was EXPENSIVE lol. Does a really good wash suffice? Like a handful of freshwater water changes once all the critters are out, stirring up the sand bed constantly?

We have some of those really heavy duty rubbermaids with the wheels that I used when I went from the 40 long to the 120. And they fit a HOB perfectly on the edge too. They were expensive, but they don't bow even when filled to the very top.

I guess SW isn't too different from FW, but it just seems like so much of a bear compared to fw. My FW fish are all pretty hardy, and I'm comfortable with FW tank moves, but SW there's a lot more elements involved.

I will definitely pre-mix new water. Luckily our water source is the same at this house, as our current house, same township. (Our water is SPECTACULAR right out of the tap, have never had a need to use RO even for the SW, has a good amount of calcium and minerals, but its not too hard, and pH out of the tap is always between 7.4-7.6). So hopefully water wise, it won't be much of a difference for all the fish.

Boy this is going to be stressful moving two tanks.....

And in a year I have to move the pond inhabitants as well (and dig a new one), that will be interesting with 24" koi....
 
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