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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. I will more than likely be moving in the next month or so. I currently have a 33 long setup with lots of plants and fish. I plan on taking the entire setup with me. What is the best way to make it easier and safe for the fish? Because I obviously I will not be setting up the tank immediately. I was thinking of transporting them either in a bucket or huge plastic tub, and keeping them in one or the either until I setup the tank. It's mostly guppies along with nine glowlight tetras, though the tetras I am not entirely sure if I will be keeping or not.
 

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5 gallon buckets with lids! Get some of your water from your tank and into the 5 gallon buckets and add some prime. If distance you'll need to move the fish isn't much then you should be fine. Leave a few inches off the top for some 'breathing room'. If at all possible, do these last so you can set your tank up in your new home and then add the fish back in. Good luck and let us know how everything goes!
 

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Is this a one-day move (have to be out of the old place same day moving into new)? Or do you have some overlap?

When we moved recently I was able to setup a temporary tank at the new house. Prepped by cycling an extra sponge filter in the main tank. Then setup an old 20G at new house, barebones with just the filter and heater, sitting on the floor. You could use a plastic bin in a pinch. Brought the fish over into the temp tank, and then was able to move the permanent setup without stress and rushing. Also if something unforeseen happens during the move (tank gets cracked, filter gets broken, etc) you are covered and aren't scrambling to figure out a temporary setup.
 

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Moving is a time of stress and doing things carelessly can double the stress, so it is worth considering doing it right!
For a short move like under a couple hours, a plastic bag laid on the seat next to you is good enough as we all take fish home from the shop that way. All you need to consider then is how many and what type fish for each bag and double bag them to avoid them getting stuck in the corners of the bag. To do the double bag, put them in one bag, close it and then turn it over to put in another bag as this makes rounded corners rather than killer points.
But if you are going long distance, do it like the folks who ship fish! Buckets and lids are killers if you have one of those "panic stops" and the bucket turns over as the lid pops off really easy and fish die quick when you don't have water!
To keep the fish aline as well as cut your stress, get a surplu styro shipping box from a LFS and do it like they would. A big plastic bag with enough water to let the fish swim but mostly full of air, sealed well and then into a cardboard box will survive even if thrown in the floor during a wreck.
Don't be wookie and do it right for the best trip. But it always does better if you adapt to what the situation needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Is this a one-day move (have to be out of the old place same day moving into new)? Or do you have some overlap?

When we moved recently I was able to setup a temporary tank at the new house. Prepped by cycling an extra sponge filter in the main tank. Then setup an old 20G at new house, barebones with just the filter and heater, sitting on the floor. You could use a plastic bin in a pinch. Brought the fish over into the temp tank, and then was able to move the permanent setup without stress and rushing. Also if something unforeseen happens during the move (tank gets cracked, filter gets broken, etc) you are covered and aren't scrambling to figure out a temporary setup.
We are not entirely sure but I think this will be done over the process of a weekend. I would like to just transport the fish to the new house, put them in a huge tub filled with existing tank water/temps, and then bring the tank to the new house, setup, then add the fish.

I would like to just empty out the water out of the tank down to the substrate and see if I can move it like that, but I don't know if that's advisable lol but it would be nice if it would work because I wouldn't have to do anything except fill up the tank with water, no rescaping adding plants back into the right places or anything like that.
 

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On moving the tank itself, it is a risk and I do often take that risk but I do some things to cut the risk. One thing to keep in mind is how heavy wet sand or dirt can be and how much danger there is in not being ready for the weight! We can often just about lift it, so we go for two guys to do the job! NOT good as that leaves you no hands free to open the door, hold the door again the wind and all those little things that get real big if one guy makes one small slipup!
Biggest danger in moving tanks with stuff in them is twisting, so I add safety by tipping one end up, sliding something that won't twist underneath that also sticks out to give good handles to avoid those slips. A 2X 12 a bit longer than the tank often works well for me.
And having a wife, girlfriend, kids, etc. around just for opening and holding doors or other small unforeseen things can really help a lot!
On planning how long the fish need to stay in "storage" has to figure in how much the sub will stir while moving and refilling with water and that is almost certain to require keeping them out of the tank for overnight or more, so I set up to let them stay as long as it takes. One reason I like the boxes is that they hold the temp well as well as giving a pretty reasonable amount of space for water for everybody. A styro box with a plastic trashcan liner can make a good "tank" for several days if needed.
 

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On moving the tank itself, it is a risk and I do often take that risk but I do some things to cut the risk. One thing to keep in mind is how heavy wet sand or dirt can be and how much danger there is in not being ready for the weight! We can often just about lift it, so we go for two guys to do the job! NOT good as that leaves you no hands free to open the door, hold the door again the wind and all those little things that get real big if one guy makes one small slipup!
Biggest danger in moving tanks with stuff in them is twisting, so I add safety by tipping one end up, sliding something that won't twist underneath that also sticks out to give good handles to avoid those slips. A 2X 12 a bit longer than the tank often works well for me.
And having a wife, girlfriend, kids, etc. around just for opening and holding doors or other small unforeseen things can really help a lot!
On planning how long the fish need to stay in "storage" has to figure in how much the sub will stir while moving and refilling with water and that is almost certain to require keeping them out of the tank for overnight or more, so I set up to let them stay as long as it takes. One reason I like the boxes is that they hold the temp well as well as giving a pretty reasonable amount of space for water for everybody. A styro box with a plastic trashcan liner can make a good "tank" for several days if needed.
Nice. Sounds like its not your first nor second rodeo! :laugh2:
 

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Just chiming in with a few ideas- I think it's a good idea to have a small sponge filter or just airstone on a pump (usb pumps are nice and quiet I've discovered) to keep water circulating when the fishes are waiting in the tub. As much plants/hardscape/established filter media you could put in the tub w/them will help keep water params stable. Small partial wc once or twice a day will also help.

I would be really leery of moving my 33 w/the substrate and plants in it, honestly. If you're going to try that, have something very flat and sturdy you can slide it onto? and carry by that board underneath. If you just pick it up by the frame w/weight inside seems risky the bottom glass might break. The only tanks I've moved drained down to substrate were my 1.5 gal and 10g. Anything larger I empty it all the way.
 

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The problem with moving the tank without something solid underneath is that twisting is what we want to avoid and it is really nearly impossible for two guys to lift in an exact uniform way. Even one guy will have one arm stronger than the other and tend to lift that side a bit more, so when we look at two guys moving up and down and around things, it gets nearly impossible for both to be lifting the same at all times and tanks don't give us any warning when they are feeling the stress. The first notice is the big "pop" we get when a panel cracks!
Glass is just not meant to take bending and a big solid board underneath is one way to cut that hazard. Plus it certainly gives a lot more to hang onto. We are taking a chance when we move it with stuff in the tank but we can at least do a little extra to cut that risk.
I have done some fish moving in living in six states and then I moved a lot of fish when going to fish auctions at ACA conventions! I've killed more fish than the law allowed--- but I'm getting better!
 

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Remove everything. a 33 long is a 4' long tank not built with really thick glass as it's only 12" tall. Twisting is a real concern. Just take the extra step of pulling the substrate out of it.... You will regret the aftermath if you try to shortcut it. I once moved a 10gal from my home to my office that was drained except for the residual water in the substrate. Hooked back up.... filled it water.... 8 hours later 10 gallons of water on the floor. I had managed to comprimise the seal between two panes moving it with the weight of the gravel....
 

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If it is going to be a shorter move over multiple days to a week, I'd plan on moving the livestock first with the heater and filter into a temporary arrangement (maybe a tote) to a place that will be out of the way at the new place. That gives you more time to move your plants, substrate and hardscape to buckets, move the tank, and get everything all set back up before you move the livestock, filter and heater back into the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If it is going to be a shorter move over multiple days to a week, I'd plan on moving the livestock first with the heater and filter into a temporary arrangement (maybe a tote) to a place that will be out of the way at the new place. That gives you more time to move your plants, substrate and hardscape to buckets, move the tank, and get everything all set back up before you move the livestock, filter and heater back into the tank.
Yes this is probably what I will do. I am guessing the move will take no longer than three days.

I find that huge 32 gallon tubs that they make with lids for storage (though not using the lid) are quite handy for this. I think they are 32 gallons anyways. They usually have difference sizes so I'm not sure.

I was actually going to originally re-home my fish, which are primarily guppies. But darn'it, I like the little buggers. I don't really wanna see them gone. Great personality, very colorful, they move around everywhere in the tank, very into everything. I think I would be sad to see them go.
 

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Home depot has hdx totes at 55 and 70 gallons too.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Will look into it. So. We will be moving to a place temporarily very soon while everything is being worked out with our mortgage.

The only bummer is... I am going to have to essentially tear down this tank twice and move it twice lol I had toyed with tearing it down and leaving it in storage until we move into our house. But that would mean I would have to tear down all the plants, re-home the fish and pretty much start again from scratch which I DON'T want to do. So it'll be coming with us. Not the biggest deal. I love this tank and don't want it to change and want to have it around wherever I can. My in laws were nice enough to let me set it up at their house.
 

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Just an order-of-operations thing, I’ll tell you how I moved the last time. I also had a weekend to make the move…

Assuming everything is packed, Saturday we moved everything except the tank. On Saturday night, I spent the night putting together the beds, getting the coffee pot, hygiene stuff, etc all set. Sunday, my wife and the kids stayed at the new house while I went to the old house and started breaking down the tank. Once everything was packed up (same way as others have suggested), I called a buddy of mine to help get the tank and storage bin to and from the car with me. Once we got to the destination, I set the filter and heater back up, got the fish into their (bare) tank, helped with the last couple of things the family needed, and got some sleep. I also had Monday off of work, so I spent Monday getting the tank set up properly. I used the same tub as I used to move them. I kept my plants floating in the tank during the week, and replanted everything the following weekend.

Basically, the goal was to get the fish into their new home as quickly as possible, while doing as little as possible for the actual tank setup. That kept my wife from bi!ching that I was only worried about the tank, while making the move as stress free as possible on the fish.
 
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