moving tanks

james s_

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ok so i just bought a new home and will be moving in the week of the 20th.I have a 46 bowfront reef that has been set up for almost three years now and a 120 fowlr tank.My plan is to use salt buckets and small gladware containers to move the livestock going to attempt to salvage as much of the tank water as i can in water jugs.Has anyone got any good tips on moving that will help me save my tanks and livestock from the unthinkable.Id like to buy what i can this coming week to make sure i have everything i need to keep everything thinking i should keep all my livestock in something temporary until the tanks have some time to settle back down.should i sift the sand and clean it or should i just let it be?both tanks have a 4"+ sandbed.

any tips or suggestions would be extremely appreciated.thanks,james
James, I have some buckets and water jugs available if you need them.
mufret wrote: James, I have some buckets and water jugs available if you need them.

i may take you up on that if i dont have enough.thanks for the offer.
hey james i would clean the gravel as much as you can and also if you are waiting on putting the livestock in the tank until it stabalizes you might want to use some air pumps and also on the car ride if it is a long drive......... i did it this way and didnt have a problem didnt even loose a snail. yes i also have ALOT of buckets from my move/
I know from wwm (wetwebmedia) they'd advocate only keeping the top 2" or so of sand just to avoid any build up hydrogen sulfide. When I moved I threw out the sand b/c I had attempted to use a Southdown (Kolorscape) DSB, was fighting algae, and wanted a shallow SB anyway.
Not sure on the rules of posting here so I'll just recommend checking out wwm's section on moving for reference. If it weren't Thanksgiving weekend I'd offer to help.
I thought about using the air pump idea, but opted against the hassle since fish/coral survive much longer than 14 hours on a trip to your LFS. Also didn't lose anything. I believe my one frag loss during the second move was due to being careless with that particular frag.
im actually going to be putting my all my livestock from my reef into a frag tank that im buying from a guy next weekend.its dimensions are 6'x2'x12" i i will have the oppurtunity to clean the sand if need not planning on using the sand in the frag tank.

would it make since to take the sand out of both tanks and sift through them and wash it out real good?Or will that cause more problems?i could use the sand out of the reef tank ina remote dsb sump or something for the frag tank i actually going to be adding about 800 lbs of new sand to it to fill up my 240 cube and my 500 fowlr.It will probably be a few months until i get them setup though.

the car ride will only be about 10-15 minutes so air should not be a not moving too far.My main concern is the stuff im going to stir up when i break everything down.Plus im not looking forward to catching all the fish,and my three eels,it should be interesting to say the least.
Bhart90 wrote: also 46bfinga ummm corvettes are better than mustangs by the way!!!!!!!!!

i here ya man,you sound like my neighbor.heres a taste of my wifes stang!Not a corvette but not too shabby IMO.

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Im not exactly a pro but ive just moved my 75gal tank 4 hours away and the yesturday I just moved it from the garage to a new 90gal tank in the house.

On the long distance moved, it took about 7 hours from start to finish, I put everything in rubbermaid containers with large bags as liners. The bags were tied up and everything traveled in the back of a pickup truck. The temp was in the low 70s which worked out perfect. When we got to the destination the polyps and xenia (sadly thats all there is) were still out and pulsing, everything looked perfect. We just put the sand as is back in the tank and 2 months later no cycle at all.

On the move from the garage...
I used the same bag lined buckets, the other tank was already setup though minus water and the return pump. Everything took about 2 hours to switch. So far everything looks good but time will tell.
As for the sand, I didnt want to rinse it so it was nasty so... I suctioned out the last 1" of water in the old tank to try to clean the top of the sand bed, then put the sandin containers and tried to drain all of the water out, then put the sand in the new tank and added about 1" of water and suctioned it off, then added everything back. I hope I didnt disturb it too much but I just couldnt put the nasty sand back in the tank like that.
I would suggest the following:

Have plenty of saltwater already made up at your new location. This water needs to be at the correct salinity and temp.

Fill a bucket for your fish with clear tank water before you get started.

Take out your corals first, place them in buckets or containers of your choice (I used those square semi-transparent rectangular containers with hinged lids. They are stackable and when your done with the move, you can rinse them out and store you stuff in them)

Cover the corals with water.

Put all your rock in a box or bucket and cover them with water or if you don't have enough, cover with newspaper soaked in tankwater.

Net out the fish and any remaining inverts into the clear bucket of tank water. I would keep a heater and airstone in the livestock bucket(s) while moving everything.

Remove the sand bed and rinse with remaining tank water. Do not use tap water or the chlorine in the water will kill everything in the sand. Your goal is not to get the sand crystal clear, just to remove most of the detritus.

Reverse when you get to new location.

I think keeping old tank water is over rated. Keeping the sand and rock in a functional state is way more important IMO.
"I think keeping old tank water is over rated. Keeping the sand and rock in a functional state is way more important IMO.[/QUOTE]"

I agree completely..... You may want to concider purchasing some Brute trash cans...45 gallon.... they are great for moving large amounts of live rock and giving you the ability to keep them submerged in water.
When I do large setups or water changes over 60 gallons I use them to transport water. They come with pretty tight fitting lids.
thanks guys good thinking with the trash cans.when i rinse the sand should i use a strainer or a filter pad or something?so that only the smallest stuff goes thru or is there a better method?i have a 265 gallon water tank that im going to try and fill with ro/di before i move the tanks so i should be covered on hate to waste some of the old water though,all new water wont kill anything?
All new water won't kill anything as long as you take your time acclimating your livestock back into the tanks.
thanks for the help guys,now if i could just get the buyers of my house to stop moving the date im moving after the 1st.its the third time they have changed the date on us. :( oh well atleast ill have some more time to prepare the move.
you can fill the traash cans to the fill line at the top.... you don't have to lift them..... use a pump to pump the water from your truck into the new tank...
(work smarter not harder) hahhahha
as far as rinsing the you drain out all of the water you can out of your tank, agitate the sand as much as possible to dislodge as much detritis as possible while it is draining. If when you have drained your tank and feel there is still alot left you can fill it with some more r/o water and *rinse and repeat* so to speek.
way back at post 7 I said I lost a porite frag during the second move. Well it looks like it's making a recovery! It was being overtaken by some brown diatoms, but the snails found it, and it's happy once again.