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Moving a tank ?'s

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Ryan Thompson View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 23 2010 at 9:38am
So in about three weeks I will be moving my tank from Provo to Sandy. With good weather it is a 45 minute drive. Needless to say I am a little worried about the move overall.

I moved this tank from Lehi to Provo but that was only a 25 minute drive. The water went from 76F to 72F on that trip. I can only imagine how cold it is going to get in December on a 45 minute trip. Ouch

So what are suggestions people have?

I don't have the items necessary to really heat the water while we are driving. I will have a truck that has a cover on the bed so that will help keep things somewhat in check, in my opinion.

I have an idea of what to do.

Go buy some some styrofoam coolers and bag up all the corals I can. Then I will place some heat packs on the lid of the cooler (inside) to help maintain some heat for the drive. I will insulate the coolers with newspaper and other items to help temp control.

I have seen companies ship fish and corals this way and they arrive in good shape.

My next concern is the sand. I am switching tanks so I will have to disturb the sand. In my case it isn't a huge deal because I run a shallow sand bed anyways but it is never good to disturb an entire sand bed.

I do have some sand sitting in a bucket that I can rinse and then use some of my sand to seed the new sand bed.

Thoughts?

Thanks for any help!


Edited by Ryan Thompson - November 23 2010 at 9:41am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeffs_little_ocean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 23 2010 at 9:58am
Put your most sensitive corals in a container that will fit in the cab and heat the cab to 78.5 degrees lol.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ryan Thompson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 23 2010 at 10:03am
Originally posted by Jeffs_little_ocean Jeffs_little_ocean wrote:

Put your most sensitive corals in a container that will fit in the cab and heat the cab to 78.5 degrees lol.


LOL I forgot to mention that I will try to get as many buckets that have the fish and corals in them, in the cab with me. I would hope that me being a little uncomfortable will help keep water temps up a little.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bur01014 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 23 2010 at 1:08pm
Ya, fish and corals for sure inside....need someone with a suburban....I have moved my tank 2 times the last year...the first time was a disaster.....I attribute that to how I dealt with the sand.

I left the sand submerged in the tank and thought it would be okay....terrible cycle and outbreak of dino within a week of setup.  The second time I took everyone's advice and kept a cup full to seed, and then rinsed the crap out of the rest of it.  Sounds annoying, and it is....but man, night and day, my tank did very well after that move.  I also recommend aquascaping first, then adding sand last.  That way you have your rocks settled and just right, and don't have to try and rearrange crap in a foggy tank.  Add sand through a large PVC pipe set at the bottom of the tank, will reduce quite a bit of foggyness.  Also, I wouldn't rush to put fish in, leave them be in the totes for a day or so until tank clears and gets established. (powerheads, heaters etc. in totes)  I find this reduces fish loss to stress.  Corals on the other hand have always been fine just to throw in a few hours after tank temp has stabalized.  I would also have on hand for your size tank 15-20 gallons or so freshly mixed salt water.  Good luck, plan for several hours to make the trip(break down to setup).....a good 8 hours or more....and get plenty of sleep so you don't over stress the night before :)....

just a bunch of random thoughts that have helped me....

one last thought!  Look at your power situation at your new place....we moved and the outlets didn't have the third ground(had to get adapters)....also outlet distance to tank etc....power is most important immediately upon arrival, IMO.....just don't want any surprises when it comes to power....btw, is power even on yet? :)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Crazy Tarzan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 23 2010 at 1:20pm
Ryan, when your getting ready to move the tank get a hold of me.  I have a commander with rear heat that can hold 2-3 totes at least.  I'd be willing to help on the drive up, but I'll need to be able to plan ahead so my wife doesn't need the jeep, and to make sure I don't have any classes/assignments that day.
Was that in there yesterday? Casper--WY windier than ?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tcfab Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 23 2010 at 1:24pm
I would also just keep a cup of your old sand and ad new when you get to your new place. I did what bur01014 did and lost all my sps and a lot of my nice lps when I got to the new house.

If you know someone that could hold your corals for you untill you get into your new house and get the tank setup and your params in check, I would go that route
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 23 2010 at 9:06pm
You needn't be so worried. These things can slowly drop to as low as 60 degrees and will do just fine as they are slowly brought back up to 75.

I agree that coral especially should go into an insulated cooler to hold the warmth. Rock and sand in a cooler is a good idea as well.
Warm up the vehicle inside to where it's uncomfortable for you will keep it good for the tank stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick801 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 23 2010 at 10:16pm
Ryan if you need help let me know
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CapnMorgan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 23 2010 at 10:31pm
Ryan, I couldn't meet you in Provo, but could help you put it all back together in Sandy (depending on what day you decide to do it.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ryan Thompson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 23 2010 at 10:39pm
Nate, Nick and Steve,

Thanks so much for the offers! When I figure out a for sure date I will let you guys know. I should have myself and 2 others to take the tank down and pack up the truck. The truck is an extended cab so I have room for my fish and coral containers.

The one bad thing is that most of my rock has coral attached. We will see how I play tetris with the rocks.

I will be pulling out a cup or two of the current sand and using all new sand. Like I said, I have a 5 gallon bucket full of sand I can put in the tank. When I set up this tank I bought a 40lb bag of dry sand and only used like half of it, if that.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions this far. Keep them coming.

I think I am going to ask John at Reef Runners if I can have some of his livestock boxes to move things.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kay181 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 24 2010 at 4:08am
inverters and heaters  inverters are cheap now days keep all water temps the sameWink
day light scares me im going back under
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 24 2010 at 8:49am
It would be better to do more than a cup or two of old LS otherwise there won't be enough biofiltration to handle the pollution caused by the move. A moved tank is very similar to a new tank.

Do you recall what I have said about the sand bed being the home of more than 50% of the biofiltration? Sand re-populates fairly quickly anyway, but it will do much better much faster if more LS is used. It's really all about preserving a significant portion of the bacterial population and bugs in the sand, while removing from the system the major percentage of detritus. This should make intuitive sense to all of us, but perhaps more so to the hobbyist that is into the bacterial driven filtration system.

If it were me... let me see...the numbers...
I would use at least 50% of the previous sand rinsed just once quickly in freshwater, and then immediately put into the tank with a layer of LW from the tank. Then I would add clean new sand and mix it in. I would then add 20% of the old LS (previously removed early on before the remainder of old water got all mucky, from the best area in the old setup. I would treat it like my best coral and place it straight across without rinsing. I would place it in 2 or 3 holes in the new sand bed. This would guarantee the new/moved tank would re-start with biolfiltration that could very quickly grow to meet the need. The aquarium is thus ensured greater stability and much quicker rebound/recovery from the move.

I wait on removing the sand that I am going to rinse and reuse until all rock, coral, fish and 75% of the LW has been removed. Since that last but major portion of sand needs to be rinsed anyway, I use a colander and swish it around in the water, kind of like panning for gold (bad exampleEmbarrassed). This is an easy and quick way to separate the sand from the detritus. (Of course this doesn't work with Oolitic sand.) By the end the water is nasty but it's often cleaned of enough detritus that I don't bother rinsing it in freshwater as mentioned above. This saves even more bacteria living on the sand. Hope this helps.

Depending on the observed need, I would also leave the lights on 18-24 hours a day for the first few day or even a week if needed. As you know, this grows algae, one of the best pollution eaters I know of.Smile

P.S. If the coral on LR are positioned well in a tub so they don't bump into each other, there is no need to spend time bagging each one. Sand on the bottom of that tub helps stabilize the rocks.

Just a final reminder: As I'm sure you are already planning, mostly stated for newbies reading this, try to move all LR completely submerged through the entire process by using right sized buckets to move each piece separately from aquarium to tub and tub to aquarium. I've done it both ways. The difference is remarkable.Smile
I know it's stressful, but I believe you will do fine.Big smile


Edited by Mark Peterson - November 24 2010 at 9:26am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bfessler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 24 2010 at 10:38pm
Hi Ryan,
 
Good luck with your move. I just moved my RSM a few weeks ago and had no losses of coral inverts or fish. I reused all the sand and though it took most of the day it wasn't really a big deal. Here is what I did.
 
1. Siphon out 1/2 the water into rubbermaid totes.
2. moved the live rock and corals to the totes. I didn't take any precaution to keep them submerged from the tank to the tote, just got them there as quickly as possible. I kept a power head going in the totes while I completed tearing down the rest of the tank.
3. Siphoned out the rest of the water down to about 2" deep. This made catching the fish real easy.
4. Moved the fish to a tote with water from the tank.
5. Siphoned out the rest of the water and scooped out the sand into a 5 gallon bucket.
6. Sifted the sand using a colander with holes slightly larger than the grains. The process was like Mark described panning for gold but I filled a 5 gallon bucket 1/2 full of clean salt water then scooped about 2 cups of sand into the colander. Place the colander into the water and swish the sand around. The sand falls through the holes and old shells, rubble and stuff you don't want in the sand is left in the colander. Once the all the sand has been sifted pour off the dirty water and prepare for the move.
7. Cleaned the tank and packed up everything for the move.
8. Set up the tank in the new location.
9. Added the sand to the tank.
10. Filled the tank 1/3 full using fresh saltwater.
12. Put Live rock back into the tank.
13. Put water that was in the totes of live rock back into the tank.
14. Topped off the tank with fresh saltwater.
15. Ran the pumps for an hour or two till the cloudiness started to clear.
16. Started a siphon using 1/4" tubing into the tote with the fish in it and allowed the fish and inverts to acclimate to the water in the tank. I just kept putting water back into the tank as it filled up the tote. I did this for about 1/2 hour.
17. Moved the fish and inverts into the tank.
18. Went to bed.
 
The next morning the tank was clear and all the inhabitants were enjoying the new location. I haven't noticed any cycle nor have I had any algae blooms. It's been business as usual with the tank in it's new location now for about 3 weeks. 0 losses of fish coral and inverts.
 
I didn't have to move the tank across town, just across the room but besides the 45 minute to an hour trip the process would be the same. You can check out this thread of some pics of the tank. The pics were taken 2 days after I moved the tank.
 
Hope this helps.
Burt

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I support all hobbyists and organizations involved in Marine Aquarium Keeping.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SGH360 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 24 2010 at 10:54pm
You can probably put corals and fish in bags, add heat packs like if you were going to ship them to another place
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 25 2010 at 6:30am
I agree with Burt Smile Excellent step by step. Thumbs Up

And some good pointers by bur01014 Clap


Edited by Mark Peterson - November 25 2010 at 6:33am
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