I did a search through these forums and found some topics covering this issue. However, I was looking for the best advice in relation to my situation. I will be moving from my current apartment to a newer apartment this Friday. Fortunately, the new apartment is just right down the street from my current one. I have four fish tanks: a 50 gal, a 30 gal, a 10 gal, and a 5 gal. The 50 gal is a community tank that is pictured under aquariums. The 30 gal has only three but fairly unique fish: a elephant nose fish, a white spotted talking catfish, and a South American Leaf Fish. The 10 gal contains the Leaf Fish's live food, and the 5 gal has shrimp in it. I have purchased one large sized bucket with a handle. I have two others that I use to change the water with but are fairly smaller. I plan on purchasing a second one this week.
Here is my situation: I have one day to move. The movers will come at 9 pm and will start to load their moving van. However, they are unable to move my aquariums which is fine since I planned to do it myself. As soon as all of my stuff is out of the apartment, I have to give my landlord the keys to it. I also have to be at the new apartment to direct where I want stuff to be placed.
Here is my plan: Friday morning, I will begin to empty out the fish tanks. First, I will place my rock and wood into a separate container and the live plants into a bucket where I will place the fish. I will place the water from the tanks into the buckets I am using so the fish don't go too much into shock with the new water. I will then begin transporting fish from the tank to the buckets. What is the best way to net the fish and put them into the buckets without stressing them out too much?
The buckets don't come with lids and the buckets I found that do would run me $30 a pop. So I plan to take clear wrap and secure it to the lid so fish don't jump out. Once all the fish are in buckets, I plan to empty out the rest of the tanks. They all have gravel save for the 50 gal which has a mix of sand and gravel. Should I attempt to remove the substrate? As for the 5, I plan on just putting clear wrap around the top since it is fairly light with no gravel or sand.
I then plan on taking the aquariums to the new apartment in my car. However, I have to time it with the movers since they will be moving my aquarium stands. After I get the stands where I want, I plan to get working on setting up the tanks and adding back my fish.
A lot of depends on how well I can time everything with the movers. As well, they preferred if I remove the aquariums beforehand since it gives them time to work.
So I have several questions:
1) What is the best way to transport fish that isn't that stressful or harmful to the fish. I have to take my limited budget into account as well. I can't afford to purchase high-end equipment to hold my fish in.
2) What is the maximum time the fish can be in a bucket? In all, this might take 3 hours but, like I said, it depends entirely how I time it with the movers. Is that too long for the fish?
3) Should I remove the substrate before I move it?
4) For my 50 gal and my 30 gal, what is the best way to transport the tanks without breaking them, cracking them, etc. Most of my friends will be at work but my supervisor, who will be helping me move, said he can help transport them.
5) I have two nets, one small and one big. What is the best way to remove the fish and to place them into the buckets and vice versa?
I am sorry for the long winded explanations and the questions but any type of advice would be helpful.