I'm moving... what do I do with my tanks!? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 04-07-2012, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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I'm moving... what do I do with my tanks!?

I am going to be moving in a month or two, and I have to ask... what do I need to do with my two tanks. I'm thinking it won't be quite so hard to move my 10 G, just drain the water, or nearly all of it. Do I need to do anything else? keep the filter media/foam in a plastic baggie of old tank water while I do the move? It's chalk full with live plants, so I'm not worried quite so much about the cycle. Should I keep a half inch of water for the plants? or is it okay to more or less drain it dry?

My 33gal sorority is the one I am worried about. It too is full with live plants, however not quite as densely packed as my 10. It has been set up longer than the 10, and has 5 girls currently. I'm afraid I'll have to completely break it down and restart from scratch. Even leaving just the sand and plants in it, it will be extremely heavy.

If I do have to tear down, new sand, replant everything, and get it started back over, what should I do to keep the girls from stressing more than possible? I'll probably transport them in individual plastic bags wrapped in paper in one rubber maid bin I can carry myself.

My other concern is I have about 10 shrimp in their, I don't know if I'll be able to get them until it's mostly drained. I also know they are more susceptable to water fluctuations. I do have a spare 10 G, I was thinking of setting up first and getting some other fake plants and holding them in that for a few days after the move, until I can get the 33 back up and planted and running. My concern is, will I need to use the filter for this tank until I get the tank running?

The other thought is I could house the girls, temporarily at least, in the 10 once I get that up and running. And just house my boy in a smaller container for a few days. Or would this be just too hard on all of them?

I'm not worried about the pair I have in individual tanks, they can just be grumpy during the move, and are used to being out of their home for a bit. I figure Scuzi will destroy his tail during that time, that's just the brat fish he is.

Lengthy! I know. I just need advice, and help, and uh.. yea, lots. Oh, and it shouldn't be more than a 30 minute drive.

Thanks so much. IF you need to see pictures of the tanks I can provide them.

So far the only thing I can figure is to completely drain both tanks, bag the fish, the shrimp (if I can find them under the piles of moss), and bag the filter media in some tank water.
Will I need to remove all my plants? I already know I'll have to remove the larger decorations, but wasn't sure on the plant life.
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post #2 of 3 Old 04-07-2012, 01:12 PM
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Hi, just thought I would talk you through what I did a week ago, my flatmate moved out and I moved the living room 15g to her new place. I searched through the internet on do's and don'ts and this is what I did, not sure if it was done 100% correctly but it is in her new place and the fish were fine throughout the whole process and the tank is doing fine.
Firstly, yes you need to keep your filters wet or the beneficial bacteria WILL die. You can go to your LFS and ask them for some heavy duty plastic fish bags. He gave me a load of ones he brings his goldfish livestock in and they are strong as hell. I used these to bag up 100% of the original tank water as this is what water parameters the fish are used to, esp handy as your new home might have quite contrasting water parameters.You can always use the big plastic sotrage boxes you can get from dept stores etc.
Remove all your deco and plants, I put them in a bucket half full of water, again there will be a lot of bacteria on the surfaces of them which you want to keep, doing this first also makes it easier to net up your fish.
With the same bags I used for the water I filled them up and added my fish, ended up with three bags containing them, make sure they aren't too full and that there is about half a bag worth's of air in them and seal them tightly with elastic bands etc, I then put them in black bin liners so it was dark for the fish to calm them during transit.
I scooped up all the gravel and put it in a bucket with water covering it, again to keep the bacteria alive and kicking, again you could use a storage container.
I asked the LFS about whether I could transport it with a little water or gravel in the bottom but was advised against it as empty it could easily crack the tank during moving.
Once we got to her new flat the gravel went in, then the bags of water, used a big glass when pouring in to reduce the gravel being kicked up badly. Left the heater in there for 10 mins before turning it on, plants/deco in and then switched on the filter and then the fish bag by bag, make sure you leave the light off. *her new flat is a very short distance away so the whole process was quick hence not having to float the bags to acclimatise to the heater 26c.
It looked like a murky amazon river for about an hour but cleaned up quickly and there were no major signs of stress from any of the livestock.
Hope this helps you and good luck with your move, I'm sure it will go fine. One more thing is to not feed them on the day you move, before or after.
All the best,
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post #3 of 3 Old 04-07-2012, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not as worried about the bacteria (save what's on my filter media.. trust me it's loaded with the good stuff!). I'm not going to have the same cycle as most. I have all live plants. That is why I'm asking about whether or not to uproot them or not. Some won't be an issue like my anubias, but I'm more concerned about my swords, grasses, etc.
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