Ok, so I won the ebay auction and am now the proud new owner of two tanks, one that can be moved dry and one that has about fifteen residents who I'm sure would much appreciate surviving the trip.
I'm going to lay out my basic plan here and see what you all think. I did do a few searches both here in the forums and on Google and to come up with the basic plan, but like all plans, fine tuning is a good thing.
The tanks are, fortunately, about half an hour away from my house so we won't have too far of a drive. The live tank is a thirty gallon with about fifteen cichlids, a yoyo loach and a few danios. I'm figuring I'll need to separate the cichlids out into baggies. There are two trios in the group, I'm planning on bagging those together. Everything else will be bagged separately.
Gravel will be going into a couple of buckets and kept as wet as possible without soaking my car. Filter media will be bagged with some tank water and kept wet. No live plants to worry about, thankfully.
I am not sure if I'll be able to preserve any of the actual tank water, beyond what the fish are being transported in. I'm most concerned about this factor. I don't want to get everybody moved safe and sound, get the whole thing set up and then cause a 'do-over' on the cycle and kill the whole lot of them off.
How much tank water is enough to bring along?
Once we get everything back home main priority will be getting the tank up and running. There will be minimal aquascaping so the less dominant fish have someplace to retreat to, but mostly it's just going to gravel and water in, wait for temp to stabilize, then fish in. While the temp is stabilizing I am going to get the fish out of the baggies and into a few plastic buckets in the original tank water so they don't suffocate. I'll have some water here prepped to add to the old tank water when I fill the new tank, so the time to stabilize the temp should be minimal.
Anything I'm leaving out? I've never had to move an already established aquarium before so any input or suggestions would be appreciated.