Originally Posted by champagn1
I am wanting to purchase a 29 gallone saltwater tank that is set up and running in a city that is 6-7 hours from here. It has fish and live coral in it and maybe more. My questions is that if I go get this tank will everything live if I have air blowers in the water? My second question is how much maintence will it take? There is an aquarium business here that can maintain it for me until I learn. I also have a friend that has a salt water tank so I think it will be fine once it gets set up here. I was told that it will take weekly maintence and be lots of work with the water weekly etc. Is this true?
Thanks for any information you can provide me with!
Survival of the fish on that long of a trip will depend on how they are packed to move. Water temp as well as oxygen levels and waste levels in the containers used to move them will all be important factors on whether they survive. If you can find a lfs to bag them properly on oxygen, that would be your best way, and then put those bags into a styrofoam cooler (don't over pack the cooler..you may need multiple coolers to fit them all) and with some sort of heat pack inside the cover of each cooler to maintain temp. The tank should be emptied, water from the tank should be used to package the animals, and the rest of the water should be put into buckets to be used to refill the tank once you get it home.
Do not transport the tank with water in it, this will cause the glass to break. Sand can be left in the tank, wet... and live rock should go into the buckets of water with any filter media already in the filters. Live rock must stay wet!
Make as few changes as possible, as this will only further stress out the animals and cause harm.
Once home, put everything back into the tank and let it be for 24 hrs. The water will get cloudy, this won't hurt the fish, and will settle on its own. Once the water clears you can rearrange things the way you need them.
As for maintenance, that is dependent on what is in the tank and what equipment is being used. Weekly water changes will be a bare minimum, especially in a small tank of 29 gallons.
I would strongly suggest you find out what animals are all in the tank, how much live rock, and what equipment is being included. I have seen a lot of people waste a lot of hard earned money on "a good deal" buying this sort of thing used. Quite often they go up for sale because the tank is overcrowded or not enough proper equipment is being used, and the tank is having problems. Getting a problem tank home can be very expensive to fix, and you may even end up needing a much larger tank right from the start. If you list the details of it here, we can help you to sort it out before you spend your time and money in retrieving it. It's also a good idea to ask ahead for current water params for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, and calcium. This will give you a good feel for the tank's current condition and what to expect when you get it home. Ask what specific species of animals are in there, and how long they have been in it, how big they are, what they're eating, and how many, etc.
Also, be prepared before
you go to pick it up, you'll need a mixing vat and freshly mixed saltwater (with powerhead in the vat) to use to refill any displaced water, and possibly to do some small daily water changes for the first week or two for things to stabalize. Saltwater should be premixed for at least 48 - 72 hrs before using it, and it should be at least room temp or as close as you can get to the tank water temp. Don't forget to buy a hydrometer or refractometer... you can't properly mix and use saltwater without it, and knowing what salinity is in the tank is extremely important at all times.