moving tank onto stand - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-12-2007, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
moving tank onto stand

hello ppl:) right now i have my 30 gallon on a table that is smaller than the tank itself. it holds just fine but it looks terrible. im getting a stand for realitivaly cheap and its a good one. i was wondering how to empty it ans if i should store the water or not. suggestions?
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-12-2007, 08:53 AM
willow's Avatar
i would take all the water out,and possibly the substrate too,
i'm pants on how big a tank that is,give me measurements in inches
and i'll say.
then move the tank,then put it all back again.
good luck.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-12-2007, 07:06 PM
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Are there already fish in the tank? If so, in order not to need to go through a cycle again I would just leave a small amount of water in the tank to keep the substrate wet so as not to kill of all the beneficial bacteria. Then get somebody to help you lift it - I tried this before and they're pretty heavy!
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-12-2007, 09:59 PM
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OK, I've been through this with three 20 highs, and it's a pain in the fundament.

Get a big plastic storage bin. Clean it out well and siphon all but about 4" of water out of the tank and into the bin. Net the fish into the bin.

Water is 8 lbs/gallon, assuming your tank has a 36x12 footprint, that'll be about 7 1/2 gallons of water - that's about 60 lbs. The tank itself weighs about 40, so that's 100lbs, and that's counting substrate and hardscape as water. You should probably add another 4 lbs per inch of substrate on average (assuming it's between 150% more dense than water). So you're probably looking at 110 lbs. If you have any big rocks in there, take them out before you move anything.

Make sure the stand is where you want it. Unhook all your filters and heaters and lids and lights and set them aside.

Make sure the outside of the tank is 100% dry. Get a friend who you trust to not drop things (you could probably do this yourself, but 3' is pretty awkward) to lift the tank from the table to the stand.

Put all the equipment back in. Put any hardscape you removed and half the water back in. Make any adjustments to the aquascape you need to (it might have shifted). Put the fish back in. Discard the rest of the water and mix up a new batch to fill the tank up. Hook everything back up, but keep the lights off for the rest of the day. The fish will be plenty stressed enough.

I've got to do this with a 50 gallon this month. Not looking forward to it. Should be b/w 225 and 250 lbs.

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post #5 of 7 Old 08-13-2007, 09:14 AM
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your most important part is your filter media. THe majority of bacteria will be colonized in your filter so this is your key element in the move. Grab a bucket, fill it with water from your tank, put the fish in there and then hook the filter up to the bucket and keep it running if possible. If you cant, then stick the filter media in a small container of the water but just remember that your main focus is keeping that bacteria alive. As long as you do that it really is not as important what happens with the substrate and the water.

Once the bacteria in the filter media is taken care of then you can begin to drain the tank. If you can save as much of the old water as possible, that will help the fish acclimate better once they get put back in. This is a good time for a water change though so you dont have to save 100% of it. one the tank is drained enough to move it, go for it!

Mike H
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-13-2007, 12:41 PM
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Good point about the filter media. Note, however, that the bacteria is on surfaces, not in the water itself, and the highest surface area item you have in the tank is the substrate itself. Make sure that you keep the substrate the same and wet when you move the tank. If you do need to remove the substrate, make sure you store it wet, and get it back into the tank as soon as you have moved it. (Also, be careful if you do move the substrate around. It can release a ton of nutrients into the water column and cause an algae bloom. I've lost fish to this before when I have rescaped an established tank. Your best bet is to vacuum the bejeezus out of it first. That'll get rid of any gunk without much affecting the bacteria.)

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post #7 of 7 Old 08-14-2007, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by tophat665
Good point about the filter media. Note, however, that the bacteria is on surfaces, not in the water itself, and the highest surface area item you have in the tank is the substrate itself.
thats true that the substrate is the most surface area but you dont grow bacteria on every single surface available in the tank. You will only grow enough bacteria to handle the bio-load available at any given time. THe bacteria is aerobic and lives in areas where oxygen is more readily available. In a tank with an undergravel filter this would be the substrate but in tanks with a power filter the optimal place for bacteria to colonize will be the filter media, not the substrate. I'm not saying that no bacteria will live there at all but if you are using a power filter then the substrate is not that important in the move.

In addition, anytime you do a move you will risk losing some of the bacteria so it's a good idea to use a bacteria supplement once you set the tank back up to help replenish the colony.

Mike H
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