Moving a tank
I found an unbelievable deal on a setup, but it comes with the fish and everything. Is it possible to break the tank down, move it about 100 miles, and put it back together without killing everything? I would hate to see that happen because there are some beautiful fish in the tank. I also hate to let the deal pass by. Any help/suggestions would be great.
I have recently moved my tank from South Carolina to Maryland. First buy trash cans so you can save the water in the tank, don't worry if you don't save it all. Then what you would want to do is ask the owner not to feed the fish 24 hours before you plan to move them. Also depending on how much sand and live rock is in there you will have to buy rubber maid tubs for that and 1 for the fish. The next step would be to tear it down as you would any tank. The live rock will be fine if it stays wet, but if you wont you can put water in the tubs with the rock, corals, or inverts. You have 2 options on how to transport the fish; you can put each fish in a zip lock bag or you can put all the fish in a rubber maid tub with a top, and everynow and then let the old air out and let new air in. I transfered my fish this way and did not loose one fish or corals.
I just helped with a succesful move of a 150g last weekend. It went much better than planned. We bagged the fish individually so there would be no aggression in confines. We saved about 50g of the original water in $5 5 gallon jugs from a camping store (less chance of spilling than a garbage can). We filled a new garbage can with all the rock work and covered it in newspapers. We added about 20g of tank water to that. The rock was not submerged but stayed wet from the water traveling over the paper. We scooped out the sand and put it in 5g buckets with lids. We used rubbermaid sweater boxes to transport any large pieces of liverock that had corals attached and filled those with tank water. We removed all the rock work first. Coordinating live rock to the can and corals to the boxes. We then drained out all but 2" of water to make it simple to catch the fish. Then we removed the sand and finished draining the tank.
Before the move the new house had 3 40g trash cans with new mixed sea water each with a powerhead running for 24 hours. This made sure the water had completely mixed and was the proper salinity, PH, and temp way in advance. This made it much easier with one less thing to do on the day of the move.
Now for setting it back up we tried a new idea amongst us. As the owner had already spent almost $200 on buckets, cans, bins and salt mix he needed to save a dime. Instead of the old adage of buy new substrate because the old is tainted with wastes, we simply rinsed out 200lbs of aragonite sand with a hose. Since we added the rock to the tank before the sand (this prevents noxious zones of aneoribic bacteria) we had the garbage can to use. We would fill it with 5g of sand and then rinse it out until clean. Then transfer the sand to the tank. OK so you guys are freaking out right now about killing the bacteria and adding chlorines. Well the chlorines are neutralized as they kill the bacterias, that's what chlorine does. Yes we knew we were adding "sterile" substrate to the tank but since there was over 200lbs of rock we figured it would seed over quickly. We also added a few drops of Prime as the water was added to neutralize any additional chlorines. After the sand was added to the tank we began filling it. Using a Mag9 pump and some tubing we were able to drain the cans with little effort. As the water levels were raised up the corals were added. Once the entire tank was running, pumps, sumps, and lights, the fish were added back. A week later it was confirmed that no fish died, no corals have bleahced or died, ammo never went higher than 0.25 and trites never became an issue. The tank has already begun to cycle down. Keep in mind the guy has an awesome skimmer and that is a real bonus.
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