I've moved my 29gal FW
3 times and most recently I moved my 29gal SW
AND my 55gal FW
at the same time! Took me about 6 hours to move them both.
As mentioned above you need to plan the break down, the move, and the re-build in your head beforehand. Do not just start moving stuff.
I didn't have any coral to deal with, so maybe someone can chime in with some tips on moving coral.
Here is a general outline:
1. Have plenty of buckets and some reusable lids, I currently own 14 5gal buckets and 6 lids.
2. Remove water from tanks and put into buckets - this will be used to hold LR
3. Remove LR
and decorations. Place LR
in bucket of water.
4. Remove at least half of the water from tank (save in buckets if possible for refilling)
5. Net fish out and place into buckets. Make sure to put lids on.
6. Unplug equipment only after fish have been removed
7. Move air stone from tank and place in buckets to provide oxygen to fish. The fish can last in buckets with oxygen for a while, I've had them in buckets for as long as 6 hours with no issues.
8. Continue to remove the rest of the water until your down to the substrate
9. Get a plastic scooper, I used a brand new dust pan. Use the scooper to scoop out the gravel/sand and put in a bucket.
10. Move the tanks, stands, equipment. Make sure to pad the glass tanks so they don't scratch or crack during the move
11. If you are moving a tank a big distance it is very dangerous to move without taking out all water and all sand. When you lift a glass tank you are improperly displacing pressure so you don't want sand and water in there.
12. Set up the aquarium and stands at new location
13. Replace the substrate
14. Replace the FW
15. Put in the LR
16. Hook up and turn on equipment
17. Let cloudiness settle, do not worry about aquascaping perfectly
18. Once you can see clearly, begin to aquascape to how you want it
19. Once everything is to your liking put fish back in. As mentioned above, as long as fish are in their original source of water and air is pumped in, they can last a while in the buckets.
20. Test water and monitor closely.
Here are some lessons learned:
1. Make sure when you put the stand/aquarium in their new place, you leave room to access the outlet, to put the hood back on, and for the hoses. I stupidly put my tank in place, filled everything up only to realize I didn't leave enough space on the side to put the hood back on and didn't have access to the outlet!
2. Plan ahead of time! My first 2 moves were a disaster, lost most of my fish, my last move was PERFECT
3. Make sure to put water from the aquarium into the buckets to house the fish
4. Use Aquairum salt or some other stress reducer to minimize stress
5. Remove 50% water and decorations before netting fish. Keep more aggressive fish together in buckets away from smaller less aggressive
6. Be patient before moving the fish back into their new homes