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Old 08-23-2010, 04:16 PM   #1
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Moving 90 gallon tank 4 miles away

I will be moving from my apartment to my first home this weekend. I was planing on hiring the lfs to do the move, but they are charging me $130/hour to move the tank, and they said it should take about 3 hours, so i think i might do it myself with someone's help.

I am wondering what would be the best plan to get it done. It's only a 10 minute car ride between locations, but the fishtank is currently on a 2nd floor apartment.
I have 90 gallon tank
about 110lbs of live rock
About 8 corals, none are big and most of them are SPS.
I have about 7 fish all are under 4".
Have emeralds, hermits, and snails.
Don't exactly remember how much sand, but at least about 1.5"
I also have a wet and dry filter, about 15 gallons.
The tank and the cabinet. also have two shrimp.

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I was thinking of transporting all the water since i won't be able to make new water right away.
My plan is to get as many 5 gallon buckets as i can, transport half of the water and the live rock in them, then transport the coral with water, transport the fish once all the rock is gone, and then transport the rest of the water.

I need as much input as possible.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:37 PM   #2
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I have no input as far as how to do it, but I recently moved my 150g to our new house... If at all possible, dont do it on the day you move everything else... that makes everything more difficult!
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:49 PM   #3
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I would start by getting a couple things.

-55 gallon trash can and the wheels that fit the bottom (usually in your hardware store gardening/outdoor section)
-an extra pump and some clear flexable hose that fits the pump
-large plastic storage tote or two

I use the trash can/wheels to mix my water and do water changes. If possible go to the house a day or two before the move and get your water mixed up in there. Put the extra pump and hose in there so that it does the mixing for you and keeps the water airated and not stagnet.

Instead of the 5 gallon buckets i would use the storage totes. They fit your rock and coral a lot better. I would probably get two depending on how many coral you have. Use one for the rock that has coral on it and the other for all your fish. Any rock that doesn't have coral on it you don't have to keep under water for the move. You can put it in any kind of container and just cover it with a bit of wet newspaper. For that short of a ride it won't have much die off.

You can use about half the water from your old tank in the totes and half new water from the 55 gallon trash can. If possible try to match the SG, PH, and temp of the new water to the tank water to help minimize the stress on fish and coral. If the old tank has been running for a while be careful about usings your old sand bed. I would suggest replacing about 2/3 of your sand bed with new sand. The old sand will have a lot of food, fish poop, and all sorts of other stuff that may cause a mini cycle if you use to much of it in the new house.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:50 PM   #4
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I have no input as far as how to do it, but I recently moved my 150g to our new house... If at all possible, dont do it on the day you move everything else... that makes everything more difficult!
Yeah i might do it the day before.
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:31 PM   #5
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Instead of the 5 gallon buckets i would use the storage totes.
I bought and moved a 65g/230l freshwater aquarium back at the beginning of May and used a large coleman cooler to hold about 1/3 of the water and the fish. So if you have a cooler, this is an option (and everyone uses one at some point, so it's a good investment!).

For the drive, I used oxygen tablets, but once in my home, I put a filter in the water with established media to run until I had the aquarium re-set up in my place. The cooler kept the water at a reasonably stable temperature and the lid could be closed for the 15 minute drive. Coolers also come with handles so it was easy to carry in/out of the house/car.

This was for freshwater not salt, but the mechanics of carrying the fish/water is the same!

Good luck with your move!
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:01 PM   #6
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I would consider putting your fish in a five gallon bucket. Your corals I would also put in another bucket. Take your LR out and put it in a cooler with wet newspaper on top of it. The sand I would use new sand and ditch the old. Clean out the tank and move it down the road. Add new sand and LR to the tank. Add as much of the old SW as possible and have some pre made SW near by to make up the difference and also in case you have some small spikes after everything is done.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:35 AM   #7
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Good input so far guys.
If i replace all, or 50% of the sand wouldn't that create a mini cycle all over again?
I also have had the media balls in my wet and dry. Should i keep them or should i ditch them? I've heard that replacing them with live rock is much better. I can take some of the live rock in the tank and crumble it in order to replace the bioballs.

I think i'm really going to keep as much as the water as possible.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:51 AM   #8
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If i replace all, or 50% of the sand wouldn't that create a mini cycle all over again?
IMO most likely it will
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:11 PM   #9
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Live rock rubble will work if it is submerged. If it is out of the water like most bioballs then it would end up the same.

I would reccomend against totes. They get too heavy when filled with anything, and when you try to move them, they will crack. I lost my entire tank when i came back from a second trip and found the water had spilled out. gratefully it was in the carport and not the house. Buckets are cheap at Homeboy teapot.
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:32 PM   #10
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I just moved a 90g a couple of weekends ago....but mine was over 140 miles! I fit it all in out minivan ('07 sienna) and it went flawlessly. We did as many have suggested; took a 44g Brute trash barrel for 80% of the water and then used 18g rubbermaid containers for the rock and the rest of the water (we used 4 of them, filled up about 3/4 the way). We had covers on the rubbermaid containers so the water didn't get everywhere.

When we did get it home, the tank went right on the stand, the rock was placed in and the same water was sucked out via a mag pump and the tank was up and running in about an hour. Everything survived the move (corals, critters in the rocks and sand, etc.) and the tank is great.

You can get those Brute trash barrels at Home Depot or Lowes and I would just rinse it out and return it once you are done with it (if you don't have any need for it after).

With you being so close, I would do as others have recommended and have some extra water made at the new destination, just in case you need it. I would think it should go fairly smoothly though and you shouldn't have too many issues.
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