I moved my 55 gallon reef with 100 pounds of LR
about 120 miles 3 years ago. Here is what I did, and I had no coral or fish die on me during the one day trip.
I had a second 55 tank gathering dust, so I set it up on the floor of the new house a week before I moved the tank. I got a few extra powerheads, and heater, and mixed almost the whole tank full of new saltwater. I brought a 5 gallon bucket with LR
from the tank with me, and dropped that in to seed the water.
I put all the LR
in plastic bins I got from walmart with lids. I put those on a trailer and filled them up with water from the tank. I guess I tried to move about 50 gallons worth of the water, just about all of it. I put the glass tank on there, and since I only had an inch of sand, I just left it in there with a little water so it would not dry out.
I got a gatoraide bucket (5 gallon) with a screw on lid from somewhere, and all the fish and coral went into it. Fill with water, cap, wrap with towel (it will leak a bit) and wedge into floor between front and rear seat of Ford Explorer.
Do everything in reverse when you arrive. A LOT of water sloshed out of the storage bins during the drive, even with the lids on, so I only saved about 35 gallons of it. Some of that was full of crud that got stirred up, so I only transfered maybe 25 gallons of water into the new house, but I had 40 or so gallons waiting for me so I was ok.
One week after I arrived, I noticed my 55 was leaking a small amount of water from one corner. I used this as an excuse to run out and buy a 75 gallon and upgrade! I had to tear everything down again, one week after I moved it, but it was worth it.
The fish I moved with no deaths were: Pacific blue tang, yellow coris, arc-eye hawk, and a domino damsel. The corals were zoos mostly and a few leathers.
If you can do it, I would set up a container to mix fresh salt a week before you move the tank - so you end up doing a 50% water change. If you do it like I did, it is not really a water change since the water will be seasoned for a week when you add it. Just put the container close to where the tank will go and I have a powerhead with a flex tube on it that I use to pump the water up into the new tank.
If you are moving so far that you may not be able to get everything tore down and set up in one day, I would advise selling off the fish to a LFS
, or on the way out bring the fish to the LFS
and have them bag them like they were selling them, and add oxygen to the bags. They should be OK in the bags for 24-36 hours if you regulate the temp and keep them in the dark. Ditto for the corals.
Good luck moving! you have one hell of a job in front of you!