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Old 01-02-2010, 07:42 PM   #1
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First Post -- moving tank question

Hello all. This is my first post on Aquarium Advice, and I hope that I can get to know some of you. I have been an avid fishkeeper for the past for the past 8 years, so I am not new to the hobby. I currently have 2 tanks up-and-running, a 50 Gallon Planted Community, and a 8 gallon nano reef. My 50 Gallon has been running for just over 6 years now, and it houses my 5 year-old Altum Angelfish and my 4 year old Clown Loach, along with other old inhabitants. Now the reason why im posting. In my 8 years in the aquarium hobby, I have never actually moved a tank, aside from setting them up. I am getting my basement renovated and the tank I am concerned about is my 50 Gallon. I have purchased a 65 Gallon brand-new setup which I am upgrading my 50 gallon to. For the time being, I need to move my 50 gallon tank to a room across the hall in my basement. How should I do this? I know that a tank with water in it is unadvisable to move, as it can put stress on the seams. I need to lift it off of its stand, move the stand, then put the tank back on it. I am afraid that, since it is an older tank that was used when I bought it, something might break. My fish are rather old and they have never been moved besides being put into the tank, so moving them into buckets mat put alot of stress on them. I have limited resources, only two 5 gallon buckets, a utility sink, and an extra filter and heater. The other thing is that when my basement is done, I am moving the contents of the 50 gallon to the 65 gallon, so I am unsure of how I should do that. Should I bag the fish in big ziploc bags then float them?

Any help would be great!
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:41 PM   #2
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Your best bet will be to wait until you get the 65g up and ready before you move them... if you have to move the 50g first, buckets would be much better than bags. Just empty the 50g with fish in the buckets, set it back up, make sure the temp is close to what the original tank water was, then drip acclimate the fish back to the new water in the 50g... same goes for when you move them from the 50g to the 65g... just use an air hose with a drip or two every second until you have quadrupled your volume in the buckets... that will acclimate them to the parameters and the temp... BTW, Welcome to AA
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:10 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA!

You shouldn't stress the fish too much if you don't net them. I normally scoop up my fish with a good size container (like a big Zip-Lock or rubbermaid). I submerge the container & wait till the fish swims into it, then gently lift it out. The fish is never out of the water & not stressed. Then I submerge the container in the new tank & wait for the fish to swim out. <Of course the origin & destination tanks need to have the same water.>

My suggestion is to get a larger Rubbermaid container (I use a 30 gal for my temp hosp/QT/move tank) for the transfer (or you can use the 65 gal instead). What you can do is to drain water from the existing tank to fill the holding tank (leave at least 1/2 the water in the existing tank). Then scoop the fish into the holding tank gently. You can now take down the tank. Move all the substrate, etc using your 5 gal buckets & keep everything wet with tank water.

After the tank is drained, move it & set it up. Ideally you want to fill that with "old" water from the original tank. <That would mean having more buckets!> But if your tank water parameter isn't too far off the tap, use tap instead. <You might want to do several pwc's in the days before the move to get your water parameter in the tank matched to the tap.> Don't fill the tank to the brim, leave room for the water in your holding tank. Make sure the temp is matched to your holding tank. <And if you doctor your water, make sure the new water is as close to the holding tank's water as possible.> Then you transfer the fish (with water) from your holding tank back to your main tank & you are done.

With a big holding tank, you don't have to rush things. You can keep your filter & heater running in the holding tank while you work on your main. I have kept my fish in the 30 gal for several days at a time while I do major tank renovations.
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:14 PM   #4
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If you want to use the 65 gal now, I have an even better strategy:

1. set up the 65 gal at your temp location.
2. drain 1/2 the water from the 50 to the 65.
3. move the fish over to the 65.
4. move the rest of the water from the 50 to the 65.
5. transfer filter & heater, fill up the 65, finish your renovation.
6. use the 50 as your holding tank & transfer the 65 to the new location as I outlined above.

This avoids any acclimatization issues as you never change water with the move.
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:50 PM   #5
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i would just put the fish in the bucket drain the 50 gallon. you might even want to pull the substrate out so you are able to remove more of the water and weight. then move it. put the substrate and decor back in make sure the temps match and move the fish back over. moving the tank water over is pretty pointless. there shouldnt be any acclimatiztion issues if you are using the same water it would just be like a large water change.

when you are ready to set up the new tank do the same. just do the same but switch the tank.
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:10 PM   #6
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Thanks for the fast responses! I'm more confident in moving my 50 Gallon now. Any more suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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