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Old 02-25-2010, 03:50 PM   #1
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Relocating a FOWLR tank

Hi everyone

I'm new to sw tanks and to this forum. I have been planning on a sw tank for quite sometime and have researched for about 6 months. I hope that I'm ready. I found a great deal on a FOWLR set up. It's not going to cost anything out of my pocket (until I get it haha) just trading a bird cage that I have for her setup.

I will be getting my first sw tank on Saturday. It's a 30 gallon, LR with a 15 gallon sump, skimmer and everything else she had with it. It has 2 clowns, 2 lemon damsel, 2 tellow tailed blue damsel and 1 black & white stripe damsel. It also has 2 crabs (not sure what kind) a few shrimp and some snails. Oh and a condy anemone. She has had this tank for 3 years.

My question is how is the best way to relocate it with the least about of stress on the fish and keeping it from recycling or at least keeping the recycling to a minimum. It will be traveling about 70/75 miles.
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:01 PM   #2
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Stirring up sand can definitely cause another cycle. I'd consider getting new sand ready, using it with the existing liverock, filter media if applicable and about 50-60% of the existing water to set up with.

Gonna need clean tubs or containers for the move and keep everything airated (with oxygen) at least.

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Old 03-01-2010, 11:56 AM   #3
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good advice from austinsdad,i would wait on moving the fish if possible at the last minute.try to get set up first,so the tank has time to settle.of course this is my opinion. i've had my 75gal (fowlr) for 8wks.the less sterss on the fish the better.good luck!
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:45 PM   #4
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Thank you for your help. The move went very well. All the fish seem to be doing ok. They are eating well and very enterjectic. It was a big job for one person. The anemone was looking good until this morning, he is shriveled up and a gray color. Last night it was filled out and a nice bright white color with pink tips. I'm not really suprised, he had a rough day Saturday, I hope he will be able to recover from it. I did a 10 gal wc yesterday. I'll check the water parameters again tonight and see if another wc is needed. If there is any advise you can offer about anything, since I am the biggest newb of all newbs , it will be gladly accepted.
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:53 PM   #5
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moving an established tank

Im sorry but i would beg to differ here, first off the old water other than being broke in so to speak, is worthless for anything other than to keep the fish in during the move. All the good stuff is in the rock and sand. It would be a sad mistake to start a 3 year old reef over with new sand unless there were absolutely no other way. Unless youre moving cross country. I would simply put enough current tank water in a large enough cooler to accomodate the fish. take another bucket put any live rock you have in that and always keep it covered with water from that tank. Drain the tank down until the sand bed is barely covered with water at all. take every precaution not to disturb the sand bed in any way.

Any of the old tank water you can save in containers to re-use would be good, and would save you some bucks on mixing new salt.

Take all this as quickly as you can to its new home, and reverse the process, add youre old saved water back to the tank by pouring it very slowly into a cup or pie pan placed on the tank floor, to avoid as much as possible stirriring up your substrate. if you have to add additional salt water know how much youre gonna need, that couldnt be saved, and have that pre-mixed and ready.

There is a big misconception that the water is the driving force behind any aquarium, which in a sense is true, but that liverock and substrate that has taken 3 years to age to the point it is now, is more valuable and worth saving, than any of the old water.

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Old 03-01-2010, 01:42 PM   #6
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Relocating 30 gal FOWLR

I was able to save most of the water in containers, I put the LR in heavy duty garbage bags and put some of the water with them, I left the sand in the tank with just enough water to cover. and did what you said just reversed it when I got home.
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Old 03-01-2010, 01:47 PM   #7
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I would agree with you on the water. Alot of folks think the water carries the nitrifying bacteria with it when it doesnt. The LR is the key to the bacteria in the new tank. I agree with saving everything you mentioned but the old sand. If you are moving it you will not be able to keep from disturbing it. I was only moving mine to another place in the same room and could not do it. There was a foul stench that arose that I will never forget. I just decided to upgrade to a bigger tank and get brand new sand. It will become live over time again anyway. There is too much trash in that old sand. JMO
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:37 AM   #8
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My nem didn't make it. I did another wc last night. Amonia is at .25 and the nitrates are off the chart. I expected some cycling, I hope that it will be short lived. I hope the fish can take all this stress. I would really had to loose them too. Getting a set up like this for basiclly no money out of your pocket is a really good deal. But I think its much harder to deal with when you have fish that have no place else to going while this cycle is going on. I think it would have been easier and less stressful on the fish and frankly me to. But, since that's not possible, I'll just keep doing water changes and hope for the best. I do appreciate everyones help. I'm such a newb and sometimes its hard to know if what you are doing is the right thing to do.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:56 AM   #9
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Remember the suggestion about stirring up nasty stuff by using the existing sand? It was recommended you not use it. And now your ammonia is at .25 and nitrates off the chart. Keep up on the water changes and good luck!
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:18 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=jimv8673;1081358]. Drain the tank down until the sand bed is barely covered with water at all. take every precaution not to disturb the sand bed in any way.

This was the important part of my whole post, Not saying that wasnt done, but i have moved several tanks exactly as i suggested, with no visible signs of problems at all
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