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Old 05-25-2010, 05:47 PM   #1
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Moving a Tank---Keep the sand?

Hello,

I've purchased an existing FOWLR system. I'm curious as to what I should do about keeping the sand. I've seen articles on line that are for keeping to other that suggest only keeping some.

I thought I'd poll the community here to get your thoughts.

My main concern with keeping the existing sand is that when I set the tank back up, I'm sure the water will be very "cloudy" for some time.

Do I need to make sure the water is 100% clear before adding the livestock back in?

I plan on putting the fish in a cooler and having an aerator and heater running in it, but I'm not sure how long the fish can survive in that environment. If it's been a few hours and the water is still a bit cloudy, can I put the fish in it if the other water qualities are appropriate?

Thanks!
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:40 PM   #2
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i would ditch the sand. if the tank is over 6 months old, stirring up the sand is going to cause a spike, and might kill the fish.
you can keep the sand if you wash it out real good until the water that comes out of it is mostly clear, then it should not cause an issue.

i would make up enough water to completely change it if need be.
put everything including the rock, in bins with a heater and powerhead.
now i'm not saying to transport the fish and rock in the same cooler, because that could be dangerous, but i mean to say to treat the rock as you would the fish.
the rock holds the necessary bacteria to sustain the fish bio load, and keeping it submerged while you do the move will ensure it's survival.
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:52 PM   #3
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What kind of fish are we talking about? Once you get the fish home you could actually leave the fish in the cooler for a while. I would put a couple pieces of live rock in the cooler to help keep the ammonia in check. And check it AND your DT for a couple of days to see if you get an ammonia spike in either. Of course if you get a spike in the cooler with the fish, you would need to do a PWC. And if you get one in the DT you would need to allow it to cycle out. IMO
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:16 PM   #4
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i don't think that's going to work. the entire tank was the surface area for the bio load, and now you are saying that just a couple pieces of rock will do the same job. i don't think this is accurate. by the time you see the ammonia in the cooler, damage will have been done.if you value these fish, you will need all of the rock from the original tank, and maybe even then, without the glass surfaces, and the substrate, you might see a spike.
i would get the livestock back in the tank with all of the rock as soon as possible.
it doesn't really matter what kind of fish that came out of the tank, as long as they go back into a system that can support them as soon as possible.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:44 PM   #5
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Well you're both correct. The fish can survive in a tub or trash container with some LR, a PH and a heater. It will require regular (daily) PWC's to keep the parameters in check. No different than setting up a hospital or QT tank on short notice.

I would ditch all but a few pounds of the sand. That would be used for seeding the new sand in the tank. It will be cloudy until the bacteria develp and coat the new sand making it heavy enough to settle.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:21 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tips.

The tanks contains a blue tang, mandarin goby, rainbow angel, chocolate-chip star fish and a spiny starfish. I'll have them in a decent sized cooler and put some LR in the tank to help with keeping the ammonia in check.

The location I am picking up the tank in is 1 hour away. I'm hoping to keep the fish in the cooler for less than 6 hours. I figure that will be enough time to move the tank, get it set back up and get the water in good enough condition to add the fish back to it within a decent amount of time. I've got plenty of help, so we'll see how long it takes.

I'm planning on keeping as much of the existing tank water as possible in hopes that will prevent the tank from cycling and having some premixed saltwater standing by to top off the tank.

Any other tips of moving a tank would be great. I think I'm pretty well versed on it as I spent quite a bit of time researching it online.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:07 AM   #7
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keeping the water will not stop a cycle.
bacteria resides mostly on surfaces. you aren't bringing any by saving water. the reason you would save the water is that it has the correct parameters the fish are used to.
i think the key here is keeping the rock submerged during the transport.
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Old 05-29-2010, 01:48 PM   #8
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sand is annoying, i found out the hard way. it do make the tank look a lot better but its hard to clean when all u do is suck up the sand while ur sucking up waste.
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Old 05-29-2010, 11:40 PM   #9
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A clean up crew should keep the sand bed clean enough that you would not have any waste to vaccum out.
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Old 05-30-2010, 03:08 AM   #10
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clean up crew? how much is that?
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