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Old 06-12-2013, 11:01 AM   #1
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Moving a tank ; need advice

I am going this weekend to pick up a 29 gallon biocube saltwater reef tank that is fully established and was wondering the best way to go about it. I have heard from some that say leave some of the water in the tank and move it with the fish in it and others say to completly drain to prevent possable damage to a seam or the bottom of the tank. The last thing I want is to blow out a seam during the move , so here is my plan; can anyone tell me if this is the proper way to go about it?

Drain about half of the water into a clean container and remove the fish and put them into the container of water , place a heater and an airstone in the container to maintain tempature and airation while transporting

Remove all the invertabrates and place them in a second container the same as the fish were done with heat and air stone.

Drain any water that is left and save it to refill when I get it home and setup.

Remove live rock and place it in a tightly closed plastic bag , or I could use another container if need be ; I have both

Remove live sand and again bag it or into a container as done with the rock.

Transport and more or less reverse the process when I get it home.


I have a power inverter I can plug into my cigarette lighter in my truck so I am able to power the air pump and heaters as necessary. Over all the drive between locations is only around a half hour so that should not be an issue as I understand it. I am figureing that it might be around 3 hours total with breaking down the tank in it's current location , loading , transporting and resetting in it's new location. Does it sound like I have a pretty good handle on a plan to safely move without too much trouble and preventing damage to a seam in the tank. Thanks in advance for any help with this.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:14 AM   #2
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I've never done a tank move, but if I did, those are the steps I would take. Might want to put a lid on the containers with water to prevent any splashes.

For the inverts, put something in the container with them that they can grab onto so they won't be knocked all over the place during transport.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:21 AM   #3
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Yes I do have lids for containers and something on the bottom is a great thought . I could use the sand and maybe some small pieces of rock from the tank, I will leave the larger rocks out so if they shifted during transport they would not harm any of the inverts. That would eliminate a container from the sand , as well as give them some type of a stable base.

Great thought and thanks for the help. I am really looking forward to this since it will be my first saltwater tank and don't want to take any chances of any loss from a stupid mistake.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:25 AM   #4
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I helped a friend last Sunday move a 29 cube. I took my 32g bin and we filled that with tank water and leaving enough water for the sand inside the cube & enough for another bucket. We put all the live rocks-coral inside t & closed it with the lid. With a 10g bucket we filled that up and put in the clownfish. I have battery operated air pump with a stone and put that in for the fish. The anemone with the clownfish went in that bucket as well. It was a 30mins (maybe more we stopped at a fish store for 10g of fresh salt water) ride back to his place. That 'show we did it & had no problems. T
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:40 AM   #5
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Great , That makes me feel a little better hearing it was not too much trouble for you. That is the only thing I have left before the weekend is to get some water from the fish store. I will eventually start mixing my own water but the current owner has been useing the water from the store and I want to stick with what he has been useing . I hate to make any changes after the move and resetting the tank. Figured they would probably have enough stress and don't want to make any other changes until things stablize.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:42 AM   #6
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Good idea. You can swap out your own RODI water during your weekly PWCs, that way it is introduced gradually.
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