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Old 09-07-2010, 12:57 PM   #1
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Moving a 150G FOWLR

In the near future (next couple of months, maybe) I could find myself moving my 150G setup. It's about a two hour drive, and I wanted to run everything by the people on here and see if I should adjust my planning for any of this. My goal is to get this and my 20G FW planted setup moved in one day, though that may be ambitious. I've moved small FW before and I feel like I can handle that.

Livestock: I'm thinking of using 5-gallon buckets with lids, and holes drilled in the lids for air. The buckets would have roughly 3 gallons of tank water in them, and would have to be strapped tightly to the side of the moving truck to prevent them from falling over. I'm guessing the hermit crabs would have to be included in their own bucket.

I'll probably need 8 or so buckets, and I don't have that many on hand. I'm guessing I'd need to go to the hardware store and ask for buckets that haven't had nasty chemicals in them before?

Live rock: I think this is the biggest challenge, because I have 250 lbs of it, and I'm using it as the biological filtration for the tank. I'll probably have to keep it underwater since I don't want the beneficial bacteria to die off. I'm thinking something flat to prevent it from tipping over, but I don't want it to spill either, so the edges would have to be high. I originally thought of a kiddie pool or something like that. Any suggestions here? I can use tank water to keep the rock wet. I also have pure ammonia left over from my fishless cycle if that's necessary to keep the bacteria alive, but I don't know if it will be.

Live sand: I have 75 pounds of Aragonite sand in the bottom of the tank. I was thinking of leaving the sand in the tank with just enough water to cover it, with maybe an inch extra, and transporting the tank like that. That seems OK, but I worry that stirring up the sand bed like this (which will inevitably happen) could cause problems. I don't know if a way to avoid that, though, and I'm not sure how to mitigate that if it will cause a problem.

Water: I'll have to have 150 gallons of pre-mixed SW waiting at the destination house, which means lots of garbage cans filled with water. Yay!

I'm open to any suggestions for improvements on this, or to anything I've missed. I don't want to put any of my fish in danger in this move. Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:54 PM   #2
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My only problem is that I would use new sand. By the time you move it around it`s going to be pretty rough. There`s alot of trash in that sand. The LR I would move in coolers.
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:29 PM   #3
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Coolers for the LR... that certainly would make me feel better about transporting it. I hope that doesn't become prohibitively expensive, though... maybe I can see how much they are and/or if I can borrow some from family.

...so putting in brand new sand would have less of a negative effect than stirring up the old sand? I'm guessing this is because of die-off; but I assume that it would be feasible to hang on to the old sand, clean it, and use it for something else (or sell it)?
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:53 PM   #4
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I would make a trip to your local home depot. They have new 5 gal buckets for under $4 each with matching lid. Never used before. Just clean them out with fresh water (no soap).

They also have 28+ gallon totes that have lids. You could get bigger and nicer ones, but each tote is less than $10. Wouldn't try the kiddy pool. They're stable if water is in them... but I'm sure the sloshing around would make a side cave in. You could also get a bunch of styrofoam coolers from any grocery store for cheap... all of those have lids too. Don't worry about filling up the entire tote with water to 100% cover the rocks. If it's only two hours you could fill them halfway and the sloshing will cover the rocks as well. People put wet new towels or newspaper over their rock to keep them moist.

I do use the same sand if/when I do a move. Would be expensive to replace 75 pounds of it... but if you can afford it, why not. Just don't move the tank with that much weight still in it. The weight may shift to one side causing the tank to break if you're not careful. Take the sand out and store it if you're transplanting, or chuck it if you're replacing.
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Old 09-20-2010, 02:25 PM   #5
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All right. Coolers for the LR and the sand.

I wanted to clarify something: if I chose to keep the same sand, I wanted to make sure nothing bad would happen by moving it and potentially stirring it up in the process. Would it be in my best interest to thoroughly rinse the sand off or something like that before I put it in?

If it's not too much of a hassle I'd like to prevent buying all new sand if possible. If there's going to be any danger to my system then I don't want to chance it, but maybe there are things I can do (like waiting to add the sand until last and adding it slowly?) to prevent complications? I've just heard a couple of different things and I wanted to make sure. Thanks,
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:29 AM   #6
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Well, I made the move this last weekend. I wrote an entry about it on my fish log (link in my signature) and there are a few loose ends/reflections I thought I'd share.

First, my biggest mistake is with the water I had pre-mixed. I had forgotten that I had the thermostat set at 60 degrees and I was storing the water near the edge of the house, so it was probably 55 degrees or so (maybe even colder) when I got there. OOPS! I didn't bother to put a heater in the water, which I should have done. The result was that the fish had to spend the night in their buckets because it was warmer there.

I worry that the live rock may have gotten down to as cold as 50 degrees during the course of the move. I'm hoping that doesn't cause a tank crash, since that was my source of biological filtration. Does anybody know how long the beneficial bacteria can survive at those kind of temperatures?

One reason to be optimistic about that, though; I had a little green clown goby that managed to stow away inside a rock, and he actually survived the move! I was sure that I'd lost him, but he appears to be doing just fine. I'd like to think that if he can survive the same conditions that the rocks did, then the bacteria in the rocks should be fine.

I ended up buying new sand.
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Old 12-08-2010, 05:56 PM   #7
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Opps I am a little bit late did not read all the threads to see that you already made the move.....
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How about the RubberMaid or Sterlite Tutes that you can get at Walmart those have pretty tall sides plus lids for moving the LR in?? At least that is what I would use.
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:56 PM   #8
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I thought about it but I think I ended up going with the coolers because they would be more stable when they're filled up with water, and they have lids that seal tightly. Maybe what you're talking about fits that description as well?
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:00 PM   #9
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I think they are stable and they do have lids...
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:25 AM   #10
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i read your blog about your move ( I am going to be moving 120g ) I believe I read that you bought new sand. Why? I am currently researching about this same issue. THE SAND!!!! I have heard that it can release some bad gases if disturbed to much. I am thinking to just keep a couple of cupfuls to re seed the new sand. Did you have any cycle? It sounds like you did a complete water change ( except for the water in the buckets with the fish ) Why did you choose to do this? I have read to keep as much of the tank water as possible. Anything you can give me heads up on will be great. I don't have to transport my tank anywhere. I am having new tile put in and have to move the tank Thanks
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:35 AM   #11
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Sand releases bad gases if disturbed a lot? The guy at my LFS told me that I would have to sift through the sand when I do water changes. Did he mean all of the sand, or just the top layer?
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:36 AM   #12
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- I just did the move this weekend, so I can't be sure that I didn't have a cycle, but the fish seem fine so far.

- I did save as much of the tank water as possible, even though I've heard it doesn't make much difference since not much of the beneficial bacteria lives in the water, but rather on the rocks, sand, etc. There was the water in the buckets with the fish and also the water I put in the coolers that had the LR in them.

- The sand: If your sand bed is deep enough then yes, it can cause very bad things to happen, which mine was. That's why I bought new sand. I knew I wouldn't be able to get all of the sand out of the tank, so there was some in there, but I couldn't think of a way to safely transport sand and keep it live without risking the Hydrogen Sulfide badness...

Here's another thread with more of the discussion on sand:

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...nk-135888.html

In your case, I think the biggest (possibly the only) thing you have to worry about is your sand. Also, if you can get a hold of them, sawhorses will help you A LOT.
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uscamaro View Post
Sand releases bad gases if disturbed a lot? The guy at my LFS told me that I would have to sift through the sand when I do water changes. Did he mean all of the sand, or just the top layer?
There's more discussion in the thread I linked in my last post, but messing around with the sand bed yourself is BAD BAD BAD. Some people can get away with stirring just the top layer, but in my opinion it's far safer to have sand-sifting fish like gobies, or snails that live in your sand bed to do it for you. I have a cave goby that loves to dig holes, and Diamond Watchman gobies are great for that too. The bad stuff is down deep in your sand bed (if your sand bed is deep) and the fish/snails will stir it up a little bit at a time, which is OK. If you do it yourself and stir up too much at once, you risk a tank crash, not to mention it can be hard to reach some places if you have LR.
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:44 AM   #14
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Thank you for that! Before I planned on buying fish I was going to stir it up completely. Now I just have 1 more concern:

I forgot to put in egg-crate before I put in the sand/LR. The tank has been cycling for over 2 weeks and I wanted to get the E-C, and lay it down before I purchase more LR. Will the gasses have built up that bad in only 2 weeks, or will I be safe to put it in now? I plan on getting some gobies and don't want them to dig too far under the rocks and risk a collapse. I have a 4" sand bed, should I even still worry about the E-C?
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:14 AM   #15
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I don't think you'll have a problem with only 2 weeks. That kind of thing builds up over several weeks. I wish I had taken a picture of mine before I moved, since I could see a profile from outside the tank of the sand, and there was a noticeable difference between the sand that had been stirred and the sand that had been sitting there for over a year.

I assume you want to put eggcrate underneath your sand so that you don't risk a rockslide? With a 4" sand bed you definitely want to take measure to prevent a rockslide, but I've never used eggcrate for it. I always put some smaller pieces into the sand and pushed them down until they hit the bottom, then I would just build my LR on top of those instead of relying on the sand to support the rocks. Maybe eggcrate is more effective, I don't know -- I've never heard of it.
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:29 AM   #16
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Hi everyone,
I keep hearing about putting an egg-crate inside the tanks what does one look like that is cable of going into a Saltwater Tanks?
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:32 AM   #17
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It's this stuff

http://www.columbia-elevator.com/acc...vinyl_open.jpg

I found it in the lighting section of my hardware store.
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:38 AM   #18
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Thank you I am going over to Home Depot at lunch for the Rubbermaid Brute container so I can store my saltwater in and will look for the egg-crate over there....
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:14 PM   #19
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It fits perfectly in a 55gal, I used to have it when I had my freshwater tank. You had no idea it was there unless you looked under the tank. I was moving my rocks around today and every time I moved them, I could hear the rock scraping the bottom of my glass. I am definitely going to invest in some before I add more LR. Also, if you have to cut it, just use pliers to snap off each little 1/2" section; it takes a couple minutes, but it's the most effective way I've found
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