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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What has been your experience when moving large tanks? I am fixing to move my 75 gallon and am not quite sure what would be the best method. The tank is very heavily planted and there are discus, tetras, shrimp, and others in there. Its not a very far move, maybe 15 minutes away. I was thinking of either lowering the water level down and trying to move it with the fish still there but I dont know if it will be too heavy or not. I also thought of taking the fish over in buckets but it will be hard to catch them all, even with the water low and I dont really want to uproot all the plants if I dont have too. Any ideas?
 

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you're going to hate this answer kevin, but i would empty it out completely, putting all the plants and fish into buckets. the 75g by itself is going to be heavy, but if you keep the substrate and the water, that is going to make it even worse. remember, water is 8lbs per gallon, and then you have the substrate. that is going to put some pressure on your tank's glass, b/c as you are carrying it, the water is no longer evenly dispersed. you may end up cracking a panel. i had to move a 90g, so i feel your pain, but it is much better to take the slow/sure route than the fast/dangerous route.

good luck on the move!
 

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Must be empty!

Clay is absolutely right, it has to be empty. There is no difference between a 15 minute move and a 15 hour move, or very little, at least.

Don't feed for 2 days before the move. Put the fish into bags or a clean ice chest with enough water to just cover them. A soft plant is nice for security. Add some Amquel or similar. Be sure to cover, they will jump. You can use bags inside heavy boxes, small medical coolers (from insulin shipments). You might beg some fish boxes from the pet store.

I'd separate the different types of fish, if possible, just because any smaller fish might get bit in frustration. You'll want several containers, even 5 gallons of water is heavy. The fish will be very damaged if you drop them!

Change a lot of tank water a day or so before the move to be sure tank conditions and tap conditions are similar. Move some tank water if you can but not that necessary, take what you can, if only to add to the ice chest when you get there to give the fish more water while you set up the tank, it takes longer than you think to get it all right. Have a heater and airstone ready at the new place, then you don't have to rush and make a mistake in setting up.

The Skeptical Aquarist site says to separate the top 3/4" of gravel where aerobic bacteria are, from the lower gravel, where anaerobic bacteria are. Take the top gravel in a shallow pan covered with tank water. the other can go in a bucket.

Protect the filter media as much as the fish, keep it wet and in shallow tank water during the move.

Don't worry about air during the car trip, they will slosh enough to keep aerated, do worry abut your car, have plastic set under the chests.

Be sure to level the tank, take your time, you don't want to do that ever again! When you replace the gravel, put the bottom gravel, replant in very shallow dechlorinated tap water, then drain to remove dust, put the top gravel, refill a bit and pull the plants upwards to level them. This is what takes so long.

Set up the filter, add old water, if any is left, and new. Transfer fish only, none of the nasty water they were in. Keep lights off until tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice. I really didnt want to have to replant, but I guess that will be best in the end. Thanks for the advice!
 

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Bad stuff from gravel

I've read more than once about someone moving a tank a short way, like across the room, and killing the fish. I suspect that the deeper anerobic parts of the gravel may release something nasty when disturbed. By setting the gravel in place, then changing water, you probably escape exposing the fish to any of that.
 

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Kevin,

Let me know when, and I can help.

You will want to drain the tank, empty the gravel. I may have some extra containers. I have a kiddie pool you can use inside to store the fish and plants at the new location until the tank is set up again.

Steve Pituch
 
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