How to move 55 gallon across town

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How to move 55 gallon across town

Postby c4greene on Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:26 pm

What is the easiest way? It's a FOWLR tank. Is the easiest to just try to keep all original water and put in 5 gallone buckets? Quickly take down and set up again?

Any help is appreciated
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Re: How to move 55 gallon across town

Postby Zachh455 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:43 pm

Back when I moved my 55 gallon FOWLR from the top floor of my house to the basement, I moved 75% of the original water down to the basement with the tank in separate containers. I put all my fish/rock in the containers with a heater while I moved the equipment. I left all the sand in the bottom. The only issue I ran into was my snowflake eel trying to jump out of the bucket. Everything survived the move.
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Re: How to move 55 gallon across town

Postby Socratic Monologue on Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:27 pm

IME, it is easiest to have the appropriate amount of fresh SW mixed up and heated, waiting at the new location, so you can set up the tank, fill it with the new water, and (important!) acclimate the fish. But I just feel silly hauling buckets of dirty old water.

FIsh can beat themselves up pretty badly in a bucket, so you might think about bagging them if size permits, or in a Rubbermaid tote, or just be prepared for some damage. Whatever you do, keep them at a moderate temperature and get them some air as needed. Don't move when it is 95 degrees unless you have AC in the moving vehicle.

If you have live sand, it will die if it doesn't get O2; don't put it all in a 5 gallon bucket for more than a couple hours.

The only real loss I ever had in 3 interstate moves of 55-75g reefs was a 10+ year old coral beauty that I dropped on the floor when I was netting it. :( Things should go fine. :)
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Re: How to move 55 gallon across town

Postby Tin_Whistler on Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:18 am

I just picked up a full 150 gallon setup from somebody over the weekend, and I moved most of it with 14 gallon Rubbermaid tubs that I had on hand.

I put all the rock into tubs, the sand into a single tub, and all the fish into another tub. I lost one fish, but according to the guy I picked the system up from that fish hadn't eaten in three months since he got him. My guess it was a mixture of stress and poor health because everyone else is swimming around and eating happily.

I'm assuming you're using the same tank, so like others said, I'd use a heater and airstone in the tub you place them in. If you're able to, I'd have new water on hand. If you can match salinity and temperature they really don't need much for acclimation, and I'm sure the fish would prefer the cleaner water vs water.
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Re: How to move 55 gallon across town

Postby Socratic Monologue on Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:29 pm

Tin_Whistler wrote: If you can match salinity and temperature they really don't need much for acclimation


I'll respectfully submit that this little bit isn't the best advice, in spite of the fact that lots of folks are successfully lazy with acclimation. The pH of the new water could be at the top end of the acceptable range (depending on which salt you use, and how well it is aerated), while the pH of the bag/tote water is more than likely at the low end (esp. if KH is low in the old tank, which sometimes happens when people get lax on maintenance before a move) because of marginal aeration. pH swings are hard on fish.

Also, I suspect (could confirm this with research) that marine fish alter their physiology to accommodate high nitrate levels in the water (they do, for example, for Na and Cl ions, which is why salinity swings are to be avoided). If (as FOWLRs sometimes are) the old tank is high in NO3, and the new water has zero NO3, this is just another physiological shock to add to the fishes' overall stress.

Minor points, though, and YMMV of course. :)
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Re: How to move 55 gallon across town

Postby Tin_Whistler on Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:11 am

I probably should have written that a little better...

I wouldn't just toss the fish from the bin or bag into the tank just because salinity and temp match. When acclimating those are the two things I make sure are dead on. Then I would drip acclimate the fish.
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Re: How to move 55 gallon across town

Postby godsworkinprogress on Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:32 am

I just chuckled a little reading this last post! I have looked at my fish and said...sink or swim, you can do it!!!

I had moved my 55 gallon mulitple times before I broke it down and sold it off, saved all the water, and moved as quickly as possible. I used buckets, bins, and coolers, never lost a thing but I honestly did not drip acclimate, knew I should of but was so exhausted after the move.
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Re: How to move 55 gallon across town

Postby c4greene on Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:41 pm

I have a plastic garbage can that I was thinkinf of putting about 20 gallons in. Would this be a bad idea? Would the plastic leak into the water and cause something to go wrong? I have 5, 5 gallon buckets with lids to move most of it.
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Re: How to move 55 gallon across town

Postby Tin_Whistler on Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:54 am

Ideally you'd only want to use food safe plastics. I know the rubbermaid brute can's are food safe.

TBH, if the water isn't in there very long it shouldn't be an issue at all.
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