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Moving with aquariums, any advice?


Kalopsia
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Hello everyone,

Last week we sold our home and will be moving. Any advice or suggestions with moving 4 75 gallon planted aquariums, and a few smaller ones. Last year I moved from NYC to Florida, but before I did, I sold all my fish and aquariums because it would of been a bit much to tackle. Currently we are moving 30 mins away so I do not want to sell anything unless necessary. I would greatly appreciate any feedback or suggestions anyone has. Thank you kindly, Manny 

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I live with fear of moving as my default. If I were moving as a renter, I would stage small tanks. If I were moving as a homeowner, I would setup a new primary tank, and move everything to a week-one seasoned tank.

Edited by Streetwise
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do you have any overlap in days of moving, access the new place a few days before having to be out of the old. if not id have help ready to go, and the tanks would be the last thing torn down.  have a pile of clean 5gal buckets on hand to put fish, gravel, plants etc. fish can last quite a while in a bucket, especially if you throw a air stone in with them.. 4 75's at one time would make for a long afternoon, but it can be done with minimal loss of fish. make a good plan in your head before hand to figure out how best it will work for your circumstances.

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Very, very briefly - you drain all the water out the aquarium leaving only the minimum to cover the fish, say 1 to 2 inches of water. This way 2 people can move the aquarium with the fish still in there to the new location.

Once at the new location set the aquariums up again on their stand's and slowly refill with good quality water.

 

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@Streetwise @lefty o @Daniel In a way I am lucky because a friend of ours is offering us his home rent free until our house is built. This will require moving everything twice, however I could start moving all my stuff now and save the aquariums for very last. I do like the idea of moving with 1”-2” of water and leaving the fish be, however my paranoia won’t allow me to do it. I’ll most likely have a ton of clean 5 gallon buckets on hand. My hope is that everything gets moved twice without springing a leak or killing the fish. I think I’m more concerned with a broken aquarium because I’m confident in my fish moving skills and I’ll have a bunch of help. Thank you very much for your replies. 

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I would do a hybrid of @Streetwise and @Daniel

Get a lot of 5 gallon buckets with lids. Hopefully your fish all enjoy similar conditions or can survive them for a day or two. Siphon top-water from your tank(s) into the buckets. Place fish and any epiphytes/floating plants in buckets of good tank water. Empty out one tank until there's just enough water to leave the substrate wet (but if it's just 30 minutes, and you can seal it up well with plastic wrap, you can probably drain it drip-dry). Get a friend to help you lift the still very heavy aquarium. Move it and all the fish in one trip.  Refill the tank with bucket water and new (conditioned) tap water and all the fish.

Then drain the other tanks and move them however fast you'd like without breaking them, keeping any filters, substrate and rooted plants wet as you do so.

The water will probably be a mess for a few days and you might lose a sensitive fish or plant, but the majority will probably make it through.

If you have a moving van or a way to move all the tanks at once, all the better.

Edited by Kirsten
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1 minute ago, Manny said:

@Streetwise This is true and I have the patience of a monument. Question is, can I supply enough air in only 2” of water? I have 1 usb air pump, but will obviously be purchasing 1 per aquarium for the move. 

It is unlikely you will run out of oxygen in the water in 30 minutes to an hour, plus the surface area to volume ratio will keep the 1 - 2 inches water well oxygenated.

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@Kirsten That is actually an excellent idea. I don’t mind if I loose some plants, I’m way more concerned with the fish. I have 12 wapoga rainbows, 18 Boesmani aitinjo’s, 10 Odessa barbs, 12 Rhadinocentrus searys creek, a ton of shellies but they’re tiny and will instantly hide in their shells which makes for easy scooping, 14 corydoras, and 12 fancy goldfish (150 gallon outdoor pond). Some can be mixed for a bit, yet the shellies definitely can not. 

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I'm doing the same thing my man. Moving into a house in a few months and have 10ish tanks that need to make their way over. Easier for me because the house is my father's and he lives about 5 minutes away so there's lots of overlap, but it's still a big juggling act for sure. Best of luck!

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44 minutes ago, Manny said:

@Kirsten That is actually an excellent idea. I don’t mind if I loose some plants, I’m way more concerned with the fish. I have 12 wapoga rainbows, 18 Boesmani aitinjo’s, 10 Odessa barbs, 12 Rhadinocentrus searys creek, a ton of shellies but they’re tiny and will instantly hide in their shells which makes for easy scooping, 14 corydoras, and 12 fancy goldfish (150 gallon outdoor pond). Some can be mixed for a bit, yet the shellies definitely can not. 

Mmm, so I would move at least 2 tanks on Fish Moving Day: Shellie tank and Everything Else tank. Goldfish pond is totally separate, in my opinion, to be moved whenever you're moving other outdoor stuff. Otherwise I think you got this.

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1 hour ago, Daniel said:

It is unlikely you will run out of oxygen in the water in 30 minutes to an hour, plus the surface area to volume ratio will keep the 1 - 2 inches water well oxygenated.

Kind of somewhat related, when I was a kid, my family owned a bait shop. We’d sell  minnows out of an old a bath tub and we’d always have to tell summer folks that their minnows would keep all day in their bait bucket if they were kept in shallow water, and that contrary to what seemed like logic, a 5 gallon bucket full of water would have the opposite effect.

Edited by tolstoy21
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