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  1. #1
    Senior Member zanytomato's Avatar
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    Question Moving a 60-gallon established tank...

    Hi, gang:

    I'm unexpectedly moving to a new place and I've got to figure out how to get my 60-gallon tank there with me. The extra catch is that it's 1.5 hour drive away. I've invested a lot and I'm attached to my fish, so I don't want to leave it.

    Does anyone have any experience with this that they could share?

    Some details on the tank (I've got a pic below from when it was first set up):

    - Mixed rock/sand bed (one concern is how not to make an uber mess of this)
    - Heavily planted (it's really grown in since the pic that's to high-output light and fertz)
    - 8 glowlight tetras
    - 10 blue tetras
    - 8 black phantom tetras
    - 1 angel
    - 1 (4 inch) pleco
    - 2 cories
    - 5-10 shrimp
    - 1 SAE

    When I moved here (only a 10 minute drive away) I bagged the fish using extra-large ziplock and then stood them up in a box. This was also a new tank, so it was already set up and waiting for them.

    Now this is my only tank and I'm concerned about the long distance, and the fact that I will have to get the tank set up for them before I can put them in. So we're looking at 2 hours in the bag, if not more. What can/should I do?

    And how can I avoid messing up my landscape... or should I just accept that and sift out the sand from the gravel and re-do it when i get there.

    Thanks in advance...


    -zt.


    [33g planted]: 10 glowlight tetras, 1 zebra-lace angel, 1 SAEs, 1 mystery pleco, 1+ amano shrimp

    [20g]: 7 blk-phantom tetras, 1 rescued white zebra danio, 3 bronze cories, 1+ amano shrimp





  2. #2
    Merry Christmas! Lab_Rat's Avatar
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    I would tear the tanks down, using buckets to transport the substrate. I'd bag the fish and put them in a styrofoam lined container (with a heat pack if it's cold). 2 hours in a bag is no big deal, just make sure you have mostly air and just enough water to cover the fish. Also, fast the fish a couple of days before the move. Bag the plants up as well, and put wet paper towel in with them to keep them moist. Make sure you do the same with your filter media as well.

    I'd transport the tank empty, not worth the risk of breaking it by carrying a lot of crap in it.

    I'm facing a similar situation in May, only I'm likely moving 2100+ miles away and have 7 running tanks and about 150 fish to deal with, in addition to the live plants.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member zanytomato's Avatar
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    Thanks, Lab_Rat, for the prompt reply. While I'm not planning on driving like a maniac or anything, how much should I worry about jostling? I'm not sure how best to protect against that.

    I don't want them throwing up all over the car (kidding, of course).

    (Btw, your tanks are gorgeous!)
    [33g planted]: 10 glowlight tetras, 1 zebra-lace angel, 1 SAEs, 1 mystery pleco, 1+ amano shrimp

    [20g]: 7 blk-phantom tetras, 1 rescued white zebra danio, 3 bronze cories, 1+ amano shrimp



  4. #4
    this is bat country jbradt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lab_Rat View Post
    I would tear the tanks down, using buckets to transport the substrate. I'd bag the fish and put them in a styrofoam lined container (with a heat pack if it's cold). 2 hours in a bag is no big deal, just make sure you have mostly air and just enough water to cover the fish. Also, fast the fish a couple of days before the move. Bag the plants up as well, and put wet paper towel in with them to keep them moist. Make sure you do the same with your filter media as well.

    I'd transport the tank empty, not worth the risk of breaking it by carrying a lot of crap in it.

    I'm facing a similar situation in May, only I'm likely moving 2100+ miles away and have 7 running tanks and about 150 fish to deal with, in addition to the live plants.
    I totally agree with Labby on this one. I moved about 2000 miles with some pretty sensitive fish, and they all arrived safely. For just a couple hours, I wouldn't worry about bagging plants, I would just fill a couple buckets with water/substrate and put the plants in there. Remember to keep your filter media wet with tank water, and you shouldn't have to worry about losing your cycle.

    My fish were in the bags for about 4 days during my move and there were no casualties at all. Good luck!
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  5. #5
    this is bat country jbradt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zanytomato View Post
    Thanks, Lab_Rat, for the prompt reply. While I'm not planning on driving like a maniac or anything, how much should I worry about jostling? I'm not sure how best to protect against that.

    I don't want them throwing up all over the car (kidding, of course).

    (Btw, your tanks are gorgeous!)
    If they're bagged, you won't have a problem at all. Fish ship all over the world in bags. This would be a bigger concern if you were keeping them in buckets for the trip.
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  6. #6
    Formerly ExPeNsIvE AdDiCtIoN on MFK ExPeNsIvE HoBbY's Avatar
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    I had to move 6 tanks and somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 fish, including 2 135gal tanks.
    -Go to the LFS and get some "fish bags" and rubber bands from them. As someone else has said, use only enuff water to cover the fish, and lay them on their sides(more water surface area=more gas exchange). Also double bag them, one bag backwards over the other to eliminate corners to keep the fish from becoming trapped or squished in the corners. And a few drops of PRIME will help detoxify the ammonia/nitrites as well.
    -the use of an ice chest will help keep the temp more stable.
    -Do the same for your plants with no need for the PRIME.
    -to speed up your setup at the new place, transport your substrate in some 5gal buckets and you can transport 50% of your water in 5 gal buckets or those 18gal rubbermaid totes like I did.



  7. #7
    Senior Member zanytomato's Avatar
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    This is great, everyone... thank you so much! I feel much better about it all... I was really starting to get anxious.
    [33g planted]: 10 glowlight tetras, 1 zebra-lace angel, 1 SAEs, 1 mystery pleco, 1+ amano shrimp

    [20g]: 7 blk-phantom tetras, 1 rescued white zebra danio, 3 bronze cories, 1+ amano shrimp



  8. #8
    "That guy" rufioman's Avatar
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    You're more than alright I moved a friends' 120g with the same scape as your tank and it went 110% smooth.
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