Best Way To Move A Reef Tank Help

Discussion in 'Saltwater Tank Equipment' started by Sprogladite, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. Sprogladite

    SprogladiteValued MemberMember

    I am facing the prospect of having to move my 90g reef tank in the next few months. I've never moved such a big tank before so slightly freaking out.

    I would plan to replace the sand (keeping a cup or two of the old sand to seed the new stuff). Maybe putting rock in some sort of container with wet towels over them?

  2. nikm128

    nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

    How deep is the sand? It might be way easier to just leave it in the tank with an inch or two of water left while you move it. For your live rock, fish, and any corals 5 gallon buckets with lids will be the easiest option, just fill them up with tank water and transfer stuff into them. The biggest concern will be the length of the move and how the weather is since you can't heat several buckets very easily.
  3. OP

    SprogladiteValued MemberMember

    The sand is only a couple of centimeters deep, nothing major. The move will be about an hour to hour and a half's drive away, and likely to be in Sept/Oct at the earliest. My biggest concern is about the weight of the tank - I'm not that physically strong, my parents are both OAPs and I don't want strangers breaking my tank! Lol. Just wondering if it might be better to hire a guy or 3 from my LFS to help out on the day but I'm sure that would be expensive :/
  4. nikm128

    nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

    I think your best bet for help moving it would be calling a few moving companies to see if they can spare two or three people and a small truck if needed to help you for a couple hours.
    Other than that I'd be worried about is keeping the water at a good temp for everything you need to keep wet.
  5. ystrout

    ystroutWell Known MemberMember

    I have no experience with reef tanks, but I move my freshwater tanks once a year since I am currently living in an apartment.

    Moving my 75G tank sucks and is stressful, but it's ultimately not that bad. Reef will be more complicated because of the sump and extra equipment, but the general concept of keeping everything alive is the same.

    Some easy ways to keep everything alive and healthy:
    *Keep house at 76 degrees (for my freshwater tank, alter for your reef tank).
    *Remove your favorite fish early so they don't get too stressed out by chasing them around the tank.
    *Put everything you want to keep in 5G buckets.
    *Leave everything sensitive (fish, corals, live rock) inside the temp controlled house until the end. Then move into your car and keep the car around the desired temperature.

    The entire move should be less than 3 or 4 hours, so the fish will be fine in bags. I don't know about coral, but I assume it would be fine.

    You could also just have a aquarium maintenance company do it. They do this stuff all the time. You can supervise them and be a "backseat driver" if you want. It'll annoy them, but they're your fish and corals so you want to make sure they're safe!
  6. stella1979

    stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    I too am facing a move and only have a 20g but don't like the idea of my large rocks with corals attached being squished into buckets during a car ride. So, my plan is to use a cooler for my scape pieces. This space will allow room around the rocks so I may somehow cushion these pieces that hold coral. Idk what I'll use for cushions but the current thought is to line the inside of the cooler with pool noodles so there will be fewer chances of rocks smashing into the sides of the cooler and squishing the attached corals. It's just a thought so far but, at least in my mind, it beats detaching every dang coral, which would lead to some loss at the least, plus... the cooler will maintain water temp better than buckets. In fact, the plan is to leave the scape in the cooler until the tank is fully set up in the new place... where fragility and temp are easier maintained (shoot, if it's long term, we'll put a heater in it and stick the cooler under the light.) Yes, the cooler will be heavy, but if it comes to it, we'll drain it before moving it out of the house, refill once in the car, then drain it before getting it out of the car, get everything inside the new place and in the tank quickly then fill 'er up.

    There is a HUGE difference between 90g's and 20g's but my large cooler is at least twice the size of my reef tank, probably more, so... I think maybe the cooler and your saltwater prep container may be able to contain things in the short term? Idk. Again, I've never done this before, this is all in my mind, and... you'll still need help moving the darn tank. Anyway, just thought it might help a little to put my thoughts out there.;)
  7. xiholdtruex

    xiholdtruexWell Known MemberMember

    If I was to move the tank, I would remove the sand and rinse it in fresh water till its clean no cloudiness in the water at the last rinse use salt water and it will keep you bacteria alive but remove any detritus or build up in sand. The rocks I would either use tubs or large coolers like stella said. you should have minimal loss like that.
  8. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

  9. OP

    SprogladiteValued MemberMember

    Thanks all, I'll have a think. Luckily we should have time to plan and I definitely won't be rushing into anything. Now wondering if I hire a guy from my LFS who has been very, very good to us whether he'll bring some stuff from him store. I feel a trip to the LFS coming on :)
  10. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    I would definitely put the rock into buckets. You want to keep it wet to avoid a bunch of die off (ie triggering another cycle). Personally I am of the thought of that the rock should only be out of the water for the transfer itself. I haven't moved it a distance before but I have torn down and transferred tanks and the process is pretty similar. As mentioned by stella1979 you may want to store the rocks with coral separately in a more secure method than simply just dumped in a bucket (ie Cooler as mentioned).
  11. ystrout

    ystroutWell Known MemberMember

    I actually moved apartments last week. I removed all the sand in my 75, cleaned it in de-chlorinated water, and put it back. It looks much better. Even with weekly maintenance, enough grime gets down into the sand to make it look slightly dirty. Even without moving a tank, I'll probably do a sand deep cleaning every year or so.