Question Getting Tank From Family Friend - Have To Transport

lukario45

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Hey Fishlore,

It’s been a while since I have been here. I wasn’t planning on getting another setup until after I graduated, but that changed. One of my moms close friends is moving and they will no longer have room for their 65 gallon aquarium. I convinced my mom to let me keep it, it will be going in my ‘man cave’.

It has been a while since I have had fish, and I never dealt with an aquarium this size before.

In this tank there is:
1 Angel Fish
Two Pelcos (one of which has been in their family for 10+ years)
4 Neon Tetras (I LOVE these)
6 Tetras (black or white, maybe more than 6)
1 Raphael Catfish
1 Zebra Danio (maybe dyed? Not sure)
And Maybe a loach

There is also some aquatic plants in there, but idk what it is yet.

Do I have any more room? I would love to add a fish of my own, but I won’t if it is too crowded already, and since they had this tank established for years I’m not going to take anything out.

That leads into my more important issue.

I need to transport all of the fish and their tank about 2 hours this Friday. All the way from Lancaster PA to the Pocono Mountains. This tank has been established for a LONG time, and I would like to preserve its bio filter and I don’t want to have to start a new ammonia cycle. What should I do to transport these fish, and their tank, without destroying the bio filter?

Thanks!
 

nikm128

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You'll want to get one or two 5 gallon buckets to move the fish, usually keeping the buckets warm enough would be an issue but I see you're in Pennsylvania and it should be fairly warm right now, so maybe just drive without the AC on? I would get two, one gallon ziploc bags to move the plants and filter media, as long as you keep them slightly damp you don't need to worry about them dying, or losing the cycle
 

Heron

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I agree but I would just add if you have spare buckets take some tank water with you. If you intend adding new water at the other end test the tank water in the old tank before you leave and when you arrive make sure the new water match's. This of course means heating the new water. As the tap water may not match have some pH up/down ready to tweek it, then allow the fish to gradually acclimatise to the new water over a few days.
 

nikm128

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Agree with all except using chemicals for PH, it's best to just leave it alone and let the fish adjust over a few weeks
 
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lukario45

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You'll want to get one or two 5 gallon buckets to move the fish, usually keeping the buckets warm enough would be an issue but I see you're in Pennsylvania and it should be fairly warm right now, so maybe just drive without the AC on? I would get two, one gallon ziploc bags to move the plants and filter media, as long as you keep them slightly damp you don't need to worry about them dying, or losing the cycle
I don’t have AC, so that shouldn’t be much of an issue. Do you think I can get away with leaving the substrate, plants, and decorations inside of the tank? I don’t really want to take it out if I don’t have to. But I will if I need to.


I agree but I would just add if you have spare buckets take some tank water with you. If you intend adding new water at the other end test the tank water in the old tank before you leave and when you arrive make sure the new water match's. This of course means heating the new water. As the tap water may not match have some pH up/down ready to tweek it, then allow the fish to gradually acclimatise to the new water over a few days.
I plan on saving as much of the tank water as possible. I’ll slowly mix water in from my place during the water changes.
 

nikm128

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I don’t have AC, so that shouldn’t be much of an issue. Do you think I can get away with leaving the substrate, plants, and decorations inside of the tank? I don’t really want to take it out if I don’t have to. But I will if I need to.




I plan on saving as much of the tank water as possible. I’ll slowly mix water in from my place during the water changes.
You could probably leave it all in, just leave a little water in for the plants
 

Noroomforshoe

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Yes you can leave the plants deco and substrate. The more ware you remove the less of a strain on the tank, but a few inches should be fine.

if it is going to take more then 2 hours to get the fish back in there home like you said, consider getting tall fish bags from a pet store to alllow a lot of oxygen, and put them in a cooler. keep the filter cartidges and any filter media in a plastic bag, zippered is best. , and put the filter in another bag dont rinse the filter or the cartidges or the media, And ask them not to clean or change that stuff anymore either, then they will have the most possible healthy bacteria .

DO NOT change you ph, they can adapt to your ph, but the can not adapt to the bouncing ph caused buy ph adjusting chemicals

Get a digital heater, try to get the tank set up with the temperature that it was. then float the fish to adjust them to the temp again, and acclimate the fish to get them use to the new ph and water.
 
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lukario45

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Yes you can leave the plants deco and substrate. The more ware you remove the less of a strain on the tank, but a few inches should be fine.

if it is going to take more then 2 hours to get the fish back in there home like you said, consider getting tall fish bags from a pet store to alllow a lot of oxygen, and put them in a cooler. keep the filter cartidges and any filter media in a plastic bag, zippered is best. , and put the filter in another bag dont rinse the filter or the cartidges or the media, And ask them not to clean or change that stuff anymore either, then they will have the most possible healthy bacteria .

DO NOT change you ph, they can adapt to your ph, but the can not adapt to the bouncing ph caused buy ph adjusting chemicals

Get a digital heater, try to get the tank set up with the temperature that it was. then float the fish to adjust them to the temp again, and acclimate the fish to get them use to the new ph and water.
The drive alone is more than two hours, and then there is still the time it will take to unset the tank and to load/unload. I actually just recently learned that I have a non-chain LFS so I’ll go there for bags on Friday morning.

Here is a picture of the tank set up currently. I’m getting the entire tank, the stand it’s sitting on, and all of the fish related products. Hopefully they have something that I can suck all the rocks clean with.
IMG_0012.JPG
IMG_0013.JPG
 

nikm128

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That's a very nice looking tank there, is it custom built? I've never seen one with a wooden frame before.
 

Noroomforshoe

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nice tank.
make sure to leave the bag only half full of water or less, and trap air into it and tie it off like they do at the store. a large bag should have several hours of oxygen in it no worries. but you can always open the bag when you get home, trap more air, and go back to setting things up. twist ties rather then knots would make that easier. Good Luck!
 

mattgirl

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If it were me I would not try to move the tank with the deco in there. All it would take to destroy the tank is one rock falling against the bottom. I would get a few 5 gallon buckets. I would put the rocks, whatever other deco and the media from the filter in one bucket filled with about 4 gallons of tank water. Depending on how many rocks or how much other deco you may need more than one bucket to hold all of it.

I would put the fish in another bucket or separate them into more than one bucket and again fill it/them with 4 gallons of tank water.

If it is going to be too heavy with the gravel in it put the gravel in another bucket and again fill with tank water.

Once I got everything out of the tank I would put plastic wrap over the top. This should protect the bacteria that is clinging to the inside of the tank. This step really isn't necessary but it is what I would do. There should be plenty of bacteria on the filter media, deco and gravel to prevent even a mini-cycle after setting it back up.

If you start out with 5-5 gallon buckets you will have close to 20 gallons of the water these fish are used to. Hopefully both fish and bacteria will just feel like they have had a larger than normal water change. I would actually try to keep close to half of the water that is in the tank now but you can get by with less than half.

I would check both PH and temp of the water from the tank and the new to them source water. If there is a big difference in PH you will want to slowly acclimate the fish to the new water.

Run the PH test after you have added both original water and fresh water to the tank and base the acclimation time on that number.

As always, just the way I would do it. There are probably easier ways.
 
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