Help I'm moving and need advice


I am moving in 5 days literally a mile away I have a 90 gallon freshwater tank that has about 30 fish in it some big balas Angels rainbow sharks etc I bought a big 45 gallon plastic tub that I have a 55 gallon hang on filter on I used turbo start and it's been running for about 2 days without fish in it. My plan was to let it filter until a day before we move then I was going to put all the fish in the tub while I drain the water in my tank and set it up at my new place so the fish might be in there for a couple days. My question is do I need to completely empty the tank of all the gravel plants decorations everything?? I have about 90 lb of stone gravel and about 12 live plants in my tank would I be able to just remove the majority of the gravel and leave my plants in there while moving the tank or would the bottom break?? Also will my fish be okay and a 45 gallon tub for 2 days with the filter on it and a bubbler and a heater??? Also how do I move the fish from the tub to my new place should I buy like five gallon buckets and put a couple fish in each one and transport them like that how do I acclimate them to the tank if they're in a bucket how many fish per bucket?? I have so many questions because I have never moved a tank before not this far and I don't want any of my fish to die I've had them for years. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and if you really feel like helping me out you could text me 267-582-0923 and just walk me through this process of emptying my tank and moving it thank you so much when I set my tank up at my new place I'm going to try to save as much water from my tank as possible but I am still going to have to add fresh water would my canister 1500 be enough to put the bacteria back in the tank or do I need quick start or turbo start before putting the fish back in??


Hi , moving is stressful enough without fish so I hope it goes smoothly for you. Does the 45 tub have a lid ? Might help when moving them around to stop them jumping if they panic when being moved.
I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable moving a tank with that weight of substrate in it , just incase, you could buy buckets and just scoop it into that to move , it’s not too hard once drained. I’d do the same for the plants but with some water in and maybe Chuck some filter media in to stay ‘wet’ if you’re worried , then run both filters for set up for a couple of weeks.
you might have to monitor levels in the tub and do mini water changes until they can get put back in the tank.
I’m sure lots more people will have many better ideas than me to help.
Best of luck !


Welcome to Fishlore :)

I would completely empty the 90 gallon tank. The tank itself is already going to be heavy so you don't want any extra weight in it while moving it. Get some 5 gallon buckets. Put your rocks and substrate in one of more buckets. The number of buckets depends on how much you have. Put your plants in another one. Fill all buckets with water from the tank. Keep the fish in the 45 gallon tote while breaking down the big tank. When you are ready to move them to the new place put your fish in 5 gallon buckets filled with water from the tote.

We want to end up keeping at least half of the original water from the tank. There is little to no bacteria in the water but it is the water your fish are used to. Once you get the tank set back up and filled with half original tank water and half fresh water from the new place your fish will just feel like they have had a big water change.

Since you are only moving a mile away I suspect the water will be coming from the same source but it wouldn't be a bad idea to run the tests on the water from both places just to see if there is a drastic difference. If there is acclimation may need to be done. If they are the same, using half tank and half tap at the new place should not affect the fish.

If this tank is cycled the filter should still be loaded with bacteria so there is no need to add bottled bacteria. We want to keep everything you take out of the tank wet. As long as it is kept wet the bacteria will survive the move. The majority of the bacteria is going to be in your filter but it is also growing on all the surfaces in the tank. The more we can keep safe the less chance of a mini cycle once the tank is set back up in its new home.


I have moved a tank of that size leaving the substrate in. It's not easy but it can be done. Main issue I had was that I couldn't get all the water completely out so it sloshed back and forth while driving causing the substrate to go everywhere, this was not nice to my (at the time) unscathed glass.. I was able to fix it up once it was in place bit it was extra work but the scratches are forever. I would advise emptying it unless you have no other choice.

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