Moving 15 gallon tank

EmilyinJapan

New Member
Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
8
Location
Japan
Experience
2 years
HI all,

I will be moving my 15 gallon tropical community tank about a 2 hr drive away next month. I was wondering what the best way to do this is?

I have searched previous forums and come across a few different suggestions. What I was thinking of doing is putting the fish into a big bucket, and then draining the tank (keeping the substrate, plants, decorations etc in there) and trying to keep as much water as I can lift in the tank. When I get to the new place I was going to fill up the tank with treated water at the same temperature. I have read that because all the good bacteria lives in the substrate/filter/decorations etc etc, that the fish hopefully will be okay?

Does anyone have any other suggestions on how I could do this or things I haven't considered (do I even need to save the water for example)? Much appreciated! I don't want to lose anyone :(
 

Addictedtobettas

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,215
Reaction score
1,127
Location
Oregon
Experience
2 years
I think your plan sounds decent. Might move a plant or two in to the bucket for comfort (but it could do nothing). And if it's going to be cold in the vehicle or if you depart at any time, wrapping the bucket and maybe heat packs. Its not a very long move that figuring out a heater should be needed but I don't know weather/climate at the time of your move..

Keep the filter media in the tank water as much as possible. You might even take about half of the current tanks water in another bucket (even just 4-5g). It carries some beneficial bacteria, though nothing like the filter media of course, and would maintain smells and parameters better than a large WC and a move.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
OP
EmilyinJapan

EmilyinJapan

New Member
Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
8
Location
Japan
Experience
2 years
Addictedtobettas said:
I think your plan sounds decent. Might move a plant or two in to the bucket for comfort (but it could do nothing). And if it's going to be cold in the vehicle or if you depart at any time, wrapping the bucket and maybe heat packs. Its not a very long move that figuring out a heater should be needed but I don't know weather/climate at the time of your move..

Keep the filter media in the tank water as much as possible. You might even take about half of the current tanks water in another bucket (even just 4-5 gallon). It carries some beneficial bacteria, though nothing like the filter media of course, and would maintain smells and parameters better than a large WC and a move.
Ok cool thanks for your help! I might use an additional bucket for some extra water and to keep the filter media in while moving then :D
 

Noroomforshoe

Well Known
Member
Messages
928
Reaction score
420
Location
PA
Experience
More than 10 years
You don't need to save the water. keep enough water to keep your fish comfortable in the car. but throw out the rest.

When you put the tank back together, the water the fish are in is likely to be very dirty and you really do not need to save that either. You may want to acclimate the fish in it, then net them out.

The deco and gravel can be washed, just keep the filter cartidges wet with tank water and don't wash them.

You might want to get petsore fish bags, or zip locks, and bag the fish and put them in a cooler.

@ hour drive, 2 hour to set up the tank, It is still not really that long, you should be fine!
 

DuaneV

Well Known
Member
Messages
3,470
Reaction score
2,782
Location
Maine
Experience
More than 10 years
With a 15 gallon, Id just lower the water level to 5 gallons, pick it up, set it on the back seat or on the floor of a van and go. Get it to the new location and fill with water. Ive moved 30 gallon tanks this way no prob.

You can also do what you're saying. Make sure to keep a bucket of water and put your filter media into it to keep it wet with tank water.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
OP
EmilyinJapan

EmilyinJapan

New Member
Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
8
Location
Japan
Experience
2 years
Noroomforshoe said:
You don't need to save the water. keep enough water to keep your fish comfortable in the car. but throw out the rest.

When you put the tank back together, the water the fish are in is likely to be very dirty and you really do not need to save that either. You may want to acclimate the fish in it, then net them out.

The deco and gravel can be washed, just keep the filter cartidges wet with tank water and don't wash them.

You might want to get petsore fish bags, or zip locks, and bag the fish and put them in a cooler.

@ hour drive, 2 hour to set up the tank, It is still not really that long, you should be fine!
Thanks for your help! Ok cool so if I do this then I can hopefully avoid a recycle of the tank? In regards to care of the tank within the next couple of weeks is there anything I should do differently, like more partial water changes or anything like that?

DuaneV said:
With a 15 gallon, Id just lower the water level to 5 gallons, pick it up, set it on the back seat or on the floor of a van and go. Get it to the new location and fill with water. Ive moved 30 gallon tanks this way no prob.

You can also do what you're saying. Make sure to keep a bucket of water and put your filter media into it to keep it wet with tank water.
Ok :) I will definitely try this first, hopefully I'm strong enough to lift the tank. Unfortunately I live up three flights of stairs but should be okay!
 

The_fishy

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,026
Reaction score
927
Location
Maryland/Pennsylvania
Experience
5 to 10 years
I’d try to take out as much water as you can to put in buckets. If you are going anywhere with twisty roads, water in the tank will slosh everything around. I usually pad around plants and decor with paper towels so that the plants stay moist and my aquascape doesn’t shift.

I move my tanks every few months and drive three hours on twisty roads. I’ve found padding half of the tank with paper towels to be pretty safe.
 

UnknownUser

Well Known
Member
Messages
974
Reaction score
628
Experience
Just started
I did this research too for my 10 gal twice now, 1 hour drive. My plan was similar but contradicts some of the above. I like to keep at least 50% of the water cuz the water at the new place might be very different in terms of ph kh gh etc., and could shock the fish.

My game plan was:

empty the tank 50% into ziplock baggies (not too full or they break), or buckets with the filter's media to keep it wet
Remove all the decorations and use paper towels to keep them wet (in a plastic bag keeps them wet too)
put some water and the fish into their little carrying case ( I used a $5 walmart Tupperware 5 gallon)
Put the filter, heater, airstone, anything else that doesn't need to be wet into a bag.
Drain the rest of the tank til it is as low as you can and dump the water out.
Put the tank on the floor or somewhere flat in the car while you drive.

Put it all back together.

The reason you don't leave water or decorations in the tank is cuz while you drive the water sloshing around causes strain on the edges of the tank and can weaken it. The decorations can move and break the glass.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
OP
EmilyinJapan

EmilyinJapan

New Member
Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
8
Location
Japan
Experience
2 years
LivebearerMom said:
I did this research too for my 10 gal twice now, 1 hour drive. My plan was similar but contradicts some of the above. I like to keep at least 50% of the water cuz the water at the new place might be very different in terms of ph kh gh etc., and could shock the fish.

My game plan was:

empty the tank 50% into ziplock baggies (not too full or they break), or buckets with the filter's media to keep it wet
Remove all the decorations and use paper towels to keep them wet (in a plastic bag keeps them wet too)
put some water and the fish into their little carrying case ( I used a $5 walmart Tupperware 5 gallon)
Put the filter, heater, airstone, anything else that doesn't need to be wet into a bag.
Drain the rest of the tank til it is as low as you can and dump the water out.
Put the tank on the floor or somewhere flat in the car while you drive.

Put it all back together.

The reason you don't leave water or decorations in the tank is cuz while you drive the water sloshing around causes strain on the edges of the tank and can weaken it. The decorations can move and break the glass.
Thanks so much for your suggestions. I didn't know that the decorations and water may cause the tank to break but that makes sense, I'm glad you told me.

I think I will leave the substrate in and try save as much water as I can, I'm just worried about it sloshing over and dumping in the car haha but I think I should be able to get a water tank thing with a lid :)
 

UnknownUser

Well Known
Member
Messages
974
Reaction score
628
Experience
Just started
EmilyinJapan said:
Thanks so much for your suggestions. I didn't know that the decorations and water may cause the tank to break but that makes sense, I'm glad you told me.

I think I will leave the substrate in and try save as much water as I can, I'm just worried about it sloshing over and dumping in the car haha but I think I should be able to get a water tank thing with a lid :)
Yeah the substrate won’t move so it’s fine left in the tank. If you want to do it super cheap, buy some of those $5 plastic tupperware with lid from walmart and duct tape the top shut to prevent leaks.
 

The_fishy

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,026
Reaction score
927
Location
Maryland/Pennsylvania
Experience
5 to 10 years
EmilyinJapan said:
Thanks so much for your suggestions. I didn't know that the decorations and water may cause the tank to break but that makes sense, I'm glad you told me.

I think I will leave the substrate in and try save as much water as I can, I'm just worried about it sloshing over and dumping in the car haha but I think I should be able to get a water tank thing with a lid :)
They have 5 gallon buckets and lids at Walmart for pretty cheap.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
OP
EmilyinJapan

EmilyinJapan

New Member
Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
8
Location
Japan
Experience
2 years
Thanks everyone for all your advice, I really appreciate it and it has helped put my mind at ease.

So I have purchased two 15L water tanks to keep some of the old tank water in. I also purchased a 10L bucket with a lid to put the fish in :)

I am going to put the filter media into a separate bucket with some old tank water, and leave the substrate in the tank with soaked paper towels over the plants but completely drain the tank of water. As for the decorations, I was going to put these in a separate plastic bag and put some soaked paper towels in them to keep them moist for the journey.

At the moment it isn't too cold where I am so I think I should be okay to not have any heaters/coolers for the tank water.

I have just google mapped my journey and it is only about an hr and 15 min drive! Less than I thought.

I will let you know how I go as the big move is this weekend! Thanks again XD
 

UnknownUser

Well Known
Member
Messages
974
Reaction score
628
Experience
Just started
EmilyinJapan said:
Thanks everyone for all your advice, I really appreciate it and it has helped put my mind at ease.

So I have purchased two 15L water tanks to keep some of the old tank water in. I also purchased a 10L bucket with a lid to put the fish in :)

I am going to put the filter media into a separate bucket with some old tank water, and leave the substrate in the tank with soaked paper towels over the plants but completely drain the tank of water. As for the decorations, I was going to put these in a separate plastic bag and put some soaked paper towels in them to keep them moist for the journey.

At the moment it isn't too cold where I am so I think I should be okay to not have any heaters/coolers for the tank water.

I have just google mapped my journey and it is only about an hr and 15 min drive! Less than I thought.

I will let you know how I go as the big move is this weekend! Thanks again XD
Hope it all goes well! Sounds like a great plan, good luck.
 

New Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
299
Guests online
3,365
Total visitors
3,664

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom