Moving a 90g setup with fish, come watch!

BadisBadis

Member
So this thread is probably going to offer a lot of knowledge and just fun to tag along for the ride. I searched the forums threads for moving tanks and there is very little about moving big saltwater tanks.
So on Saturday, I'm getting a 90gallon FOWLR setup (yay! Have never owned anything over a 30g)and moving the entire tank and its contents 2.5 hrs. Time is of the essence, I plan to get those fish in the tank asap. The stock is a foxface, heniochus, 2 clowns, blue tang, and a hawkfish.
I have 3 5g buckets and 3 battery air pumps coming Tomorrow. I also bought a few totes for any misc tank equipment and a big rolling tote for the liverock which will be covered in wet newspaper to keep anything from drying out/dying off. Hopefully we'll be able to move the stand with the sump in it.
Now the big issue when moving a large tank is getting the water prepared after its set up. We don't have a faucet hookup so it's either a hose through the window or by hand (obviously not filling a 90g by hand) but the water that comes out of the hose is FREEZING. The fish absolutely cannot wait for a 90g to heat up without immense stress.
I have 2 45g bins that in advance I'm going to fill with saltwater and a heater that way when we set the tank up I can use a pump and pump the prepped water right into the tank ready to go! This will save a TON of work and unnecessary stress to fish.
Going to dose with beneficial bacteria and hope that what ever bacteria is saved in the sand bed and sump helps the transition.
I'll be posting pictures here throughout the week as I prep and dig my saltwater stuff out of the basement. (I know not exciting) but once the fish get here ill be posting a ton! I am also going to be redoing the rockwork. Overall getting the tank is going to be a 6hr process.
Its been 7 years since I've been able to keep a sw tank due to moving twice. Now in our final house with a generator and financially stable.;) this is almost my dream tank. I could cry!! LOL
 

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carloz209

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Your gona use tap water for a SW tank? I strongly advice you not to use tap water for a SW.
 
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BadisBadis

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carloz209 said:
Your gona use tap water for a SW tank? I strongly advice you not to use tap water for a SW.
We don't have tap, we have well water. It's been recently tested so I know all parameters:)
 

carloz209

Member
BadisBadis said:
We don't have tap, we have well water. It's been recently tested so I know all parameters:)
I also have well water but unfortunately mine is ridiculous high in Nitrates and has something else that would kill my FW fish thats why my concern. But hey if your well water is perfect than awesome good luck on the new tank.
 

NathJK

Member
carloz209 said:
Your gona use tap water for a SW tank? I strongly advice you not to use tap water for a SW.
Why not use tap water? All depends on it's parameters
 

Rcslade124

Member
Excited to see the move. I also agree it's a risk using well water. That being said if you know what's in the water it will help. Hopefully no nitrates and phosphate. As they will fuel algea. Regardless I'm excited to see the move and setup. You have a good plan. I would plan to have extra water ready. You have a 90g and add in sump. Is the tank coming with return pump and everything? Excited for the new tank!
 
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BadisBadis

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carloz209 said:
I also have well water but unfortunately mine is ridiculous high in Nitrates and has something else that would kill my FW fish thats why my concern. But hey if your well water is perfect than awesome good luck on the new tank.
Thanks! And ugg that sucks you've got nitrates in the water. Time for a RO system!
Yeah we have pretty good water here, I've attached a picture of the results, we have extremely little nitrates. have FW tanks here too and they are doing well. Very fortunate

Rcslade124 said:
Excited to see the move. I also agree it's a risk using well water. That being said if you know what's in the water it will help. Hopefully no nitrates and phosphate. As they will fuel algea. Regardless I'm excited to see the move and setup. You have a good plan. I would plan to have extra water ready. You have a 90g and add in sump. Is the tank coming with return pump and everything? Excited for the new tank!
I've attached a picture of our water results, just for curiosity! Our water is very good. The tank is coming with everything. When I get there it will still be fully operational with the fish, so I have to break down everything when I get to their house. I'm thinking of buying 2 200g boxes of salt, because I'm pretty much going to use up 1/2 of one right away and then will just more on hand for wc's.
My husband is saying dont count my chickens before they hatch, he thinks the lady will sell the tank to someone else. Since we cant get it till sat. But the seller and I had a good conversation and I dont think that'll happen. If it does I will CRY. Fingers crossed.
 

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BadisBadis

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Dug out some of my sw stuff thats been hoarded in my basement for 7 years. Not too many good finds, a 9w green machine uv sterilizer, good for something under 50g. Back in box. I found my koralia 2! Will be keeping that out. Found my refractometer which I'm going to get a new one. This is the cheap $20 one and I went to change the screws/plate out and it broke lol so I'm going to get a better quality one. The big sw store is an hour from me so I'm heading there tomorrow to get all my supplies.
 

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Queasy

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Good luck with the move. Hopefully, everything goes smoothly. Keep us updated!
 
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ryanr

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BadisBadis said:
I have 2 45g bins that in advance I'm going to fill with saltwater and a heater that way when we set the tank up I can use a pump and pump the prepped water right into the tank ready to go! This will save a TON of work and unnecessary stress to fish.
Going to dose with beneficial bacteria and hope that what ever bacteria is saved in the sand bed and sump helps the transition.
Can I suggest rather than make new SW, just dump the existing water in the setup into your 45g bins. That way you've got exactly the same parameters.
And with BB, it shouldn't be necessary, just keep the live rock wet, and you'll be right. If you're intent on a BB boost, make sure you use something reputable like Dr Tim's.

Oh, and if you're after ideas, I have written an article on moving a SW tank.
Guide to Moving a Saltwater Aquarium

Looking forward to following the journey
 
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BadisBadis

Member
ryanr said:
Can I suggest rather than make new SW, just dump the existing water in the setup into your 45g bins. That way you've got exactly the same parameters.
And with BB, it shouldn't be necessary, just keep the live rock wet, and you'll be right. If you're intent on a BB boost, make sure you use something reputable like Dr Tim's.

Oh, and if you're after ideas, I have written an article on moving a SW tank.
Guide to Moving a Saltwater Aquarium

Looking forward to following the journey
Thanks for the tips! I'll be sure to take a look at your article. Would love to keep the original water but unfortunately it would be almost impossible to empty 90g into bins in the truck from their house and be able to make it back to my state without major spillage. We'd have to pull the truck right up to the window which isn't feasible either.
I'll make sure to have to bacteria just in case, love dr tims. Its a long way to the aquarium store so id rather have it and not need it then the other way around.
Here's hoping it goes well!
 
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ryanr

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Cool cool, makes sense.
See if you can get their parameters first (what salt mix they're using etc), and try and match as best as you can.
If they're using RODI, please try do the same. Being a FOWLR, you might get away with it, but just make sure you're mixing the same water. Use your own refractometer/hydrometer to compare theirs vs yours)
After the first fill, you might be able to slowly introduce well water etc (I strongly recommend RODI for the record), but try replicate what the fish already have, it's gonna be stressful enough, and most SW fish don't handle it well, unlike FW fish.
 
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BadisBadis

Member
So we called to confirm pickup for the tank tomorrow! Its a go! I also got some more info on the fish and tank. The women who maintains it is going to call or text me so we can discuss parameters of the water as we will try to transport as much water as possible but won't be able to transport it all. The tank and fish are about 7 years old, so it's a well established tank. Which is incredible for the fish. Hes also letting me have the bird wrasse too. This tank is maxed out.
I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and update as we go.
 
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ryanr

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Sooo cool, aside from salinity, check the other majors, pH, Ca, Alk and Mg... If they're the same/similar you shouldn't need to acclimate.
 
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BadisBadis

Member
Got some Styrofoam boxes and bags from my LFS. The tang, bird wrasse, and foxface will go into these and the heni, clowns & hawkfish will go into 5g buckets. Also I darn near shat myself just now.... my 45g tote full of saltwater started LEAKING(black tote)!!!!!!! thank god I caught it in time!!!! and before my husband noticed.... I quickly filled another tote I have (gray ones). Have heaters in both and powerheads. I lost probably a gallon of water. We are going to try to move about 40g tomorrow between all the buckets and boxes.
Its go time!
 

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BadisBadis

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Picture drop, tank is home! I never want to transport a huge sw tank ever again LOL. We left at 10:30am and didn't get back till 7pm. (2.5hr drive) and then I didn't get the tank fully finished until 12:30am.
The breakdown went surprisingly well. We got all the buckets filled for the fish, I drained the water enough to take out the rock (which isn't really live rock) then caught the fish with little effort. Emptied out almost all of the water. Disconnected the plumbing, left some water in the sump. The men moved the tank onto 2x4s on our truck and then we put the cherrywood stand &canopy in. It was heavy but not as bad as we thought.
However getting the tank into our house was really hard, one of the bulkheads snapped at the seam so the fish had to wait extra time to get in the tank while we fixed it with super glue and clamped it. My husband used silicone plumbers tape from his work and put the bulkhead back on with no leaking!! We probably were able to get about 25g of the old water into the tank. It was REALLY handy to have that premixed heated water in the totes. The tang was super stressed, but I know they are dramatic and act like they are dying. Left the lights off and hoped nothing would leak or die by morning.
Morning comes around.... and everyone is happy and swimming! Everyone ate too. Tank is clear. Woooo!!! No leaks. Its a beautiful tank and I feel so lucky. It was setup as little maintenance as possible, freshwater Current satellite LED plus light, they would take the rocks out and sun bleach them as needed. Tank stock is: Male bird wrasse, heniochus, hippo tang, foxface, hawkfish, and a maroon clown which has to go cause he needs an anemone and he's picking on the bird wrasse. These fish are 7years old and honestly a bit big for the tank size. I want to add some better filtration stuff to help with the bioload of these fish
 

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BadisBadis

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Tank this morning :D
My daughter was sleeping last night while we set it up so she was surprised this morning
I also got a bad migraine last night from 14hrs of this ordeal. Feeling run down and blah so just sitting in front of the tank enjoying it ;)
 

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Rcslade124

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Congratulations. Tank looks good. I agree with moving a tank it's alot of work. I moved my 120g took me a good 12 hrs and I only moved it 10 miles. Took me two days to get the water back up. I had to put the heaters in the tank while I made water. It was alot of work lol.
 
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BadisBadis

Member
I tested the water just now, everything looks good except ammonia, which is .5ppm. Ph 8.3, nitrite 0 nitrate 0 Still in the safe range but will keep an eye on it. I have an ammonia pad in the sump right now. Dosed with prime. I expect it'll take a few days to figure itself out
 
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BadisBadis

Member
So I'm generally starting to worry a bit now. I did a 25g wc as I am concerned about the ammonia level. My bird wrasse didn't eat tonight and the foxface is loosing his slime coat. Which is concerning. All parameters are the same and the water that I changed was the same salinity, ph and temp. I've been adding prime to the water every 48hrs and testing ammonia daily which is .5ppm still. I was advised to to a 25g water change every 3 or 4 days until the ammonia is under control. The water is also very yellow and smelly. Just dirty. The water was like this when I went to pick up the tank too. But I just hope the fish make it through this stressful time.
 

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Rcslade124

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Could also add some dr time bacteria or even petcos bacteria biospara.
 
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BadisBadis

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Rcslade124 said:
Could also add some dr time bacteria or even petcos bacteria biospara.
I added a whole bottle of Fritz Zyme when I first set up the tank (store didn't have dr Tim's) I have heard adding different bacteria's can be bad and they can attack eachother and that in itself will cause a spike. Not sure how accurate this is
 

Pfrozen

Member
BadisBadis said:
I added a whole bottle of Fritz Zyme when I first set up the tank (store didn't have dr Tim's) I have heard adding different bacteria's can be bad and they can attack eachother and that in itself will cause a spike. Not sure how accurate this is
Nah, there isn't much science behind that claim. a lot of people start their tank with nitrifying bacteria and then dose Stability afterwards which contains other strains of bacteria including some heterotrophic varieties
 
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BadisBadis

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Pfrozen said:
Nah, there isn't much science behind that claim. a lot of people start their tank with nitrifying bacteria and then dose Stability afterwards which contains other strains of bacteria including some heterotrophic varieties
Thanks for the clarification!
 

Rcslade124

Member
Was the fritz zyme for saltwater? If not then that bacteria didn't make it. I figure it was saltwater just checking. And yes you can add many different bacteria in the tank.
 
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BadisBadis

Member
Rcslade124 said:
Was the fritz zyme for saltwater? If not then that bacteria didn't make it. I figure it was saltwater just checking. And yes you can add many different bacteria in the tank.
Yes, for saltwater, it was a saltwater specialty store and they recommended it.
 
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BadisBadis

Member
Pfrozen said:
Nah, there isn't much science behind that claim. a lot of people start their tank with nitrifying bacteria and then dose Stability afterwards which contains other strains of bacteria including some heterotrophic varieties
So I'm guessing I should run out to the store tomorrow to get more bacteria.....
 

Pfrozen

Member
BadisBadis said:
So I'm guessing I should run out to the store tomorrow to get more bacteria.....
I'm really not familiar with saltwater bacteria.. I wasn't aware that they sold it in bottles
 
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BadisBadis

Member
Pfrozen said:
I'm really not familiar with saltwater bacteria.. I wasn't aware that they sold it in bottles
They sell lots of it. Dr tims is supposed to be the best
 

Rcslade124

Member
Fritz is supposed to be good also. I would just want to get the ammonia under control. You have a large bioload for a 90g. Can sky rocket quickly. You have the right ideas though. Water changes and just keeping an eye on the tank.
 

carloz209

Member
**** man wishing the best cause all those fish are amazing!!
 

Fishproblem

Member
Good luck! I hope it works out and you get the ammonia in check soon!
 
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BadisBadis

Member
carloz209 said:
**** man wishing the best cause all those fish are amazing!!
Aren't they? They are so huge and healthy.
 
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BadisBadis

Member
Just an update! So I talked with the marine biologist who professionally took care of this tank for many many years. Shes cares for littlerly hundreds of tanks. So I thought I'd give her a shout... because for a second I was doubting myself and my knowledge. I asked if there is anything more I can do for this tank than what im already doing and there's pretty much not. Lol
Everything I'm doing is on point. Water change water change water change. That's how it's going to get under control. She said dont add anymore bacteria. The fish are hardy and to drop the salinity to .019 to prevent ice and velvet. I can do 10% daily if thats what it takes. So guess what I'll be doing tomorrow. And the next day. You get it. She personally said she doesnt use.anything but salt and buffer and doest like the prime. But w/e I love prime in this case. Prime is a savior
She also said they would go 3 months without changing the water sometimes (personal YIKES) LOL no wonder why that water is yellow and smelly esp for that bioload. Like yeah the fish are fine but thats a stretch.
So I feel more confident in getting it under control now
 

Rcslade124

Member
Also you can run carbon in the sump. I have a sock of carbon 24/7 in my sump. Helps remove the yellow tint of the water. Also yes you don't need bacteria. It just helps the ammonia.
 
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BadisBadis

Member
Rcslade124 said:
Also you can run carbon in the sump. I have a sock of carbon 24/7 in my sump. Helps remove the yellow tint of the water. Also yes you don't need bacteria. It just helps the ammonia.
I've got some chemi pure blue on order, that has carbon in it :) and some purigen. I'm sure that will help!
 
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