Moving in a few months

Pierce Bourgeois

Hey guys this is my first post so be nice still getting used to the forums and what not. Just some info about me and the upcoming dilemma I may have.

Background: My dad bought a 30 gallon fish tank for my family almost 10 years ago. He and I regularly kept up with it for about 4 years until it became too much work and my family became too busy. Anyways, it sat for about 3 years in the basement collecting dust. When I went to college I bought a few goldfish and when I came home for a summer I started up the tank again. I had 3 goldfish in the tank during its prime. Eventually they all died out and around this time I had my own place for my senior year of college.

Current: I brought the tank to my college house and started a freshwater community fish tank with peaceful fish. It just has gravel, fake plants, and a castle in it. When I brought it up to college I updated everything. I bought a 45 gallon filtration system (over the back), a new bubbler, and a circulation pump rated for 30 gallons, and a preset 30 gallon water heater. It has been running for around 10 months. I have 4 red eyed tetras, 3 bleeding heart tetras, 2 albino cory catfish, 1 bumblebee catfish (which I only see once a week), and 3 nitrate snails (just bought last week). Since I have gained experience in taking care of fish I have decided that I want to convert my tank to a live plant tank. I impulsively bought some lucky bamboo last week and planted it in my tank. It seems to be doing okay. After completing this live tank I want to buy a 55 gallon tank transfer the contents of my 30 gallon to the 55 gallon and maybe start a reef tank in the 30 gallon one. But that isn't really the point of this thread. I start my first big boy job in May in Cleveland, OH and should be able to start putting more money into "tanking". I currently live in Holland, MI. My parents house is in the South Bend area Indiana. Anyways, my fiance and I are most likely going to crash with her parents (they live in Cleveland) for a probably a year and a half until my fiance is done with graduate school. (Hopefully plans will be finalized next week).

Problem: The problem is that I may or may not be able to bring my current tank to Cleveland right away because of space. (It will go to my parents) I plan to take my tank to Cleveland eventually regardless of if I take the tank when I move now or a year later. I have read a few threads on here regarding moving. Some have been helpful and I have a basic idea of what to do. I am planning on getting some 5 gallon buckets cleaning them and transferring some tank water into each bucket and putting the fish in the bucket and putting the cover on. I then want to drain the tank as much as can and wrap the tank in a blanket, put it in the car and drive, and hopefully set everything up again by the end of the day. Would the fish be better off in bags vs the 5 gallon bucket? Should I use treated water instead of tank water? After refilling the tank how long should I wait to put the fish back in? And in general what have you found to be the best ways to move fish? It is probably going to be 6 hours of driving. With a tank of 10 years old should I be concerned for stress cracks from driving and moving it around? As I mentioned above I want to convert my whole tank to live aquatic plants. Should I wait until I move to start working on transformation or can I slowly work on it now?

I know that was a lot of rambling and probably too much info, but I appreciate any information possible about what I should or should not do. Thank you in advance!
 

Aquaphobia

Congratulations on your new job, I wish you luck with your move!

I can't really comment on any of your questions but did want to mention that your "bamboo" is really a species of dracaena, which is not an aquatic. Chances are it will eventually rot if kept submerged. Does well in vases though!

Welcome to the forum
 

Pierce Bourgeois

Haha thank you! I bought the bamboo as part of the in the moment purchase. From what I have read people have had success if the leaves are allowed to rise above the water line. Luckily in my case the bamboo is tall enough that some leaves stick out so I'm hoping it will stick and start growing a root system. My snails have already staked out property on it lol. I like the look of the bamboo a lot , but I don't want it to grow crazy above water because I think that looks tacky.
 

Aquaphobia

OK, as long as some leaves are above the water they may do alright
 

platy21

Congrats on the new job. Moving with a fish tank can be stressful. This past summer I maooved a few miles down the road, but still had to dismantle my 36 gallon tank. Some recommendations that worked well for me:

Buy those 5 gallon buckets from Home Depot or Lowes with the locking lids. Transfer about 15-20 gallons of tank water to be saved in those buckets, plus a bucket for your fis and filter media. Use tank water, do not use treated water.

If you have a lot of substrate, you can scoop it out of the tank to be transported seperatetly. When I moved I used the opportunity of a completely deconstructed tank to replace my substrate, so my old gravel did not make the move with me.

Be careful picking up the tank. I would recomened two people to support each end to prevent stress fractures or cracks.

As for the long drive, carefully place it in the car on some towels and perhaps a pillow or two. Be careful driving and avoid speed bumps. Tanks are fragile, but if you take the necessary precautions they will be fine.
 

Pierce Bourgeois

Thank you! Yeah that sounds along the lines of how I plan to dismantle and transfer my tank. Should I be worried about the fish running out of oxygen? I would say with 6 hours of driving and probably and another 6 hours with dismantling, cleaning, and resetting everything back up it will probably be close to a half day event that the fish will need to be out of the tank.
 

Mcasella

Battery operated air pump, like Aquaphobia said, is your best bet. They can be found online if you LFS doesn't have them (mine only occasionally has them). I made four hours with a 37 gallon in the back on my tracker on a couple blankets - no issues except every time I hit a bump I sounded like a dying seal because I was worried I would break it (trackers have foldup seats so there was the catch for the seats right on the edge of the bottom of the glass below two blankets).

I would say take the bamboo out, the leaves in the water will rot and it will grow out beyond the height you want because it doesn't want to be submerged like that.
 

Aquaphobia

I can't get past trying to imagine what a dying seal sounds like:shock:
 

Mcasella

Kinda like a really loud gaspy bark - as far as I can explain it. Pile in as much shock and worry into the noise and you're pretty close. lol.
 

Pierce Bourgeois

I have decided that I am going to return the lucky bamboo mostly because it cost me $6 and it sounds like it won't be worth it in the long run with my tank. If I decide to do the bubbler I will probably use my current one and hook it up to the 12v car outlet with an adapter during the trip. If I go ahead and get 5 gallon buckets how many fish should I put in each one? Lets say with/without the bubbler to keep my options open. Is it advised to take out all of the tank water? I would imagine leaving enough water in the tank to keep the substrate and filters wet would be a good idea for stability reasons when setting the tank up again. Or would putting the filters in the buckets be advised?
 

Pierce Bourgeois

I have 2 cats and a dog and I don't want them somehow getting a hold of the bamboo
 

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