Tell me if this idea is just nuts...

  • #1
Let me start by saying I apologize if this could've fit in a subforum and I didn't put it there!

I have a BN pleco in a 10 gallon with a betta. I know the BN needs a bigger tank, but here is my issue. I'm a college student, and so the tank gets moved currently four times a year. I can't really deal with moving a large tank and all the inevitable additional stock it would bring, let alone also moving the 10 gallon where I would likely keep the betta (so as not to deal with community issues) and a 5 gallon with frogs.

So this is what I was thinking... Let's say I buy a bigger tank (maybe a 29 or 40 or something, although it would be nice to keep the same hood) and transfer all my existing equipment plus the fish to it, and have it set up in my apartment at school. Then I could leave the 10 with basically nothing but its gravel and assorted deco (no live plants in it so no worry there) set up at home, and during the times that I visit home (a month in December, three months in the summer possibly, depending on when I choose to graduate and/or where I get a summer job) I would just have to bring a bucket with the fish, the filter, and the hood instead of trying to move an entire tank.

I figure one to four months of the year in a slightly-too-small tank is better than spending all her time in it for my BN. What do you all think of this idea? I think as long as I have enough will power not to buy more fish to fill up the bigger tank (which I may be able to do when I remind myself the filter only supports those two fish, plus the whole betta thing) then this plan could work. Of course it would be best if I could just get the bigger tank for her to live in all the time, but because I have different options for graduation dates and because I have no idea whether I'll stay near school, end up back home, or be states away (my desired career path is kind of a you-go-to-the-job type deal) after I do graduate, I just don't think setting up a permanent big tank is in the cards.

P.S. In case anyone feels like saying "You should've thought of this before you bought the fish," I bought her when I was still under the impression that the inch per gallon "rule" was entirely valid, before I really understood what to research before buying. Rehoming her is not an option, she is family That's why I'm trying to figure out some crazy solutions to the situation.

Thanks everyone! Sorry that my posts tend to be pretty long XD
  • #2
You would have to fill up the tank when ever you got to the new location anyway, because you couldn't just leave a tank sitting with stagnant water for 9 months.

So if you are going to be moving the fish, the hood, and emptying / refilling a tank each time... you may as well just bring the tank too (the 29+ gallon).

I use canister filters, and when I moved a few months ago I just picked up the canister and set it in the tank after I suctioned out most of the water, and kept the canister filled as I moved, and as far as I can tell the bacteria stayed alive fine inside of it. I kept everything in the tank, even my driftwood and heater.

If you had some sort of "effecient" method like that, all you would have to do is catch the fish, put them in a bag, drain the tank, set the canister inside, put the hood on, get home, take canister out, fill up tank, acclimate fish, and be done with it.
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
All good points, I guess I didn't think of the refilling aspect much. Really my concern is mostly the weight/size of the tank (with substrate and all) being too much for me to handle picking it up and moving it around (I'm a weakling!). How much does a tank with say the footprint of a 29 or maybe a bowfront weigh with substrate? Isn't it something like five pounds per gallon or am I making that up.
  • #4
I think the fish store would tell you 2 pounds per gallon, but I usually use about 1 pound per gallon and it looks like enough.

Just don't get a 45 pound canister filter and you should probably be ok You may need someone to help you move it regardless, moving a tank nearly 3 feet long by yourself is kind of awkward.
  • #5
If I were to put substrate in a 29 I would do 20 lbs or gravel just because I like shallow gravel. That and a 30 gallon should weigh less than 60 lbs guessing. Still I would get some help moving it.
  • #6
So, I am also a college student and I enjoy fish at home and wish I could have them at school but I was worried about moving the tank like that. Thought it would be a huge stress on the little guys. Is it possible to do it with healthy/happy fish or should I just forget the idea until I have my own apartment up by my school?
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Well, I have moved my pleco twice, and she is doing very well- a happy and healthy fish. But it does make me nervous as well, I know where you are coming from. And that was just moving the 10. I would be even more concerned about the joints on larger tanks.

I'm really leaning towards just getting the bigger tank. Especially with Petco's dollar per gallon sale ;D

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