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Thread: Tips on moving a tank

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    Default Tips on moving a tank

    Hi! Hope you guys can help me out.

    Is it true that before you transport the fishes, it is needed to discontinue feeding the fish two days before the move? I also need to take note how to move the tank if we'll put it on the truck bed. I think the tailgate needs to stay down to fit the tank so I'm gonna need some suggestions to keep it in place. Is it ok to use straps and attach it to the backrack? Should I place styrofoam or some material under it?

    We are moving a distance of 4 hours (maximum). I've read that it is recommended to bag the fish individually. How do you transport the plants? Is it advisable to put it in a container with water?

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    Registered Member lastflea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips on moving a tank

    As long as the tank is secure and protected on all sides that might come into contact with something, it will be fine with careful driving. styrofoam is a good choice as a base, and try to keep that as even as is possible. Anything soft, like cushions to pack down the sides, back and front are fine.

    As for the fish, bagged with plenty of room for oxygen at the top. Put them in a cool box, which will insulate the water and keep it warm. Don't blow into the bags though, this is just filling the space with carbon dioxide. Better to just tie them without anything, but if you can get oxygen then that's best. You can ask your LFS for fish bags. They usually give them, but might charge a nominal fee.

    Plants will be absolutely fine wrapped in damp kitchen roll, or similar water absorbent material. Not toilet paper though. It just disintegrates and you'll have a job picking off little bits when you unwrap. Be careful pulling them up you don't damage the roots too much.

    Don't forget to check your water parameters in the new location, before filling up and adding fish. There might be a sizable pH swing. Take as much of the tank water with you as possible and get your fish back in asap with that. Buy some containers if necessary for that purpose. I think it's the best way to relax your fish after the trauma. Do it as you would with new fish. Get the tank up to temp and place the bags in the tank to acclimatise before releasing. Age your new water if necessary, and if there's a pH difference of more than .3, then you'd be better off doing smaller water changes, like 20%, 30%, 40% over a period of days, increasing the amount each day to get them used to the higher/lower pH.

    Good luck with it. Rob
    Last edited by lastflea; 05-17-2018 at 10:46 AM.

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    Default Re: Tips on moving a tank

    Bagging fish is for air transport where space and weight are costly. You have to balance cost with fish survival. When traveling by ground, no such compromises have to be made. Why limit fish to one small bag of air when you have the entire atmosphere available? If you do decide to bag them, use pure oxygen.

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    Default Re: Tips on moving a tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon View Post
    Bagging fish is for air transport where space and weight are costly. You have to balance cost with fish survival. When traveling by ground, no such compromises have to be made. Why limit fish to one small bag of air when you have the entire atmosphere available? If you do decide to bag them, use pure oxygen.
    There's also another reason why bagging is a very good option. It allows you to pack your fish in darkness, which helps relax them during the trauma. And a trauma is exactly what it is. Letting them breath the atmosphere sounds great, except you need light for that, which will add to the stress they're under. For a 4 hour trip, bags are perfectly adequate

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    Default Re: Tips on moving a tank

    The more water the fish have, the greater their survival rate. Putting them in small bags of water doesn't make sense unless you're paying FedEx a lot of money for every small increase in size or weight. Bagging isn't viable unless you have pure oxygen. A four hour drive becomes eight hours once you figure in the time to break down and setup the tank.

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    Default Re: Tips on moving a tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon View Post
    A four hour drive becomes eight hours once you figure in the time to break down and setup the tank.
    It doesn't if you keep the fish in a smaller container with a towel over it while you break the tank, put them in bags the very last thing you do, then put them back in the container as soon as you arrive.

    What would you suggest as an alternative to bags?

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    Default Re: Tips on moving a tank

    I would either use a tank or buckets with aerators.

    The last time I moved, I used a 40 gal acrylic tank. If I had to do it again, I might use buckets with gasketed lids and holes that would allow me to fill up with a lot more water. The tank could only be filled about 1/4 full.

    The biggest killer is usually low dissolved oxygen so I used an oxygen concentrator and oxygen monitor during my last move.

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    Default Re: Tips on moving a tank

    I recently moved 4 hours from NW Ohio to Cincinnati. I bought a 55 gal tote from home depot, half filled with lid on, small hole for air line, used a power converter for my car cig lighter, ran an air pump through an egg tumbler with mature filter wool & some ceramic media beads to oxygenate and deal with ammonia/nitrite. The trip went off without a hitch. All fishies all made the trip without incident. 9 x 3.5-7.5" F1 frontosas, and 12 other smaller tang's. Same principle & set up should work for any species of fish. A little stress guard, sea salt & some prime could be helpful additions for more sensitive fish.

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    Default Re: Tips on moving a tank

    I concede that both of those methods are preferable to bags. I've used bags to move though, and also when I broke down two tanks and delivered the fish about 3 hours away to a friend. Didn't have any casualties along the way, and didn't use oxygen. Probably a different matter for discus though, so fair enough.

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    Default Re: Tips on moving a tank

    I've taken discus on a 14 hour drive to compete at a discus show. Each fish goes into a $5 orange bucket/lid from Home Depot. I used pure R/O to avoid any fin burn, but that's probably an unnecessary precaution. That's it. There was no aeration, no heater, nothing. One of my two entries won, so I'm pretty happy with the results.

    If I were moving fish from one place to another, not for show, I would put more than one in a bucket.

    Willie
    Whenever you feel stupid, remember that there are people out there looking for Pokemon.

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