View Full Version : moving my 29 gallon

02/24/2006, 07:27 PM
I have a 29 gallon tank with a sump plumbed in, most of the tank specs should show up on the bottom. I have to move it shortly from Delaware to NY, About a 3 hour drive. What is the best way to do this??? can i drain the water down to about 3 inches, put the live rock in a rubbermaid full of salt water and leave the fish in the tank??? Do i have to keep the tank airated somehow?? By the time i get it broken down, in the car, and set back up i'm probably looking at almost 5 hours(praying i dont hit traffic). Has anyone done this????? any advice is greatly appreciated, i dont wanna lose anything, I only have 1 coral and i'm holding off on buying more till i get it moved. I have about a dozen hermits and a half a dozen snails so catching and bagging everything would be a hassle.

02/24/2006, 08:29 PM

I have moved my 72 gallon tank a few times in the past year and can offer the following advice.

- First try to keep as much water as possible. I put mine in old 5 gallon spring water bottles and capped them. Ideally, you would want to have some new saltwater mixed and ready at the new location as well, but that doesn't seem like that would be possible in this case. Its good to have if you need it right of way.

- With the live rock, put 1 layer in each rubbermaid container and cover with about a half inch of water. Make sure it is something you can lift. Cover the rubbermaid containers with a lid.

- I would recommend completely draining the tank and removing the fish. Also, toss the sand bed (if applicable). I transported my fish in a 5 gallon old salt bucket with a lid. You would be suprised how much the water would splash in transit with braking and accelerating, even at 2- 3 inches deep. It would also stir up the nasties in the sand bed if you have one. The first time I moved, I put the fish in with the liverock and added more water. I found that they got banged up pretty good in the move (rock shifted). If you have fish that may not get along, maybe toss in a few pieces of pvc fittings or something to give them some temp caves.

- I moved on a day where the high temp was at or below freezing. To help control temp, I had the car ready and warmed up by the time I was ready to load it. I also put capped spring water bottles filled with warm water in the rubbermaid containers with coral and fish to help maintain the temp.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be in my moves.


02/24/2006, 09:38 PM
Yeah a 29 gallon tank is not as bad to move hehe. When I moved my 29 gallon tank (not as far as you are moving yours) I found my massive cooler was really helpful at retaining a lot of my old water. (I had no problem employing help from my roomate in moving the heavy cooler since I was helping him move his 75 :p ) That is one important thing to remember is about all that water sloshing about. There's a great book out by Robert M. Fenner that I believe has a chapter on moving house (I'd check but my friend is borrowing the book) called the The Conscientious Marine Aquarist. I think he suggests packing the livestock in similar fashion as when they are shipped to your livestock retailer (in a plastic bag pumped with air.) Its good if you can avoid feeding your livestock at least 24 hours before transporting to cut down on waste products inside whatever you are carrying them in. (Thats what I remember doing when shipping Moi to different islands in a past life) Its also good to keep them in dark conditions so they don't stress as much. If you decide to go the bagging route feel free to stop in Petco on kirkwood highway and ask for some bags (I only have 3 different sizes but they should work). Either ask for Martin or if i'm not in just ask for some bags...they should help you out...if not tell them their manager Martin will be very mad at them. Also if you go the bagging route or think you could use them stop in any thursday and i'll hook you up with some styrofoam coolers from my fish shipment (or pm me and I could hold some for you.)

Hope I didnt confuse you anymore :rolleyes:

02/25/2006, 01:56 PM
Thanks for all the advice, I still cant decide if I'm gonna bag the fish of bucket them, i'll figure it out. I have a DSB, if i dump the bed when i move it and start over, when i set it up again am i going to lose denitrifying ability of the tank?? Will the live rock and the CC in my sump be enough to keep my nitrates down while the new sand bed gets settled?

02/25/2006, 01:58 PM
bag the fish if you can. pack as much live stuff as you can in coolers (warm the coolers first to your tank temp)and make sure that the fish stuff is the last thing packed, and first to be unpacked.bring as much water as you can, at least 50%

02/25/2006, 06:11 PM
Problem with DSB during a move is that you are going to stir up and release a large amount of pollution, no getting around that. More so then trying to keep the benefits of de-nitrifying bacteria. What you can do is scoop a bit of the top layer (about 1/4") and place it in ziploc bags with water to seed your new sand bed.

04/17/2006, 06:51 PM
I just got the tank to NY today and got it set up. I ditched the old sand and bought new, put all the rock, water and fish in 2 rubbermaid containers. Saved about 75% of the water. I'm still waiting for the dust to settle but everything is still alive and all went well. thanks for all the help.

04/18/2006, 07:19 AM
good to hear! - now that wasn't that bad was it ;)

04/18/2006, 06:30 PM
Congratulations on the move!