Achieving a Near Impossible Move Across the Country with Huge Colonies!

goodtogo

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After over 20 years of being in the reef hobby, I completed a big move of over 700 gallons of corals from Illinois to Texas. So far, so good. This involved a long planning process that included me consulting with several veterans in the hobby, paying two mortgages, and making several trips by car and plane. My family even survived after four out five lug nuts came off our front wheel on our tow vehicle during our first phase of the move. Here is what I had to move:

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I almost gave up several times. Here is one SW Cargo shipment of over 40 colonies that died because of heat issues.

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After establishing tanks in my new place and making several SW Cargo shipments of my pieces, the corals are now established. In hindsight, I would never do this again.
I set out to prove to myself that moving established tanks with colonies is possible. Here is the new set up and video of the corals in their new place.

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Here is a video link of the corals in of the new 8' tanks. The 8' blue trough next to it is also full of Acropora colonies.
 
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goodtogo

goodtogo

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Pretty incredible honestly. You sir are definitely way more dedicated than I haha. I would have given away or sold off what I could and started fresh at the new place lol
I did give away a bunch of pieces and sold off large chunks to a local LFS several months before the move. Yes, it would have been a lot easier if I started new or even quit for good. This crossed my mind many times during the process, but I decided to continue with the madness.
 
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goodtogo

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Wow! you moved all those nice colonies across the country to my area just to sell me some? Stand up guy, I appreciate it.

Beautiful setup, I can't imagine the work involved. congrats
JCM, thanks. PM me if you are in the Plano area.

I have not contributed much on this forum but I wanted to post something about this dilemma that hobbiest face when they have to move. We become attached to our corals and take so much time to care for them that we don’t want to leave them behind.
 
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Very impressive. I have had issues moving large colonies across the house between tanks....
Yup. When I think about how much of a pain it was to move ONE colony across town, I shudder to think about the scale the OP had to consider.
IMG-4750.JPG
 

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OMG, the work and thought process must have been so exhausting I could see why other thoughts entered your mind but those are some amazing colonies. You sir did succeed with minimal loss! And here I am stressing a bit about just moving my new 180g thats going in the place of my current 90g. You just made it easier for me mentally to believe I can do it with minimal loss.
 
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Very impressive. I have had issues moving large colonies across the house between tanks....
You are right, the larger the colonies are the harder they are to move. I basically dismantled all the colonies from the rock work months before the move. I then broke up many of the colonies into smaller pieces. Sold some pieces and gave some friends frags to keep for a back up just in case the mother colony did not make it. For some reason the smaller pieces adapt better in their new environment.

Here are some top down pics of the main display just before the dismantle and splitting them into smaller pieces.
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goodtogo

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Yup. When I think about how much of a pain it was to move ONE colony across town, I shudder to think about the scale the OP had to consider.
IMG-4750.JPG
ScottB, what a nice colony you have there. Looks like you are holding it, was the picture taken when you were moving it?
 
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goodtogo

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OMG, the work and thought process must have been so exhausting I could see why other thoughts entered your mind but those are some amazing colonies. You sir did succeed with minimal loss! And here I am stressing a bit about just moving my new 180g thats going in the place of my current 90g. You just made it easier for me mentally to believe I can do it with minimal loss.
Yes this was a very exhausting and long process. When we talk about patience in this hobby this would be right up there for me.

Upgrading tanks should be no problem within the same house, it can be done successfully. I’m sure you have a plan already, if you have any questions through that process just PM me.
 
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Incredible. I just got done with an upgrade that went in place of my old system. House has been tore apart for 3 weeks now. Mirror system on opposite wall still set up and probably going to be for another week.
Huge undertaking. Well done.
I would've done same thing. They would have had to come with me!
 

ScottB

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ScottB, what a nice colony you have there. Looks like you are holding it, was the picture taken when you were moving it?
Thank you. That pic is me moving it out of the frag tank to a customer tank. I had cut it out of my display a couple months before to do a very necessary (and painful) re-aquascape.

It did really well in his tank (RSR 750) until it blew the front bottom seam. He got most of the corals through the crisis, but is struggling a bit these days apparently.
 

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I have done it across state and honestly would start over! Not nearly as much as you have but moving live rock kicks off a mini cycle thay was too much for my colonies. It is a shame as I never got huge yellow scroll corals or mike palleta blue or florida stags again like that.
 
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I have done it across state and honestly would start over! Not nearly as much as you have but moving live rock kicks off a mini cycle thay was too much for my colonies. It is a shame as I never got huge yellow scroll corals or mike palleta blue or florida stags again like that.
iggy, I agree I would definitely not do this again. But similar to your pieces you wanted to keep alive I had some pieces That are harder to find. Unfortunately some of the harder to find pieces died on me after the move such as: Pink Panther, BC Joker, CC Kraken, Matt V Orange Envy, Purple Monster, OG Ice Fire, and many more.
 
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