Help with Moving Small Tank Twice in 1 Month

Zakary2003

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To preface, I'm a college student with a 20 gallon cube AIO softie/LPS reef tank. My semester ends next Wednesday so I'm moving back home for the summer. Unfortunately, my parents are also moving on June 19th, so I have to move my tank from Tampa to Jacksonville (around a 4 hour drive) and then again between two nearby places in Jacksonville a month later. I knew that I would have to move the tank once, but I just recently learned about the second move.

My tank has a pair of clownfish, a yasha goby, a 6 line wrasse, a cleaner shrimp, a large bubble tip anemone, various zoas, palys, leathers, clove polyps, star polyps, sympodium, ricordia, duncans, trumpet coral, xenia, and a single head hammer coral. Some rocks are glued together while others are loose.

What's the best way to move everything? I'm currently thinking about putting each rock cluster into seperate 5 gallon buckets and filling it just enough to cover the rocks and coral. Is that a good idea? What about the fish? Should they go in their own bucket, into one of the buckets with the rock, or maybe into bags? Should I keep the clownfish with their anemone or separate then for the move?

As for the second move, I'm considering taking the tank to a friend's house and setting it up there until we are moved into the second house instead of setting it up at the first house. There's a 3 day gap between our move out date at house 1 and the move in date for house 2, so I don't want to have everything in buckets for multiple days. Is this the best course of action?

Finally, what are some steps for reducing stress on the livestock? How do I minimize coral losses? After being in total darkness for a day of moving, do I go straight into their usual light schedule or do I need to reacclimate everything?

I knew this would have to happen eventually and would continue to happen twice every year, but I wasn't prepared for doing it back to back. I have a few more days to figure everything out, so any advice is very much appreciated!
 

OrionN

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Move 20 gal is easy. Make sure you have water mix. Discard all the sand. Keep the animal temp stable and oxygenated. Battery air pump is a must. No heater but just pay attention to temperature and not get it overheated.
Keep the rock submerged and oxygenate and you fish and corals will not miss a beat
 

stewy14

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Move 20 gal is easy. Make sure you have water mix. Discard all the sand. Keep the animal temp stable and oxygenated. Battery air pump is a must. No heater but just pay attention to temperature and not get it overheated.
Keep the rock submerged and oxygenate and you fish and corals will not miss a beat
u dont need to discard the sand, idk why u will, and same with air pump, with an air pump, it will trap more of the chemicals being reintroduced from the sifting sand(that is fine if u dont have much air bubbles) removing all the sand will kill EVERYTHING because bad chemicals will escape the sand and go into the tank water, so please, I made the mistake of removing a lot of sand when moving and nearly killed everything. but do have a heater handy if u need it and keep watch on temp as Orion said :D
I did this twice in a month and I did none of this. I just took out half the water(MAKE SURE THAT THE WATER U ARE REPLACING WITH IS THE SAME SALINITY OR U WILL KIIIL) and I moved it, that easy, and I have 2 clowns, multiple corals and ye :D
 

Pntbll687

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You don't need to get rid of sand/substrate/ or anything.

Just make sure you have water for a water change if needed. Use 5 gal buckets to keep the coral and rock in. A small heater and airstone may be needed for the fish, but probably not since you're in florida.

Move the tank, put sand and rock in. Add water, add fish. Buy a bottle of bacteria if you are concerned about ammonia being released from the substrate.

If the substrate gets murky because it got sloshed around, just dump out the much and water. You could rinse the sand if you wanted, but dont have to.
 

OrionN

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Discard the sand because disturbed sand will release a lot of nutrients to the water. There is no way you can move a sand bed intact without risk of cracking the tank. If you want sand then you just have to start with new sand.
 

Reefering1

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u dont need to discard the sand, idk why u will, and same with air pump, with an air pump, it will trap more of the chemicals being reintroduced from the sifting sand(that is fine if u dont have much air bubbles) removing all the sand will kill EVERYTHING because bad chemicals will escape the sand and go into the tank water, so please, I made the mistake of removing a lot of sand when moving and nearly killed everything. but do have a heater handy if u need it and keep watch on temp as Orion said :D
I did this twice in a month and I did none of this. I just took out half the water(MAKE SURE THAT THE WATER U ARE REPLACING WITH IS THE SAME SALINITY OR U WILL KIIIL) and I moved it, that easy, and I have 2 clowns, multiple corals and ye :D
I think you should spend a few more years reading/ learning/ experiencing before you assert your opinion is of more value than @OrionN
 

Reefering1

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I feel like nobody can say not to replace it without knowing how old it it. Orion's suggestion is the only guaranteed safe way. If it's a brand new tank, sand will be fine just leave it in tank barely covered in water. If it's 2/3 years old, physically best to replace
 

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