Moving tank to a new place, help with cocnerns, please!

Sebreef93

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Hi everyone,

I'm seeking tips and advice on moving my aquarium. My wife and I will be relocating in the next two months, which is relatively close, about a 20-minute drive away. I wanted to ask for some feedback. The aquarium is a small Fluval Sea Evo 13.5G.

My plan is to remove the water until it reaches the top of the aquascape, which will be around 6L. I can then top up the water once the tank is in its new location. Regarding the clownfish, I'll catch them and transport them in covered bags to minimise stress.

My biggest concern is the aquascape. The rocks are glued together, but they are not attached to the bottom of the aquarium; they're sitting loosely on the sand. I'm a little worried that during the drive, the aquascape may fall and hit the glass. Do you have any ideas on how I can prevent that? Should I use sponges between the rocks and the glass to protect it? Are there any other suggestions you think would be helpful in this scenario?

Any advice is highly appreciated! Thank you in advance!

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The_Paradox

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I would not transport that full. It’s going to be a lot heavier and unwieldy than you think. Personally would try to pick the entire scape up as one piece and place it in a plastic tote. Then fill the tote with a few inches of water and throw a towel over it. Even with care I would expect a few pieces to come off unless you pinned and glued it. Aquarium should be transported empty.
 

PR_nano

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This is what I did on a short drive move, tank was 20galllon AIO.
Empty tank content into plastic bins. Move aquarium to new location setup with new water. The next day move scape and fish on plastic bins and place everything into the new water (match temp/salinity).
 

Mr. Mojo Rising

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2 x 5-gallon buckets will hold most of your water, rocks and livestock and will be easy to transport. Empty your tank and leave just an inch of water in the tank and carry the tank and 2 buckets to the new place. I just get buckets at home depot, they come with lids.

Be ready to make some new salt water (about 5 gallons) at the new place. It should be fairly easy and straightforward with that small tank.
 

Dom

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You will never move that tank as you suggest. Rock work will topple and glass will possibly crack.

Put in the extra work and empty the tank into 5 gallon buckets:

1 for live rock and water.
1 for corals.
1 for fish.
1 for the remaining water.

Lowes or Home Depot buckets with lids work great.
 
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Sebreef93

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Thank you all for your prompt feedback!! Is it possible to lay down the aquascape on its side (there are no corals in the back of the rocks), and remove maximum amount of water possible (probably around 60%) and transport tank on one go? It shouldn't be very heavy and I will have 2 people who can carry it. Or it isn't possible and I have to remove everything? I think the rocks will collapse once I will take it out from the tank, but presumably there is nothing I can do about it and I will have to reassemble everything. To avoid delays etc I am hoping to do full focus tank transport and move everything promptly in 1-2 hours without any unnecessary distractions.
 

Mr. Mojo Rising

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I think you are underestimating how heavy water and wet sand and wet rocks will be. Even if you remove 60% of the water and leave the rocks and sand, thats still 50+ lbs that you need to balance in that glass box, in a bumpy car ride.....
 

The_Paradox

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Thank you all for your prompt feedback!! Is it possible to lay down the aquascape on its side (there are no corals in the back of the rocks), and remove maximum amount of water possible (probably around 60%) and transport tank on one go? It shouldn't be very heavy and I will have 2 people who can carry it. Or it isn't possible and I have to remove everything? I think the rocks will collapse once I will take it out from the tank, but presumably there is nothing I can do about it and I will have to reassemble everything. To avoid delays etc I am hoping to do full focus tank transport and move everything promptly in 1-2 hours without any unnecessary distractions.

If you support it on a piece of something like 3/4 ply maybe. No idea why risk it though. If you are inexperienced in tank moving I would always err on the side of caution and do it the easy way. In this case totes and draining it.
 
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Sebreef93

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I was considering talking to the owner of LFS, so that he can come, have a look and give some feedback. I may get the buckets and remove the water; however, as I mentioned previously I feel like the construction will collapse during taking out of water or mid air (which can cause harm to corals, inverts and potentially things around). That is my only objection against removing the aquascape. Therefore I was thinking about keeping it flat on the sand and remove maximum amount of water possible. I don't think there will be issue with balancing if the rock is lying flat on its side as it should be stable. Luckily I still have plenty of time so I can get buckets etc and prepare best strategy for transport.
 
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Sebreef93

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I have a plastic box from which is big and strong enough to fit scape and water. I checked it after work and the plan is to remove the scape (hopefully in one piece), then lay it down at the bottom of the box, fill it with water and place a heater, so I can take care of moving the almost empty tank (sand and a little bit of water).

Are there any tips or concerns while moving the scape? I know to wear a gloves as I have bristleworms and I'd rather avoid touching them. Presumably small zooplankton will be fine during the transport?
 
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Sebreef93

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I have to get a new cabinet for the tank as the current will stay in the old place. Any things to consider? Wanted to make sure it will hold the tank properly.
 

Lasse

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I once moved a tank similar to yours around 300 km. I took away around 90 % of the water - put it in the car - filled it up to around 80 % again. Putted a thin plastic film over it, air pump on battery and drive away. In my case i did not need to secure the rock work - you may need to do that. When time to unload - I took away must of the water again - took it to its new place. Filled it up and it worked for many years after that.

The only concern I have is how much organic matter your sand contain. It could be good idea to clean it a couple of times before the move using something like this. Instead for fancy equipment - I use a bottomless plastic pet bottle connected to the tube

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Sincerely Lasse
 
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