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Re: moving an aquarium

I've had to do this several times when moving my sister's tank inhabitants 
back and forth between home and her dorm. The tank was only a 20 gallon and 
so I had less to move (also only about a 3-4 hour drive), but here were my 

A special "cottage" tank (her words :-) was waiting at the receiving end of 
the shipment, which in this case was an Eclipse 6 I think. That tank was 
already up and running with the filter for a few days ahead of time and set 
to the same temperature as the 20 gallon tank at the dorm. This was so the 
fish could be immediately removed from the bucket before their main tank 
was set up.

In transit, the fish and plants were all put in a 5 gallon bucket that was 
filled about 1/2-2/3 full to minimize the chance of things splashing out. I 
also used a lid with about a 1" hole in the center. The bucket had a 
cheapo-grade airstone in it and a little 25 or 50 watt heater (whatever I 
had laying around). I was using a small inverter, maybe 50-100 watts to run 
the little heater and the small air pump off the car's cigarette lighter. 
The inverter was about $50 or so. I don't remember where I got it, but I 
suspect you could find something similar at a place like Wal-Mart.

The bucket was filled with tank water from the tank the fish were being 
taken from and was kept by the heater at the same temperature as the tank. 
In this way there was no temperature shock problems anywhere along the trip 
for the fish. The airstone probably isn't really necessary with all the 
sloshing going on in the bucket, but I always have a few little air pumps 
laying around and it can't hurt to run one.

I highly recommend the heater-in-bucket method. You would just need more 
buckets :-) I see 200 watt inverters for about $40-50 mail order so you can 
get one cheaply and run a few heated buckets with it.

If you need to wrap insulation around anything, there is a packing material 
that is a sheet of foam about 1/16" thick. It is an *EXCELLENT* thermal 
insulator and I use it as a thermal blanket for all kinds of things. I do 
not know where to purchase the stuff since I just pull it out of packages I 
receive, but you might try asking a packaging store about it. It is *not* 
styrofoam however! I suspect it's cheap enough you could use it as a 
disposable thermal blanket, and I'm sure it would be a good packaging 
material too :-)


>Hi All,
>Its been a very long time since I posted, but I have been lurking...
>In about 6 weeks I'll be moving from Los Angeles to Albuquerque, NM, and I
>plan on taking my 75 gal plant tank with me.  As such, I'm looking for
>advice on how to best move the aquarium.
>I'll be renting a U-Haul truck for the tank and my houseplants.  Its a
>12-14 hr drive, and it will be cold (maybe below freezing) going through
>northern AZ and NM.  Here's my present plan:  The day before the drive I'll
>remove the fish to two 5 gal. buckets.  This is no small task in a densely
>planted tank, of course.  I plan to remove the plants at one end of the
>tank, and herd the fish (one by one) to that end for capture.  All fish are
>small: tetras, barbs, gouramis, siamese algea eaters, ottocinclus, corys,
>and farlowellas.  I fear this may take half a day.  For the drive, I plan
>to insulate the buckets with styrofoam, and aerate them w/ battery-powered
>airstones.  They will travel in the front of the truck w/ the heat on.
>I'm planning to leave the rest of the plants in tact.  I'll drain the water
>in the tank down to the gravel, and save it in 5 gal jugs.  I'll cover the
>open tank top w/ plastic to keep moisture in.  The tank will be placed in
>the truck on top of plywood and insulation (maybe cheap sleeping pads for
>camping) to keep heat in the bottom.  Then I'll wrap the top and sides in
>blankets, secure the whole package, and drive to NM as fast as possible.
>Upon arrival, I'll reassemble to tank, add the saved water, let the
>temperature stabilize, then return the fish.
>Does anyone have any constructive comments on this plan?  Or perhaps better
>ideas?  Or has anyone experienced pitfalls when moving long distance they
>can advise me on?
>Thanks for any help.
>Mark Gilmore
>Los Angeles
>PS - Anyone know of a good aquarium store(s) in Albuquerque?

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