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[APD] Moving need advice

On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 aquatic-plants-request at actwin_com wrote:

> I kindly request your good advice since it's time for me to pack and 
> move to a new house. 
> I successfully keep a planted tank. Fish and plants are doing great in 
> my 90 Glls. tank with about 1.5 inch of soil and 1 inch of gravel. The 
> tank rests on a wood stand. Tank and stand made by All Aquarium Glass. 
> I need advice and suggestions for the most efficient and least 
> disrupting way to move both, the tank and fish. 
> Tnanks and Best Regards / Mario

hi mario,

when i moved my 55 gal. last summer, i did the following:

- drained the water into a couple of large, wheeled, new, plastic trash 
cans.  yes, i moved the water along with the fish and tanks :).  i used 
the outdoor variety, and filled them about half to two-thirds full, each.  
the reason for saving the water was to avoid any sort of chemical shock to 
the fish (and plants, i guess).  do wash the trash cans out, first, 

- as i was draining the water, i caught the fish and put them into bags 
i'd gotten from the fish store.  they're much easier to catch when low 
water levels give them fewer places to run.  if necessary, use some 
plastic dividers (or anything of the appropriate size, really) to cut off 
parts of the tank.  i put the bags in the trash cans.  i was moving during 
the summer, and doing it this way kept the fish at about the same 
temperature.  i live in the american south (in north carolina) and did 
this during the day, but i was only moving across town.  if you have 
further than an hour or two to move, you may have to take some measures to 
keep the water from over-heating or possibly do this move in the evening 
or at night when things cool down.

- i wet some newspaper (with the water from the trash cans) and laid the 
newspaper over the plants to keep them moist.  i think i also put 
cling-wrap over the top of the tank to prevent evaporation, although i 
might not have.

- i built a carrier thing for the tank.  my tank is terraced, and i didn't 
really want to tear the whole thing out.  i also didn't want anything to 
break while i was moving it.  it was sort of like a palanquin.  if your 
email is in a fixed-width font, it looked something like this:


	====-----------==== <- 2x4 side rail
            |         |
            |         | <-- plywood on top
        ====-----------==== <- 2x4 side rail


            ___________ <-  plywood
        ||||||||||||||||||| <- 2x4 side rails

        =================== <- 2x4 side rail
            "         "  <- 2x4 cross rail
            "         "

the double lines are 2x4s with the 4" side vertical.  there are two long 
2x4 side-raid pieces, one on each side.  these were the length of the tank 
plus carrying length for one person on each end.  there were also two 
shorter 2x4 cross pieces running between the side rails.  these two are 
under the ends of the tank.  i used some long (maybe 3.5"?) screws to 
attach the cross rails to the side rails (two per cross rail per side, for 
a total of 8 screws).  finally, i screwed a 1/2" piece of plywood to 
the top, but to fit the 'box" formed by the four 2x4 pieces (counter-sink 
the screws so that the top is flat and the screw heads dont' protrude).  i 
guess the important thing is that the weight-bearing 2x4s are under the 
edges of the tank, much like with most tank stands.

also, i'd recommend wrapping the handles in cloth or rounding out the 
handles for comfort while moving what can be fairly heavy.

to move the tank once it was mostly drained, i had two friends hold the 
carrier up a the level of the top of the stand, and i slid the tank off.  
be sure to slide it strait off the front of the stand; don't twist the 
tank back and forth (make sure the sides of the tank stay on the sides of 
the stand for support).  for a 75 gal tank that's mostly drained, you may 
need two people on each end (for a total of four carrier-people) and two 
people helping to slide the tank onto the carrier.  it also will help if 
all the carrier-people are about the same height.  make sure the carrier + 
people's hands can fit through all your doorways, and that you can turn 
any corners without tipping the carrier (it's worth the extra time to test 
this before you put the tank on the carrier).

during transport to the new place, the tank stayed on the carrier in the 
back of the moving van.  i rolled the water-filled trash cans up the ramp 
of the van (yes, get a van with a ramp, and make sure the trash cans 

once at the new place, i siphoned the water from the trash cans back into 
the tank and released the fish.  except for a little water loss and some 
turbidity, everything was exactly like i started.  i didn't lose a single 
fish.  my rotala macrandra never was the same afterwards (but i also 
changed my fertilization 'regimen' after i moved), and it eventually was 
out-competed by other plants.  i also had not a single crypt melt as a 
result of the move :).

good luck with your move.  i've been meaning to document this for the 
a.p.d. since last summer; thanks for the motivation.  if you have any 
questions let me know.  i kept the carrier in the attic and can go find it 
if my description here wasn't clear.


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