Moving a planted tank?

> From: George Booth <booth at hpmtlgb1_lvld.hp.com>
> > From: AAronson at aol_com
> > 
> > Any suggestions?  I've got a 38 gallon heavily planted tank with Crypts,
> > Anubias, Bacopa, and Hygro from my old apartment to my new one about 20
> > minutes away.  I imagine the best thing to do is not remove the plants from
> > the gravel, just remove 90% of the water and spray the plants with tank water
> > in an atomizer while my buddy drives.
> > 
> > Any suggestions?
> I wouldn't worry much about it.  Take the plants out and wrap them in
> wet newspaper or put them in plastic bags.
One very simple method that I have used successfully during four moves was
to get a large plastic bucket (like what restaurants get condiments in) and
put fish, plants and a few gallons of water in that. Except while transporting
in the car, I kept an airline bubbling to keep the water oxygenated. I moved
the gravel in a large tub and kept a good portion of the aquarium water.
The fish have to suffer a bit because there's very little ammonia conversion
in the bucket but it's only for a few hours and the ammonia concentration
is not enough to be concerned about. It's best to have a second tank
which can be set up at the new site a day in advance so the new water can
get to temperature, loose chlorine and so biological filtration can begin.

With clay and other messy substrates, you really need that second tank
because it takes so long to get the new substrate ready and to arrange the
plantings aesthetically.

The plants travelled very well this way and it's the minimal impact on fish
that can be managed short of having a complete second system going ahead of
time at the new place. The advantage of plants is that you don't have to
worry much about the ammonia cycle of a new tank if you have enough! The
fish like it much too and I think it is less stressful on them to travel with
lots of plants to hide in.

 - Steve