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FAQs about Moving Aquarium Systems: Techniques 

Related Articles: Moving and Transporting your Livestock and Tanks By Amy Janecek, Moving Aquariums

FAQs on Moving Marine Systems: Moving Aquariums 1, Moving Aquariums 2, Moving Aquariums 3, Moving Aquariums 4, Moving/Upgrading Aquariums 5
FAQs on Moving Marine Systems by Category: Plans, Gear, Marine Substrate Moving/Replacing/Adding To, Marine Substrate Moving/Replacing/Adding To 2, Moving Live Rock Tank Storage... Success Stories, Troubles  &
FAQs on Moving Marine Livestock:
Moving Livestock, Moving Livestock 2,
FAQs on Moving Livestock by Category: Plans, Gear, Techniques... Success Stories, Troubles/Fixing,



Moving An Aquarium Cross-Country     5/5/15
Dear WetWebMedia Crew,
I am moving from Washington state to Ohio on the 21st of this month, and was hoping you would be able to give me some input re moving an empty aquarium.
<Sure. Do see the article and FAQs re such moves archived on WWM>
I will be shipping my car (filled with the majority of my things) and flying myself over, and have decided that it's just too risky to try to bring my aquarium's current inhabitants. I would still love to start over at the new place with my current equipment, however. My question is, which do you think would be safer: shipping my aquarium in my car, or using the postal service?
<Your car; esp. if this is a glass tank.>
I've heard some less-than-satisfactory accounts of using the postal service with fragile cargo, but if that seems better than my car, please do let me know!
Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you.
<And you; Bob Fenner>
Re: Moving An Aquarium Cross-Country     5/5/15
Hello again,
Thank you for your prompt response, Bob!
I will definitely look up the articles and FAQ's you've suggested. My aquarium is a glass tank, so it looks like the car will be what I will go with.
<Yes; if there's room, this is definitely the alternative I would take... You could have a very sturdy crate built... it would all cost more than just buying a new tank at your new place>
Thank you again!
<And you, BobF>

20 gal long tanks
Moving Tanks - 10/21/2012

Hello I have two twenty gallon tanks with a stand that has one on top and one on the bottom, I have had these tanks for 12 -13 years., We have to move the tanks about 4 feet for new carpeting. I need to know if it is possible to drain each tank half way and have two or three strong men, lift entire stand not touching tanks STRAIGHT UP about 3 inches onto a flat dolly, WOULD this be okay to do as I have old fish that I don't want to stress in putting them in bucket or netting them, one of them sort of flips out when I touch him with a net, he is almost blind and loves his space not being disturbed. I really need to know if this can be done a few feet, it will remain on flat dolly until carpet is done, then moved back and lifted straight off onto a flat board for stability??
<I would not recommend this.  Instead, I would suggest draining both tanks to about five gallons - you can save the water in buckets, just siphon it off slowly.  Take the opportunity to clean the gravel thoroughly using a gravel siphon tube as well, as moving the tanks WILL disturb any detritus in the substrate, no matter how careful you are.  Then move each tank, fish included, off of the stand and directly onto the flat dolly (or other nearby flat surface) and then deal with the carpet, move the stand back in, and replace the tanks on the stand, fill them again slowly and carefully, and you're set.  You'll still need a couple of big strong guys anyway, as even with just five gallons or so, these tanks will still be heavy with all their gravel and such.>
I know they should be all taken out and substrate removed and water out etc,
<You can move them with substrate and all still in them, but DO remove any large rocks or decor items that might shift or fall and strike the sides.>
but we had this idea and want to know if anyone has ever done this, the tanks will not be disturbed, they wont lean, be moved with handling in anyway, only the tank stand, and two people will be supporting top tank until lift is over.
<It might sound good in theory, but there will ALWAYS be unexpected problems.  The route you propose has lots of potential for things to go wrong.  Each tank, half full, is going to weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 pounds.  If the stand starts to tip, it's going to be harder than expected to prevent.  Moving each tank individually, with just enough water to keep the fish wet, is a much, much safer option, for you, for the guys moving the tanks, and especially for the fish.  Oh, and DO have an emergency backup plan if something goes horribly awry - perhaps have one of the buckets of water easily at hand, just in case you do need to immediately scoop up any fish that jump out or get inadvertently spilled, or if, Gods forbid, a tank gets dropped.  Just be prepared for the worst, and hopefully things will go perfectly and the preparations will be unnecessary.>
C. Hart
<Good luck with the move and the new carpet, enjoy!  -Sabrina>
Moving Tanks - II - 10/22/2012

Hello again, I do understand all you said and I will have their water in each container near for emergency, I wanted to clarify one thing and maybe you'll think it is not to bad an idea, the stand is one of traditional type, some sort of black steel with welded areas to keep it together made for two twenty tanks, they would be lifting it from the bottom of top tank, the frame has one tank on bottom and one at top, the top has the bottom of its area , this is where they would lift it straight up 2 inches, I would remove all from hanging (filters, etc) drain to about 5 gallons, and they would lift onto flat dolly , about 3 inches from the bottom of the tank. 
Does saying they will be lifting it from center (bottom of top tanks frame area) make it a little safer or not?
<I would still move the tanks separately from the stand....  but I'm no physicist.   I do genuinely feel that it would be safer to move the tanks separately, as you're talking about a lot of weight distributed in such a way that really only two people will be able to lift it, and should one slip, well, both tanks would be at risk.  Moving them singly will lessen the chance for damage, I think.  And you can still move them onto a dolly, right next to them.  Either option will be equally stressful for the fish, and I do think the fish will deal with that stress just fine, as long as you monitor water quality closely for a couple of weeks after the move to be sure the biofiltration is still happy.>
Thanks again
I've been dealing with this since February when we then decided not to get carpet, but now are for sure!
<Congrats!  I hope it goes well and turns out nicely.>
Cathy Hart
<Best wishes,  -Sabrina>
Moving Tanks - III - 10/22/2012

Oh thanks you so much.
<You're very welcome.>
One more thing, my tanks are old, if they are lifted and they do what you suggested, first can the break easier then with my idea, they have areas of less silicone at some seams then others, no leaks I just noticed it one day
<Either way, just have the folks doing the lifting try to keep the tanks pretty level and not to torque them.>
and secondly would it be okay for one of the fish I have about 12 inches to be in 5 gallons of water?
<Not knowing what kind of fish it is, I can't really say.  But, what 12 inch fish is in a 20 gallon tank?  Is this move something you could use as a great opportunity to upgrade tank size?  Best wishes,  -Sabrina>

Moving a 375 gallon tank -- 09/14/09
Hi Bob and the rest of the Crew,
<Howzit Wil?>
I have a BIG problem, I have to move to a new home the last Sunday of this month, my tank is a 375 FOWLR (250pounds of rock)
<Oomph! I hope you have strong friends>
my question is: could I prepare the whole volume of new water or should i transport the existing water to the new location?
<I'd only move the bit of it necessary to move your livestock>
I think the last option is harder and I probably spend more money buying big containers than buying salt buckets, what is in your opinion the wisest option, is the new water going to stress my fish a lot?
<Mix most of it new at the new location... As early as you can>
Thanks a lot for your help!
Wilberth from Mexico City
<Welcome. BobF in sunny San Diego, Ca>
Re: Moving a 375 gallon tank -- 09/14/09

Bob thanks a lot for your fast answer, I get the keys tomorrow morning so I guess I should start the move to mix the water ASAP
<I would!>
I forgot to say that all the fish are going to stay in a 250 gallons PVC/liner pool with the filters connected.
I'll write you back in about 3 weeks to tell you how the moving was...
<Please do. B>
Best regards

Moving a 260 Gallon Tank 6/11/09
Hello Everyone!
I am about to move a new 260gallon tank into our new house, the problem is that it has to go down the basement stairs.
<Not fun!>
It is a glass tank.
Approximate dimensions are 7 feet long, 28" wide, and 3 feet tall (rounded). Can I get some strong friends and gently slide it down the stairs?
<Would be my method. Get more friends than you need. If one slips or drops, be sure there are enough to take up the slack.> <<And redundancy... straps held above, folks guiding below... on wood "runners"... RMF>>
Should I package it in a crate and use a dolly? Just use a dolly without the crate?
<This can be done with or without the crate, but I suspect you will have a hard time getting it through the doorway anyhow. I would have some friends on hand to help out.>
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Moving a Cycled Tank 9/22/08 Hi <Hello> I have a fishLESS Eclipse 12 since I upgraded my tank and moved all the fish over about a month and a half to two months ago. I have kept the Eclipse running. I have been putting a pinch of flake food every few days. I did a water change about a month after I moved the fish and rinsed off the mechanical/chemical filter. As of today my water test readings are 0,0, 20. I want to sell the Eclipse. I am going to put an ad up in my apartment to sell it. In my ad I said that tank has been cycled for about 8 months so the tank should be ready for fish right away. My question is...in your(for whoever is answering this) opinion is this accurate? <Not in my opinion, moving a tank almost always causes some degree of die-off and ammonia/nitrite spike.> Since I am going to have to siphon the water into buckets and then the water will have to be put back into tank after the move. Or will the buyer have to wait for everything to settle? <I would advise so.> If so, in your opinion how long of a wait? <Could be a couple days, could be another full cycle depending on how everything survives the move.> Or more so, is there a chance that the move will screw up the cycled process that it will have to cycle again? <Unavoidable to a degree in my opinion.> Do you think its ok to sell a tank this way, or would you advise to just break it down completely before selling it? <However it is easiest for you to sell.> Besides answers to the questions, any additional information that you can give me would be appreciated Thank You <Welcome> <Chris>

Refinish hardwood floors what to do with aquarium 03/31/2008 I have a 90 gallon tank and a nano cube on the first floor of my home I've had them for two years, and I am learning something new every day either through direct experience or reading helpful information from your pages and other places on the net. I was hoping that someone here would be able to help me with a few question. The time has come to refinish the hardwood floors in my home on the first floor which means that every stick of furniture and furnishing must be moved out and the floor can't be walked on for 3 days. I have a basement that I can move the tanks to but this causes several problems. How do I feed my tanks? <<How can you "feed" the tanks?>> Can I skip three days? I don't have an auto top off and I need to add water daily. Can I skip this for a few days? I usually add a gallon every other day to the 90 gallon. If I don't add water my water level will fall below my overflow and the water from the sump won't circulate, what can I do? <<From the sounds of it, your only option is buckets, and carry water to the basement and add top-off water yourself as and when needed.>> The tanks will be in the basement and the only way to get to the basement while the work is crawling through a window I will need to leave open. Can I leave the tanks alone and avoid breaking into my home. Finally, will the oil based polyurethane they are putting on the floor harm my tanks, Will the fumes from the varnish bother the fish and corals. <<Would be wise to completely aerate the room to exhaust it of fumes>> The varnish really stinks and the fumes will come from the floor above. Any special things I should do cover tanks run air purifier, I had one running before near the tank but it seemed to inhibit the protein skimmer, or something other ideas. <<Covering the tanks is always a good idea when any form of diy is being carried out in the house as particles can travel quite far in a closed environment. If you have air purifiers available, then yes, sure, go for it.>> Thanks in advance <<Thanks for the questions, A Nixon>>

Moving a marine system  07/02/05 Bob, <<Hi Lisa, tonight you get Ted>> I've read your article about relocating tanks.  I have a few questions.  Here is my plan:  Buy a pre-existing tank at the new site...upgrading from a 46 and 30 to a 75 or 125.  I am going to search for a previously owned, already established tank and set it up way ahead of time (in the event it has problems). << Good idea on the upgrade. Allow enough time for the new or moved system to become (re)established.>> Here is where I have questions....it is an 11 - 12 hour trip.  I could move my fish in our RV in an empty 30g long with their established filter and tank water. Would this be better than bagging them separately without filtration?  Or is it too much of a move for them....should I look into finding  a new home for them here? <<If you like your collection of fish, etc., there is no reason you can't successfully transfer them. Fish, corals and invertebrates are shipped in bags from wholesalers to your LFS where shipping can take 24-36 hours (or more). Place your tank inhabitants in large individual bags. Double or triple the bags and tie off with rubber bands. About 1/3 of the bag volume should be water from your existing tank (not new water) and the rest air. Place the bags in Styrofoam boxes to insulate and keep the temperature stable.>> Tank inhabitants are: 46 GALLON: 2 percula clowns 1 black line blenny 1 bi-color blenny 1 molly miller blenny 1 yellow clown goby 1 pygmy cherub angel 2 cleaner shrimp many Asterina stars - hundreds hermits and a few snails 50 pounds live rock 30 GALLON: 1 convict goby (quite the digger!)(already 3 inches) 1 flame goby 1 cleaner shrimp 30 pounds live rock <<Remember to slowly acclimate the shrimp to the new water. For the LR, dampen newspaper in tank water. Wrap the LR in the damp newspaper and place the into a Styrofoam box with a little tank water.>> Thanks! Lisa <<You're welcome and good luck - Ted>>

Moving to a larger tank 10/14/04 Bob - First thanks for all the information I've read and received from you and the folks at wet web.  It has really been helpful. <Adam here today.  Glad you have benefited!> Now my question--I presently have a 55g aquarium which is fully mature and been set up for about 2 years.  It is a live rock and fish aquarium with just a few pieces of coral.  I have about 50 lbs of live rock in the tank and about 3 inches of what has become live sand.  Fish consist of a few blennies and damsels and I have one seahorse (who seems to be doing quite well in spite of the quicker damsels) as well as a fair number of snails of various types, a few hermit crabs (small) and a couple of small conches.  I am seriously considering switching to a 90 gallon tank mainly for the stability and ability to handle a few more fish.  <Sounds nice!  Beware that more fish, more room, and more dilution of food will add to your seahorses disadvantage.> My problem is that the only place I can set up the 90g tank is in the same place as the 55g tank. So how do I transfer?  One thought I had was to put the 90g on the floor near the 55g, fill it with salt water about half way and use it to cure some additional live rock (maybe another 50 lbs or so) and perhaps some more live sand.  After curing, then empty it to as low as possible and do the same for the 55g.  Then move the 55g out of the way, put the 90g where I want it and then somehow transfer the sand, rock and fish/critters to the 90g and just basically clean out the 55. Any thoughts or suggestions?  <Hmmm... many. First of all, consider draining all but a couple of inches from the 55, moving it a couple of feet away and re-filling it (you will need some strong, steady handed help... be careful!).  This is a fairly minor disturbance, and would allow you to completely set up, plumb, leak test, etc for the 90. This way, you aren't rushed to do these things all in one day. Curing a bit more rock in advance is a great idea.  Once the process is complete, I would do several water exchanges between the two systems to "equalize" the water quality before actually combining systems.  Moving sand can cause serious problems if not done carefully.  I would either take only the top inch or so (where most of the life is) and discard the rest, or else take as much as you can by lifting and setting it down like slices of pie (careful not to mix the layers!), and be sure to re-submerge the sand as soon as possible (less than an hour if possible).  One or two plastic 55 gallon drums are tremendously helpful for this kind of tank move. Thanks- Larry <Best Regards!  AdamC.>

Moving aquarium question I was wondering if you could offer me some help. I am looking to move my saltwater aquarium from my parents house to mine. The details: Its fish only with some live rock. 125 gallons (very heavy),  probably the only good new is I only live 4 blocks away... The filters I use, if this help at all is 2 250 magnums, one undergravel, two power heads and a wet dry. <Okay> My LFS says that I need to drain all the water (save as much as possible, to reuse), keep all the substrate in there, remove rocks and fish. Hurry it over to the new house. Put the water back in slowly and then add the rocks and fish, start the pumps and filter and add 2 to 3 bottles of "TLC".  The "TLC" should help the disturbed water... <Mmm, I would NOT do this... move the tank with the substrate, rock in it... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/movingaq.htm and on to the linked FAQs files (at top, in blue)> I was just afraid of lifting the tank with rocks and water still in it, afraid it could break.  I was thinking of maybe setting up a big long tote, take substrate and water from the tank put in the tote, empty the tank (save the water) move the tank then just put it all right back in. Any help would be much appreciated. Bill <Read on my friend. Use the "action plan" you've been directed to make a parts, tools list and steps to completion. Bob Fenner>

Moving Sucks!!! Use of pond liners Hi Anthony, Bob and Crew: <Hello Gregory> Thanks for the great support and books!!  You guys can truly be a godsend at times. Sorry if this is a silly question...I tried to search the faqs re: moving, etc., but did not find a definitive answer.  I am in the process of moving my 110 tank to a new house.  Unfortunately, I will have to spend 3-4 months in an apartment while the house is being finished.  Since I am afraid to set up the 110 in the apartment, I have decided that I will temporarily house everything in the oversized soaking tub in the apartment's second bathroom.  This is the largest container (approx. 60-70 gallons I think) that I could think of for keeping everything healthy.  Anyway, I thought that I would line the tub with plastic pond liner (because of soap & chemicals), but the guy at the garden store said that it might be toxic to marine animals.  Is this so, or is there a certain type of liner that I should use and/or avoid? <No problems in using any type of liner intended for pond use. All, EPDM, Butyl, Vinyl, composite, are chemically inert, non-toxic to marine life. Bob Fenner> Thanks for all your help.  Take care, Greg
Re: Moving Sucks!!!
Thanks for the info Bob!  That's a load off...I thought that I was going to have to rethink this whole process midstream so to speak.  Great new book BTW (I have told Anthony so, but have never been in touch with you directly).  I think it really fills an interesting niche that is, of necessity, skipped or lightly treated in most of the marine "standards." Very shrewd of you guys to include so many (!!!) quality photos as well. <Agreed. Must need "get the attention" of folks as an a priori step to "introducing them" meaningfully to informational content. In our interest this is supremely easy... with so many gorgeous, interesting life forms> I think that alone will broaden the audience that you reach.  I've read it through once, but have flipped through the photos too many times to count. I look forward to Volume 2.  Take care, Greg. <Thank you for your input. Bob Fenner>
Re: Moving Sucks!!!
Hi Bob (again): Sorry to be a nuisance, but I just bought my pond liner for this rather bizarre project and had one last question (I hope!).  The liner is covered in the gray powdery substance that I assume prevents dry-rot, etc. during storage.  I rinsed it and scrubbed it with a broom a couple of times, but I think there is still quite a bit clinging to it.  Is it necessary that I get this coating off before using the liner? <No, but if it bothers you, it can be scrubbed off with some water, rock salt and a scrubby brush> If I need to get it off thoroughly, I would appreciate some advice on what to use as a cleaning agent if anything other than elbow grease.  Thanks again for your time and wisdom/experience.  Take care, Greg <Glad to share. Bob Fenner>

Big Time! (Moving To A Larger Tank) Hello. I have a 75 gallon reef tank now with 110 lbs live rock, 3 inch base of live sand, 3 soft corals, 1 Naso tang, 1 dwarf yellow angel, 3 damsels, 2 tomato clowns, plus a coral reef clean up crew and 1 feather duster. <Glad you're considering an upgrade! That Naso Tang can get HUGE> Protein skimmer is a Berlin (up to 250 gallons). Sump is 20 gallon tank.  My question: I just bought a 125 gallon tank and stand. What is the best way for me to transfer everything in my 75 gallon tank  to my 125? <I'd set up the 125 with all of the new live sand and rocks, and the majority of the rock and sand from the existing tank. Monitor the break in of the larger tank...When ammonia and nitrite return to undetectable levels, you can start transferring your fishes and the remainder of the live rock and sand over from the 75.> I realize I will need to buy more live sand, and about 50 #of live rock.  My 75 gallon tank has been up for a little over 6 months; I have had no problems at all . Also, I use a 5 stage RO/DI unit  for the water. <Great! Quality source water is a terrific starting point for maintaining good water quality!> Can you please give me any suggestions on the best way to transfer my live stock? Thanks, Mark <well, Mark- as outlined above, I'd just take it slow, monitor the new tank carefully, and enjoy watching your fishes and inverts in their new, larger quarters! Keep up the same sound husbandry practices that you did in the 75, and I'm sure that you'll continue to enjoy success! Good luck, and have fun! Regards, Scott F>

Re: moving question Thanks for the good news! I was so afraid I'd lose everything in the move.. the oxygen isn't really available, but I am going to move the system water in containers so that everything's good to go when I arrive back home. I'll try and take a 1-2 gallon jug of system water to put over the trickle plate in my wet/dry every few hours or so. Temp shouldn't be that big of a deal if the fish are kept in the car with me, with my AC set to say, 76 degrees? Thanks again, any other tips/suggestions will be gladly taken :) Bill H (of waffle eating fame) :p

System in Storage Hi, I will be leaving my 200g saltwater tank standing for 6 months as i am moving house for a while. Do you think it is possible to start again with new water after i have left the tank dry for such a long time or will i need to change the bio balls or whole filter system? <Do be sure to rinse/clean everything thoroughly.  Especially all of the pumps and impellors.  You have probably seen the mulm that develops around the impellors and inside the tubing.  When this stuff dries, it becomes very hard and can/will ruin your pumps.  It would not be a bad idea to run them in some vinegar before packing away to remove any calcium deposits, too.  -Steven Pro> Thanks, Craig

BIG MOVE ___BIG PROBLEMS I have read over the Q&A section on wetwebmedia.com regarding moving aquariums, but I couldn't find anything pertaining something even close to my problem. I have a 75gal FOWLR and am upgrading finally to a 300gal FOWLR. <Wowzah, quite a jump! Wish my "disposable" income (just what is this anyway, discretionary as in this or that flavor of Ramen?) went up in this fashion> My question is can I move this 75gal of water, LR, fish, and gravel to the new tank containing 225gal of RO water with the same salt level, temperature, and PH level and be okay? <Likely yes... I would set up the new, much bigger system in advance as much as you can... with whatever additional live rock, substrate... and have it running with the water level down... about seventy five gallons...> The 75gal will be used as the sump. I have a Merlin Fluidized Sand Bed that has never been used if you think this could be used at all making the change. <Wouldn't hurt. I'd use if I had it> The LR in the tank was the only thing I needed to sustain life in my tank and I will order an additional 200lbs from ffexpress.com once the tank is up and running. Also I have a 20gal tank that is used as the sump now but my fish wouldn't be able to live in such small quarters for any period of time allowing enough time for the new tank to cycle. <Agreed. Sounds like quite an adventure (mimicking Albie Beals here)... Be chatting! Bob Fenner>

Moving tank Hi Bob! Thanks so much for your quick reply to my last question regarding plenums. Guess what? I now have another one, regarding moving my tank. <Am shocked and amazed!> I looked over your article and the faq's on moving, found them very helpful, but unfortunately didn't answer my question. So here it goes. Just to refresh you, I have a 30g w/plenum, live sand, live rock, and Aragocrete (instructions courtesy GARF.org) I will be moving shortly (in a few weeks) about 10 miles away. <As the saying goes, "Plan your move, move your plan"> My question is: how should I move the tank w/ plenum intact. I figured to take out all rock, corals and other livestock, placing the fish in a bag (there's only one right now, the other having disappeared, I think he jumped out of the open top and maybe the cats got him; there's no trace anywhere:( ) And removing all the water except for what is on and in the sand bed and putting the aquarium on a strong board(s) to prevent shifting/ stress fractures. There's about 60lbs of substrate, plus it has about 5g's of water under/in the substrate, plus the weight of the tank. I guess if the tank breaks there's always my 29 g, which I was planning to hook up to it for added water capacity and refugium. Any thoughts/help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot!!! Erin <Hmm, well, if the plenum isn't too heavy... and a bonus if it's not made of glass... I might well try lifting it intact (with most of the water drained out, but the plenum left as is... If you deem it too massive (watch your back!) I would remove most of the upper sand and place it in a clean container... and just replace it when you're where it's going... Bob Fenner>

A question. (moving aquarium) Bob -- I have enjoyed your articles and books for many years. Finally, I have a question that I am "moved" to ask. <Make it so> I have a 125 gallon reef that has been up for almost 2 years and doing extremely well. I have over 200 lbs. of live rock, 70 lbs. of sand, a cell-u-pore plenum and too much coral to name. I just bought a house about 100 miles away and am going to set up a 225 gallon tank (72x24x30) with a 35 gallon refugium in the sump. <Sounds like a nice project> I plan on bringing in a professional service to handle the move. (Better safe than sorry) I also plan on adding another 85 lbs of live rock. I will cure this pre-cured rock myself in an appropriate container. My main questions: How should I prepare the new tank for the arrivals of my existing specimens? <Have it set up with the new LR ASAP, allowing the new system to cure as long as you can before moving all to it as per the "Action Plan" on "Moving Aquariums" posted on the Marine Index/part of our site: www.WetWebMedia.com> How long should the curing of the new live rock take? <A week or three... measure aspects of nitrogen cycling...> My secondary questions concern the residents. I presently have a hippo tang, yellow tang, Vlamingi tang, starcki damsel, orchid Dottyback, flame hawk, 2 cleaner shrimp, a banded coral shrimp and a single remaining green Chromis. I love tangs and would like to add the following: 3-5 yellow tangs 1 purple tang 1 Naso tang 1 Kole tang 10 green Chromis 4 lyre-tail Anthias 1 tomato clown 2 Heniochus 2 reef safe wrasses (Scott's, lineatus and the like) Am I crazy or is this too many fish? <It would be tight fitting all this in with what you have already... are you keeping, re-setting up the current tank? Maybe a bunch of these organisms can go there... they're all pretty much compatible as species, but need about twice the proposed space to do well in.> I would appreciate any insight that you can provide. -- Richard Wulwick <Take your time, print out the article cited, use as a checklist of "to do's". Bob Fenner>

Big move... Okay, so the day is here. I've read over your FAQs but didn't quite find the answers I needed. Thanks in advance for your speedy reply. I'm doing a double whammy... upgrading my 55 gallon to a 100 gallon AND moving from my rental home to a new apartment. Fish only. <Some mental and physical exercise now!> Today I'm going to finish breaking down my brother in law's 100G that he's giving me, and I will be dropping it off at the LFS to have some holes drilled into the acrylic that will drain water into my sump. Once that is done, I am going to fill the tank and sump with tap water and add in the salt mix. I will let this sit for a week for the "bad stuff" to leave the tap water. <Good idea> Once the water in the main tank is good and ready to go, I want to add in my live rock.  <Do add some of the "old water" to the 100 after a day or so...> I have two sources of live rock. One source (about 40lbs) is from my existing established 55G at my old house... the other source is from my new 100G. I pulled the rock from the poorly maintained 100G from my bro in law and am storing/kind of re-curing the rock since last week in my garage with light and water pumps. I also have live sand in my established 55G tank. <Okay> Will moving over the LR and LS from the established tanks prevent me from having to recycle the tank? <Likely, yes> What about adding in the LR from the 100G that is ready to go? The rock has always "smelt fine" as I told you in an earlier email, and you suggested that I just keep it in a bucket with some light and circulation. <Yes, do place, use it> If I pull the live rock from my established system to move it to the new tank, I'm sure I'll piss off my fish, so I'd like to just move the fish and rock at the same time, but am concerned I may have a recycling event. <Minor only> Good thing is that after I setup the 100G with the freshly mixed salt water and wait a week for chloramine and all that stuff to go away, I still have a two to two and a half week window to move stuff over from the 55G. I left myself a month long window for a slow transition to the new apartment. Here's my action plan: Week One - Move in 100G tank and setup new salt water in tank/sump and begin circulation of water. Allow "bad stuff" to go away. Week Two - Take some live sand from the established tank and seed the new tank. Add in LR taken from 100G tank. Week Three - Move over live rock, remaining live sand and fish to the new tank. Test water in new tank prior to moving livestock. Does this sound reasonable? Can I do things quicker (always preferred). <Yes... you did see/read over the "Moving Aquariums" article on the www.WetWebMedia.com site I trust... I would review it>. Thanks Bob as always. This will be a lot of work, but I can't wait!!! <Me neither. Bob Fenner>

The big move Bob, I thank you for all your advice in the past. I'm sending this e-mail in hopes again for your help.  My question is what's the best way to move a 70gallon and 55 gallon marine tanks. I'm moving out of my apartment into my 1st ever owned home, thus I need to try to keep the moving cost of these two tanks low but without sacrificing the fishes health. I'm not moving until April or May (depending on closing) but want to make sure I have a plan and everything I need in place well before hand. I'm overlapping the apartment and the house by a month , resulting I hope in a smoother move not only for me but the fish. I do have 120gal tank and equipment, brand new not being used that I hoped to replace my aging 70 gal.  1) do I start from square one on the new tank(120) setup? Or is there a way to transfer the 70 to the 120 . (70 equipment is rated for 120) 2) Do I move all the water in the 55gal tank? 3) basically what's the best way to move these two tanks and if I can make the move into the 120 gallon tank from the 70 gallon tank during the moving process? The 70 gallon tank contains: 45lbs of LR Copper banded  Corel banded shrimp 3 peppermint shrimp green Bristol star blue lobster (sm. The size of ? long at best) Corel cat shark (sm 5-6 inches) Currently the LV is either in the corner and up on stilts (PVC Pipe) allowing the shark to swim under and curve his craving for digging. I realize he will be outgrowing the system shortly and hope to move him to 120 for a while. I plan to build a large enclosure for the shark in my new basement. I got the idea from two other systems and I plan on taking the best of both systems. I would actually love to discuss my thoughts about the system sometime in the future. If you be will. The 55 gallon tank contains: 45lbs of LV Yellow Tang V-Tail grouper Niger Trigger Thank you, for all of your help Bob. Your column is extremely appreciated here in Chicago.  Rich Rittorno >> And thank you for writing, being an active part of this interchange. 1) Thank goodness for all your forethought and planning.... and the upcoming 120... I would set it up in advance (as soon as the place "is yours"... with some, much of the rock and substrate from the seventy... Move the livestock next week or so to it (the Shark will be eating some tankmates soon... this might be a/the time to make the big change-out of the other livestock...) 2) I think you mean should you save all the water from the 55... don't try moving much of anything but maybe the wet substrate in the tanks... Place the live rock and other decor in multi-lined trash bags... in clean boxes or cans... But do try to save the bulk of the water in a similar fashion (multiple banded closed at the top of course), and place it in the new and used tanks at the new site. 3) You can make the move pretty much as you and I seem to be inkling at... do take a look at the article on "moving aquariums" I have posted at www.wetwebmedia.com for a more complete rundown on gear and procedures for the big move... and let me know if I've left anything (critical) out. Bob Fenner, on his way out to give a couple of pitches this month in PA... and wishes he was coming back (maybe so!) to do the same this year again in the Windy City... see ya at Uno and Due!

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