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FAQs about Moving Marine Livestock: Success Accounts

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

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Thanks for the help 8/17/09
Hi, Wet Web Media Crew -
<Hello Laurel.>
Thank you for the fantastic information and advice shared on your site.
WWM was extremely helpful to me when I set up my first large tank last year. A few months ago we moved across our state, and WWM helped me learn how to safely transport my fish and disassemble/transport/reassemble the 75 gal. tank itself.
<Ah, good to hear the site helped out.>
We had the moving company crate up the tank, just to be safe, but getting the information from WWM was the necessary first step before I did all the prep work - the moving guys had it easy.
<Well, it is all about prep here!>
We only lost one fish out of our 8 during the move, which is remarkable considering they had to live in temporary accommodations (i.e. a large picnic cooler) and travel (to four different living spaces with our family) for almost a month when there was a huge gap between selling one house and moving into the next.
It's a good thing goldfish are tough customers!
<They certainly are.>
So, thank you again WWM Crew! I couldn't have done it without you.
<Thank you for this, I will let the rest of the crew know. It does mean a lot to us that the site helped you out so much!>
<Scott V.>

Livestock Transport  9/30/05 Hi there, <Hi Ai Kun, Adam J. with you tonight.> I will be moving to a new place which is 5 hours drive away soon.  I have a new tank setup and cycled, and will be transporting my fishes and corals over this weekend.  <Congratulations.>  I have asked my LFS to help with the packaging and dismantling of my existing tank.  My question is how long can my fish/corals stay in the packages safely? <Depends on how they are packaged, if it is done with bags and pure oxygen or if they are in an open container with a battery powered air pump it can be done safely within 24 hours.>  they can I have 2 maroon clowns, 1 blue tang, 1 yellow goby, 1 bi-color blenny and 1 orchid Dottyback.  Are there any precautions that I can take to ensure that all my livestock will arrive at their destination safely? <Well there are a few that are important ones to me, lots of air and water to keep stress level low and keeping the temp stable whether it be with ice packs and fans in the heat or heat packs in the cold. Otherwise see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/movingaq.htm and please read the linked FAQ's as well.> Thank you for your time. <No trouble at all.> Ai Kun
Post Move  10/6/05
Hi <Hello.> Thanks to your prompt response to my earlier email. <No trouble.> I am pleased to inform you that all fish and corals survived the move. <Awesome!> However, I am having problems with the maroon clown couple right now.   <Uh-Oh.> In their previous home, they had a BTA and three days before the move, they spawned.  Due to logistic issues, I was unable to transport the rock (it's huge) with their BTA and eggs.  It has been 5 days and they are refusing to eat. <They are likely stressed out.  5 days isn't long enough to start panicking yet but I would offer them a variety of things. Maybe try soaking some Mysis shrimp in Zoe or Selcon. That usually works for me.>  They would occasionally swim near the edge of the tank as though they are trying to run away.  The female is also stirring sand around the tank and has dug a rather deep 'cave' in between two rocks.  <The "digging" is fairly normal of Maroons.>  Does these symptoms tell you anything?  What can I do to make them eat?  <See above.>  I don't want to lose any of them. <Don't panic yet. As stressful as the move was for you, it is/was even more stressful for the fish.  Hunger strikes like this can last weeks at times, so don't panic yet, just keep offering food.> Thank you. Ai Kun <Good luck and keep me posted, Adam Jackson.>

- Moving - <Good morning, JasonC here...> Bob...(if not Bob then please someone who has actually handled a similar situation personally) <That would be me...> I have read through the FAQ sections and have not found a lot of information pertaining to my particular situation.  Since I have so much time and effort (not to mention $) invested in my tanks and am going nuts just thinking about moving them I would like to get your advise. I am being relocated from Southern Illinois to Las Vegas Nevada.  This is about 1600 miles and takes about 24 hours to drive straight through, which with small children in tow could easily turn into a three day excursion. I have two tanks.  The first is a 110 gal reef tank, tons of live rock, corals, fish, inverts, eco-system filter, aragonite substrate.  Has been up for about 18 mo.s, everything is going well.  I have good coralline algae growth everywhere, polyps, mushrooms, and small corals have grown out of my live rock.  Corals are all growing, fish are all growing.  everyone is happy. Second tank is 58 gal fish only with live rock.  only residents are wisenheimer golden puffer (about 8") and snowflake eel (about 16").  this tank has been up for about 5 mos.  I think the only way you could kill either of it's inhabitants would be to shoot them, but they might try to eat the bullet.  also on eco-system filter. How do I get two tanks, fish, corals, inverts, rock, and water broken down moved 1600 miles, and set back up without anything dying. <That's a very, very tall order.> I have several fish that I would really hate to lose (never thought I could get attached to a fish.) I would greatly appreciate it if you could give me step by step instructions on how you would handle this move. Thank you, Jeremy <Jeremy, I just moved from Massachusetts to California, and thought I would be smart and shipped all my fish ahead of time and kept them at a local store until I could get my system up and running again. Well, to make a long story short, I took too long - over three months - and in that time, all my fish perished. In other words, it was a waste of time, money, and life. I would have been much smarter to find good homes for the fish in Massachusetts, and replace the fish out here. Honestly, the problem is the impracticality. I'm single and have no children - I can only imagine the technicalities in your situation. Honestly, there's no easy way to disassemble a system and keep it viable for the week or so that it will be in transit. Even without distractions, you will be hard pressed to get salt water and the tanks prepared in a timely manner on the far side of this journey. Your live rock will re-cure, your eco-systems will need to re-cycle, and overall it's going to be at least a month before you would be ready to go. And I'm sure you will have other priorities, namely your family, to deal with upon arrival. My honest suggestion to you is to forgo trying to move these tanks as complete systems - say your goodbyes to the fish, and move only the equipment, taking your time to set it back up on the far end. You could easily find a fish store in Las Vegas that would hold your fish for you, but again it's costly and impractical, and sometimes disappointing. The road to hell is paved with good intentions as the saying goes, and I certainly had plenty of good intentions, as I am sure your intentions are also genuine. That being said, it's an uphill battle that can't be solved with money alone, and you'd be hard pressed to get these systems running quickly enough. I'm sure that's not what you want to hear, but it is from my own recent and hard-learned experience that I say this. Good luck on your move. Cheers, J -- >

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