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FAQs about Moving Marine Livestock Techniques

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New tank from old 1/25/11
Good Morning!
<And to you Joan>
Long story short, our 4 month old 110 gallon bow front cracked on Sunday (it was determined to be an internal flaw in the glass) so the manufacturer (AquaVim) traded us up into a 165 gallon tank (which we don't receive for about 10 days).
Here's what we have done so far. Of course we siphoned the 110 tank till the water was below the crack, moved fish into a borrowed 50 gallon tank (I know not enough room but what else to do?), put some of the live sand and live rock into the 50, but there is still about 100 lbs still in the old tank which has water, flow and aeration. The rest of the live rock (about 100 lbs) is in a garbage can with water, aeration and light (the rocks are covered with sponges, polyps and coraline algae) .
<May well be some die-off... but not to worry>
Now that the fish are out of the old tank I will put the rest of the live rock back into the tank until we get the new one. I want to preserve the eco-system nitrifying bacteria so I do not have to cycle a new tank.
<Won't have to>
We have about 100 gallons of the water from the old tank and sump. I would prefer to use all newly made water for this tank (I was fighting a bit with phosphates at around .14 and had 34 TDS).
<Mmm, I'd re-use as much of the olde water as practical... the HPO4 and dissolved solids are not a big deal; in fact, they're useful here>
Our old RO/DI system was not working properly to take out phosphates and TDS so every top off we were adding .10 phosphates to the tank. So we purchased a new one from SpectraPure which included their Silica Buster cartridge so now our TDS is down to 0 and undetectable phosphates. Will I cause the tank to cycle if I use all new water?
<Not really, no... some/enough chemicals of use will come from the re-used live rock and substrate>
Or am I better off to use the water out of the old tank and just add new water to make up the difference to 165 gallons?
<This last is what I would do>
Another question...is a pump rated at 1350 GPH sufficient for a 165 gallon tank?
<Mmm, depends on what application/s, make up of livestock, your intent/s... But a good start. I'd add another in-system recirculator... See here:
and the linked files above>
Thanks for taking the time to answer this.
Joan Miner
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Upgrading Tank   9/19/10
Bob and crew,
I am again in need of your advice.
I'll make this brief: I am currently upgrading my 120 FOWLR to a 300 FOWLR (I have already inquired about aquascaping last week). ALL of the live rock in the old system will stay in the old system (to be used for a reef tank). The new system will have all new rock (150 pounds of base rock and 50 pounds of live rock to seed the base rock). The tank will be cycled.
However, how do you suggest I move my fish (9 total: 3 tangs, 2 triggers, 2 wrasses, and 2 damsels) to the new tank without creating an ammonia spike?
Would you move a few fish at a time?
<You have to add the fishes carefully over time, yes. Even if the tank is 'cycled' the populations of bacteria will not be large enough to support a sudden influx of life. You would be better using at least some of your old system rock here, and the 'reef' will benefit from some added new as well, in the way of biota. Over time, certain populations out-compete others, so that the general biodiversity decreases as time goes by. Occasional 'new' additions of live rock/ sand can help to replenish this as the system ages. I would quarantine all live rock sans fishes and with light though for several (up to 8) weeks>
Furthermore, I know the tangs like the system to be aged so they can graze on the rocks. Considering that all my live rock will be new, do you think the tangs will do ok until the tank ages?
<Should be if fed well (try NLSpectrum pellets). I would add some of your old rock here though, why I wonder are you considering not doing this? I would mix both old and new rock in both systems>
Should I add some macro algae to the display?
<Try Nori & pellets, perhaps vitamin soaked Mysis>
Thanks in advance (once again).
<No problem>
- Eugene

Moving From River Reef To 4x2x2 With Sump/Moving 7/14/10
Hi Guys <and gals>,
<Hello Jay>
Was wondering if anyone can help me. I currently have a River Reef set up which if I do say so myself has been doing very very well. It has been set up for 2 years with approx 13kg of live rock and 2.5" of CaribSea live sand.
It currently has a few soft corals, Candy Cane Coral, numerous mushrooms, yellow polyps, Xenia , clean up crew and a Tiger Pistol Shrimp. I have a Royal Gramma, Percula Clown, Banggai and Yellow Watchman Goby. 4 months ago my LFS which has no real idea had a white out looking BTA, I know its crazy to do such a thing but I got it and its amazing now... got its colour back is fully open and feeding very very well..
Having now well and truly got the bug I am in the process of setting up a new tank and am thinking about the following...
4x2x2 Betta Lifespace with sump and return pump
6 tube T5 Luminarie
V2 Skim 800 skimmer
RO Unit
Circulation Pumps
I will install a refugium in the sump area also with cheto <Chaeto>.
<Sounds good.>
I was looking for some advice on how best to swap the live stock?
I already have about 13kg of live rock and have a fellow reefer from whom I can
purchase another 17 which will give me about 30 in total.
<OK, but won't be enough in the 4x2 (120 gallon) tank.>
Will it be possible to set the new tank up with dead sand... and the 17kg of live rock then when I am ready to move the stuff I have across to the new tank could I simply add the live sand to the dead sand... and the live rock with corals and fish etc?
I know that I will <need> a lot more live rock... but as the set up is costing me so much anyhow could I add cured live rock slowly over time as budget permits?
Or should I not move anything until I have 40 - 50 kg of live rock? My thinking is that the stocking will be so minimal the live rock already in place should cope with the bio mass...
<It will/should. I would add more rock before introducing any new fish.>
My main concern would be the moving of the BTA... but if he is doing so well in a Nano Reef I am hoping in a big tank with improved lighting he may sulk for a while but will settle in as he did in the Nano
<Is important here that water parameters in the new tank closely match those of your present system before transferring livestock, and transfer as much water as possible from the old tank to the new.>
Any advice is welcome
Many thanks
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> 

Moving Reef Cross Country  7/22/09
Hi Crew,
I've read through your 'moving' article as well as questions posed by others, but I seem to have a slightly different question than what's been asked before.... (hope I didn't miss it!)
I have a 65g reef tank with 20g sump: about 50-60 lbs live sand, 80-ish lbs live rock, 4 clowns (2 false which will be coming from another tank, & 2 true Perculas), 1 flame angel, 1 yellow tang, 1 tiny blue hippo tang, 1 green mandarin, and a small cluster of pulsing xenia. The biggest fish is the yellow tang, currently at about 2 inches (I hope the small sizes will work in my favor). The system is about 2 1/2 yrs old.
My dilemma: I'm moving from southern Utah to Florida - driving - it will be a 4-5 day trip. My rock and sand are not an issue, I can keep them in tubs kept damp. But how might I go about transporting the fish, and 1 coral?
<Best to either ship them ahead (if someone, or a store will agree to receive, house them), or have someone (the same sorts of folk) hold them and ship them to you later, after you've gotten to FLA and re-set-up the system>
I've done a 2 day move before and kept everyone in separate Tupperware/Ziploc containers with holes, and used a battery powered air supply for a few minutes in each when we stopped over night. All were fine - no demises.
If I do this again, but do a small water change for each container daily or every other day, will they last 5 days??
<Likely too stressful. Not the route I would go>
I also have an AC/DC converter for my car which I can plug a small powerhead into for the days if you think maybe a cooler or something would be a better idea than individual small containers. Any thoughts?
The tank will be the last thing loaded up and the first thing unloaded, and I will take as much of the current water as physically possible. Will the tank cycle again though? Will it be safe (enough) to put the fish immediately in the tank once setup (after an acclimation period I mean)?
<Likely no prob.s here>
I know that shipping my livestock overnight would be the best idea, but I don't know anyone there who can receive them, or know what local fish stores can be trustworthy....
<And where you live currently?>
I hope you can give me some insider tips and tricks!
Thanks for all your knowledge and advice - you guys are life savers (literally!)
<I myself wouldn't travel with the livestock... but can be done. Bob Fenner>

Traveling with a frag. -10/26/08 Hello all, Your site is one of my favorites. I'm very glad there is such a great source of information out there for beginners and veterans alike. My question is I was wondering if It's possible to bring? a coral frag as a carry on item with me on the airplane on the way back from an out of state business trip. <I'm not sure, but I have done this myself. However, this was back when you were still allowed to bring fluids on board. If I were you, I'd pack the frags damp (i.e. not submerged in water) and pack them in a carry on. If anyone asks, just tell them they are coral frags for an aquarium. It's a risk though, so you might want to call the airline first and ask. Otherwise, it is relatively inexpensive to just ship frags damp. The lack of water makes the package much lighter.> Thanks in advance for the info, Chad <Good luck, Sara M.>

Relocating Fish to Larger Aquarium 10/20/08 Dear Media Crew, <Tom> I currently have a 40 gallon FOWLR (have two bubble tip anemones) set-up located in my office. I will be relocating my office to another building so I must either move my existing fish tank or set up a larger one at the new office. I am leaning towards to purchase of A 75 gallon set-up so I would like some advice on this process. <Bigger is almost always better!?> First, I currently have about 40 - 50 pounds of live rock and my substrate is crushed coral, which I'm not a big fan of. If I get a larger tank, I would like to switch to a deep aragonite sand bed. So if I set up the new tank, do I purchase only live aragonite sand or will a combination of live and dry be sufficient? <Hmm, all dry will be fine, it can populate off the rock. Most of the "live sand" is just bagged wet sand with little more than the words live sand!> I don't want my new tank to cycle because I have to transfer my fish (around ten of them) to this new tank as smoothly and expeditiously as possible. Obviously, I will have to buy more live rock for the larger tank but when should I move my existing live rock to the new tank without upsetting the existing ecosystem? <If you have time, cure the new live rock in the 75 first, then just move the old LR. If you do not have the time, just move the old and cure the new in an external vessel such as a trash can. See: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i3/Live_Rock/live_rock.htm> Does the crushed coral in my existing tank have enough bacteria to sustain the system while I am setting up the new one? <No, but the rock will.> Since I will be buying larger filters, power heads, sand, etc for the new tank, I'm worried about the new tank cycling so when is it safe to move the fish to the new tank? <Use the old filters also, at least the biomedia until the new filtration is established. With a little peruse through the marine filtration FAQs you will see nothing more than liverock and a skimmer are needed, preferably a refugium too.> If I upgrade to a 75 gallon tank, do I start with only fresh reverse osmosis water or should I take some from the forty gallon tank? <I would use what is available from the 40, you know the SPG and such is what your livestock is used to.> I really don't want to move but since I have to, please advise me to take the proper steps in making this relocation a smooth and safe one for my fish. <Moving tanks stinks, but is sometimes a reality.> Thank you for your time and prompt attention in this matter. Sincerely, Tom <Welcome, cheers, Scott V.>

Giant Tank Move  (RMF, advice here welcomed)   9/25/08 Hi Crew, I need your help! I've asked around and I keep getting conflicting answers. <Oh?> I'm moving about 1600 miles, and am determined to bring my fish with me. Not all of them, but I really want to bring my brackish tank and I don't know what my best bet is for getting everyone there alive. I have a 220 gallon with two 10-inch scats, 2 6-inch scats, 5 6-inch monos (maybe 9 inches tall), a 5-inch archer, 2 6-inch sleepy gobies, a knight goby and a dragon goby. Oh, and a 9-inch Columbian shark/catfish. (I didn't use scientific names because it's not really relevant to my question.) <OK.> I have a moving truck reserved to move furniture and the tank, but I don't know what the best way to move the fish is. I've gotten the following suggestions: 1) Bag them individually and fly with them <Best approach, and how commercial shipping of fish this type/size would be done.> 2) Bag them individually with oxygen and drive them and try to find a store every day along the way to stop and give them fresh oxygen <Nope.> 3) Bag them in groups in giant garbage bags with oxygen and just run/drive for it <Even in oxygenated bags, large fish aren't going to be safe for much over 24 hours.> 4) Bag them in open bags and use an air bubbler or pump and a power converter <Viable, but does depend somewhat on ambient air temperature. Still risky though.> 5) Move them to a friend's house to live in a Rubbermaid container while I move and get settled, then trust the friend to bag and ship them (I don't have a friend that I trust to do this picked out) <Again viable, and assuming said containers are filtered and heated, you could hold them thus for several days. Have done similar myself, after breaking one aquarium and having to wait a few days for the replacement to be delivered. But overly complicated in your particular scenario.> I can't decide what's best and I'm worried about losing them. I'm also worried about the best way to combine them if I do so. The monos harass each other, the scats have killed a large Columbian shark accidentally (I think) with their top fins, the sleeper gobies will eat knight if they have a chance, and dragon is scared of everyone. Archer just chills. <To be 100% honest, in this case I'd sell any fish I felt I could easily replace, and carry any irreplaceable fish with me on the aeroplane. In your case, none of these fish should be particularly difficult to replace. If you're undertaking a huge relocation of your own home and family, having to worry about the fish may be excessively overloading yourself. Instead take the time to settle into the new home, figure out where you'll site the tank, evaluate the water chemistry there, and then relax your way through installing, cycling a new tank.> I have access to as many large coolers (about 40 gallons each, 2 or 3 will fit in my backseat and I could stack them two high if I need to) as I need, and have a power converter if needed. If I drive them, they have to fit in the back seat of a compact or midsized car and it will take probably 4 days to get them from tank to giant Tupperware containers (to wait for the tank to arrive). If I fly them I'm concerned about the cost limiting the gallons of water I'm willing to house them in. It's about $150 per 18-ish gallons according to the airline info I can find. <Shipping certainly better than driving the fish, but even that that assumes they have someplace to go once they arrive at your new home.> So what would you do? <Have said.> Also, I have a 20 gallon planted tank with a Betta, some Pristella tetras and some cories. I was planning on just tossing plants and all in a bucket and not worrying about them. Any problems with that? <Nope; small fish will be fine in a 5 gallon bucket with a lid. All those fish should be fine unheated for a few days, especially if bundled up to avoid chilling. Bronze and pepper Corydoras have been reported swimming about under ice in the wild! Pristella tetras are close to indestructible, and Bettas are fairly forgiving in the short term. Keep a heater and a simple filter stuffed with Zeolite to hand, and set the thing up overnight in the hotel to warm up the water and get rid of ammonia. But even that is, to be honest, optional with these things.> Thanks so much!! -- ~Katie <Good luck, Neale.><<Am in total agreement Neale... as usual twixt us! BobF>>

Substrate 09/18/2008 Re: Substrate question and when can I move livestock Hi again... <<Hi there, Andrew here>> I have set up a 55gal corner flow...sump, skimmer..all the bells and whistles. I used 15 gals of water from my existing 2yr 30 gal tank. <<Sounds good>> I set it up on labor day and have added a live rock. I have added substrate, but here is my question...can I use the substrate that is in the 30 gal tank, or move some of it to the new 55 gal tank? <<I would only use the top inch of substrate, else you will be taking over the undesirable parts which are locked away in the bed>> And how long should I wait b4 moving my livestock to new tank? <<Once the tank has stabilized, which your readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate will tell you, it will be fine. In other words, ensure any cycle or mini-cycle has completed>> Thanks mk <<Thanks for the questions, I hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Re: 6 Line Soapfish Question, moving lvstk.   6/24/08 Hi Bob, Thanks so much for your mail. <Welcome> After reading your reply, here's what I am going to do and hope you can advice if I am making any sense. <Will try> Going to upgrade to a tank measuring 180cm long, 60cm deep, 90cm tall which works out to be about 295 Gallons. Will this be big enough for all? <Should be for a good long while. Likely the Echeneid will become trouble, you'll remove in time> Also, I really do need your advice on how to move the kids from the old tank as seamlessly as possible. I am re-using all the live rock and sand and all the possible filter elements to keep in the bacteria which the kids are all so used to by now. Water will be brought over from old to new too. <Good... when, while all the rock, sand and a good part of the water is removed... get some strong help (watch your back) and some good 4 mil large fish bags (square-bottomed, from the fish store), and one by one, scoop up the fishes with not too much water (pour it back if so) and lift (your back...) the bag, water and fish individually from the old tank to new> Problem is, old tank is 80 gallons, and new tank is 295 gallons which accounts for a 215 gallon deficit. How and what's the best way to do this without putting too much stress on the kids? <Pre-make, store the new water... let the new system run for a week or more with some of the old water, substrate in it...> Apologies again for my ignorance. Barry <No need. Glad to share, co-conspire with you. BobF>

Coral Beauty Transfer Procedure 03/30/2008 Hi! <<Hello, Andrew today>> I thought I'd try something new...ask a question BEFORE I get into trouble... Last week I picked up a Coral Beauty and I now have him in a 20-Gal quarantine tank w/heater, Skilter, bare bottom and some PVC pipe for hiding. It's been eating like a pig. (I'm afraid to put my hand in the water; just in case). So far so good. I'm doing small water changes every few days; otherwise it's been a breeze. I now have to start planning the transfer. I read in one of the FAQ's here that a FW dip was a bad idea for a Coral Beauty. So, I'm planning on moving him directly to the display tank. When the LFS guy netted him out at the store, he sort of cradled the fish with his hand saying that the fish has little protruding fins that can get caught in a net. So should I be concerned about this when I transfer him?...maybe I should try an alternate method...like a container or a trap or something. <<Yes, one of the more awkward fish to move. I personally prefer to use a tub to transfer this fish from one tank to another. I feel its safe, less stressful for the fish>> Anyway, I wanted to pick your brain and see if 'just a net' is good enough or if there is a better way to transfer the new guy. I don't want to hurt it...it's absolutely gorgeous...and hungry! m. <<Thanks for the question, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Re-Stocking Order for Larger Tank, Moving SW livestock   3/12/08 Hello WWM, <Scott> The standard 'you guys are wonderful' is definitely in order. The daily's are a must-read for any serious hobbyist. Thanks always. I'm upgrading from a 75g to a 180g (FOWLR) <Nice!> My current inhabitants (way overstocked, but fortunately (with twice a week water changes) no problems over the last three years) are as follows: 7" Naso Tang 6" Foxface Lo 5" Red Squirrel 4" Niger Trigger 2" Picasso Trigger 3" Fridmani Pseudochromis 3" Bicolor Blenny 7" Eel Goby <I'd get a few more Pholodichthys... are social> a pair of Nemo Clowns that lay eggs every three or four weeks the past year or so. Banded Coral Shrimp (3) Serpent Stars After cycling the new tank, what order do you recommend introducing these fish to their larger home? Also, what kind of time frame do you recommend between adding each fish? Thank you again for all your help... Scott <Mmm, I'd move all... at once, along with the old substrate, rock, filter media. Bob Fenner>

Moving Fish To Larger Quarters 1/11/08 Hey guys, <Hi Nick> Long time reader, first time writer. I wanted to thank you for all valuable advice on this site! <You're welcome.> To the main reason for the writing, I am going to be upgrading my 75 gallon FOWLR to a 125 gallon FOWLR. Right now I have a Cascade 1500 canister filter, I am researching how to make my 29 gallon tank, that is just sitting there into a sump. By what I have read the sump will take the place of the canister filter? Right? <It can, providing the sump is built to incorporate a filter pad and a place for chemical media.> I will be upgrading my (I know crappy) SeaClone 150 protein skimmer....Which other skimmer's would you suggest? <Euro Reef and Aqua C are good choices.> My powerhead situation is good. Heater(s) situation is good also. I will be moving all the live rock, crushed aragonite, and live sand into the 125. Using the same filter for the setup in the first week. Here is a list of my fish. 8'' Engineer Goby (full grown, hopefully) <Mmm, can grow up to one foot.> 3'' Maroon Clownfish 6'' Lunar Wrasse 3'' Blue Hippo Tang 3'' Clown Trigger <Doesn't fit in with the others. One of the most aggressive fish commonly kept by aquarists. This guy can also grow to over one foot. As this fish grows, he will take over the tank, and good luck to anything that gets in his way.> I have talked to a couple of the LFS here, (knowing that their advice isn't always the best). I was told one week would be sufficient enough, (after moving the rock, sand, and filter over) that I could move my fish to the new tank. Does that sound right to you? The plan is to leave some sand, and enough live rock in the 75, while the 125 is cycling. I also plan on using all the water from the 75 (not filling the 125 completely in the beginning). So only 50 new gallons of water, in the end. Any other suggestions on the process would be greatly helpful. <Read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i6/Moving.htm In future queries, please cap names of fish and other proper nouns. Saves us time if we do not have to do it before posting. This tank may also become too small for some of it's inhabitants. Thanks, <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Nick, and the family Fish!

Re: Lots of odd 180 gal Skimmer, Pump, and Sump Questions... Now, moving SW livestock  -12/14/07 Thanks for everything you do for marine hobbyists! I wouldn't have made it this far without you. <Pleased to assist you Eric> I've now got the 180gal tank with ~25gal sump (~200 gal total system) set up and my Euro Reef RS-180 skimmer is en route to my house. I've put the twelve 20-pound bags of sand in and it's settled (water is clear again). I'm planning to transplant all livestock, and live rock from my 2-year-established 55 gallon into the new 180 gal. Here's everything that will be moved: ---------------------------------------------------- ~70lbs of LR ~40lbs of live sand Pagoda cup coral Zoanthids (smallish colonies) Green Mushrooms (Corallimorph) large finger leather (1 foot tall and one foot in diameter when seen from above) 1 - T. deresa clam 1 - T. crocea clam 1 - Yellow tang 1 - 6line wrasse 1 - lawnmower blenny My questions are about how to go about doing this... Since I'm transplanting all my LR, a good chunk of the sand (into the new refugium) will the new tank still end up going through a initial cycle period (high spikes of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate)? <Likely not... But, if there's time, I would move a good deal of the current LR and sand (maybe half) to the new set-up and let it run there for a couple of weeks before moving the rest and the livestock> My concern here is that most of my corals are attached to the LR and almost every piece of LR has something on it. I would hate to subject them to that sort of chemical catastrophe. <I understand> Would bringing over a lot of the water help to transfer the bacteria I'll need to help prevent said chemical nightmare? <Yes> I would think that transferring things slowly over the course of a few months would be ideal, but I don't think I can fully run both systems on the same circuit breaker (may have to run some extension cords from other rooms). Last time I tried to turn everything on, the breaker popped (well over 1,000 Watts in lighting alone between the two tanks). <I would alternate the lighting... just have one system on at a time> My 180 is running only the pump at the moment since there's nothing in there that needs light. Any other suggestions on how to go about doing this? <Mmm, yes... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/movelvstkfaqs.htm and peruse the linked files above> I'm sorry for seeming so... beginner-ish here, but I don't know the rules on this specific situation. Thanks so much! Eric <No worries. Take your time here. Bob Fenner>

Moving, lvstk. 7/31/07 I will be moving my 75 gallon reef aquarium next week and had a few questions. I have read your articles on the matter, but was wondering how long one could keep a Clownfish, Yellow Tang, and Tuxedo Damsel in bags without it causing a serious problem? Also, how long will the coral last in bags? <This is going to depend on how large the bags are. When fish are shipped out from an etailer, they are generally in bags 4 hours and up before reaching the customer. The shipping bags are also filled with oxygen. I would advise not feeding the fish 24 hours before the move. I just transferred animals to a larger system, and I use a agricultural Rubbermaid tub as a holding system until the new tank set-up is complete. I'm not a fan of rushing the move, bad things seem to happen in this regard. I like to adjust the pH, SG, temperature, etc of the newly set up tank before transferring the animals, and, letting the newly set up tank run at least 24 hours before doing the animal move.> Thanks for the information. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Transferring To New Tank...Cycle First Or Use Existing Media? - 05/21/07 Hi, <<Hello>> I am frequent reader of your website and I have a question to ask. <<Okay>> I have a 55-gallon tank with 2 Common Clowns,1 Bicolor Angel, 1 Bird Wrasse,1 Royal  Gramma and two Sailfin Tangs one yellow and the other one brown. <<Too many active/large fishes for this tank>> They all have done well for about four years.  I am now building a new tank of about  120-gallons. <<Ah...much better>> My question is how am I going to transfer the fish in the new aquarium?  Can I use the existing biological filter media? <<This can be/has been done this way, though I don't recommend it unless absolutely necessary and/or the aquarist is very experienced and well aware of the dangers re.  In addition to transferring the biological media, do also transfer as much of the old system water as possible.  Be sure to add chemical filtration (carbon/Poly-Filter)...monitor water parameters very closely for the next week...and have plenty of saltwater on hand that has been "mixed and aged" ahead of time for performing large water changes should the need arise>> And if yes how long should I take to transfer the fish? <<As long as it takes to transfer the media/water>> Or should I recycle the tank from the beginning? <<This is the best method, in my opinion>> Thank you in advance. Anthony Zahra <<Happy to assist.  Eric Russell>>

Re: Corals as Carry-On? - 04/05/07 Hi <<Hello Jorge>> I finally heard back from the TSA on Carrying Live coral as Carry-on.  The answer was pretty Vague.  See Below: Thank you for your e-mail.   The Transportation Security Administration's current security screening procedures require all carry-on luggage and accessible property be screened before passengers take them onboard an aircraft.  Regardless of whether an item is on the prohibited or permitted items list, the Transportation Security Officers (TSO's) have discretion to prohibit an individual from carrying an item through the screening checkpoint or onboard an aircraft if the item poses a security threat.  Therefore, TSA security screening personnel make the final decision on whether to permit items like a live piece of coral into the sterile area of the airport.  Should you need additional assistance, feel free to contact us at toll free 866-289-9673.  Please visit our website at www.tsa.gov for additional information about TSA.  We continue to add new information and encourage you to check the website frequently for updated information.  We hope this information is helpful. TSA Contact Center <<Mmm, so it would appear from this, the possibility of you carrying this coral aboard the aircraft is a matter of pure chance.  Perhaps if you post this question on the reef message forums (RC/reefs.org) you can find some folks who have tried this recently and get a better feel for how airport security is handling this situation.  Regards, EricR>>

Flying Fish? - 3/10/2007 Hello All, <Hi Harry. Alex here today.> I may be moving to Germany and I am wondering if it is possible to take my fish with me.  I know they can be moved if people are driving to their new home, but what about flying?  I have read a lot of stuff about transporting them on your website, but nothing seems to fit my situation, since we have to fly to get there.  I don't know where to begin.  It's a fresh water 10 gallon tank. <This would be a MAJOR undertaking.  I would seriously consider other options first.  If this is not a permanent move, I would "hire" a trustworthy friend to keep the tank for you.  If permanent, I would sell the aquarium (things given for free do not have perceived value) and start over in Germany. Although possible, moving this distance is risky.  Read here re shipping mortality: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/frtloss.htm So many issues to consider, including customs, flight times, cost, cracked tank, and likely fish death.  If I was going to attempt this, I might consider leaving the fish behind temporarily, setting up a system for them, and have them shipped to you after cycling the new tank.  Weighing the costs and benefits would lead me to find them a new home here.> Thanks, Harry P. <Welcome! Alex>
Re: Flying Fish? - 3/11/2007
I don't believe there is much of a mail order aquatic culture in Germany and, as such, your fish might be further at risk. Karen <Harry, another vote for leaving your fish here.  Thanks for your input.  Alex>

Getting the Last Fish Out, Light Shock  2/28/07 Hi Crew, <Hi Tom!  Mich here.> I have the unpleasant task of removing all the fish from my reef tank to treat for a Crypt infestation. <I'm sorry for your trouble.> The latest addition, and only recent one, was a Mandarin that I did QT but obviously not well enough because a week later some of the others are showing Crypt. Here's a list of the fish we have in the 135G reef display: Purple Tang Hippo Tang Percula Pair Flame Angel Royal Gramma Yellow Watchman Goby Mandarin The Tangs were easy to trap, and I think I'll get the Clowns, Gramma, and eventually the Goby. I'm having doubts about ever trapping the Angel and Mandarin, and nets are useless. This reef tank is now well established with a lot of SPS coral that has fused rocks together, and just can't be broken down without doing damage...but maybe it will have to come to that. Since I'm going to have to get every fish out of the tank, do you have any advice or unusual tactics for catching them? I hate to even ask this dumb question, but as an extreme measure is there any way to stun these last fish just enough to help capture them (e.g. cold, heat, anything?) without causing long term problems for the fish or the coral? I suspect the answer is "no", but in the past I've received Liveaquaria fish shipments where the bag water was down to about 60 degrees, and the fish were moving pretty slowly. I sure don't want to harm the fish, but I don't want to see them die of Crypt anyway, and slow down the fallow process just because I can't get them out. <One method that I have heard that you might try is turning the lights off in the middle of the day when they are normally on.  Allow the lights to stay off for a period of time gather you nets, catch containers etc. and turn the lights back on.  This can induce a shock like state which may allow you to capture your... victims? ...I mean fish.  Don't know if this will work for certain, but I think it is worth trying.> Thanks, <Good luck!  I wish you success!  -Mich> Tom

Broken Glass Aquarium Seal...What to do?  2/28/07 My 55 gal saltwater tank is losing it's seal (salt forming on outside edges/corners).   <Sorry to hear that.> I think this would be as good a time as any to change everything over to live sand in my new tank. <If you have sand already in the aquarium...and have live rock, the microfauna fauna from the rock has likely made it's way to the sand.....you already have live sand.>    I have about 30 lbs of live Fiji rock and fish in my current tank. <...See above.> I planned on borrowing a pump and heater to placing in my current tank and moving my rock in with the new sand and get it up and running. How long would I have to give the new tank/sand to adjust and should I use some of the water I currently have in my tank? <I would get two rubber tubs (likely about 30 gallons in volume each.) Move as much water from the tank as you can evenly into each tub and compensate by filling with mixed water (preferably mixed a few days in advance). Move the livestock into one tub and the rock/sand into another.  I would perform daily water changes on each of 10% if not then 50% weekly.  Put powerheads and heater in each...make them as stable as possible your animals may be here for a while...if you can't do this see if an LFS will house them for a week, longer is they can.  Remove the tank to a garage or well ventilated area and remove the current silicone sealing and reseal, allow to cure for a few days. Then fill it with freshwater to check for leaks...if it leaks...do it again.  Once you have it right, set-up the tank as you would a new tank, utilizing your old rock. If want to utilize a new type of substrate/sand that is fine but I would add at least a few pounds of the old sand to seed the new sand.  At this point do not add the new fish yet, monitor the chemistry and when stable then acclimate them...much more is posted in detail on WWM.> What sand do you like? <Fine sized (sugar), aragonite based for most applications.> How much sand for 55 gal.? <Depends you want deep-sand bed (functional) or a shallow sand bed (aesthetic appeal)?> Kathy DeMann <Adam J.>

Rearranging Live Rock, temporary storage.   1/5/07 Hello WWM, <Hi Valerie, Mich here.> I am on the verge of rearranging my reef tank because the rock wall I started with has too many dead spots.   <OK.> I have a 220 gallon tank and maneuvering the rock is going to be a chore.   <Yep.> To add to this problem, I have approximately 15 soft corals to move around in the process.   <Yep.> Without removing all the water from my tank, I'd like to set up a separate tank to store the rock and corals in while I aquascape. <Excellent idea.> Do you have any recommendations for this process, such as salinity, temperature, lighting and pumping for the separate tank. <Mmm, how long do you think this process will take you?  I wouldn't think more than a few days at max.  I would match temp and salinity to your 220.  I would use a large Rubbermaid type container/s to temporarily hold the LR and the corals.  Placing a powerhead in each container would be a good idea along with a heater to control temp.  I would not worry about lighting if you can complete the rearranging within a couple of days.>    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks <Hope that helps, -Mich> Valerie

Moving/Long Transit of Marine Tank and Livestock - 10/12/06 I am about to undertake a 20 hour move from Sydney to the North Coast of Qld (Mackay).  I have a 120 gallon reef tank and the plan is to ship the rock in large plastic containers with water, the coral in individual containers and the fish in individual containers. <<Sounds like a good plan thus far>> I have access to a large number of Tupperware style containers (unused) that range from 1 - 2 gallons.  Will these be OK to move livestock in (one item per container)? <<They will...but regardless of the type container used to move the livestock, you will need to have extra water available for one or (better) two water changes along the way.  A container large enough to hold the amount of needed water and fitted with a portable/battery operated airstone to keep it aerated will be necessary>> Is it also advisable to use an ammonia lock additive such as Seachem Prime and products such as Seachem Stress Guard to assist in reducing the risk of problems with the fish? <<You can use the Stress Guard, but I wouldn't use the Prime here>> I plan to have large containers full of water set up with a skimmer and basic filtration prior to the move at the new house to have a somewhat established system to hold the livestock into prior to setting the tank back up. <<Very Good>> I also plan to not feed the fish for two days prior to the move to reduce the waste they produce during the move. <<Another good idea>> I am keen for any advice as I am already stressing out about the move and have not even started yet.  Thanks for any advice you can give. <<Do arrange/allow for a couple water changes; 20 hours is too long to leave the livestock in small unfiltered containers.  Otherwise, it sounds to me like you have things well in hand>> Marc <<Regards, EricR>>

New Marine Tank...Decisions, Decisions II - 05/24/06 Thanks for the reply. <<You're welcome>> I don't really want to setup a complete tank to hold my fish and corals in while the "new" tank cycles. <<Perhaps a fellow hobbyist/LFS can house them for you>> I read about moving a tank and I was wondering if it would not be possible for me to keep my fish and corals in a separate system while the new tank cycles the best way to introduce the fish/corals into the new tank and new water (half new anyway). <<?>> Sorry that last sentence was a little confusing. <<Indeed>> What I mean is would it be better to set up the new tank with some new water and let it run for a few days then do the transfer or would it be better to transfer everything and slowly add the new water. <<Were this me...I would set up the new tank and install all the support components (sump/fuge, skimmer, lights, etc.)...add water and "new" substrate...then "seed" the new tank with some "old" water from the old tank (about 10% by volume) and some of the old substrate (several cups...more if you wish), as well as transfer about half of the live rock...toss in some shrimp pellets...and let things go to work.  By seeding the new tank from the old in this way you can significantly shorten the nitrogen cycle associated re...sometimes to a week or less.  Once the new tank cycles, "slowly" begin the transfer of the remaining live rock and livestock over the course of about a week.  Take things slow and keep an eye on water quality as you go>> Basically what it comes down to is I want to make this the least amount of pain in the hind end to me and I also would like to keep my fish/corals as happy as possible through the process. <<Mmm...the two don't always go hand-in-hand>> To sum the whole thing up I do not want to spend the money on an aquarium, pumps, heater, sand, rock, and lights for a holding tank if I don't have to.  Sorry it probably sounds like I'm being a tight wad but that's a lot of cost. <<Understood my friend, but we're not talking "plug and play" here.  The decision is yours, but I'm not going to tell you you can dump everything from one tank in to the other and everything will be fine.  I know of folks who have done it...but none without some loss.  It sounds (to me) like your best option is to ask your LFS to hold your livestock while you set up/establish your new system.  EricR>> I do currently have a 10 gal quarantine tank.  Thank you very much.  I would really appreciate a response. P.S.  I have been told I can do the whole thing in a day and everything should be ok, but I really trust you guys.  Thanks again, Ryan. <<Rarely will rushing things be without consequence.  Regards, EricR>>

Moving    5/3/06 Hello, <<Hi Alex.>> I am going on a trip overseas soon for an extended period of time, and cannot find a person to look after my 29 gallon, salt water tank. I'm wondering what the procedure is to either sell my livestock to a fish store or are they willing to hold on to the fish for the period that I am gone.  Any information would be extremely helpful. <<Many stores will offer credit for healthy fish.  Your best bet is to contact the manager at the store directly.>> Thanks Alex <<Glad to help. Lisa.>>

Moving Up To a Bigger Reef Tank - 04/22/06 Cool, thanks.... <<welcome>> Also, I am going from a 55 to a 125 (toadstool leathers, open brain, closed brain, mushrooms, star polyps, a few fish, about 125 pounds of live rock in the 55 gal). <<neat>> My question is (probably from impatience) can I transfer everything from 55 to 125 (3-4" sand bed, all water etc.) and then top off the 125 without cycling (seems like it would be comparable to doing a 70% water change) or will this cause super stress on everything and kill most of it off? <<While using the existing rock/water/substrate (and associated biota) from the current will likely "shorten" the cycle period, just the act of transferring same will cause some "die-off"...especially within the sand bed.  Because of this I would expect to cycle the new system>> Better to be patient and cycle new tank with a couple pieces of live rock? <<No, you can go ahead as you plan.  Of course this means you will need someone/someplace to keep the current livestock>> If I cycle it, then how slow should I move all the stock and rock from the 55 over? <<Mmm...as stated, just moving the rock/substrate will cause spikes/cycling to occur.  I think your best strategy is to house the livestock elsewhere temporarily (perhaps at your LFS), move everything else to the new tank, and let the 125 completely cycle (may only take a week or two) before introducing the livestock>> Also sump, I'm using a 30 gal underneath the 125, I was thinking if coming into the first chamber (housing an EV-180) keeping that at 9" then flowing into the main chamber with about 3" fine aragonite (seeded from my 55) keeping water level 7 1/2-9" and then flowing into the return area. <<Sounds fine, though I would go with a full 6" of sand here for increased nitrification>> I'll probably be pumping 1500 GPH through the sump, I'm assuming this is way too much for a refugium, so, would I be better off having the middle chamber as the return and the end opposite the skimmer a refugium (water about 14" deep) and feed it either with a small pump from the skimmer chamber or a T in one of the return lines? <<Hmm, you don't want to make this more complicated than necessary.  The flow through the refugium is not an issue...I think the flow through the sump as a whole is though.  I think you will find that trying to push 1500 gallons through your sump (assuming your overflows can accommodate this much volume) will be very noisy and difficult to manage.  My recommendation would be to strive for about "half" that rate (even 350-400 gph would be fine here), and utilize other methods (a closed-loop perhaps) to increase flow within the tank>> Thanks again, Mike <<Always welcome, EricR>>

Road Trip with the fishies !    3/24/06 Hi Bob, Anthony, et. al., <Fred> Its been a while since I have consulted WetWeb Oracle, but its time to head to my roots and this is where it all started.  5 months straight of reading on WetWeb until my eyes were bleeding is where I learned basically everything that got me going in this hobby.  Thanks again and as always for your invaluable service.  On to the deal: <Mmm, when are you joining us...?> I have taken the plunge and decided a fish store is my destiny so I'm moving.  I am in North Palm Beach presently and I purchased a property in North-Central Arkansas, Mountain Home (where marine means -- something for your bass boat !). <Heee! Congrats!> The fish store building is a new 1200 sqft steel building on a slab.  It's built as a store front(gabled front entry, rear/side door, commercial fluorescents in nice ceiling tile).  It's small, but it's what I have, so... <Is "right about the right size"... this was approximately the footprint of our retail fish-only places> I have a basic plan in mind including a fish system of basically 24 linear feet, 3 high, <A bit lower... 32" is about right...> probably 3 8' long racks in a L config. This system is 1500 gal or so.  The non-fish will be much smaller as I expect to be selling little coral/expensive light set-ups, especially at first.  I was thinking maybe 500g BUT, (pay attn, I finally got to a question!) Would it be a BAD idea for me to include my non-fish water with my personal 180 reef and run as one system?   <Mmm, do you mind selling your livestock? This is the biggest concern here, not disease, parasites...> The reef will be on a storefront window right next to this system, so it would be real convenient, but what of the safety?   <No worries... better to blend, dilute...> On my fish set-up, economy-one large pump, redundancy-2 or more.  I'm thinking economy with a spare pump. Your thought on this and any tips or timeless fish store secrets you could pass along on keeping good water and a reasonably dry floor would be fantastic. <A good beginning is what I have posted on the Aquatics Business Subweb on WWM...> I've become very capable along the way, but there are often very simple little things/ideas that I realize in some profound moment, that are probably old hat/rule of thumb stuff to you gents. <A lifetime or two's worth> OK, now the important stuff.  I have to move all of my critters 1200 miles. Some, but not much is fairly hilly and curvy.  I'm right at the edge of the Ozarks.  It should be warm enough by then (late April) where heating won't be so difficult.  I plan on taking them in my pick-up truck.  It has a camper shell so the whole operation will be protected.  What might be the best way to do this?   <Actually... the best would be not to do it... To instead leave all behind, go build out the store, then send for all... to be air-shipped. If you had to haul, I'd "lightly bag" and oxygenate, Styro and cardboard box all, with heat packs if necessary, and drive like the wind...> I am considering making an acrylic 'travel tank' with dividers to separate and to baffle. <Too much work, damage... not necessary if you can make the drive in under two days> Corals on eggcrate shelves across the top, fish below that in their assigned cells, and a sump area below that of <12" or less.  Some PCs on the top and I have wireless temp from PP along with several other monitors that could be inc.  But that seems like a big job all by itself and I have a huge one waiting in AR. SO, I saw some 1 gallon clear plastic food canisters, with large flat screw on lid, on EBay cheap.  Would fish do ok for up to 24 hours sloshing around in one of these, if I silicone/plumb in a very simple, low volume circ system?   <No... time for you to become super-familiar with practices in the trade... Visit some of the better stores in your area, observe how their livestock is shipped to them... little water, lots of oxygen, double and more bagged and some types of specimens "hung" attached to material... This is what you want to do> Also, is there anything (that's safe) like a mild sedative you can add to their water to cushion the blow?  (Hmm, I could crush up a valium for them!)  Just kidding, I think... you can't do that, right? <I would not use these here> Well, I know my letter is getting lengthy so I'll end with a quick list of fish: Cuban Hog, Coney, V Lion, Sailfin Tang, Orient Swtlips all about 3" green moray 12" O clown, Dotty, Clingfish, Wrasse, Diadema, Yoshi  all about 2", Purp Tang 6", Foxface 7".  My 2 big ones of course would be granted multiple cells if not housed together (they're best friends, never apart) add to that a multitude of small inverts and a couple dozen corals in various families, only a couple SPS frags. P.S. On the road trip thing, even if you have a completely different idea, please enlighten me.  Every time I think I have it ALL FIGURED OUT, I learn something else that makes me see how much more there is to learn.  I'm very open to opinion from a respected source. Thanks Again, Be Chatting! Fred <Again, the best of luck, success in your endeavor. Bob Fenner>

Moving 20H tank 3 feet over? - 12/21/2005 Hi, <Hi there Susanne!> In a couple of weeks we'll be adding a 40G tank to our household. <Always room for one more!> To fit it into our rather small place, we'd have to move over our 20H setup with HOB refugium (which will stay up) about 3 feet from its current position. <WooHoo! Been there before.> I have the feeling there is no easy way to just "slide it over" and I'll have to treat it like a move, taking out the water, rock and livestock (1 ocellaris clown, 1 watchman goby, 1 pistol shrimp). Is this correct, or can I take out just some of the water and rock to lighten the load and try sliding the stand plus tank? <This is what I've always done. I must say however, there is a risk of your tank cracking or splitting a seam. It must be moved (lifted/slid) evenly. Get some friends to help and drain at least 50%. One gal. of water weighs 8.34lbs. or something like that, so a half full tank+substrate and rock is going to likely be over 100lbs. You may want to drain 75%.> The 20H has been up for about 3 years and has been doing very nicely, and I don't want to jeopardize things. <Understood.> I'd be grateful for your advice. <Well, you've got it. The safest thing is of course "the break down", but you've got to take into account the distance here and possible detriment of fully disassembling the tank.> Best regards, Susanne                           <Josh>
Re: Moving 20H tank 3 feet over? - 12/21/2005
Hi, <Hello Susanne.> <Well, you've got it. The safest thing is of course "the break down", but you've got to take into account the distance here and possible detriment of fully disassembling the tank.> Best regards, Susanne                           <Josh> Thanks for the speedy answer, Josh! <Gladly!> It's great to have a place to ask questions, and I've spent quite a few hours researching at wetwebmedia.com over the last few years. <Glad you've found so much use for us fish geeks.> Now if I could only find consensus on which brand return pump I should get for the 40G/sump!;) <Better yet, how to avoid ridicule when your tanks are all you talk about!> I'll let you know how things went after the "operation" is over! <Do keep us posted. Try the Wet Web forum for pump input/reviews. May have some in the CA Magazine but I think it's on powerheads.> Best regards, Susanne                           <Happy holidays, hope all "moves" smoothly. - Josh> Shipping question 10/28/05 Hello, <Hi there> First of all, thank you for reading my question and giving me so many advices  <much advice>  in the past. I am opening a new business and I'm planning to import corals and fishes in small scale (10-15 box). The problem is that the supplier that I found (From Bali, Indonesia) never shipped this far before (To Toronto, Canada) and they asked me whether to use any special method to deal with the winter condition in Toronto (It should be between 3-6 Celsius when the shipment arrive). <... need to pack light (less animals, more water), use heat packs...> Could you please tell me how does it usually done when shipping livestock this far away (we're talking 36+ hours). <Can be done> I suggest them using a heat pack (Heat source 35+ or 60+, which one do you think is better and how many should be used in one normal sized Styrofoam box?), <They should ask about... their competitors re what make/model of heat packs they have, are using... some are better than others... I would use at least two pieces per box, on top of newspaper, on top of the bags... all individual bags sealed in one box bag. They should "practice" with a given volume of water, time (36 hours) in a refrigerated setting to see how this works out> but they told me it may overheat the box since the weather in Bali is relatively hot already. I already read the information about this heat pack and it mentions that the heat pack will heat up to 130 degrees! I'd like to know what will the temperature be inside the box if it is placed on the lid of the box and double wrapped with newspaper. I would really appreciate your help on how to ship livestock this far and dealing with different weather condition. Thank you very much for reading my email. Thx Jony <Only way to tell is to experiment... try a given number of heat packs under similar timed conditions... Bob Fenner> 

Shipping fish to US <from Canada> 8/7/05 Hello :)  Has anyone had any experience with shipping live fish from Canada to the US?  If so, what is the procedure/requirements...Any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks! l. >>From the Canadian side it is very simple if the amount is under $2000 (if above you need to fill in the B13 export paperwork). From the US side it is a nightmare. The US side will have to get in touch with USFW and likely buy an import license. Then there is also an inspection fee and the fish have to enter at a designated port, of which there are few. There has to be a 48 hour notice when the shipment will arrive and you have to fill in the USFW form, invoice and AWB at that time. When the fish arrive they have to be inspected, and you also have to clear customs. Good Luck, Oliver

Moving to Boston 7/21/05 Hi everyone. I had a question regarding moving my fish tanks. <What happened to it?> I have read your site looking at the various questions people asked regarding moving fish tanks, and they have helped me in the past, but those moves were only short trips within the city. Now I am moving from Cincinnati, OH to Boston, MA. This trip is substantially longer, most maps say roughly 887 miles and/or around a 14 hour drive. I have two tanks that I will be moving. My first is a 72g bowfront, 100 lbs of live rock, live sand, a bird wrasse, a lemon peel angel, a white faced tang, and a Humu Humu trigger. The second is a 25g with a few crabs and about 35 lbs of live rock. I know that I can pack the live rock in a few boxes with trash bag inside and wet newspaper on that, and the live sand I was going to place in a 5g bucket from home depot, but what about my fish? Your site recommends that I get large fish bags, 2/3 with air and 1/3 with water, double bagged, with one fish per bag. <Mmm, then you haven't read all... I would not move the fishes with all the rest... have someone, a store hold them and ship them to you later... after you've got the tanks all up and going> I would place all fish in a box just like when they are received through the mail. Would this method still apply for a long drive to Boston? I am worried about moving these four fish, the bird wrasse is about 7 or 8 inches, the trigger is around 2 or 3, and the other two are around 4 inches. Would it be better to try and find homes for these fish, rather than stress them on the drive? I plan on moving during the night to minimize traffic jams and construction delays, hoping to shave off some of the time. Any insight you could provide would be greatly appreciated. On a side note, the Humu Humu was the last fish added. I know triggers can get very aggressive, but I have read that this particular is of the less aggressive triggers. So far he has shown no bad traits. Do you think that I will eventually have to worry about him harming the other fish? Thank you again. Sincerely, Brian <Too much going on to haul all with you... the LFS you trust most will know how to air-freight your livestock. Bon voyage. Bob Fenner>

Shipping Livestock in the Summer Hi all. I recently purchased a LFS in Orlando and have a customer that wants a large order shipped to him. I want to make sure that I package it properly to insure live delivery. I am using a large Styrofoam cooler, but am wondering what you suggest to keep things cool...I know that many people used ice packs, but how do you determine how many and where to place them? Thanks for any help, suggestions. Marcye <Ice-packs are still the best available, most appropriate technology here... along with expedient shipping, labeling ("livestock, keep out of the sun")... preparation of livestock (no feeding for a few days, depending on sizes, species, condition) and good/maximized water volumes. Bob Fenner>  <<Marina also suggests looking to floral supplies - they are using cooling packs designed to ship roses from South America, and they seem to remain cool for a very extended period of time.>>

Transporting Large Corals 1/16/04 I have a very thinly branched Acropora coral, which I'm happy to say is growing very quickly.  I have fragmented the coral several times.  Some of the fragments themselves have grown quickly as well, one of which is now 8" across.  I'm going to give the corals to my LFS (about 30 minutes away), but I can't figure out how to transport them without breaking them.   <use a large cooler (Styro if possible) for each coral (never mix species in transit) and line it multiple times with a full box plastic liner (bags). Fill the bag with sliced or shredded plastic before adding enough salt water to cover the coral. The specimen set in place in this bed of shredded plastic is fairly well cushioned. Some people instead wrap the coral in plastic sheeting before sinking it... but this often traps air bubbles which over all are a problem or at least annoying)> The smaller fragments are easier because I can float them upside-down in a bag.   <correct> Do you have any suggestions on how I might be able to transport the larger ones?  I'm afraid that the weight of the larger ones, including the rocks that they are attached to, will be too heavy to float with Styrofoam.  Any suggestions you might have for me would be great.  Thanks! <best of luck! Anthony>

Netting fish with spines Hello- <Hi there> I've been an avid reader of all the info on WWM for about 8 months now.  It's been a great help while I try to get my 75 gallon bow front up and running.  My question is about fish with spines or even venomous spines (specifically tangs and Rabbitfish).  I've seen it mentioned that these fish need to be netted with caution.  Is there a specific net you recommend?  A specific technique? <A couple things... do use two nets (much better than chasing fishes around with just one), and thick rubber gloves to cradle the caught specimens if they have such spines (many fishes and quite a few non-fishes do)> Thanks for your help and keep up all the great work on WWM, it's such a great resource for all of us just starting out! Danielle <A pleasure to serve, share. Bob Fenner>

Catching Fish (7/15/04) Hi Steve <evening'> Thanks for the reply and advice. <my pleasure.> I have been reading your site for about 7 months now and find it fascinating. <Yes, me too. There are a lot of good folks helping out here. I am happy to play a small part.> I only wish I had read this prior to starting the hobby, I would have avoided making quite a few mistakes! <I hear ya.> Just one more thing, without emptying the tank how does one catch the fish that needs to go into hospital? kind regards, Ian Shepherd. Cape Town, South Africa. <That can be tough. I've had to resort to removing most of the rock. There are traps available. Having help from another person with a second net can work too. Search the site for terms like "catching fish," etc., and you should find more.>

Fish Catching Tip 7/17/04 Hi gang:  I saw a question about catching fish in a reef tank. . . and maybe I'm the only one who does this, but after messing with fish traps, etc. for years I came up with a simple solution: I use a vastly oversized net (say 10-12" for 4" fish) and make my captures, when necessary, at feeding time. Just keep the net near the glass. . . and dribble/drop the appropriate food between the glass and the net. The 'target' fish generally tends to hang back or hide for a bit. . . almost like it senses it's the focus of my attention. . . till it sees OTHER FISH feeding 'safely' on its favorite food. It's the one thing these 'stomachs with fins' can't seem to handle. . . and invariably the target fish comes to feed, only to get 'netted' against the tank wall. My usual 'problem' is capturing two or three fish in the net at once, and having to release the others (or transfer them all to a waiting vessel. . . and send the 'extras' back. Chuck <Great tip Chuck!  I am a big fan of draining the tank down to a few inches and netting the fish and very small barbless fish hooks baited with meaty foods.  However, your method is certainly the one I will try first!  Thanks!  Adam>

Collecting large fish I may have the opportunity to go on a collecting trip later this year.  I am interested in collecting some various small fish and hopefully about 3 or 4 medium/large fish (12-20") for a quite large aquarium I have.   The small fish shouldn't be a problem, but I'm concerned about the larger ones.   It may be difficult for me to fast the fish prior to transporting them.   The transport time shouldn't exceed a 30 hour drive.   I have a few ideas on transporting, but I need to get some idea of how much waste these fish will produce. <Depends on species mostly...>   I can either box/bag them up individually or bring a 75gal portable tank. <I would move them in large "coolers", in the dark>   My idea is to put the three large fish together and either run a power head or inject pure 02 if need be. <Look into car-battery (12 v) continuous duty air pumps... and incorporate ammonia-absorbing media in the system/s>   I would also test the water every few hours and add Amquel to keep the ammonia under control. <Amquel by itself will not sequester enough of the ammonia. Count on at least one good (50% percent) water change, and haul the water with you>   If I split them up I won't be able to use the powerhead/02 setup. <If you use pressurized oxygen, make sure to vent the car... dangerous> Maybe I should also plan on adjusting the pH and doing a partial water change along the way. <Yes. Simple sodium bicarbonate will do as a buffer>   Any suggestions or comments would be helpful.  I have found a great deal of info on transporting fish, but with the larger fish it seems like it will be much harder. <It is, but is done every day (mainly for public aquariums and large private systems. Bob Fenner> john

Removal of Butterfly: I have a 55 gal reef tank. I recently purchased a Raccoon B/F to eat Aiptasia. He/she seems to be nipping at my mushrooms. I would like to get the Raccoon out of the tank. Any suggestions. Will it be ok to move some of the live rock. Thanks <no need to remove rock... One of my favorite ways to trap fishes in a rockscaped aquarium is as follows: take a small Ziploc bag filled with a concentrated slurry of live brine shrimp. Seal the bag closed. Then take a rather large plastic bag (10x22 or bigger), fold the top down a couple of inched to make a rigid collar (you'll see...) and sink the whole bag under water in the reef... making sure to get all air bubbles out. Fluff the large bag out a bit and throw the sealed small bag of brine shrimp (sans air too) into the back of the bag. Then squirt a tiny amount of live brine shrimp at the mouth of the bag. The premise is to lure fishes to the mouth of the bag to feed on the brine shrimp and entice them to swim to the back to take a shot at the "mother lode" in the sealed baggie once into the back they are often confused and run into the bag wall in an attempt to run towards the reef when you go to snatch the bag (you are sitting patiently by the tank). You might take it a step further and tie a slip noose of fishing line under the collar of the bag and run a lead of line to the bark-o-lounger that you are sitting on in wait for the silly twits to swim into the bag. Best regards, Anthony> Also...

Trapping fish in a reef tank Good morning to all...enjoy reading this website every day and it has been a tremendous help in getting my tank completed. My question is do you have any tricks or suggestions on getting 3 blue damsels out of an established reef tank without taking the tank apart? 72G bow with about 90 lbs. of live rock and hard and soft corals. I know, they should not have been put in the beginning to cycle my tank but I was not sure if I was going to get live rock until after reading everything on this site. It has been up and running for about 10 months and I want to try and get rid of them. Any suggestions?... <many... with a fast pump and some clean garbage cans you can drain the tank to mere inches, catch the fish and refill the tank within 15-30 minutes easily. A large power head and some tubing would do the trick too. Another method (seriously) is to fish for them with a tiny barbless trout hook. It is no more stressful than an unskilled aquarists chasing the poor buggers into exhaustion with a net around the aquarium. It is actually a minor disturbance. I have even caught my Tuskfish and chevron tang (quite a few dollars there) in this manner... I practice what I preach :) Best regards, Anthony>

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