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FAQs about Moving/Upgrading Aquarium Systems 5

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

Related FAQs: Moving Aquarium Systems 1Moving Aquariums 2, Moving Aquariums 3, Moving Aquariums 4, Moving LivestockMoving Live RockMoving Aquarium Systems

All together now!

Replacing a leaking aquarium     1/7/16
Good afternoon to the crew! I have a 35 gallon hexagon saltwater tank that sprang several leaks and am purchasing a new one.
<Mmm; am wanting to mention; ask what caused these leaks? Is the tank on a level, planar surface?>

I will be transferring my live sand and rock to the new tank. My LFS will be babysitting my fish and soft corals. How long would you recommend I let the new tank run before adding my fish and corals.
<The transfer can be done with just putting the water, all the gear back together; but a couple days to assure all is up, running; at temperature would be prudent>
The old tank has been established for 6 years and since I am not using virgin sand or rock, would 7 or fewer days be sufficient.
Should I retain some of the water and add it to the new water?
<Yes; use as much of the old water as practical>
It is currently stocked with 2 Pajama Cardinals, 2 Clowns, 1 Yellow Tang, Clove Coral, various Button polyps and live rock. I really appreciate your input and advice.
Thank you, Kellie Kyser
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Replacing a leaking aquarium     1/7/16

Good morning Bob,
Thank you for the information, and yes, the tank is on a level surface, but sprang pinhole leaks at two different seams. Upon closer inspection, it appears that the silicone is weak and worn away in spots. (I may have been
too vigorous with my cleaning)
<Glad you caught these leaks before a real disaster>
I was given the tank and have no idea how old it is, but I have gotten 6 good years out of it. Time for a new tank !
<Likely so; better than risking a re-do... Do consider giving the tank to someone for another purpose... terrarium, what have you... via Craig's List perhaps>
Have a wonderful day!
Thank you again,
Kellie Kyser
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Temporary Move of Tanks; and re-use of old/er substrate        8/15/15
Good morning. I've just spent about an hour reading through your tank moving threads but haven't really found the answers I need as my situation is somewhat different than just a one time move.
Here are the facts;
We are redoing the flooring in the room that houses my two tanks, a 75 freshwater planted tank and a 125 gallon, DSB Reef tank with Live rock and corals. In planning for this move I have re-homed all of the fish already.
The 75 gallon freshwater planted tank has a 3 inch soil bed with an inch of large grain gravel on top. I am hoping this is a small enough set up to simply drain it down to the gravel level, move it, refill it,
<Get some help lifting!>
then repeat the process three or four days later when the flooring is done. I recently did this with a 72 bow front at our boat club and only lost about half of the plants but that was due to not being able to refill the tank in between.
The 125 is another story. The plan is to keep the live rock and corals in a 30 gallon bin and run one of the existing and seasoned mechanical filters on it for the duration. The 5 inch sand bed and plenum are the concern.
<Most of this I'd scoop out... the top few inches siphon into flat containers (best, Rubbermaid trough/s), under an inch or so, just scoop most out, rinse ahead of replacing in the tank>
I am almost of the opinion, since it is an aged system (7 years old or so), to simply discard the entire sand bed and take this opportunity to scrub out the plenum etc.
<Likely a good/opportune time to switch out... again, I'd save, re-use the top inch>
I may try to save the top layer but I am not sure how much of the assorted worms, copepods etc will actually survive two moves in less than a week.
<Some, enough>
In your opinion, is complete replacement the correct method?
<I'd save.... the top>
I'm thinking the tank itself, at 6 feet, is too large to attempt to leave everything on the bottom and move it without the risk of breakage.
<Yes.... as in your backs!>
Opinions, thoughts?
<Our businesses did such moves MANY times... Remember the great expediter that is bier and pizza/BBQ>
Thanks again for all of your help.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Changing tanks          5/7/15
Hey Bob! Question for you... I am changing my 72 gallon to a new 150g. The sump is from my old 150 with massive filtration... Overkill for a 72, but I knew I'd be getting another tank in the near future. So I have the new 150 set up with live sand so far and have a big "bio block" in the sump that's been seeding for over a year feeding the 72 plus Chaeto and miracle mud. My plan is to put all live rock in the new 150 then transfer the sump with all of it's contents to the 150 while dripping the fish into this tank.
Do you think I'll have any cycling going on initially?
<Highly unlikely; no>

My other option is to put the fish in a 55g QT that's been running for about 3 months with a lot of bio and let the 150 run for a week or so while I check for any spikes. The only downfall I see is having to move the fish twice. The inhabitants are a pearl scale butterfly, a comet, giant hawkish, a Flagtail Blanquillo, and a 5" dog face puffer. Do I need to add the 72g
system water to the 150 also?
<I would>

Just a bit worried about the move and how quick it'll have to happen if I choose option 1. Thoughts?
<All recorded on WWM. B>
Thanks as always,

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>

Moving a 100g Reef Tank      1/26/15
Good afternoon WWM Crew!
Thanks for all of your help over the years to make this an enjoyable hobby.
I have a 100 gallon reef (48"x24"x18") that leaked from when I had a skimmer hanging outside the sump and it overflowed. The sump is in the stand below & now has a skimmer in the sump to prevent this from happening again.
Drywall behind the stand is ruined from salt spray. My plan is to move the tank and stand, repair the drywall and replace the carpet. I would like to know if closing up the back of the stand to avoid salt spray on the wall is going to effect water evaporation, temperature or aeration?
<Will decrease the first by about twenty or so percent, increase your temp. a degree or so, and cut down minimally on aeration>
There are two egg crates on the top opening of the tank.
I plan to de-water and place livestock and rock work in large plastic containers for 2-3 days while I repair the wall and install carpet. Will I need heaters, filtration or water movement for those 2-3 days?
<For the livestock; yes>
Also, I was planning on removing water from the sump and tank but leaving the sand substrate to minimize re-cycling. Is this advisable?
<Yes; should be fine; as long as there's not a huge amount of waste in the substrate. Best to drain most all the water out of here>
Any other advice is appreciated as I'm sure this is going to be a royal pain to do! Thanks
<There are SOPs re tank, livestock moving on WWM... do you need help using the search tool (on every page) or indices?
Bob Fenner>

Planning a Tank Move     9/1/14
Dear WWM Crew,
I have read through quite a lot of the material on the site pertaining to the various things I am planning for a tank upgrade, but I am not entirely clear on a few things, and was wondering if I could ask you some questions and get some feedback about it.
Okay, so first, the background: I am planning to upgrade my 110L (30gal) tank to a larger 240L tank with 60L refugium (60gal + 15gal). My 110L is an invert-only coral tank inhabited by some Scleractinians, three Lysmata species shrimp and a couple of Trochus snails, and I currently pursue a Berlin-style filtration method (12kg live rock + Tunze 9004) with infrequent feedings. I am intending for the 240L to be very similar, although due to space constraints, the refugium must be upstream (i.e. elevated above and gravity-draining into the main tank). Additionally, I am only planning to use the refugium for fauna production/diversity and will not directly try to culture algae inside it. The new tank is a 1.5 hour journey from the old one, but will be already set up.
<All right>
I have read the FAQs on skimmers (and some forum postings), but I don't know if the Tunze 9006 (rated up to 600L = 155gal) will be big enough for the combined volume, or if I should go up a size to the 9011 (rated up to 1100L = 290gal), or perhaps even get two 9006's (as has been suggested in a few places).
What would you recommend?
<I'd stick with the first if I already had it>
Also, should I make a filtration compartment in the refugium for the skimmer (before the live rock), or should I put the skimmer in the aquarium directly?
<Not that much difference functionally; but I'd put in the sump for looks rather than the tank itself>
I understand inhabitants of the refugium are unlikely to appreciate too
much flow, so would an Eheim compact 2000 (1000-2000L/hr = 260-530gal/hr)
be too powerful as a supply pump?
<Will not be too powerful>
I will be setting up the new tanks with some cured live rock (and additional seed with a bit of rock from the old tank), but am I right in
thinking that I should still leave it to mature for some weeks once the cycling is finished before I transfer over my corals?
<Better to wait; yes>
Is it worth transferring water from the old tank (say, the discard from water changes) to the new tank at intervals during this time as part of the maturation process?
<Better by far to move some olde water>
The FAQs on moving/shipping were quite informative, and I have tried to make a plan based on the recommendations found therein; would you agree with the following plan?:
1) Removal of 100L of liquid from the new tank in anticipation of the move.
2) 10-20% water change of the old tank on the day before the move with water taken from the new tank, which I will try to match to the old tank in terms of salinity, Ca, Mg and alkalinity (I will try to use the same box of salt for both tanks over this time).
3) For transport, live rock with nothing important on it will be covered in damp newspaper, live rock pieces with corals will be put in separate bags with enough water to cover them and the bags placed on bubble-wrap, and the other inverts will be put in bags containing water similar to how one might bring them home from a shop. As much of the existing water will be siphoned off as possible and taken as well.
4) All bags will be kept as warm as possible during transport (it's likely to be cold over here in England when I move)
5) At the destination, the old water will first be added to the new tank, the live rock will be put straight in, and the rest will then be acclimated for 60 min with gradual addition of new tank water. Should I discard the acclimation water?
6) The lighting is similar although obviously not identical (both custom LED builds, the intensity and frequencies will be similar but not the
distribution), so I will light-acclimate the corals over 1 week as if they had come from a shop.
Thanks for your help,
<A pleasure to assist your efforts. Bob Fenner>

Moving 125 gallon glass aquarium tank into apt.     11/20/13
Hi crew,
My question has nothing to do with any water parameters but rather just trying to move the actual aquarium into my apartment. I need to get my cichlids out of my 55g and into my 125gI am looking for any advice on how to get the tank safely up to my sixth floor apt.
<Lots of strong friends who have moving experience... taped cardboard on all corners if you think they might bump the tank>
 The main issue I'm worried about is the elevator. The tank is 6' long so the only way it will fit in the elevator is on its side panel, but I'm not sure if the tank can even hold (won't crack) all that weight in that position.
<Empty; yes it can>
 Also what should I use to get it in there. I was thinking a hand truck but that might put too much pressure on a side of the tank
<Hands are best>
My other idea was dismantling each panel of the aquarium and then resealing the tank together after. The only thing that worries me about that though is the tank leaking.  The place I'm staying at, technically we're not suppose to even have any medium or large aquariums.
<... you should adhere to the guidelines here... tanks weigh about ten pounds per gallon set up... yours will be more than half a ton... Will the floor safely support it?>
I already had some minor flooding issues with the 55 gallons tanks I'm currently using so I can't have this thing breaking on me or I'm screwed.
<I'd get renters insurance for sure>
If you could give me any helpful suggestions with the best way to move the tank, I'd really appreciate it. 
<Again; strong friends... Bob Fenner>

Moving Tank - Question on acclimating livestock     8/20/13
Hi Team
I am purchasing a 96 gallon tank with a variety (~ 20 pieces) of soft and hard coral, 2-3 shrimp and 5 fish (tang, wrasse, clowns). The tank comes with live rock and all the plumbing equipment.  It has been operational for about two years and seems to be very stable.  I have read your moving FAQ's and found it all INCREDIBLY helpful. You are wonderful for cataloging all this information. Thanks to you I have a detailed checklist and responsibility table and a full plan for moving day.

 The total distance of the move is about 30 miles (around NYC this will take about 1.5 hours).  I have rented a large truck to transport the water, tank, rock and equipment. The livestock will travel by car.
I am moving everything but the substrate. I have bought new substrate for the new location (CaribSea Oolite) and plan to install a DSB. 
<Do rinse this well; in advance. See WWM re SOP>
I searched your website but could not find an answer to my specific questions: 1) Do I need to drip-acclimate the livestock when it is reintroduced to the tank in the new location?
<Not if most all the water is transported from the old location>
The live rock will travel "wet" (in tank water), and about 70-80% of the water will be same (we plan to lose some water when we bag the fish and are planning on a 20 gallon water change). 
<Ah good>
The only thing new will be the live sand.  2) Is there a desired length of time I should let the tank rest / cycle before reintroducing the fish and corals?
<Mmm, no; best to get all settled in expediently>
 It seems like all I am doing is a "water-change" but fear that the introduction of the new substrate adds a new complexity that I had not considered. 
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not provide you with an update on the email response you sent me below. The fish and coral in the tank referred to below are thriving. The brain coral was delivered an intense blow but only went down on one knee and is now standing again!  Thanks for all you do.
Brian Heese
<A pleasure to serve, share. Bob Fenner>

Upgrading tank    11/11/12
Hi Crew!
  I'm looking at upgrading my 55 gallon reef tank (not drilled) to a 80 gallon frag tank (drilled).   I'm in need of advice on how to proceed with this move.  I've read over the FAQs and think I've got a decent grasp but have some questions.   Since my tank is 7 years old most of the aragonite originally put in is gone so I want to  add more substrate.
<Good... add the new to the side of the old... you can mix together in time>
I'd like to keep/use what I already have since I have a ton of worms and other good things in there but I've read that disturbing the substrate can release gases. But I've also read that including existing substrate will seed the new substrate. Should I use it or not? 
<Yes; I would use it>
2nd question: How long can the fish, corals and live rock stay in Rubbermaids or coolers while I do modifications to the tank stand to accommodate the new tank?
<Hours to days, depending on heater/s, aeration/circulation/filtration applied... Don't feed the system for a day or two in advance of the change-over>
Thanks crew!  Jennifer
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 
Re: Upgrading tank    11/11/12

  Thank you for your answers!  My intention is to do the modifications in a couple of hours at the most but in the meantime I'll have heaters and pumps circulating water in each container.  Also I won't feed them before hand...I would have never have thought of that:)
<Ahh, a standard practice in the trade... in advance of shipping>
Another question: I've seen some tanks with "egg crates" in the bottom of the tank prior to adding sand.  Do have an article on such practices and if they are of benefit?
<You may be referring to a plenum (space)... You can read various bits re here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PlenumFAQs.htm
I'm not a fan of such nowayears>
 Thank you again! Jennifer
<Certainly welcome. 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>

Upgrading to a bigger tank/Moving 1/17/12
Hi Crew, Jim again, sorry. I just got a 180 tank that is 6' long finally.
Now my Blonde Naso will be a lot happier. My question is I am moving all my life stock to a tank that has been sitting empty for a year and half. I want to make sure I don't lose any of my Children when I put them in the new tank. I plan on putting all my live rock from my old sump to the new one. Also all the Live Rock and sand from all tank to the new one. I hoping with saving most of water, rock and sand from my old tank. That there will be enough bacteria so I don't lose anybody. Could please send me link to where I can read about this so I don't loose any thing in the process?
<You're plan is sound but do read here and related articles/FAQs. 
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re Upgrading to a bigger tank    1/21/12

Hi James,
 I was thinking of going bare bottom for a while. My sand is pretty much puttered out. It has a brown algae stain after a day or two. It like five years old. I know I can add new sand to get the old going, but thinking of not doing it for a while. I was thinking of trying the bare bottom look for a while.
<Easy to clean/siphon debris.>
I have no fish that burrow them self's <themselves> in sand. Do you think that will hurt my bacteria when I switch tank.
<Not if you have live rock.>
 My tank is very well stocked, and I don't want to remove none of them because I am a hoarder! lol I know the reason my sand did what it did is because I am overstocked, but I am upgrading with the 180 and shooting for something bigger in a year or two. I was also thinking of adding a wet/dry filter too. I have enjoyed talking to you James. I hope you do not look at me like I am fish abuser.
<No reason for alarm yet.>
 Knock on wood everything has been good. I have a blue face and he got hlle. So I started paying more attention to my water quality.
<And nutrition!>
He is almost healed except for a small spot on each side of his cheeks. I hoping it will heal, but hopefully time will tell. I try to do a 20% water change every week to keep good water quality and I do not over feed. I do love the look of the over crowded systems, and I will not let them out grow my system because I will go bigger. Well no bigger then 300. I buy all my fish small and let them grow up together. I was wondering if you recommend any type of set up for a large over crowded system, with out having to get rid of my babies?
<Large tank, good water flow, maintenance, etc.>
I am sure as much as you guys preach not to overcrowd a system there has to be a few of you doing the same too. Jim
<I enter my plea of guilty with my wife being an accessory to the crime. 
When I downsized to a 65 gallon I wanted to sell the Tomini Tang and False Lemon Peel but she wanted nothing to do with that.  I have 1500gph flow, clean the skimmer weekly and carbon dose.  Everything looks great, only algae is coralline. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Upgrading to a bigger tank 1/23/12

You're awesome! No really you are. So I got a guy trying to trade me a Precision Marine 250 Bullet 2 skimmer. Do you think that is efficient enough to run a 180 with a 70 gallon sump?
<Should be fine.>
 I think I am going to add some of my sand in the sump with the rock. My pH was low and I never checked it. Its from my water. That's why the Angel got hlle. He eats Angel formula, Mysis, and New life spectrum pellets.
<The NLS pellets is a great food, use it myself.>
 He looks like a crazed dog for the pellets. His eyes almost pop out of his head. lol  I will keep updated on the tank switch and will post video on you tube when I get the 180 pimpn. Thanks again,
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re Upgrading to a bigger tank 2/3/12

Ohhh the battle continues. So I decided to wait on getting my salt gravity back to 1.025. I am very happy I did because I got Ick in my tank now. My tusk was covered with it and my Scribbled Angel has a few spots this morning.
<Likely from too much stress/changes during the move.>
I drop my gravity to 1.008.
<More stress.>
I hoping it well help. Unfortunally with my experience with hypo-salinity its a hit and miss. Do you have any luck with it?
<I have never did this, I'm very selective on where I buy my livestock and have never had a need to do this.  When I upgrade/downgrade tanks, the process can last three or four days just to ensure a gradual change.  I do not transfer the livestock all at once but rather start with the more timid fish and place them in the new system first.  Once they appear comfortable/acclimated, I move another into the system, etc, etc.  I prefer to use a large Rubbermaid tub of around 70 gallons as the holding tank and place all of the original live rock in this tub.  With the dark walls of the tub, the fish are more at ease during this transition time and the rock provides denitrification.  I usually buy enough new live rock to create a safety zone for the first inhabitants in the new tank and slowly add the old rock as I transfer the other fishes.  I've used this method several times in my long hobby career and never had any problems.  Being impatient usually leads to trouble.  My last recent move took one week to complete.>
My Long Nose Hawkfish and Flame Angel has been stressing pretty bad since the switch. I think tomorrow I am going to catch them and put them in my quarantine tank if they do not get any better.
<Would be best and at this stage and I would not do hypersalinity and create more stress, but to treat the fish if they do not appear to be recovering.>
I am really starting to regret the upgrade.
<Understandable and should not happen if done properly.>
I feel like I <I'm> spending more time working on my tank then anything else.  After I emailed you the last time I read about Dr Tim's magic cycle stuff.
<It's not magic.>
I ordered four bottles and put them in my tank yesterday. Ammonia is 0, Nitrate is 10ppm, ( Not to worried about that right now) Nitrite 0 and ph is 7.69. I can not get it in the 8.2 range I don't know why.
<Likely from too many acidic nutrients stirred up during the move.  I would not worry too much about your present pH, is not life threatening.>
I have been adding buffer in like crazy.
<What was the dKH, did it indicate a need for this?>
I bought a new pH probe and recalibrated it yesterday. My API test kit says its 8.3, but Neptune says its 7.69. Not to sure who to believe.
<I'd believe the probe.  Color comparator test kits are ball park figures, not that accurate.  Did you do a high and low calibration with the new probe?>
 lol I hope all is well!
<Is OK on this end.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re Upgrading to a bigger tank 2/3/12

Everybody is doing a lot better today. Nobody has no spots and everybody is eating again.
I am going keep the salinity where it is for now. I think maybe 30 to 45 days as long as I see no spots. The move was hard on the fish and myself.
<Not an easy or enjoyable task for sure.>
Its something I am never going to do that for at least a year, maybe two again. I will keep you updated. Thanks again, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Re Upgrading to a bigger tank 2/19/12, chatathon

My tank is doing great!!! I raised my salinity almost back 1.025. It is at 1.021 now. I have been raising the salinity slowly over a two week period. The ick has gone away. I have been keeping my water quality supreme!
<Does go a long way in prevention.>
I bought a Emperor Aquatics 40 watt UV. It burned the ick out with in a day. I am pretty sure it would burn Aids out if it was in the tank.
<Keep in mind that UV only kills whatever passes through the chamber.>
lol Everybody is doing good and stress free so far. I will make a video and send it to you soon when I get all my fish in my tank.
I have a few fish in my 55 quarantine and had some questions for you. I have a Scribbled Female Angel. I have had her for about a month now, and I have still have not found what she wants eat yet. She nipples <nibbles> here and there, but has not ate like Angel. The same goes for my Emperor. I got him Wednesday and he is in the same tank.
<Is this in the 55 gallon?  I'm hoping not, and your 180 will be/is too small for these fishes.>
They both get along great and they swim together. He is what I think is most people's dream Emperor. He is about 8" and has streamers. I have soaked Mysis, spectrum pellets, krill, angel formula, brine shrimp, in garlic and Selcon. Still have had nothing. I have done the same with green algae. All the water parameters are good. I was thinking of going to the store and buying some fresh shrimp and scallops and trying that. any Ideas?
<If these angels are in the 55 QT, it is likely the reason for their poor appetite, stress.  If all appears well, I'd move these fishes to the 180.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re Upgrading to a bigger tank 2/20/12

Yes they are both in the 55.  I moved the Emperor to the 180 last night. I will move the scribbled tomorrow night.  I do realize in long term this tank is way too small, but it will get them through for a couple of years.
<Mmm, still pretty tight quarters for a 8" Emperor.  May also have some territorial issues with the Scribbled Angelfish.>
I will be shooting for something in the 300 gallon range later.
<That's more like it.>
 I just don't want to think about it anytime soon after this last time. Remember what I was saying before I do keep my tank over stocked? I never liked the look of a tank where there are two or three fish and it has the empty look. As long as everybody stays stress free I am happy with the over stocked look.
<Problem here is that overstocking can affect stress free results.>
 I will not be adding no more fish. Maybe a wrasse or two, Lyretail Hogfish and blue spotted Jawfish.
<In the future 300 I assume.>
I am officially done after that. I have put a block on live aquaria's diver den so I don't get updates of what is in. I am truly a fishholic and I think I need help! lol  Do you ever get up North Idaho? If you do we should hook up. Have some drinks and talk fish.
<I'm in Michigan so the chances of hooking up aren't good but thanks for the offer.  I like the "have some drinks" part.
James (Salty Dog)>
Re Upgrading to a bigger tank 2/21/12

<Hello Jim>
I just wanted to tell You, Bob, and the Crew. That you guys are awesome!!! Its really nice be able to email you guys and get a response back. lol I don't think there a better site with so much info on the whole web. I will keep updated on my tank.
Sounds good and thank you for the kind words.  James (Salty Dog)>

Upgrading to a new tank, moving lvstk., LR curing     10/1/11
Hey guys,
I am at work, and do not have much time to look throughout your site, although I am sure you are all busy as well, but it is possible my question has been asked before. Anyway, I currently run a 45 gallon cube, with a 20 gallon sump. I bought a 90 gallon shallow tank, dimensions are 46 X 35 X 14,
<Wow... this is shallow... for culture likely>
and will be upgrading my sump to a 40 gallon breeder. With everything set and done, I am assuming to have roughly 110 gallons of water in my total system. Now what would be the best route to take when transferring my livestock to the new tank?
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/MovSWLvstkF2.htm
and the linked files above>
I have mixed corals, LPS, SPS, softies and a mini carpet anemone.
<Mmm, am sure you've heard, read re mixing Cnidarians>
I am going to get another 75 pounds of live rock, and have about 150 pounds. I don't plan on using it all, depending on how my aquascape turns out. But majority will be in the system. Sand, I will use all my current sand, about 80 pounds of so(good or bad idea?) and probably about 100 pounds of new sand. With that said, will I be seeing a cycle?
<Depending on the "quality" of the live rock, likely so>
Or would I be able to transfer all my livestock to the new tank?
<I'd cure the LR elsewhere>
I currently have 7 fish, which is why I am doing the upgrade, way too many for such a small system. They are 2 false clowns, 3 pajama cardinals, 1 Lubbock's fairy wrasse, and 1 yellow goby. Along with 2 peppermint shrimps, 1 emerald crab, a dozen snails and 1 tuxedo urchin. I am really skeptical about moving everything at once, so I was hoping you all might have a good procedure I could follow when upgrading.
<Not too much of a problem, w/ understanding, tools (maybe friends) and procedure. Read for now. Bob Fenner>

moving... reading   8/26/10
Hi Crew
In 5 days from now I will move to a new house and currently I have 200 gallon system aged 6 years already and I want to build a new aquarium (also 200 gallon in my new house). Since I don't want to wait for nitrogen cycle anymore so I've
planned to move the existing water, live rock and sand from my old aquarium (without the aquarium itself), is it possible?
coz I really don't want my fish die
Need your suggestion and advise
thanks a lot
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/maintindex.htm
scroll down to the pink tray: Moving...
Bob Fenner> 

Tank Cycle, SW, upgrading to a larger sys.     8/10/10
Dear Crew
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have a 30 gallon salt water tank that has been set up for about 6 months or so and is currently housing a tomato clown. I want to take the 30 gallons of water, the filter, the 10 pounds of crushed coral gravel, and the few live rocks I have in this tank and put it into a 55 gallon tank I am currently setting up.
<Easy enough to do>
If I add new salt water to fill the rest of the tank, will it be cycled and ready for the tomato clown instantly?
<Generally, yes.>
<Here's the longer explanation: The entire submerged surface of your old tank can be part of the bio-cycle since the bacteria grow on the glass, the sand, the rocks, and even in the filter tubes and hoses, so when you move to a new tank, you only bring the bacteria from the gravel and the rocks and it will take a while for the bacteria to colonize and expand. In your case, however, your biological load of a single clown is very low AND you're adding as much as 70% more water, which adds a buffer: it takes longer for excess ammonia to build up in that larger volume of water and this will give the system plenty of time to grow more bacteria to handle that load>
<Just keep that in mind as you grow your collection: Add your load slowly, one fish at a time, several weeks (if not 6 weeks) apart, so that the nitrifying bacteria have a change to adjust and grow to meet the new challenge.>
I'm sorry if you have answered a question like this one before, but I only have a limited time on the internet (sadly).
<Don't say that like it's a bad thing, Shane. A very large segment of our society would do better personally, professionally, physically and emotionally if they had less access to the internet and were therefore forced to spend more time in the real world interacting with real things, real places and real people. "In Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.' -- Margaret Atwood>
Thanks for your advice.

Moving a SW sys.. lvstk.  7/8/10
Hello to Bob and the crew
I have a question about moving a salt water tank that I have. I have a 29 gallon biocube HQI, I have three clown fish, one royal gramma, a damsel fish, two peppermint shrimp and a snow conch
<? What species is this?>
in this tank. I will be moving in the next few months and would like to take my fish with me. This will be a long move, I am currently living in Florida and will be moving to Niagara falls Canada. I am wondering if it is possible to move my fish, by car, it should take two days, and if so what can I do to ensure the safe arrival of my fish. I have had my clowns for 6 years now and would like to keep them. I would appreciate your help.
Thank you
<Can be done in this way, time frame... Action plan, tools, materials posted here:
and the linked files on the bottom. Bob Fenner>

Moving My 125 6/7/10
Greetings to the WWM crew!
<Hello Drew>
It seems that no sooner do I start to classify myself as an "experienced" reefer, I feel the need to consult the masters. Once again, I come to the experts who have saved my butt on a number of occasions.
Thanks for the invaluable advice and service you provide.
<You're welcome.>
I'll try and keep this simple. Next month, I'm moving to a new house about 20 miles away, and I'm taking my 3 year old 125 gallon reef with me. I don't think the new tenants would appreciate me leaving a tank behind!
I've been reading the FAQ's and other forums non-stop for the past few weeks, and I've put together a game plan of  what I intend to do. I just wanted to see if anyone could spot check and look for any potential gotchas. I'm
completely open to criticism and improvement.
A few details of what I have:
- Fishwise, the 125 is lightly stocked: 1x large Hippo tang, 1x tomato clown, 2x Firefish, 1x sleeper goby.
- Coral wise, I have: a large toadstool, large green hammer, button polyps and an assortment of green and brown mushrooms.
- Cleanup crew: Nerites, Mexican Turbos, Hermits, Nassarius
- Tank has a 6" DSB, 30 gallon sump, 125 lbs live rock I lucked out and have a 3 week overlap during which time I can occupy both houses at the same time. Here's the quick and dirty game plan I put together:
- Setup my spare 90 gallon in the old house, several weeks ahead of time.
Fill with 50% used saltwater from the 125, 50% newly mixed saltwater.
Get this tank running and cycled, ready to go.
- After the spare is ready, move all livestock to the spare 90, leaving the rock and DSB in the 125.
(I realize I'll probably have to remove all the rock in order to get the fish out... Grrr!)
- Have 100 gallons newly made RO saltwater waiting at the new house, aging in Brute trashcans.
- Try and capture 20-30 gallons of clean system water before breaking down the 125. Remove rock/sand, plumbing, etc.
Rinse the tank out and take it over to the new house. I plan on taking about 30-40% of the sand bed, and discarding the rest.
- I plan on transporting the rock wrapped in wet newspapers in Styrofoam tubs. For the sand, I planned on transporting it in water filled Rubbermaids.
- Setup the 125 at the new house, with rock and DSB (40% old, 60% new).
Fill with 20-30 gallons of old system water, fill the remainder with newly aged water.
- Replumb everything on the 125 and allow it to run for 1-2 weeks. I'll obviously be checking my water
parameters daily to ensure everything is okay. I anticipate a recycle, so I'm hoping to avoid subjecting my livestock to adverse water conditions.
- After the 125 is up to spec, bag the fish from the old house and take them to the new house. Since the 125 is now cycled, add the fish right back into the 125.
This is my first tank move, and I've tried to cover this from every corner.
I'm still undecided regarding how much of the DSB to keep, in addition to what I do with the clean up critters. I know it's recommended to transport the rock in wet newspaper, but are water filled containers an option? I have A LOT of life on the rock that I'd love to preserve. Again, the new house it only 30 min.s away.
In addition, I typically do a freshwater/meth blue dip when I quarantine new arrivals. Do you think
a preventative dip is in order before putting them back into the 125?
The FAQ's were a lot of help, but any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
<Drew, much more information present here and in related articles than I have time to say.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Moving My 125 6/7/10

To Salty Dog,
I know you guys get a lot of emails, and I'm extremely sympathetic to that, especially for a free service. However, was my initial email even read?
<I can assure you that I have read your email, all mail received is read and responded to.>
I did read the FAQ's and I was just looking for a few comments on my moving game plan.
I wasn't looking for much, just a confirmation that my plan looked okay.
Looks like I'll go back to doing it the old fashioned way in the forums. Of all the responses over the years from WWM, this was the most disappointing... Oh well.
<Drew, if information is present on our site concerning a subject, we generally do not repeat what is already
available on the subject. But just so you won't feel disappointed with us, my comments are embedded in your
original email below.>
Thanks for your time.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Moving My 125 6/7/10
Greetings to the WWM crew!
<Hello Drew>
It seems that no sooner do I start to classify myself as an "experienced" reefer, I feel the need to consult the masters. Once again, I come to the experts who have saved my butt on a number of occasions.
Thanks for the invaluable advice and service you provide.
<You're welcome.>
I'll try and keep this simple. Next month, I'm moving to a new house about 20 miles away, and I'm taking
my 3 year old 125 gallon reef with me. I don't think the new tenants would appreciate me leaving a tank behind!
<I would if I were the new owners/renters.>
I've been reading the FAQ's and other forums non-stop for the past few weeks, and I've put together a game plan of what I intend to do. I just wanted to see if anyone could spot check and look for any potential gotchas. I'm
completely open to criticism and improvement.
A few details of what I have:
- Fishwise, the 125 is lightly stocked: 1x large Hippo tang, 1x tomato clown, 2x Firefish, 1x sleeper goby.
- Coral wise, I have: a large toadstool, large green hammer, button polyps and an assortment of green and brown mushrooms.
- Cleanup crew: Nerites, Mexican Turbos, Hermits, Nassarius
- Tank has a 6" DSB, 30 gallon sump, 125 lbs live rock I lucked out and have a 3 week overlap during which time I can occupy both houses at the same time. Here's the quick and dirty game plan I put together:
- Setup my spare 90 gallon in the old house, several weeks ahead of time.
Fill with 50% used saltwater from the 125, 50% newly mixed saltwater.
Get this tank running and cycled, ready to go.
<I would ensure some form of denitrification is present as in live rock, and with a source of ammonia present. I'd likely put the Tomato Clown in there to maintain denitrification.>
- After the spare is ready, move all livestock to the spare 90, leaving the rock and DSB in the 125.
(I realize I'll probably have to remove all the rock in order to get the fish out... Grrr!)
- Have 100 gallons newly made RO saltwater waiting at the new house, aging in Brute trashcans.
- Try and capture 20-30 gallons of clean system water before breaking down the 125. Remove rock/sand, plumbing, etc.
Rinse the tank out and take it over to the new house. I plan on taking about 30-40% of the sand bed, and
discarding the rest.
- I plan on transporting the rock wrapped in wet newspapers in Styrofoam tubs.
<You may lose much of the denitrifying bacteria and/or life forms present on the rock transporting in this manner.
Better to keep the rock submerged in saltwater.>
For the sand, I planned on transporting it in water filled Rubbermaids.
- Setup the 125 at the new house, with rock and DSB (40% old, 60% new).
Fill with 20-30 gallons of old system water, fill the remainder with newly aged water.
- Replumb everything on the 125 and allow it to run for 1-2 weeks. I'll obviously be checking my water parameters daily to ensure everything is okay. I anticipate a recycle, so I'm hoping to avoid subjecting my livestock to adverse water conditions.
- After the 125 is up to spec, bag the fish from the old house and take them to the new house.
<Mmm, I know of the 90 and the 125...where will the fish be located if both the 90 and 125 are at the new location?>
Since the 125 is now cycled, add the fish right back into the 125.
This is my first tank move, and I've tried to cover this from every corner.
I'm still undecided regarding
how much of the DSB to keep, in addition to what I do with the clean up critters. I know it's recommended to transport the rock in wet newspaper, but are water filled containers an option?
<A better option on a short trip such as yours.>
I have A LOT of life on
the rock that I'd love to preserve. Again, the new house it only 30 min.s away.
<May lose some life in this time span if wrapped in wet paper.>
In addition, I typically do a freshwater/meth blue dip when I quarantine new arrivals. Do you think a preventative dip is in order before putting them back into the 125?
<I see no reason to do this.>
The FAQ's were a lot of help, but any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
<Drew, much more information present here and in related articles than I have time to say.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Moving Large Tanks, and occupants/reefs  5/28/10
Dear Crew,
You guys are the best. Always the best advice which has led me to 4 years of success. Now I've got a challenge with lots of variables which I know you have answered separately in the posts, but I have had hard time to fully finding. I will be moving to a new home at the end of the month and will be transporting my 125G and 110G tank with me. Good news is that the new home is only 1/4 of a mile away, bad news is that I only have 2 days to completely break down and rebuild in that short amount of time.
<Some good planning, getting together of tools, friend/s called for>
I can begin moving in on Friday, May 28th and need to be done by 3pm Monday, May 31st of my old place. While moving normal items on Friday, I was going to set-up my RO/DI to hopefully produce "clean" water aerated and heated up until the first tank move late Saturday/early Sunday. My plan was to move my 125G first by removing all the fish and placing each one (with the exception of the Chromis) in their separate 5G bucket with 1/2 - 3/4 of them filled with tank water. I was going to drop a tablet in each of "Bag Buddies" as read in previous posts.
<Mmm, I'd leave these out... I would ask a store or other advanced aquarist to lend you an oxygen tank, regulator... and Styrofoam boxes and 4 mil plastic bags (or 2 mil or so doubled) instead of the buckets for your
Next was to place all of the live rock, corals and sand in other separate 5G buckets.
<Which are absolutely clean>
My first main question is if I have to cycle the tank given that from stopping the pumps to begin the disassembly to restarting them in the rebuild should be no longer than 6-10 hours...maybe even much less if I'm lucky.
<Very likely will not have to cycle>
How long can my fish be sustained in these buckets with "Bag Buddies" given that some are as big as 6" tangs?
My second question is if I should keep or get rid of all my sand?
<Is there something wrong with it? I'd either leave as is for the move, or rinse it and re-use if not>
The sand is approx. 3-4 inches deep and is about 3 years old. If complete replacement is advised, I may just change the setup to be only 1/2 deep and forgo the cost of a DSB.
My next question has to do with green hair algae, live rock and glass anemones. My 125G tank that I am moving has an extreme amount of green hair algae. While some rocks are completely engulfed with it, some have medium amounts of the stuff. Some I can pull off, and some I cannot for some reason. My question is if there is any way to completely remove the algae if I were to put these affected rocks in a quarantine type tank.
<Mmm, no... only takes spores to regenerate. You need to discern and solve the causative issue/s here>
I know the reason for the heavy growth is cause my nitrates are very high.
If I replace the bio-balls (which I'm sure are the main cause for the nitrates) in the sump with the live rock infested with green hair algae and glass anemones, would those die without light while still biologically filtering the tank?
<Over time, yes>
I know the glass anemones will probably spread back into the tank, but can the green hair algae re-command the main tank if left in the dark multi-chambered wet/dry sump?
<By spores... strands, yes>
Otherwise, my last option would be to remove the rock from the water permanently and let it die off until those nuisances are gone, then re-introduce them later on to be "re-seeded" as live rock. Any other ideas on how to completely kill off that algae separately from the tank?
<I wouldn't do this... Too much in this one move. Get all to your new place safely, and address these issues later>
I also want to re-confirm that the use of Bag Buddies is safe for my fish.
<This product is not IMO>
Thanks to All,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Transfer of Existing Items to New Tank   3/17/10
<Hello Trina>
Thank you for the wonderful resource that you are.
I apologize if this is already on the site. I looked and searched but didn't find it, so if it's already there, can you let me know where to look?
<Ok, will do. This site can be a bit of a 'maze' at times, even if you know your way around it. But that is why it's so great.. you can usually find your answer somewhere if you keep looking, and while looking you always pick up other 'tidbits' along the way.>
We are upgrading our FOWLR 46 gallon to a 90 gallon because our young tang is getting too big.
We've been cycling about 45 gallons of store bought saltwater and two inches of new sand for a week. Once the tank is ready we want to know how/what to move of the sand into the new tank but are confused by conflicting information found on other forums.
<You can do this a number of different ways successfully. My favourite way? Don't bother 'cycling' the new tank, as long as you have plenty of live rock just shift the whole lot right over minus most of the sand>.
Our 46 gallon has about 3 inches of sand bed in it. Some places say to transfer 20% because of all the stuff that is in it that will dirty up our new tank (or some reason that I'm not sure of), some say 50%, and some say none. How much sand should be transferred?
<Any/ all of these can/ will work, but I like to start fresh to limit the transfer of muck over, and just seed the new sand with half a bucket of old on top>
We were originally thinking that we would transfer all of it because it's just a bigger tank and we aren't changing anything or adding anything (similar in concept to a water change).
<Yes, this is how I do it>
We only have 2 Clowns, 1 Tang,
and a Royal Gramma for fish. We wanted the Tang to have as much room to play as possible and he's been very happy (he thinks he's a Clown).
<Well that's good news>
If you could give reasoning to your thoughts, I'd appreciate it. I like to know these types of things.
<The only point to 'cycling' a tank is to build up enough nitrifying bacteria to handle the fish load you have. Since your system is established with these fishes, it already has enough bacteria to accomplish this, most of this is on the live rock and sand. If you move this substrate over with the fish you also be moving over the bacteria required and so will have no problems>
Thanks for your help,
<No worries>

Moving tank  1/5/10
<Hi there.>
My question is in regards to my substrate. My tank has been up and running for about 2 years now without any problems ( sitting on kitchen counter)
45gal with hang on the back emperor filter and skimmer much more than required as for the live rock
1 banded,1 cleaner,2 clowns few emeralds and a few hermits and snails my substrate is a little under 4"(Nature's Ocean Bio-Active Reef Sand and Reef Substrate)
Finally I have a floor spot where I can build a stand and add a sump/refugium(converting a spare 10gal tank).
OK now for the question, I know the top of my substrate is very lively so I will be keeping this. I will need to remove the rest so I can move the tank, should this be trashed? placed back into the main tank? added to refugium?
I also plan on scrapping the filter and hanging the skimmer on the 10gal.
Any additional advise is welcome.
<All you need to know is here and the linked files above:
There is no need to throw out any of this sand!>
Thank you
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Old Tank, New Owner: Moving an established, yet neglected tank. 1/1/2010
Dear Crew,
<Hi JR>
Happy new year to you!
<and to you!>
Again, I wish to thank you again for your highly valuable and much appreciated services!
<Our pleasure.>
This question will be brief.
I normally do not do this but have recently been a good Samaritan and have accepted a very sad looking 54 gallon corner tank from a wonderful friend who has become too busy to take care of it. This is a typical scenario of someone getting exciting about keeping marine fish, adding too many "miracle cures" without having the time to understand the true nature of the ocean. The tank is FO with 2 survivor Ocellaris Clowns.
<All too common.>
The plan is this:
Transfer the tank to my house (I live next door), saving about 1/3 of the original water, set up tank "as is" so as to make the transition easy, replace the rest of the water with new, heated/circulated RO saltwater and to gradually (months) transform the tank into a reef system. I will of course be testing constantly.
<Sounds good so far.>
Here is the question(s):
Do you recommend quarantining the Clowns? I have been watching them for months (often) when at the friends house and have never observed anything warranting medication. I will if you recommend.
<Should not be necessary. Do watch for any illness, but the risk is minimal.>
Secondly, I do know that a variety of chemicals were used in the tank such as Chemi-clean, copper, and who knows what else. I will be running a poly-filter and carbon upon arrival and wanted to know about how long it
should be before the water will be able to support live rock (currently in quarantine). I was planning on performing another larger water change and testing for copper prior to adding.
<I would do as you plan, with weekly 10 - 15% water changes. If there are no signs of copper, go ahead and start adding rock after 2 - 3 weeks.>
Lastly, I usually wait about 3 or 4 months before introducing any corals.
<Good idea.>
Since this tank has cycled, about how long would you recommend waiting until they are introduced? Of course proper lighting, circulation, and water parameters will be paramount in this venture.
<I would wait 3 - 4 months after adding the live rock. This will give the system time to stabilize and the tank to 'age' a bit.>
Thanks so much for your wisdom!
<My pleasure.>

Need Some Help/A New Lease On Life 10/16/09
Hello Crew,
A little over a week ago, my whole tank was killed.
I woke up one day, the last day of my lease, and had until 11:59:59 P.M. to get everything out of my house, or my lease was automatically renewed. So, I spent all day moving stuff, waiting to move my tank and supplies, last.
When I took the first load, it wasn't even noon. I knew that I could get the rest when I came back. When I came back, it was roughly 1:00 P.M.. I had 11 more hours to get everything out of my house. When I pulled in my driveway and came around the corner, I seen it all. My whole tank was only 1/4 full, sitting out in my driveway...my lights just thrown beside it, sump broke...everything was a disaster. My SPS, Rics, etc., were sitting out of the water. I live here in OH and at the time, it was really cold out, MAYBE 50 degrees.
<Sorry to hear.>
My landlord and his "friends" moved my tank and stuff outside! He said that since I wasn't going to renew the lease, he had to start getting the place ready for a new tenant. He said they obviously couldn't move my tank when it was full, so, he had his buddy drain the water (with a bucket that had bleach in it!) while he started moving the lights, etc.. Then he proceeded on to telling me, "They're just fish. Quit your b***hing and get a new d**n tank!".
<Very illegal activity here. Have you considered taking civil action against this party?>
Some people may look at corals and fish as just "whatever, they're fish"...I viewed my tank as my children, my baby. Being that I don't have any kids myself, my Pugs and my tank are/were, like my children. Every single day, when I got home from work, my fish would be right there, up front, waiting for me to feed them. They'd get so excited. The whole tank really did bring joy in to my life. I also care for my sister, who's mentally retarded. She can't get a normal job, but she felt important whenever she helped me with the tank.
I feel like a part of me died that day.
<I can imagine, heartbreaking to say the least.>
I was considering on filing a civil suit against my old landlord for the stuff that he did to my tank but don't even know if I have any "fight" left in me. If there's laws preventing dog fighting, killing a bald eagle, and so on, there should be laws that protect aquarium "abuse".
There are laws protecting renters from such activity and I believe a case easily won and likely settled out of court.>
I'd like to thank everyone at WWM, etc., for the very helpful information, etc., that helped me and my tank. I gained so much knowledge that I could probably become a marine biologist without even going to school. Well, not really, but you definitely helped me become a better Reefer!
Thanks again for everything! Take care.
<You're welcome, and I strongly suggest taking civil action against this worthless, inhumane person. James (Salty Dog)>

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 375 gallon tank - 10/05/2009

Hi Bob I hope you're doing fine, as I said I write you to tell everything went fine with my 375 gallon tank
moving, it was really hard to make the move but the fishes are now again in their home.
<Ah, bueno>
thanks a lot for your advice and I hope not to move again in a LOOOONG time.
<I'll bet! Tienes razon!>
Saludos desde Mexico y un gran abrazo.
P.S thanks for accept my Facebook invitation
<Be chatting mi amigo. BobF>

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.>

Breaking an aquarium..., moving...  5/16/09
Quickly.. I have a 125 gallon Reef ready saltwater tank with a 29 gallon tank sump. I upgraded to a Marineland model 4 sump and will be putting it in my basement directly below the tank. (Any advice or tips on that would also be appreciated).
<This is archived on WWM>
When I first put the system together I put the 29 gallon in first through the top of the stand, and not through the doors because it wouldn't fit. I didn't think about 4 years later when I want to get it out. I have a wood brace in the middle of the tank that I really don't want to take out.
<I would not>
My question is, is there a safe way to break or dismantle an "All-Glass" 29 gallon aquarium.
<In place I take it... yes... with a hammer, eye and face covering, gloves, two shirts, long-substantial pants... and care and a shop vac>
I will have everything else ready to switch over to the new sump, just trying to get the old sump out.
<Mmm, I'd drain the tank and move it off the stand, remove the 29... and re-set up the 125 myself. Bob Fenner>
Thanks in advance for your help.
Re: Breaking an aquarium...  5/16/09

Do you think it would help or be a good idea to put the new bio-wheels in my current sump for some time (maybe 3 weeks-1month) to let the bacteria build up on them. Cause if I just switch from one to another I will have no bacteria build up anywhere, right???
<Well if you have rock after 4 years, especially live rock, this is a moot point. Otherwise I would include
the wheels for a period of time. Scott V.> 
Re: Breaking an aquarium...  5/16/09

I have 130 lbs live rock and 120 lbs live sand....
<Good, this will help with the transition.>
But I am not ready to do the changeover for a few weeks do you think it would be ok to include the wheels in my current sump anyway..
<Sure, wouldn't hurt.>
Thank you
<Welcome, Scott V.> 
Re: Breaking an aquarium...5/17/09

I put them in tonight and I rinsed them in purified ro water before putting them in as recommended in the instructions. Shortly after that I noticed a bunch of micro air bubbles and my skimmer going crazy with foam.
<Ah, happens.>
I have my skimmer turned down quite a bit and still getting tons of foam and a lot of air bubbles in my current sump. Could that just be from all the air in the bio wheels trying to escape.
I don't see any harm coming from it, however I've unplugged my skimmer for the night and will try it again in the
morning. Any thoughts???
<Skimmers are picky fellows, and kind of residue on your hands could easily cause this reaction. After a few hours things should be back to normal.>
thank you for your help...
<Welcome, Scott V.>

FOWLR Transfer 180 gallons to 540 gallons, incl. moving sand bed  4/30/09
Hey Crew.
<Hello Lee>
Here's a good one for you. I have a 180 gallons FOWLR with approximately 300 pounds of rock and a 3" sand bed. Currently I have 14 fish in there, (with my prize being my 9" African Mappa Puffer). I am switching over to a larger tank a 540 gallons and of course I'll need to take the rock and hopefully, the sand out of the old and use it for the new one and I'd like to use approximately 50% of the water.
<Congratulations on the new tank, I'm sure these fish will appreciate the move.>
The problems I'm concerned with is 1. taking the sand out of existing tank may cause a Nitrite spike and of course the fish would still be in there. 2. Is it safe to immediately transfer the fish into the new tank if I've used the old water, sand and rock ? 3. Should I just buy new sand for the new tank, but if so, would I have to wait for a cycle period? Having said all that, you can see my confusion. Dear Crew, what is the best course of action to carry out this task of tank transfer?
<Lee, I would lean towards replacing the sand to avoid disturbing the sand bed with fish in the same tank. I suggest you set up the new tank with sand and allow it to settle, shoot for under two inches of sand, or over 4 inches of sand. Then move over your rock and fish. The old sand can be saved later by washing it very well. Do keep an eye on parameters and be prepared for water changes just in case.>
Thanks in advance. Lee
<Let us know how it goes.
Josh Solomon>

Cycling/conversion to larger tank 4/29/09
Hey WWM Crew,
I currently have a 125 gallon FOWLR. I recently got a great deal on a used 280 Gallon setup that is in the process of cycling.
<Sounds good.>
Current Fish in the 125 are:
Yellow Tang
Naso Tang
Foxface Lo
Niger Trigger
Picasso Trigger
Reef Squirrelfish
Panther Grouper
<Good time for an upgrade with the fish you have.>
My question is simple enough, I think. When the 280 is finished cycling, can I add all the fish at one time or should I do it slowly over time so as not to cause another mini-cycle?
<If it were me, I'd add the Foxface and Yellow Tang first, then every couple of days add another fish
while monitoring ammonia levels in the process, just to be on the safe side. Do add the
triggerfish last, and add both at the same time.
In doing this, I'm assuming live rock is present in the 280 gallon tank. You may be interested in reading here.
Thank you in advance and thank you again for all your time and efforts in helping making this a wonderful hobby.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Moving Tanks: (4/6/2009) Follow up: 4/24/2009
<Hello again Matt.>
Thanks for all the help; I plan on switching out the tanks this weekend.
<Good - I hope you recruited assistants.>
I have purchased the One and Only by Dr Tim's Aquatics and have made all the final adjustment to the sump and piping. I have one question for you today which involves the substrate.
My plan was to use the old substrate in the new tank, but after reading and doing more research would it be
better to just replace the substrate with new?
<I would use a mix of old and new.>
And should it be the so called live sand or just clean sand.
<Store bought "live sand" is just sand with the necessary bacteria. It isn't really "live" Certainly not as live as your existing substrate is..
I would use new clean "dead" sand mixed in with your old..
With the live sand do you get a lot of die off when adding to the tank?
<Really depends on how long the sand has been in the bag and sitting on the shelf.>
I really do not want to make this move really nervous about losing everything.
Please let me know your opinion.
<I would mix your old with some new. This will be a perfect time to set up a deep sand bed (DSB).>
<One other thing I neglected to mention the first time you wrote that another reader pointed out; was to make sure you have adequate heaters for your livestock in their containers.>
Thanks again, for the help
<My pleasure>
Moving Tanks: 4/6/2009

Hi to all,
<Hi Matt>
I have a little problem with one of my tanks, It is a 125 gallon reef set up with six fish that has been up and running for five years. The problem is that the bottom has developed a hair line crack.
I was able to apply some silicone to the crack and kept it from leaking, but this is just a temporary fix. I have ordered a new 150 gallon to replace the 125 gallon, but the only draw back is that the new tank will have to go back were the old one is located. The new tank will be delivered this week so I was wondering if you would have any suggestions on how to move all the live stock, sand and roughly about 200# of live rock from one tank to the other.
<Be happy to>
My plan was to drain the old water into containers, and place the live rock into those containers.
<Good so far.>
I would place the fish and coral (mainly SPS AND LPS) into a separate container; the sand would also be placed into a separate container.
<Do yourself a favor and don't even attempt to catch the fish until all of the live rock is out. It helps to have more than one net. Also, it is best if most invertebrates are not exposed to air - keep them submerged>
After all livestock, sand and live rock as been removed I was going to move the old tank out and move the new tank in, set up the sump and skimmer.
After the sump and skimmer were set up I would add enough of the old water so that it would cover the
old and some new sand once it is placed into the new tank. I was then going to add as much of the old water as possible to the new tank.
<Use a dinner plate or some other sort of baffle to keep the sand from getting stirred up when you add the water. Very difficult to aquascape in cloudy water.>
After adding the water I would start adding the coral and live rock, once all this was done I would add the livestock fish, snails, crabs etc.
<Test the water: stirring up the substrate can cause an ammonia spike. If possible\practical, let the tank settle for a bit with the filtration\skimmer running before adding livestock.>
My best guesstimate is that the whole process will take about 6-8 hours.
<Less if you have help - Do yourself another favor and arrange for help in advance.>
I have concerns about the livestock so I was going to add some air to the containers during the moving process.
<Very important, some powerheads are helpful here..>
I was wondering if you thought that the tank would recycle itself or if my plan would work.
<What you have planned is very feasible, and does minimize the risk to your livestock>
I am open for any suggestions that you might have.
<Other than what I have already given, just make sure everything is ready before you start. Nothing is more frustrating than having to stop what you are doing because you discovered you don't have enough containers, etc.>
I am deeply concerned about my live stock, I have had some of the fish in this tank for over 4 years and do not want to lose any of them.
On a different subject I wrote to back in October of last year asking about the Tunze Reef Excel Salt mix. Well I have made the switch from Tropic Marin after 3 years to Tunze and absolutely love it.
<Excellent to hear.>
Thanks again for all your advice and hard work.
<My Pleasure>
Re: Moving Tanks: 4/6/2009

<Hi Matt>
Thanks for the quick reply, you mentioned that there could be an ammonia spike after stirring up the water, is there something I could add to the water?
<It may happen, but with enough healthy live rock, it may be insignificant,
if it happens at all; but it is good to be prepared.>
Dr's Foster and Smith are pushing a new product called One and Only by Dr Tim's Aquatics,
<An excellent product, it used to be called Bio-Spira>
I also know that Tropical Science makes a product called NitroMax,
<I'm not familiar with this one.>
I am not a big fan of Drs Foster and Smith IMO that sometimes the information perceived by them is not 100% accurate, after being in this hobby for about 10 years you have the tendency to distinguish between hype and reality.
<No disagreement from me on this one.>
I normally use Brightwell Aquatics and the only product that comes to mind is the MicroBacter 7 which is a very good product but I do not believe it is the right one for the application.
<Not familiar with this product either. Prime from Seachem will detoxify any ammonia in an emergency, should it be necessary.>
Also you recommended letting the tank settle a little bit with the filter and skimmer running before adding the livestock.
<Yes, provided your livestock is not showing signs of severe stress>
Do you recommend a few hours or more?
<An hour or two certainly cannot hurt, again, provided your livestock is not showing any severe stress from being in the containers.>
Also I have a couple of Emperor 400 power filters that hang on the back should I use them with carbon, or maybe with some poly filters.
<Again, not a bad idea.>
<You're Welcome>
For Mike - Moving Tanks 4/8/2009

Dear Mike,
<Hi Andy>
I was reading the dailies and saw your exchange about moving tanks,
Moving Tanks: 4/6/2009.
<Ahh yes>
I wanted to throw my 2 cents in, as I've had to deal with this same issue.
One thing I didn't see mentioned in the exchange was to make sure that the containers into which you add your livestock have heaters. Frequently, we just have 1 or 2 heaters in our tanks, and if you need 2 or 3 or more containers to hold all your fish, corals and other inverts, you'll be a few heaters short. With live rock
and sand, it's not so important but for fish and inverts it sure is.
<You bring up a very valid point and one which I did overlook. I must confess that because I live in Florida, and my home temperature is very consistent, I tend to forget about heaters.>
Just my thoughts.
,Thank you for sharing.>

Inexperienced Tank Move 10/26/08 Hi, I am going to help my mom move her 55 gal marine tank to make room for a 125 gal she just bought with only 150lbs of LR, no stock. <A nice upgrade.> The 55 was set up just 1 yr ago and has about 50lbs of LR, a yellow tang, a blue tang, 2 green Chromis, a Percula, a red starfish, and 1 urchin. <The fish will appreciate the extra room!> All will remain in this tank until the 125 is stable. We hired some trusted local experts to move and set up the 125 (as we are not too familiar with all the components) but planned on moving the 55 ourselves. <Okay.> I have read your info on moving tanks and my question is: After we have the (55) tank moved and have filled it, how long should we wait to start acclimating the animals? <Right away assuming the rock in the 125 has cured, along with adding the rock from the 55.> I did this when I switched from a 29 gal to a 45 gal and I lost every fish I had!!! <Sorry to hear this.> I checked temp, ph, salinity and all were fine before I acclimated the fish, but it was still very, very cloudy and I don't want to make the same mistake twice! Someone told me that they went into ph shock but I tested. <Could have been shock 'from many factors. Also likely the biofiltration was not established, won't be a concern with all the LR. Do check the ammonia/nitrite levels in the 125 before starting the move.> I am nervous about doing this again but can't afford to have the experts move both tanks. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! <With a properly setup tank, you will be fine. Scott V.>

Moving a Nano with other issues 10/27/08 Hi Guys! I really need your help. <Hello Heidi, okay.> I will be moving to a new house in the same city so not far at all. I have a 34 gallon Red Sea Max that has been set up since February 08. I have 34 lb. LR and 30 lb. LS. I have three fish and some softie corals such as GSP, finger leather, Zoas and 2 Acans. I also have a Maxima clam. I have read all of your information on moving tanks and livestock, which has been very helpful. <Ahh, good.> So here is my "other" issue....I have been battling Raphidophytes in my tank for about 3-4 months now. I have tried about everything to rid my tank of them. Now I'm going to have to break down the tank and I'm wondering if I can move the tank and get rid of the Raphidophytes at the same time with minimal harm to my livestock. This is what I was thinking.... Bagging the fish and corals in current tank water. Packing up LR in a bucket covered in old tank water. I want to get rid of substrate completely. Do I need to save some to "seed" the new sand? <I would, there is no need to toss the substrate unless you wish to swap to a different type.> Clean tank, pumps, skimmer etc...with soap and rinse thoroughly. Set up tank in new location with new sand and FRESH saltwater. <I would use as much existing tank water as possible, regardless of the algae.> Swish each piece of LR in a bucket of fresh saltwater to dislodge any of the algae strings then put into tank. Acclimate fish and corals to new tank like I would as if bringing home for the first time. Making sure to keep all old water out of tank. Do you see any problems with the above plan? <Unless you have another biofilter I would not do too much to the rock during the move. You can cause another curing/cycling process if not careful.> And is there anything else I can do during the process that will help defeat the algae? <Nothing I will advise. Control in the tank is the answer.> I also considered buying new cured rock and cycling it in a bucket with a power head and heater until the move day. Then using the new rock to set up the tank. But I think the corals could potentially transfer the Raphids into the tank. <Either way the algae will make it.> I would appreciate any suggestions or help you can give me! <Do check out http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm  and the linked files above, tis basically what you are dealing with. Common issue, especially in smaller volumes.> Thanks! Heidi <Welcome, Scott V.>
 Re: Moving a Nano with other issues 10/28/07 Thank you again Scott! <My pleasure.> I'm not sure if I am allowed to respond, if not please disregard this reply. <You sure are.> I had previously read that information and am aware of what I am up against. I have been employing those controls in my tank for awhile now but this algae is resilient! <Most tends to be.> I understand there is nothing more, that you advise, I can do during the breakdown. <No, nothing that won't effect your total system, just the careful scrub down you describe. Even then the algae will be there.> A question I don't think was answered was can I replace the sand without seeding it? <You can, the rock will seed it, but you may as well seed it with the existing sand.> And, can I fill the tank with fresh saltwater instead of using any part of the established tank water? <You can, but the livestock will have an easier acclimation after the move using the water they have been in.> With the kicker of.....without causing a big enough cycle to harm my livestock? <Really either is fine, is just like a large water change, with the same risks.> I know you cannot predict the future but I trust the WWM crew expertise. Again, I really appreciate your time in answering my email. Heidi <No problem, Scott V.>

Tank Transferal Issue 10/10/08 Hi, thank you for the authoritative website, now, my question concerns transferring the contents of my little 65litre marine setup to a used tank I wish to buy which has 160litres capacity or approx. 40 of your U.S gallons :) <Okay.> The 40 gallon tank is a Juwel 160 with a built in corner filter and a pump and has been used as a freshwater setup - I have browsed this website and can see with the proper preparation converting from FW to marine is not so difficult, but really my query is about how best to make the actual transfer of my livestock, which comprises: 2 clown fish and a painted shrimp and about 20lbs live rock. My plan (probably deeply flawed) was to take the water from my current tank which has been operating successfully for about 10 months, add the live rock and creatures with some sand - aragonite, I think is what keeps cropping up in the forums <Tis the sand you want.> - and then simply fill the tank up with conditioned, salinated tap water and hope for the best. <There is nothing wrong with tap water, just test for chlorine/chloramine and treat accordingly: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water4maruse.htm. Not all "conditioners" do the job!> I imagine this idea probably seems ludicrous to you experts but since I do not have a cycled intermediary tank I can think of no other way. I would be grateful if you could advise me as to the soundness(or not) of my cunning plan. <No, your plan sounds okay. No matter how much prep or hocus pocus one does, there comes a time when everything just needs to be dumped in. Just be sure the new water is properly treated (the above link) with the salinity, temperature and PH the same as the old water it will be mixed with. Do also transfer any filtration you have in the smaller tank until the filter in the larger tank does cycle, but your LR will be your main biofilter anyhow.> Thank you, Sean W <Welcome, congratulations on the new setup, 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>

Tank upgrade, moving, reading     9/19/08 Hi WWM crew, I wrote a couple months ago about upgrading my tank, however I did not have specific questions. Now I have the new tank and the specific questions. My current tank is a 75 gallon with a snowflake eel, approx 14", 2 anemones, <Mmm, not a good idea to mix anemones with Eels... too likely to "run" into each other> snails and crabs, 90lbs live rock and crushed coral. I am upgrading to a 125 gallon tank. I do want to put the new tank in the same location as the old one, but I am not sure how to safely do it. I know tanks are almost impossible to move when partially filled with water. <Yes, and even if some of the WWF folks were visiting to heft all, too likely to damage the tanks in the process> Now here are my questions: - I am sure that I should fill the new tank about halfway with water and let it run for a couple days, correct? <Yes> - If I do that how would I be able to move it to the location of the old tank? <Mmm, t'were it me, mine, I'd use some clean trash cans/liners in same if not new, or plastic bins to hold most of the "old" water, substrate, livestock to make this switch...> - I have a 10 gallon QT tank, which I have never had to treat with copper (knock on wood), what is the longest I can put my eel in there for? <Days, weeks with attention to water quality, but...> - Can I simply take the anemones and the rocks they are attached to and put them directly into the new tank or should I put them in QT as well until the new tank is set up? <I'd move all....> - Is it correct to assume that the new tank will cycle, even with 75gal old water and 50gal new water? <Yes> - If so, what can I do to reduce the chance of it cycling? <Ahh... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/movingaq.htm and the linked files above...> I want to be sure I upgrade the tank correctly so I do not loose any of my livestock. Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance for your help, you guys are great! Michelle <Make a plan while reading... These moves can actually be fun (!), given a systematic approach. Bob Fenner>
Re: Tank upgrade, moving plan    9/22/08
Hi again and thanks for your quick response. Ok so here is my plan for my tank upgrade and a couple more questions: The new tank WILL be going in the same location as my old tank, I do not have any other place in my living room to put it. Maybe I should add that my old tank is a year and a half old. - I currently have my 50 gallons of new water stored in a back room with a power head in each container and buffered to match my tank. - I have purchased 3 new 25 gallon buckets with wheels to drain my old tank water into. - I plan to put my snowflake into my 10g QT tank for the time being. <Do keep it covered!> - I plan on putting each anemone into separate buckets of old water to store until the new tank is ready for the old water. - Once drained, I plan of taking the live rock and crushed coral out and putting into yet another container to store with enough water to cover it. - I will then move the old tank (75g) from its current location (with help). Then put the new tank in its spot. - I will then cover the new crushed coral with the old then cover with water, should the old crushed coral go on top of the new? <Yes> -- Should I add the new water first or the old? <The old> - I will then fill the tank about half way and add the live rock. <Good> - I plan on putting my old filter and skimmer on the new tank in addition to the new filter and skimmer for a few weeks. - I currently have a wet/dry trickle which all the bio-balls have been removed recently due to a nitrate peak. - The new system will also have a wet/dry trickle. -- Should I remove the bio-balls from the new filter now, or after it has been running for a few months? <I would, yes> Or should I put the old bio balls into the new filter? <I would do this as well... temporarily> - Once the live rock, crushed coral and water has been added I plan on acclimating my live stock. -- How long should I wait to add my eel and anemones? <Mmm, hours... when the system is back up...> They will be in 3 separate containers, the eel in QT, b/c I don't want them to be in close quarters with each other for any period of time. How does this plan sound? What would you do differently if you had to put the new tank in the same location as the old? <Sounds fine> Also, the new tank I purchased, the 125g, was in the past a display tank in a store, however it had been broken down prior to my purchase, for how long I am not sure, I forgot to ask. It has crushed coral in it and some decorative dead coral pieces in it. So here are some more questions: - What is the best way for me to clean this new tank prior to setting it up? I have heard you can use diluted vinegar? Should I just wipe it down with a paper towel, or jump inside it and thoroughly clean and rinse it? <If not "too gunky" just freshwater rinse... could use vinegar/acetic acid to dissolve some scale, but I would not "scrub" for fear of scratching... most won't show once the water is in, and then a good deal can be removed more safely with the water in place... over the next few weeks> - Should I rinse the crushed coral with FW first, if so should it be RO/DI or will tap water be ok? The tap is city water and of decent quality. <I would use the tap water> - Do you think I should add some of the dead coral pieces until more LR is purchased? <Sure> - Is it possible that the dead coral was bleached at some point, and should not use it due to that? <Not a worry. The bleach itself is gone> Thank you again for all you help. It is greatly appreciated!!!!! ~Michelle <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Moving a large tank  9/11/08 Hello all, <Jesse> So I knew this question would come, but I have dreaded writing it. I just purchased a house and will be moving in the coming weeks. Therefore, I need to also move a 220g tank, which I am super excited about. I wanted to check my plan of action with you all to make sure I was not making a major mistake, so here it goes'¦ Set up 100 gallons of new water (PH, temp, etc...) at the new location just like a 50% water change. Drain 100 gallons from the tank and discard it, Place live rock and fish in Tupperware tubes that are about 20 gallons each for transport with the water from the existing tank. I do not plan to feed the fish for a day or two in advance to reduce waste. I will continue to remove rock and ensure that it is submerged for the move. One the fish and rock is placed in tubes I will scoop the sand into buckets to transport as well. I plan to do this in layers as I have about 2 -3 inches of sand. The sump will also be filled with water and moved to prevent a die off. I have air stones and plan to enact this plan during the coolest part of the day. The actual house is only about 7 or 8 miles away so it will not be an extended drive time. From that point, it will be a simple break down and movement of all the equipment. I plan to re set the tank by putting the original water back into the tank and adding sand in the order it was removed, bottom to bottom, top to top. Once the water is in, I plan to replace the rockwork and add the fish. After a small adjustment period, I will add the 100 gallons of new water. I run four 400gph pumps, a protein skimmer and a 1200goh return pump from the sump. I am worried about a spike, but my hope is that between running a polyfiber pad, skimming aggressively and the water movement the conditions will stabilize. <Very likely so> I plan to be prepared to initiate water changes just in case. I have thought about this for a while and this was what I came up with. Please let me know if there are any glaring issues. Thank you, Jesse <This looks like a work-able plan... do get help with the lifting... For solace, read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/movingaq.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Tank Moving, 6/26/08 Dear WWM <Hello> I love your site, it has helped me so much over the course of the past year. <Thanks> My question is about moving a 75 gallon saltwater fish tank. It has been set up for about 8 months now. My question is when I make the move should I save my sand or buy new Live sand when I reset up tank at new destination. <I have always used new sand, its just too heavy and messy to move.> The reason I ask is all the LFS I have talked too have different opinions. Let me know what your thinking is and any other good advice for moving live rock, fish, and corals. <Get lots of friends to help, then go out and meet new people because your old friends won't like you anymore after helping you move the tank. Have lots of premade water ready, and take your time. I have used 22 Gallon Rubbermaid containers filled about 1/2 up to move the rocks and a fair amount of water, but be careful as these get very heavy very fast. Otherwise I just bagged up the livestock and boxed up the gear.> The drive is about 3 hours, and I am planning on setting up tank as soon as I get there. Thanks, Evert <Have a few spare powerheads and heaters, I too planned to set up my tank right away last time I moved, but was too tired and busy. The livestock lived in the Rubbermaids in my kitchen for about a week before I got to getting everything going. Take your time and be careful with lifting, hurt yourself and the whole experience will get even worse.> <Chris>

Tank Downgrade 5/23/08 Hi Everyone. <Hello> Just wanted to say awesome site - it is such a great resource. I have done some searches online and even posted on a couple of forums but unfortunately have had no responses :( So thought I would turn to you guys as I really want to get a second opinion on my temporary downgrade and know you guys can probably advise better than anyone anyway! I recently had to shut down a 4.5 x 3 x 2 tank and I moved everything into a 3x2x2 which has been fine although I had to sell off my 2 tangs as they were going a bit loopy in such a small tank! <Good move.> I also sold off quite a lot of rock. I would really like to move what I have left now into my 120 litre frag tank due to space reasons whilst I work on my new 420L corner tank system. So my question is would the following be ok in a 120litre system for around 2-3 months whilst I setup my new tank? I have 3xYellow Tails Damsels (Small), 1 x Strawberry Gramma(Med), 1 x other damsel about (large), 2 x Chromis (large), 1 x cleaner shrimp, Crab+Snail cleanup crew, and a few corals. I will have around 15KG of live rock in the tank and a Tunze 9002 nano skimmer running the tank also has a 10L remote fuge.  I know I may be pushing my luck but I was thinking if I did slightly larger water changes around 40-50% a month would everything be ok until there bigger home is ready? <I would be doing at least bi-weekly water changes here. However, water quality would not be my only concern here, aggression may become a problem with so many fairly aggressive fish in this sized tank. But I think it at least has a chance to work, depends on how the fish handle the close quarters.> Just thought whilst I am here when I move everything into my new 420l system would a pair of Clarkii's, Sailfin blenny, 2or3 more Chromis, and a mandarin be ok to add to my current livestock? <As long as you give the tank a year or so to mature for the mandarin I think you will be ok.> I would really like to add a Kole tang but I am thinking a 420L is probably to small for a tang anyway? <I would agree for a corner tank.> If this is the case would a swallow tail angel be ok to add as well as the above? <Genicanthus melanospilos would probably do fine in this tank, just be aware that they are rough shippers, so give it a nice QT to recover before adding to the tank.> If not could it be possible if I opted for some smaller adult size clowns? <Could go this route too, just no more that 1 pair of clowns or you will have a war on your hands at some point.> Thanks in Advance for the advice! Adam <Welcome> <Chris>
Re: Tank Downgrade 5/23/08
WOW that was a fast response - thanks for your advice! You confirmed exactly what I thought. <Good> I was also slightly worried about the aggression of the damsels & gramma so drained my 3x2x2 down to about two thirds to see how they got along in a bit less water. And everything seems ok and I haven't seen any aggression as of yet - I think this may be due to the fact that the yellow tails & gramma are all juveniles so maybe don't exhibit the same amount of aggression as they will when they are adults?? <Will help, but you won't really know for sure until they attempt to establish territories.> I think when I move them to the 120 litre I will drip feed the tank to help reduce any aggression that may arise - the 120 litre is also 4ft long so hopefully they will all find their own space in there as I will spread the rocks out to help them all get a bit of territory should they want it. The Mandarin will definitely be last in! <Good plan.> Thanks Again. All your advice is well appreciated! Adam <Welcome> <Chris>

Temp. mixing of softies and stonies 5/16/08 Hello Crew!! Just to get it out of the way, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! <De nada> Everything I have learned about saltwater tanks and fish/corals has come from your incredible website.  Although my question is listed in the archives, I need a personal opinion. I have two tanks, and am looking at the possibility of combining them for several months due to moving. Tank #1: 20 gallons housing about 20 lbs live rock, blue Ricordea mushrooms (12, attached to a single rock), 3 "hairy mushrooms" (has split twice in the last 3 months), Anthelia, and an angler fish (Lophiocharon trisignatus). This tank has been established for about a year, and reads 0 for ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, silicate, etc. Ca runs around 430, Mg 1300. The salinity is 1.025, and temp is kept at 80.  I do weekly watcher changes of ten gallons and use only RODI water, use a CPR BakPak and Aquaclear 70 with Chemipure. Everything is flourishing. Tank#2: 55 gallons stocked with recovering stonies that have been rescued from unsuitable environments. Inhabitants include about 100 lbs live rock, a Favite, a Goniopora, and a pagoda. Additionally, this tank also houses a Tomini tang (large enough for his new home, a friend's 150g), 4 Nassarius snails, 2 Turbos, 6 small hermits, 3 cowries, and a peppermint shrimp. This tank has been established for about 18 months with no losses. I run an Aquaclear 110 (running Chemipure as well), and a seriously modified Coralife SuperSkimmer that draws half of a cup of the nastiest stuff every two days. I use RODI water, and change 15 to 20 gallons a week.  All reading on this tank are the same as the smaller tank, though it requires a bit more fiddling with the calcium and magnesium to maintain the desired levels.  I rely on water changes rather than supplementation as much as possible,<good> and the lighting is PC, about 5-6 watts per gallon.  So the question: I understand allelopathy, and do NOT wish to harm any of my wet friends, but is there a way to combine the tanks? <Well, it's always a risk... but there are things you can do to help things go as smoothly as possible. For example, for a few days/weeks prior to combining them, move water between the two tanks, take a few gallons from one tank and pour it in the other (a bit like when you pour something from one glass to another, back and forth, to mix a drink). This gives the animals a chance to "smell" each other before they're put in the same tank. Also, running extra activated carbon helps take out some of the allelopathic chemicals.> I am hoping I can re-home the Tomini so it does not harass the Angler, give away two of the "hairy mushrooms", as many of the ricotta as possible, as well as the Anthelia. I am very much hoping that I can combine what is left into the 55 gallon tank without causing chemical warfare. I would be willing to run Polyfilter full time or change 30 plus gallons a week, if it would make it work. <Activated carbon is likely the best for this.> I do understand that one should not mix softies and stonies, but I'm hoping my bioload would be low enough, and my water quality high enough to pull this off. <I would think so... at least you don't have any leather corals.> Please let me know what you think, and thank you so much for the time, effort, and energy that you all put into WWM and the new forum!! <With care and patience, you should be fine. But please don't be too disheartened if you lose something. Moves are hard on these things, and if some of your stonies are already under-par, one or a few of them might not make it. But you never know...> --CJ <Good luck! Sara M.>

Is it worth the move...If it makes you happy! 5/10/08 Hello Crew! <Hello Esther.> Thanks for all you do! I have read hundreds of pages on WWM and this site has always provided some sort of answer. <Great, thank you!> But I am looking for an opinion on a task that has not been answered, (as it pertains to my situation), in the "Moving Aquariums" pages and related links. I have not moved a tank that has owned inhabitants before, so sorry if this a real "tank-moving' newbie" question. <No problem.> Recently I have been on the kick of "less is more" and have eliminated all the junk from my house. <Heee, been there, done that.> This has left the wall that my 75 gallon resides next to bare. Because of the previous furniture and whatnot, the tank was positioned to the far end of the wall. Now that it is the only thing there, it looks off because of it's positioning and I would like to move it to center it with the wall. Here is my concern, I have only live rock and a skimmer for filtration, and I fear that dismantling the tank to move it a mere 2 feet will end up crashing my system. <Hmm, not if done properly/quickly.> I have read the moving pages to learn the process, and have many dedicated Rubbermaid tubs at my disposal, so I can keep all the rock, inverts and fish in the original tank water with heaters and power heads. In your opinion will the rearrangement and process of taking down the tank have adverse effects to the biological system? <Very little if any.> My tank has been great, the corals are multiplying and my fish are healthy and I don't want to ruin it all for 2 feet, but it really would showcase the tank more, and I am betting the most of you have moved more fish tanks than I have. <I have moved very many, much more in teardowns to change position or drill than anything. For the distance you are moving you should be able to do this quickly enough to suffer no ill effects. Just don't stop to go out to dinner in the middle of the move and you will be fine ?> -Esther <Happy reefing, Scott V.>

Can my Wet/Dry filter "hold its breath" 5/1/08 Will the bacterial colony living on the Bio-Balls in my wet/dry filter be damaged or reduced by being submerged for a few hours? <The bioballs will be fine so long as they are not in a sealed container.> It's a 50 gallon temperate marine tank (60 degree F) with five gallons of Bio-Balls, an AquaC Remora skimmer, 4' DSB, a bimac octopus, a bat star, and a red spotted sea anemone. My wet/dry is built into my tank and when the return pump turns off (during tank feeding or power failure) enough water slowly back-flows through the return pump to mostly fill the wet/dry and submerge the bio balls. I have a battery powered air pump that will run an airstone in the submerged wet/dry, and in the tank, during a power failure. <Good, oxygen in the water is what you need to keep your biofiltration alive.> How long could my wet/dry go submerged, with an airstone running, before suffering significant damage? <A few hours.> I could remove all the water, and Bio-Balls, and install a check valve, but I'd rather avoid that headache unless it is necessary to protect my bacterial colony. <You are better off having the bioballs submerged than drying out.> Thanks for all the great advice!! <Welcome, have fun, Scott V.>

On the move 04/28/2008 Hi crew, <<Hello, Andrew today>> I will be moving my +-200g reef setup and have a few question. <<Fire away>> Caroline (coralline sp.) algae on the glass, will this have any negative effects on the tank if it dies and is it better to scrap all that out first? <<No, no negative affects at all>> Can about 1" of the top layer of the sand from the DSB be taken to reseed the DSB or will it be better to just take 1 - 2 cups? <<Yes, sure. I would only use the top 1/2 inch. Personal preference there, suppose it depends on the current depth of the sandbed>> With the current DSB been cleaned and the, e.g. 1 cup of sand used to reseed the DSB is there a time period for the DSB to start working again? <<A bout a month to settle, engage in activity>> With my livestock of +- 30 fish my nitrates is going to rise, is there a procedure to prevent this other than water changes? <<Yes, there are products on the market, however, your best solution is to dilute. Water changes are a good procedure to use>> Thanks, Mohamed <<Thanks for the questions. A Nixon>>

Aquarium Moving Questions 4/27/08
 Hello, My name is Michael. <Hello, Scott V. here.> I currently have a 55 gallon saltwater aquarium that has been set up and run successfully for over two years. <Great!> Unfortunately, after much discussion, my family has decided that the aquarium must be moved from one room to another (a distance of only 35 feet). Its original spot simply gets too hot in the Summer due to bad ventilation and, because we live in the desert, we would like to move the system to reduce the stress put on our chiller. Currently, the room gets warm, the chiller turns on to cool the tank, the chiller's output of warm air makes the room hotter, and then the cycle continues. The new location is well ventilated and cool enough during the day to solve this problem. <Sounds like a worthy move, the ventilation will make a big difference.> I have spent the past few months reading everything I could regarding moving aquariums but still find myself with a few questions. <OK> I believe my main question relates to the live sand bed during the moving process. I currently have a 3 inch sand bed of fine aragonite sand. I have read multiple horror stories of attempts to lift an aquarium full of sand or of moving the sand and then having massive die offs of the creatures that reside in the lower layers of substrate. <This can be the case if done improperly.> I was wondering if, after draining and emptying the tank of everything except for the sand and perhaps a gallon of water, sliding the aquarium onto a solid board or a portable scissor lift would be an acceptable method of transportation. A local hardware rental store has a small, portable scissor lift with a surface equal in size to the footprint of my aquarium. Would adjusting the lift to the height of the stand, carefully sliding the drained tank (with only sand and a little water), and then reversing the process at the new location be safe? <The 'politically correct' part of me wants to tell you not to move the tank with anything in it! Fact of the matter is I have personally moved many (many) tanks in a manner similar to this. Keep it level and the perimeter constantly supported evenly and you will be fine.> Also, would the critters in the sand still experience a die off from the movement process? <Not if left undisturbed and moved fairly quickly.> I was hoping to leave the sandbed in tact but would be willing to perhaps replace the lower layers of sand or even get completely new sand if it would be safer. <No need to replace anything. At the most, remove the top inch or so and rinse/reuse the lower layers. I would also increase the depth at least an inch while you are at it.> Additionally, I wanted to take the moving opportunity to rearrange my equipment. My LFS has used a product called handi-foam (non-toxic) to mold and form a more natural looking backing on the rear panes of their aquariums. It seemed like a very ingenious idea and made their display tanks look much nicer. <It does add a nice texture. Keep in mind it will get covered in coralline (not bad thing) in time and is not easy to clean with the texture. Just be sure it is what you want.> They recommended not applying it directly to the inside of the back aquarium but instead applying it to a thin sheet of Plexiglas (sized to the dimensions of the aquarium's back pane) and then placing the Plexiglas in front of the glass. Basically, the glass and Plexiglas would sit directly on each other. <Smart, you will not be permanently committed this way.> Would there be any chance of detritus or waste forming or building up between the two layers? <Yes, this can be a concern. A little silicone between the layers will prevent this . The silicone will not adhere well to the plastic, making it removable in the future (although you will have silicone on the glass).> If I were to use clips or even underwater magnets to ensure a solid connection, are there any specific problems that may arise? <Hmm, no, this could work also. I would just opt for a better seal. Maybe even a double sided tape to adhere/seal around the perimeter.> Your site has helped me in countless ways since I started in this hobby. Thank you for your time and help, Mike. <You're welcome and thank you, it is a pleasure to help and serve where possible. Good luck, Scott V.>
Re: Aquarium Moving Questions 4/29/08
 Thank you for your quick response. <Welcome, happy to assist.> After some thought and research, I have decided to follow your suggestion of adding an inch of sand during the moving process. My nitrates have remained around 10ppm for the past year or so and a deep sand bed sounds very beneficial. Currently, I have 3 inches of medium grade aragonite sand (1-1.5mm). I was hoping to make the final inch of sand small, sugar grain sized aragonite sand (.5 to 1mm). <Sounds good, the different grades will eventually mix.> As you previously stated, I would save the top inch of live sand before moving the aquarium and place the lower 2 inches in a bucket to be washed (to ensure no die off when replaced), mixed with the new sand, and then replaced as the new lower layer of the sand bed. I would also ensure that most of the water I remove during the moving process could be returned back into the tank. Would cleaning the bottom layer and then adding the original top layer cause any sort of major tank cycle? <The sand bed will need to repopulate, but you should little if any at all ammonia/nitrite to deal with if you rinse the lower layers thoroughly.> I was hoping to simply break down and rebuild everything in one day but would be willing to quarantine the fish/inverts/corals in another tank if the main tank would require a major recycle. I would hate to lose anything during the moving process. <The potential die off in the sand bed is the issue, not actual tank cycle. Your sand bed only plays a role in filtration. You should have some other biofilter (ideally live rock) that can just transfer over and do the job.> Sorry if this has already been answered and thank you again for your time and help, Mike. <You're welcome Mike, again the move sounds worthwhile. Regards, Scott V.>

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>>

Changing Tanks 03/27/2008 I just have a quick questions, right now I have a 90 gallon fish only tank. I only have two small puffers and a lionfish in the tank right now, I have been lucky enough to be given a complete 125 setup, mostly cause this individual just upgraded to a 300 gallon tank, I'm very jealous but anyways, In my 90 gallon tank I have been battling with hair algae for about 4-5 months,. I have done everything to taking out the rock and scrubbing the algae off. My question is this I have about 100 lbs of live rock that I have cured in a separated container. Can I take the water from the cured rock, all water level are normal in there, and also take the water from the 90 gallon and move the fish into the new tank with causing a problem. I'm not going to move the rock or substance that is in the 90 gallon because I don't want to deal with the algae in the new tank. Or do I need to not use any water from the 90 and start fresh??? Or if you have any other ideas, that would be great, I'm just trying to minimize the time that I have two systems setup and I don't want to lose any fish or the tank to cycle again. Thanks in advance for your help <<I would use the water from the rock tub and the rest new saltwater. You don't mention anything about filtration on the new tank. Any new filter system put this tank will have to be cycled before you can add fish to it.>> <<On the algae plagued tank, getting to the source is the key as there is obviously something feeding the algae, whether it over feeding, high nutrient levels in the change water, bad lighting>> <<Hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Recycling old substrate, Moving Tanks 3/6/08 I'll start by saying thanks for all the effort put into the site. <Thanks for using it.> I currently have a 55g reef tank that has been running for 3 years and this is the first question I have had to send. The rest have always been answered through searching this site. <Excellent> With that said, I have read various postings that have a little conflicting info and wanted to clarify. I recently purchased a complete 150 setup and need advice on making the switch. My current setup has approx. 3" CaribSea AragAlive and around 80-90lbs LR., Remora skimmer and Eheim canister with livestock being a yellow tang, <will appreciate the new home> 2 ocellaris clowns, royal Gramma, engineer goby and Firefish goby, 2 BTAs (not on purpose, had a split and can't get the newby out yet), frogspawn, various mushrooms and polyps, Kenya tree, pulsing xenia and umbrella leather. I was told by my LFS that I could transfer all of the sand from the old tank and mix with the new and transfer the whole tank right then and that any cycling that occurred would be minimal and not affect the livestock with sufficient water change and monitoring. <Hard to say for sure, and a big risk. I'm a big fan of the slow, conservative approach.> Then I consulted your site and found some differing opinions. <This hobby was made for differences of opinion.> Some of the posts said take it all (barring excessive detritus and bad smell), some said take only the top inch or two and some said use only a small amount to seed the new tank as transferring all of the old sand will cause a big cycle of the new tank due to die off of organisms from different layers. <I would go with either of the latter options. I agree that taking all the sand will lead to problems with little benefit. As soon as the lower levels of the sand are exposed to oxygen rich water or air many of the organisms will be killed of. I would just take a fair amount of sand from the top inch or so and use it to seed the new sand bed.> I can only remove all the sand and deal with the cycling if I leave everything else in the old tank (engineer goby would stress with glass bottom only I would think). Can you clarify if one is better or just up to individual preference? <I think seeding the new tank, letting it cycle without the fish (should be pretty quick) is the way to go.> There is a lot of life in the old sand and I hate to lose it. <Can't be helped to some degree, but will reestablish itself in the new tank if allowed. Another benefit of letting the tank cycle without fish.> Once everything is out of the 55g tank I will use it for cycling 130 lbs of incoming LR. <I would use the new tank to do that with, keeping the fish in their normal home.> The second issue is with the refugium that came with the 150g. This was a used tank and the refuge has about 4-5" of mud that has been sitting submerged in stagnant water for about 3 weeks. <That is going to smell nice I bet.> I will remove the old water but wanted to know if the mud is still safe to use or should I clean it and start with new mud? <I would replace if economical, lots of dead stuff in there now I bet. I would come back but not before fueling a nice algae bloom.> Last question is regarding lighting. In searching for lighting I found some setups that are "generic" from China that are much cheaper ($600 for 3x250 HQI, 4x96w PC). Should I follow the "you get what you pay for" approach and steer clear of these? <I would be wary, especially if not UL listed. A few hundred dollars saved here could cost you your home, tank, everything.> Sorry for the lengthy post and hopefully I won't have to post again for another 3 years. <No problems, good luck with the new tank.> <Chris>

Moving a 120 Gallon Mixed Reef 1/12/2008 Hey guys, <Adam> I have a broad question about moving a 120 gallon reef that I may be purchasing. I currently have a 55 gallon reef tank with a couple of leathers, and LPS corals. A friend recently decided to sell his 120 gallon mixed reef tank (Mostly SPS and Zoos, as well as various fish). His tank has been up and stable for several years. Although it has been moved once, everything survived the move. I am having a hard time passing up the deal because I have wanted to upgrade the size of my tank as well as the lighting and I would be getting the full deal here for MUCH MUCH less than what he put into it. I have a few questions regarding moving the tank though. He has a DSB in the system now, how should this be handled in a movement such as this? Should we discard all the sand and opt for new? <If all can be moved "expediently", I would opt to leave it in place... Even if for practical reasons (mainly weight, everyone's backs) it needs to be removed... I would gingerly replace all and see how it resorts itself...> My thought on this was that I would be effectively getting rid of a lot of the biological filtration? But is it safe/wise to keep the existing sand after it being disturbed? <Might be... on both counts> Secondly regarding the combining of the two tanks. I have about 50-65 lbs of live rock in my 55 gallon that has been up and running for almost a year. It is all covered in different shades of coralline algae and I would like to add my rock into the larger tank. (there is approx. 120 lbs of live rock in his system.) I don't think this would pose a problem but I wanted a second opinion. <Should be no problem mixing> The last question I have is regarding the live stock. I have a small/medium yellow tang, as well as a few gobies, a lawnmower blenny, a cleaner shrimp, a pistol shrimp and a myriad of clean up crew animals. The 120 gallon houses a black cap Basslet, a cleaner shrimp, a bi-color dotty, scissor tail goby, purple tang, and a flame angel. Are there any issue with this combination? <Maybe a bit of initial "jousting" twixt the tangs, but all should mix here> I know the two tangs could possibly be an issue and I am prepared to watch and make adjustments as necessary but will the rest of the fish coexist? What would the best method of introduction be? <Maybe to "float" the Purple Tang in a plastic colander in the 55, place the rest of the "new" fishes in there as well... while the 120 is settling in for a few days...> We have our own ideas but I'd like a professional... or more experienced opinion on the this move/combining. Any extra insight would be much appreciated. Adam <This is about it... for how (little) awake I am presently. BobF in Houston>

Re: Moving a 120 Gallon Mixed Reef    01/13/2008 Bob, <Adam> Part of this movement problem that I failed to mention is that the 120 Gallon will be going in the spot that the 55 gal is. <Ahh!> (I guess In my excitement I left out some of the details) The plan was to wake up EARLY one morning and begin to break down the 55 gallon. The 55 gallon sump would serve as a holding tank, (with a heater, a Bio-wheel filter and a few power heads) as well as a 29 gallon tank that I normally use for mixing fresh salt water, these would be used to hold my livestock while we break down the 120 gallon and move it to my house. The 120 gallon tank is approximately 15 min from me, so breakdown and set up will be the most time critical. I will have back up salt water ready if needed during the move, in the form of 5 gallon buckets and such. So if possible should I try and keep the live stock out of the 120 gallon tank for a few days? <Mmm, not if this isn't practical...> My concern here is with some of the coral such as the Acros and Montis, if I place the corals and such in the 55 gallon I would be over crowding and with out an ability to hook a skimmer up couldn't this prove to be disastrous over the course of a few days? <Better to just be careful re moving all back into the 120> Should I place the corals into the 29gallon, without any other form of live stock and try to hook up a PC retrofit I have to provide light? <I would not> My other concern is under reduced lighting for several days would the corals go into photo shock upon re-introduction into the 120 under MH? Lastly while the tank is settling for a few days should I leave the lights off? <Too likely and no> If the idea at hand ends up not being feasible how detrimental could it be to reintroduce the live stock before settling? <The use of a mechanical filter, perhaps a borrowed/rented "Diatom" is encouraged> I pulled this off when I moved my 55 gallon twice before, but I did not have sensitive corals/fish such as the Acros and the angel. <These too are resilient when in good health> Another fish I failed to mention but I think may pose a problem is that he has a long nosed Hawkfish? In your book it states that they can be "great" hermit killers? <Mmm... really? Forcipiger? Am not so sure...> Should I exclude him from the new setup and let a friend or LFS have him? The current owner says he hasn't had a problem, but I know that fish can change attitude. <I don't think you will have a problem here> Last question because I know that this is probably getting long, but I am trying to plan as much as possible before execution. The 120 will be housed up stairs in my house for approx. 1 - 2 years, while I slowly refinish the basement. Once the Basement is finished it will house a 300 gallon marine tank and I plan to move the 120 gallon reef downstairs where they will both be in optimum placement. (I'm building a fish room into the basement, so that during water changes, maintenance etc. I do not have a looming shadow over my back also known as a wife, criticizing my every move and waiting for a drop of water to fall on her carpet. *chuckles*) Pending we can't move the DSB without disturbance, would it be better advised for me to replace the DSB with a 1-2 inch layer of sand/live sand to cut down on replacement cost before the final move downstairs? <Mmm... might be a good idea... if nothing else... you could re-add this 'old' substrate over time... cleaning/storing it in advance> (Once downstairs I will definitely want to go back to a DSB, I like the possible benefits and the aesthetics of it.) Will the 1 - 2" sand bed be enough for my gobies, brittle stars, Pistol shrimp, clams, snails, ect. to use in their endeavors? <Likely so> Thanks for all your input, Adam P.S. I'm about 1/2 through your book, and despite all the other books I've read, and the countless hours I spend on your site each week I am still learning new things. It's definitely a different approach than other books I've read, and much needed for people new to the hobby. Thanks again. <Much good help there, here... Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Moving a 120 Gallon Mixed Reef  2/23/08 Bob, <Adam> I just wanted to extend a thank you to you for your advice on the tank move. Despite my greatest efforts I did lose a quite a bit of two Montipora colonies, I trimmed back quite a bit and it seems to be doing good. I have three fish that have went AWOL on me, and I am not sure if they are still alive or not. (A Canary Fang Blenny, A pink and blue spotted goby that was paired with a pistol shrimp. The shrimp is still in the tank, I have not seen him but I have heard him clicking away a few times at night. <A good sign> Also a scissor tail goby that I have not seen since before the move.) Everything is doing ok, my alkalinity is still a little low, about 2meq/L (~100ppm?) and my calcium is at about 300ppm. I am trying to get my refugium up an running so that my PH will stabilize (between 8 and 8.1), but I have read many mixed opinions on mixing substrate. My plan for it was to breed pods as well as provide some natural food for my tangs and the angel (Along with the nitrate reduction done by the algae.) Maybe some green Ulva and some red Gracilaria. <Good choices> I have a 12lb bucket of Walt Smith's Fiji Mud that I wanted to mix with about 2 inches of Special Grade Sea Floor, for a total of about 4 inches of substrate. I have read in the forums and found some people saying it wasn't a bad idea but also found a question you had answered saying NOT to do this? Yay or Nay? <I say Yea> Thanks for all your advice again. Adam I included a few pictures of the tank that I took a few hours ago. <Very nice. Be patient re those missing gobies (and keep the top covered), and the settling in of your water chemistry... Bob Fenner>

Properly Storing Tanks And Equipment 1/5/08 I am breaking down a 90G, 55G, and 30G tank. I will not be using the tanks or equipment for a period of time, perhaps a year. Is it safe to store the equipment and tanks for that period of time without any ill effects? <Sure.> Do the glass aquariums have to be in a climate controlled environment? <If storing in freezing temperatures, let the tank acclimate to room temperature before adding water.> Is the equipment best stored in a clean dry container? <I would.> Is there any specific cleaning process to ensure the equipment doesn't rot or anything. It will be filters, protein skimmers, lights, heaters, etc. <I would clean and dry well before storing.> Is there any specific way to store my RO/DI unit? Should I remove all the filters before storing it? <The membrane in the RO unit should not be allowed to dry out. I'd probably want to store this in a sealed jar full of RO water and keep in a dark storage area. As for the RO filters, I'd discard and replace when you set up again, not that expensive.> Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated. I have a LOT of money invested and would hate to see it go to waste. <Do understand here.> Thank-you You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)

Upgrading to a Larger Tank 12/23/07 Greetings Crew, <Hello Mark.> I have been a regular reader of the website for many years. (I guess being addicted to WetWebMedia is better than some of the alternatives.) I appreciate all your insights and have learned a lot over the years. <This whole hobby, more a way of life, is addicting!> I have read the site thoroughly and have found a number of varying answers to questions about upgrading to a larger tank. I would like to get your take on the current thinking. My situation is a 10 year old 55 (18" tall x 15" deep x 48" long) gallon tank will be upgraded to a 70 gallon tank (18" tall x 24" deep x 48" long). I would prefer to let the new tank cycle before transferring the livestock BUT the new tank must go where the current tank is located. Also I want to use the live sand (5"+) and the live rock in the new tank and I really can't afford to buy new sand and live rock. Here is my current plan. I know it has risk but does it have a good possibility of a successful conclusion? 1. Transfer water in the existing tank to a 35 gallon Rubbermaid container so the existing tank and stand can be moved out of the way. 2. Move the existing tank and stand. 3. Set up new tank and stand. 4. Transfer fish to temporary holding bin (six line wrasse, a matched pair of percula, and a purple tang - all about 2" in length.) 5. Move sand with critters to new tank. 6. Transfer water from Rubbermaid container to new tank. 7. Transfer live rock to new tank. (live rock has 4 BTA all clones (the original has split 3 times) red mushrooms, various Zoanthus, anthelia, and a couple of leather corals (also clones) attached to it. 8. Transfer live stock to new tank. Given that the above is really my best option given my circumstances, this leads to a specific question. <Not only is it the best for your situation, it is the best way period! You are essentially taking your filtration to the new tank. No problems here.> Is it better to let the tank settle down for a few days OR add the 20 gallons of pre-made water immediately. <Add it at the same time.> I really would like to get your input on the above plan or what else I could do to increase the likelihood of success. <I would just suggest you be sure to keep the water temperature up while everything is between tanks and perhaps provide a little water circulation/aeration. All in all it sounds like a good plan. Have fun and congratulations on the upgrade, Scott V.> Mark Hill

Upgrading to new tank... moving... incl. livestk.  12/2/07
 Dear Bob & Crew - <Hello, Scott V. with you.> My son (and I) have a 55 gallon Marine FOWLR tank in his bedroom that's been established for right around a year now. It's amazing how, with a lot of your help, things settle down and become wonderful and stable after the initial settling in period -- we've had nothing but healthy and happy fish for almost 8 months now! <Great to hear.> But it's time for a change. The original tank had some scratches on the front glass that have become a magnet to and haven for algae, so for that reason we plan to upgrade to a 90 gallon tank in January (Same width & height, just deeper). <Nice step up, congratulations.> We only do water changes with water from the same source (fish store - R/O Reef Crystals) and we'll have 100 gallons of "new" water from that store available to us. Since we'd like the water in their existing tank to be as close to that as possible, I'm planning to double up on the water changes (from 10% a week to 10% twice a week) for the month prior. Does that sound reasonable? <Yes> Another thought was to take the 100 gallons of new water (2-50 gallon plastic trash cans with bag liners) and connect them in series with the existing tank a week before so that it is truly only one eco-system. Would that be of any real benefit in stress reduction? <This could be done, making the water the same between the tanks. I tend to be obsessive about consistent water parameters, so this is what I would do (it is overkill). Another option would be to use your existing water from your 55 and using new water to accommodate for the balance in the 90. This would be just like a big water change to fish (water quality wise anyway).> Beyond that, the old tank has to be pretty well drained in order to move the old tank out and the new tank in, so the inhabitants have to be moved twice. My only thought was to put a trash bag into the old tank and herd the fish in and then place that bag in a tub -- and then begin and old fashioned race to place the new tank, move the sand, add the additional sand & rocks, fill it and reintroduce the fish in minimum time? Any thoughts or links on how to do it better? <Simply netting them individually will likely be less stressful for you and the fish, personal preference. It sounds like you have a good plan. That is what it is all about here, planning and having your fish moved in a minimal amount of time. Be sure that any new rock is properly cured before introducing into your system. Have fun with your new tank, Scott V.>

 Downsizing from 110 gallons to 55 gallons. Moving Contents Of Existing System To A Smaller Tank...Still A Need To Cycle System And Acclimate Fishes -- 08/31/07
Hello guys/gals. <<Greetings>> First of all I would like to thank you all for this great site, the information I have found here has helped me and my sea critters so much. <<Good to know>> Here is the deal, I have a 110 gallon FO tank that I would like to take down and move all its residents into a 55 gallon. <<I see...gee...folks usually go the other way around [grin]>> The 110 houses 1 tomato clown, 1 blue devil, 1 snowflake eel, and a sailfin tang (plan on giving him up before the big move). <<Good...much too small a volume for the tang...and pretty much 'full-up' with the eel and the two very aggressive damsels you have>> Should I completely cycle the new tank or should I try to transfer every thing at once? <<My preference is to cycle the new system first. This can sometimes be greatly sped up by adding rock/substrate/water from the old system to supplement/seed the new>> It seems that way I would know all water parameters would be the same. <<Mmm, nope...just the act of handling and moving the rock and substrate and the subsequent disturbance of detritus and other sequestered elements along with die-off of some organisms/bacteria will affect water parameters/quality of the new system. Regardless of how you proceed, the fishes will need to be 'acclimated' to the smaller tank>> Any advice on what to do would be very helpful. <<You have my take on it. Regards, EricR>>
Re: Moving Contents Of Existing System To A Smaller Tank...Still A Need To Cycle System And Acclimate Fishes -- 08/31/07
Thanks a lot crew. <<Quite welcome>> This site is amazing and has saved more than a few pets. <<Ah, very redeeming to know...is our goal...along with preserving hobbyists/the hobby too! [grin]. Regards, EricR>>

Moving a DSB    8/25/07 Hi Guys! I'm setting up my FOWLR (no corals for now) and I want a DSB for nitrate reduction. Problem is, I will be moving this thing from Virginia to Colorado in 3 years when I graduate from vet school. I already have started planning for the move (I'll adopt out my fish to my parents whose salt tank I'm managing and I'll move the live rock and re-cycle upon arrival). <...sounds like a good plan.> I'm simplifying my life with no coral until after the move, but I just can't let go of the DSB. It's a 23-27 hour drive and I was wondering if you had any advice on the feasibility of moving a DSB. I can leave it in the tank (it's only a 29 gallon), so in theory I'd be able to move without exposing too much of the anaerobic areas. <Even a DSB in a 29g tank can be extremely heavy! (Trust me. I know, I have one.) That said, if you're personal friends with the Incredible Hulk and can manage to get it in your car and to its new location without breaking the tank; go for it. Of course, you should keep just enough water in the tank to keep it submerged. And you'll have to be careful to keep it from getting too hot/cold during the trip. Also, you might want to let it "cycle" for a few weeks at the new place. Even if you're really careful, you'll inevitably stir up some bacteria poo.> So, attempt to move the DSB or chuck it and start again (groan!)? <Even if you decide not to move it, don't pitch all of it. Carefully take out a chunk of it to use as seeder sand for your sand bed at the new place. And you could share the rest with local aquarists looking to seed or refresh their sand beds.> Thanks a bunch, and if you ever need the advice of a then-seasoned salt keeper with a DVM and an interest in fish, call me in 20 or 30 years! <You're going to make us wait that long?!> Casey <My pleasure, Sara M.>

Going from 75 g tank to 125  8/20/07 Hi Bob, <Neil> Fabulous website. <Doomo> I spent some time on your website looking for answers on steps to moving a current tank to a newer (larger) tank. <Exciting> This is my current situation: I have been running a 75 gallon FOWLR tank for just over a year. I recently bought a 125g. I am looking to keep the tank in the same spot as the current 75g. <Ah... the olde presto chango eh?> I know I will have to siphon the water out and move it into the 125g, but is there something that I am missing? Can I simply fill up the 125g with as much 75g water as possible and fill up the rest with ro water? <Mmm, I'd be using pre-mixed, stored...> I have 5 fish that I will also have to pull out. I was thinking about keeping them in a bucket with an air stone. What do you think? Is this too much of an exercise or should I simply start from zero with the new 125g? If I do that, I will have to find a temp new home for my livestock. I am looking to eventually add more sexy fish, such as a banded shark or blue-spotted ray. <Nah> Thanks for your help! Neil <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/movingaq.htm  and the linked files above, and elsewhere on WWM re the cartilaginous fishes care. Bob Fenner>

Migrating to larger tank  8/9/07 Hello crew, <Josh> This is my first time writing, however I have used this site as a resource for about a year - it's been fantastic! Thanks everyone for making this hobby a whole lot easier to swallow! <Welcome!> On to my question. I have a 30 gallon reef tank that has been fairly successful for about 9 months. I have recently purchased a 65 gallon AGA with a 15 gallon sump. I have finished my plumbing (using a SCWD for my sump return), added 35lbs of live rock to the tank, 40lbs aragonite substrate, and 20 lbs sand. I also moved in a 6-7lb rock from my already cycled tank. There is about 10lbs sand and 10lbs LR in the sump. I let that cycle for about 10 days and then added 3 green Chromis <Mmm...> 2 days ago, after a week in qt. This morning I awoke to find 2 of my Chromis have passed on, <Not surprising... the genus sometimes takes a beating in being moved> despite regular schooling and eating habits with all 3. My tests show up all normal (1.023, 0 nitrate, 0 ammonia, 0 phosphate, ~400 calcium, 79-81 degrees F) and I haven't seen any ammonia since before I added the Chromis. I appeared to have already cycled, but am not entirely sure. I am trying to figure out the cause of their demise, <Mmmm, "psychological stress" mostly> as well as asking advice on how to go about the transition from my smaller tank to my new larger one. Also, should I get more Chromis as I hear they do better in groups? <Given enough space, yes> I don't want to do that until I know the reason for the others deaths. In my 30 gallon I have a bicolor pseudo (giving to a friend due to his aggressive nature - looking forward to finally being able to catch him), a neon blue goby, a cleaner shrimp, snails/hermits, pearl bubble coral, lots of zoos, variety of xenias, and a green cup coral. There is also about 30-35lbs of cycled live rock still in there. How should I go about making the transition? I have a SeaClone 150 on the 30 gallon, that I will be moving to the new 15 gallon sump - and I do not want to buy another one, so the two tanks will have to share it for the moment. Should I slowly move the animals over? Should I move the rock first? All at once? <The rock first, all at once; the animals by least to more toxic... the Zoanthids last> Any advice on the procedure of moving all this life over would be great! I will be keeping the 30 gallon running for at least 6-8 weeks after the initial move to act as a larger qt tank for when I do get more fish for the larger tank; how much LR should I leave in it to act as a qt? <About five pounds> You guys are always an incredible help, thanks in advance, Josh <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Moving 20 gal to 55 Gal Thank you for the response. After much thought, I am leaning toward the standard 55 gallon aquarium instead of the 56 column. I agree that the surface area will be much more with the standard 55 gal, and there will be more swimming room for my fish. ( I do plan on adding a FEW carefully thought out fish.. I'm going to be patient and wait though). <Good traits, beh.> As far as moving the setup from the 20 gal high to the 55 gal, here is my plan (utilizing your suggestions, my thoughts, and other word of mouth suggestions..) First, fill the 55 gal tank w/ about 30 lbs of clean, <Thoroughly rinsed> sugar fine sand (or enough to make a 3/4 inch sand bed). Then, add the 35 gals of "new" saltwater. ( I will dechlorinate first, then add salt). Then, I will add about 5 lbs of live sand bought from the LFS. I will run the filters, heater, etc. for about 2-3 days.. ( I will have to plan on how to lower the intake so it reaches the water.. but that's another story.. I will figure this one out-- not worried about this). I will then add about 5 lbs of live rock (bought from store, cured, cleaned first). Then I will take the sand out of my current tank, add that to the mix. (while keeping the 10 lbs of live rock in the 20 gal.) Wait for 1-2 days. This should leave about 1in sand bed total. Then, remove in this order: live rock, filter (along w/ the media... so I will have 2 filters running on the 55gal tank), the fish, then the ornamental rocks. This process should all be done within a few hours max. I will of course acclimate the fish just like I am taking them home from a LFS. How does this plan sound? I have been reading re, asking questions to local fish store employees and friends, and have received different answers. Thank you once again for all your excellent help!!!!!!!!! It's much appreciated! E <Mmm, I would extend the time frame twixt setting up the new tank, adding a source of cycling microbes (e.g. with the LR) and testing to see if the system cycles... ahead of the movement of materials from the extant 20 gallon system. Bob Fenner>

Moving a glass tank into basement -- 07/18/07 Hi Crew I have been a big fan of your site for years now. Great job everyone, thank you for all your hard work. I have been planning my first saltwater aquarium for about a year and a half now. I final have figured on a 180 gal. glass tank (72x24x24) . After much debate on where in the house my wife would let me keep it, we have decide to put in in the basement as part of the rec-room. At first the living room sounded like a great spot, but with all the maintenance equipment being out of reach. the basement seems like a much better choice (concert floor, dedicated fish room and water supply. My question is, my basement stairs are the kind that go down half way and then does a 180 degree turn to go the rest of the way down. With a tank this big it would have to be turned on end to make the corner. Will this be a problem with a glass tank or would acrylic be a better choice because of this. I don't want to ruin a brand new tank . I have determined this is the biggest tank I can go, and have planned all my equipment and stocking plans around this size. Thanks for all your help! >>>Greetings Robert, Jim here. A glass tank is more than strong enough to stand up to this treatment...the limiting factor is the back muscles of the people moving it. A 55 gallon should be no problem, but be careful. Cheers Jim<<<
Re: Moving a 55 gallon glass tank.
 -- 07/19/07 Thanks Jim Thanks for the info. Unless am wrong on my math, I was wondering if a 180gal. tank would handle the same stress of being tipped on end to get it in my basement. Thanks again >>>No problem from the tanks' point of view, your back, legs and arms may say otherwise. I'd definitely go acrylic if you're planning in trying this. Glass tanks get very heavy, very quickly. Jim<<<

SW Aquarium Transfer   -- 06/19/07 Hello, ladies & gents, <Howdy> I am beginning a plan for this switch, and I read the info on http://www.wetwebmedia.com/movingaq.htm, but I think this will be a bit different, so this is what I'm planning, please point out any flaws you see or any thing you think would be better. I'm the guy with the 5" passer angel, the baby banded cat shark, dogface, and yellow tang. We are purchasing a 200 gal to replace the 80 gal, and it will be here in roughly a month. The hitch is that due to our house layout, it needs to go exactly where the 80 gallon sits. I have approx. 50 - 60 lbs of live rock. I'm thinking of making it as dim as possible, and placing the live rock in a 72 qt cooler (rinsed thoroughly), siphoning as much of the tank water into the cooler as it will hold, then placing the fish into the cooler as well. <Mmm... for how long? I would use another cooler or such to keep the fishes in... easier to move, remove them from. And I'd save more of the old water as well> I should be able to hook up the Fluval FX5 so that it runs in the cooler, theoretically aerating the water and preserving the bacteria and the biofiltration system. Then once all the live guys are out, using the gravel vac to remove the rest of the water and clean the substrate. Using a second cooler, I'll put the tank substrate in it, maybe trying to put an air pump on it to preserve the live bacteria there. At that point we can make the tank switch, getting the new one in place. I'm going to add another 100 lbs of substrate (which should replenish the dissolvables) and then add freshly mixed saltwater. <Pre-made and stored...> Our tap water is good, no nitrates or other undesirables, and is at approximately 78 degrees out of the faucet, <Wow!> and I use it for my 20% changes every week or so. Before we make this swap, I'll PH test it also, so that I can get it to the correct level. Right now the tank PH is about 8.2 and is stable. I'm thinking of trying to preserve as much of the original tank water as possible, perhaps using 5 gallon buckets or another 72 qt cooler to keep the new water % to around 50. My guess is that this transition is going to take 4 to 5 hours. At some point I am going to want to put the FX5 back on the tank for circulation of the new water. There will be a wet/dry system, too, but obviously it will take a while for the bio capacity of the wet/dry to be established. <Not long in this circumstance> I can put the protein skimmer on the tank as soon as the water level is up (Jebo 180) for aeration as well. The old substrate will be in the tank with the new substrate, and the new water will be at the proper mix and temperature (and dechlorinated) before it goes into the tank. How long would be a safe bet to keep the fish/live rock in the 72 qt cooler after removing the FX5? 5 minutes? An hour? <Hours> Would it be beneficial to add something like StressCoat to the water to ease the stress on the fish? <Mmm, I wouldn't> Is there a benefit to placing the fish & live rock in the same cooler, or should they be separate? <I'd separate... some advantages, dis- to both... but more if kept apart IMO/E> If this plan seems sound to you, please say so, but if you think there is a better way or improvements, please comment. I want to make this transition as smooth as possible for my babies. Thanks, Thomas <Sounds/reads good. BobF>

Tang Stressed From Move -- 6/09/07 Hi <Hello Tammy, Brenda here> Thanks in advance for any help you can give me. I have had a hep tang for 10.5 years, and he was seemingly doing quite well. We just moved and we had someone professionally come over to take down the tank at the old place and reset up at new. We have a 55 gallon tank with a clown, two damsels, an urchin, a chocolate chip star and the tang. ALL of them have been with us for 10.5 years or longer. <A 55 gallon is a bit small for a tang.> Before the move the pro said he noticed the tang was swimming in circles (I hadn't noticed it but...) and then after the move, it was lying on its side at the top of the tank. It looks majorly stressed. He said he thought it might have taken on air and that it would pass....sooooo sad, I hate to see it like this. It did move from the top of the tank to the rocks overnight but it is basically lying upside down now, constantly trying to right itself. What would you suggest? I'll do anything to try to help it thru this, I'm really sad about it. <Closely monitor your water parameters. Your system has been disrupted from the move. Be prepared for water changes.> THANK YOU (The stressed tang, thanks you too) Tammy <You're welcome! Brenda>

I Need To Drain And Drill My Tank...Please Critique My Plan -- 05/25/07 Hi crew! <<Cheers Glen!>> I have been madly studying all the articles and FAQs and I am learning a tremendous amount. <<Excellent>> I am driving my wife mad, she thinks I have turned into an aquatic lunatic. <<And this is bad how?  [grin]>> But I am happy. <<Ahh...well then...>> We recently bought a 6x2x2.5 (200g?) <<A bit more (224), but close enough>> tank with HOT skimmer (AKS SK100 http://www.aquariumsrus.com.au/filters/skimmer.htm).  I have 100kg of base rock and 20kg of live rock cycling with 9000lph of circulation on a 1" sand bed, Ammonia has gone back to zero, but Nitrites are still at 2ppm. <<A bit more cycling to do then>> The cycle was hastened by the addition of some colonized bio-noodles from the LFS.  A few creatures are emerging from the LR, which is wonderful: a little brown crab, some segmented worms, 2 anemones and some dark green algae. <<Do be cautious of the crab (would remove were this my tank), and the 'anemones' are likely Aiptasia or Anemonia majano and best to control at this early stage.  Do peruse/search/read on our site re these organisms>> The LR had only been at the LFS for 1 day, but I didn't mind, as I had no livestock in the tank. <<Indeed...I like to obtain my rock 'fresh' as well for the added benefit of 'extra' organisms one will usually obtain...though this also means keeping an eye out and dealing with the 'undesirables'>> I have been looking at gravity feeding my 3' sump with an overflow box, but I have to get a custom one due to the top bracing in my tank. <<Mmm, yes...I once had a custom 'Euro-braced' tank that presented the same issues.  My solution was to modify the bracing at the location of the overflow>> When I was talking to the Aquarium and glass people here in Brisbane (AquariumsRus), they mentioned that would come and drill the tank if it was empty. <<A better solution...>> I would much prefer a drilled tank over an overflow, but I am not willing to dump 850 litres of salt water, the salt is expensive and I just put it in there 2 weeks ago! <<Understood...and no need to 'dump' this water>> Nitrates are only ~10ppm.  Would you be so kind as to peruse my plan and suggest improvements or outline silliness? <<Gladly>> 1) I will unload all the base rock and LR into big tubs and clean plastic bins 2) Circulate and aerate the tubs after filling with tank water 3) Siphon out 1" sand substrate (after battling with sand storms I have decided to go 7" DSB in sump and BBT in Display) 4) Get glazier to drill 2 x 1.5" holes in the base of the tank, one in each back corner 5) Install 1"bulkhead fittings into the new holes (with 100% silicone sealant) 6) Attach 27" high PVC tube risers to the bulkhead fittings to set water height in the tank (3" from tank top?) <<You can this...though I would consider installing sealed overflow towers around the standpipes/risers to prevent draining the tank in the event of a problem with a bulkhead fitting>> 7) I am considering NOT drilling the back of the tank and have the return water come in over the top at the back via 1" PVC <<Not sure I understand this sentence.  Are you saying you won't consider drilling the back panel (my preference over 'bottom drilled' tanks) for the throughputs as opposed to drilling the bottom?>> 8) Install base rock and LR back in the tank, pump water back in 9) Monitor possible re-cycle from LR disturbance? <<Yes>> Some peripheral questions if I may? <<Of course...>> 1) Are glass weirs required in the above solution? <<Not 'required'...depends much on the installation...but do 'suggest' them in this instance>> I think I have seen PVC tubes used in the LFS from holes in the bottom of tanks. <<Indeed...have even set up such systems myself>> 2) Will the ceramic bio-noodles function well at the bottom of my sump DSB for NNR or should I just keep them underwater in the sump? <<Honestly, once the tank cycles I would remove these altogether...though if you wish to leave them in the sump (but not under the sand) this too is fine>> 3) How long will the LR survive in the tubs while the silicone cures?  The silicone says 7 days!? <<You are just using the silicone to 'seat' the bulkhead fittings as described on our site, yes?  No need to wait 7-days for the silicone to completely cure...give it 24-hrs to 'set up' and you can return the rock/water to the tank>> Thanks very much for your input and advice. Glen Hendry Brisbane, Australia <<Is a pleasure to share.  Eric Russell...Columbia, South Carolina>>

Tank Moving 5/11/07 Hello again, <Hello Gary.> I will start with the same comment I always make when writing you guys.....THANKS!!!  This site has always been more than helpful with your articles and answers to questions. Ok, I am moving...and am NOT looking forward to moving my tanks.  I have 40gal FO and a 30gal coral only tanks.  The FO tank I am not too worried about, the puffer and wrasse are VERY hardy and can carry that tank with about 10gal water in it saving 20 more gallons in bottles to put back in at the new house, only needing 10 gal of new water after arrival.  I will put the fish into some plastic shipping bags for the 10 mile trip and reacclimate slowly.  That all sounds ok, yes? <Yes.> As for the 30gal coral tank I am a bit more worried.  The tank has been established for 5 years and has a plenum.  I only have a week to get into the new house.  I have a 10 gal that I will setup with old water from the 30gal tank and bring most of the larger corals over in plastic bags leaving them sit in the 10 gal till the 30gal is brought over (with pumps on).  As you know with aged coral tanks, there are a million things growing and I don't want to lose too much of it.  I am worried that carrying the tank down stairs and into a SUV for the 10 mile trip will mix up the plenum and cause all kinds of stuff to be released.  ANY SUGGESTIONS?  And yes I do feel fortunate that it is only 30gal and not 50-120gal. Any help, hints, tricks are appreciated, thanks again, <Gary, do read here for helpful info.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i6/Moving.htm Also search our site for FAQ's on subject. James (Salty Dog)> Steve

Re: First Marine Tank - compatibility of the current fish with those that we would like to buy. Buying and moving complete setup - 4/28/07   5/10/07 Thank you very much for your reply below <Thanks for including previous note to jog our memory!> - we've now bought the tank which came with 2 yellow tailed damsels and a Firefish. <Good for you!> The maroon clown was sold separate by the previous owner. Setup of the tank went extremely well, though I've got to say I never realised the weight of such a tank, or even the weight of a 23ltr jerry can full of water! <Unbelievable, isn't it!!> But we got it all back together within a few hours and got the fish back in as soon as possible too. They even ate this morning when we fed them which is great! <Yeah! Happy fish!> We've had the tank up since yesterday and testing today showed pH at 8.2, ammonia at 0, nitrites at 0 and nitrates at 20ppm. All excellent values except the last, is this because of moving the tank?   <Excellent that you are not seeing any ammonia and nitrites, that means you didn't lose too many of your good bacteria in the move.  Maybe the nitrates were a little high before the move?  20 ppm is not terrible for a fish only tank, but as lightly stocked as it is and has been, it is a little surprising that it is this high.> We're planning on adding the yellow tang and flame angel fish in about a month thanks to your previous advice. <Do invest in a quarantine tank.  If it saves one batch of fish in the main tank, it will pay for itself.> We are also now considering an anemone and a Percula (or Ocellaris) pair. We understand that anemone need particular conditions and we were wondering if ours were suitable. <You are asking yourself all the right questions!  Keep researching.  A good place to read and the links in blue about lighting: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm > The system is a ~100 (us) gallon tank, with a 3ft miracle mud/Caulerpa sump, 2x 150watt halide + 4 blues. Flow is from 2x 4,500 ltr per hour fans and then the return from the sump. So I guess our questions are: Should the nitrates return to 0 with a little time, or do we need to take action now? <Give the refugium and live rock some time to work their magic.  Do consider adding a deeper sand bed, maybe seed some from another established zero nitrate tank, to allow for additional opportunities for denitrification.  And of course do some extra water changing for a while and help bring the nitrates down.  You should have a good bit of detritus settling after the move anyway that you will want to vacuum out.> Is the light and flow sufficient for an anemone? <Depending on the wattage of the 'blues', you may be ok.  You want 5-6 watts per gallon.  If the blues are 65 W each, then you are in the right range.  You may want to replace at least 2 of the blues with 10,000k daylights to get a more effective spectrum.  And you have a variety of heights and positions to allow for choice of light exposure. Flow seems reasonable depending on sump return rate.> Are the damsels going to be a problem with the anemone/clowns? <No, they should be fine, in this size tank.  Damsels can be territorial, and clowns also, but their territories are small relative to this size tank.> Thanks once again for your help! Geoff. <You are welcome!  Alex>

Moving BIG Tanks    5/3/07 Ok, now you can start a whole new section on your website for me.... "Moving Fishtanks 101". <Okay> So I've moved my 90 gallon tank several times, no problem there.  How does one go about moving a 200gallon tank that is likely around 300# of glass? <More planning, friends...> I'm not sure if the movers will take it or will be equipped to take it.  Ultimately, if the thing was dropped or damaged, I'd have a lot of critters homeless and would take about 8 weeks to get one built. <If you would rather... and have the money, there are likely aquarium service companies about that will move it all for you...> That aside... my real question is, if I clean out my ShopVac, get a new filtre... is there anything wrong with ShopVac'ing out my 200lbs of sand? <Nope... we/ our service co., used to use these... the "top" of the vac actually fits quite well on a regular "pickle bucket"...> I'm just thinking it's gonna be a real pain to get that tank sand free if I don't vacuum it out.  Just rinse it really good when I go to put it back in? <Yes... Bob Fenner> David Brynlund

Tank Moving and Cycling -- 5/1/07 Hi ya'll!! Love the site! <Hey there! Thanks!> I'm a newbie to saltwater and am asking this question for more for my own edification than anything else. <ok> I just mixed water and salt mix in my 75 gallon tank.  I added 60lbs of live sand and 72lbs of live rock.  Within 24 hours of doing this, I had a tank-filter hose leak bad enough where I had to break down the tank, move it, pull up the carpet / padding and have to have the carpet pad replaced and the carpet replaced. <Eeek!  That's not fun.> My questions are (1) now that I've setup the tank in a temporary location, I'm presuming that I will use the test kit to determine if the cycle has finished and perform a water change as needed to get the levels down just like it were in it's original spot? <Yes.  When your ammonia and nitrites are back down to zero, it is cycled. If they do not rise much, you may want to add a tiny bit of fish food to get it going. If it is well cured live rock, you may not see any cycle, and readings will stay at zero. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm > (2) When I get ready to move the tank back it's original position, will it need to recycle b/c the live rock will exposed to air, albeit a short time, again b/c of the breakdown process? <No.  If you just remove it all to containers while you move the tank and setup, you should not have any appreciable loss of bacteria.  Don't leave the rock out of water, just set it in the containers of water.  Buy some Rubbermaid stock if you are planning on being in this hobby for long -- we keep them in business.  Hee!> Is there anything else that I need to worry about or can do to take preventative measure - or am I just extending the time before I can get fish and inverts by doing another move? <This should not slow you down.  It is just very inconvenient.> Many thanks in advance! <Welcome. Alex>

Buying and moving complete setup - 4/28/07 Hi, <Hello> We are buying a complete established tank setup including fish: HYPERLINK http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=006&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&viewitem=&item=160109784398&rd=1&rd=1 First of all does the current setup look ok? We are new to the hobby, and advice is appreciated. <As far as I can tell, this does look like a nice setup.  I would add more substrate.  There is some algae on the rocks that might give you a little trouble, but the fish you are looking at might help with it also. I was going to worry about the butterfly, but then I saw that it was not included.> We are very interested in adding a yellow tang, flame angelfish and a coral beauty angelfish. <You probably need to pick only one of these angelfish.  Multiple Centropyge species do not usually get along in this size tank.> It seems that the maroon clownfish may not be compatible with these, is this correct? <The maroon clownfish should be fine with these.  They just do not get along with other clownfish.  I have this same mix, and they are fine (yellow tang, maroon clownfish, and flame angel, yellow tailed damsel). If so we would probably give the clown to our LFS. <Keep her unless you want a different kind of clown.> Are there any other incompatibilities with the existing fish and those we'd like to add, or any other problems? <This should work.  Just keep reading, and learning.> We will be adding the new fish about 3 weeks after getting the existing tank and fish. <This may be fine, but be prepared to wait longer in case of any trouble settling back in.> Finally, once we've transported everything (taking water too), how long after putting the water back into the tank should we wait before re-introducing the existing fish? <If you are moving water and everything, then the sooner you get them back in the better.  The longer they are separated, the more differences you will have in temperature, pH, etc.  If you put it all back together quickly, things don't have as much time to get askew.  A little cloudy water is not a problem for the fish, but extreme temperatures, lack of oxygen, and pH drops are problems.  Stock up on plastic tubs!  Rocks and water are heavy!! Read here and links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i6/Moving.htm> Many thanks for your help and your excellent website! Regards, Geoff Hannam. <You are welcome.  And Enjoy! Alex>

Moving a live saltwater tank   4/11/07 Hello crew, <Hi there! Jorie here> long <Long - please use sentence case when writing in to us, otherwise someone on this end has to re-type for publishing purposes...I'll fix your message this time, as it's relatively short, but next time (and if you get another crew member), your query will likely be returned for you to do this...> time follower of your site. 3 years successful because of you guys. <That's great to hear - and don't forget to give yourself some credit here!> After having a 3 year 40 gal tank with a clown percula, coral beauty, and royal Gramma, along with 50 lbs of great live rock, Fiji pink live sand and flourishing soft corals, I am in a situation that I have to move. Unfortunately, the house I am selling must be fumigated and I have currently sold my tank with all of its live stock. the person who is buying it lives an hour to an hour in a half away. What is your best recommendation on doing this <Lots and lots of 20 gal. "Tupperware/"Rubbermaid" type containers. I'd suggest taking 1/2 of the water with you, the rock, at least some of the substrate, and obviously, the livestock. A general word of caution - don't overload the containers, as they get quite heavy. When my boyfriend and I made a similar move, we ended up with almost 10 of these types of containers to move a 46 gal. SW tank, a 29 gal. BW tank, and a 44 gal. FW tank. It is a lot of work, but it can be done.> I also am using an Eheim Pro 2 canister as back up and have a Bak Pak reef skimmer. I propose to double bag each fish separately with tank water and add liverock with soft corals attached in Rubbermaid containers. <We actually moved the fish in their own Rubbermaid container, but the double-bagging should also work. Just make sure that the bags are large enough to accommodate the waste that will likely occur...> The live sand will be in buckets along with critters with tank water just over the top slightly. <Sounds good.> The Eheim filters are always clean, so I will totally clean it as the live rock is the majority of the filtering and of course the skimmer will be cleaned as well. <Makes sense.> What are your opinions? <I think your plan should work fine. The only thing you haven't mentioned is heating and aeration of the Rubbermaid containers just prior to and just after the move - just as a precaution, you may want to throw one heater and one powerhead in each container, obviously to be turned off during the move itself.> Of course I will not feed the fish for 2 days before I send them of on the 1 1/2 hour journey. <Also a wise idea.> Thanks for your input. <Sounds like you have this well thought out. Best of luck, Jorie>

New 90 gallon...with or without fish?  -- 03/09/07 Hi guys: <Amy, what's it all a boot?> I have a question and could really use some advice.  I have just come across a really good deal for a new (to me) 90 gallon setup.  He is offering everything to me for a really good price, and throwing in the fish for free (Scopas tang, maroon clown, 5 Chromis and a small purple lobster). Plus 70 pounds live rock and sand. <Keep your eye on that tropical lobster... can be predaceous> The problem I have is that I hadn't planned to actually set up the new tank until we are able to get our living room painted, which will take a week or two.  I had planned on putting the live rock into a large Rubbermaid container with filter, lights, powerheads, skimmer  and heater until I was ready to put it into the tank.   So my question is...can I do this with the fish too?  I won't be able to bring a lot of the original water with me, as the deal I'm getting is 3 hours away, across the border  and I don't have much more room in my van for more containers.  Would this be feasible...and what would be the best way to make the fish most "comfortable" with their new temporary home? <Mmm... a bunch to state... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/movingaq.htm and the linked files above... make a tools and materials list... steps to completion... Plan> I'm not getting the new tank for another week, so if you think this would work, I would go out right away and set up the temporary tank.  I would take the filter off of my 29 gallon and do a large water change to fill up the tub with established water.  I could even take some of the substrate from there to go in the tub if needed, along with a couple small pieces of rock.  I also have an established though fishless 10 gallon that I could put somebody into.  Which one or two  would be most comfortable in there short-term? <I would use the larger volume... the first choice> In my 29 gallon, I have an ocellaris clown, royal Gramma, Firefish and cleaner shrimp, <This may have issues with/from the lobster...> so I suppose someone could go in there temporarily but I'm worried I wouldn't be able to get it out again without removing the live rock. <I would plan on carefully removing this, separating the livestock, then re-placing it> Plus, I would only be housing the tang and clown for a couple of days until I could trade them to an LFS that is an hour away (opposite direction from where I'm getting the new tank). Any advice would be appreciated  If you do think the idea won't work, the guy will just transfer the fish to  his other tank until he can give them to someone else, but I'd rather not pass up such a great deal. Thanks so much! Amy in Canada <Can be made to work... read, plan... execute against the plan... Bob Fenner>
Re: new 90 gallon...with or without fish?  -- 03/09/07
I appreciate the response, Bob. <Welcome> I decided to leave the tang, maroon and lobster and just bring home the 5 Chromis.  So I will set them up in their temporary Rubbermaid home for a couple of weeks until the big tank's ready. <Sounds good> Your website is the first place I go for advice...it's given me a lot of insight into how to properly care for the creatures under my care. Thanks, Amy <A pleasure to aid your successes. Bob Fenner>

Upgrading tanks and related Q's 1/23/07 Thanks for such a great site!   <Thanks for the accolades! Wouldn't be here without folks like you.> I have a few fairly stupid questions about moving tanks.   <Moving tanks can be scary, so I understand/applaud you covering your bases!> I have read through the FAQs, but feel free to forward me to a site if I'm asking stuff that's already there!  <Oh, I will.> We are upgrading a 90 gallon reef to a 240 reef.   <I love going bigger...> The new tank is going in a different spot from the old one and we are not in a hurry, so that will hopefully make things a bit easier.  Here is the plan so far......place a new deep sand bed in the new tank and a small amount of new live rock (40#).   <That *is* a small amount. is that because you plan to utilize the rock from the 90?> After the tank has cycled, add a school of Chromis and allow the tank to settle for awhile (2 weeks, month, longer??).   <How long do you have? After cycling is complete, and you add the Chromis, 2 - 4 weeks is a good observation period. If you have longer, you can only gain if you wait a little longer. > Then, we would start moving the livestock to the new tank. Livestock consists of: 1--6" Naso tang 1--3" yellow tang 2--2" Sebae clowns 1--2" Mandarin 2 cleaner shrimp 1 peppermint shrimp 2 green crabs 1 sally light foot crab numerous hermit crabs, snails, etc. 1--3" sand sifting starfish hammer coral frog spawn coral bubble coral star polyps Heliofungia torch coral mushroom feather duster Now on to the stupid questions: <Goody, goody!> <<You're cracking me up Graham. RMF>> 1.  I know that I put several cups from my established DSB into the new sandbed to seed it.   Should that be taken from only the surface or from all levels of the sandbed?  Do I need to worry about release of toxins to the fish still living in the 90 gallon when I disturb the DSB?  I hate to lose the established DSB (and kill all those little critters) in the 90, but I can't think of a way to transfer it to the new tank without releasing toxins into the 90 while the fish are still living there. <Here's a link that also links to some other good reads. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dsbmaint.htm If you use a toolbar that can keyword search for you, then you can try looking for toxin(s), gas, etc. For the most part, "seeding" a DSB is marginally successful, and creates as much or more die-off as moving "established" bacteria to the new sand bed. All I mean here, is that you don't get a fast-track to DSB NNR with the seeding, just faster cycling, and the probable migration of beneficial life forms.> 2.  Should the fuge be moved to the new tank from the start to begin establishing pods in the liverock or should it remain on the 90 gallon to supply food to the mandarin before the move? <The latter, as I would be concerned for the life forms if the new system spikes.> I'm guessing the 90 gallon since the 240 will not have anything preying on pods initially. <Bingo.> 3.  Would our 4' lighting be adequate lighting for the new 6' tank?  The darker edges of the tank could house coral specimens requiring less direct light. <That is true, and I would probably agree with you here without even knowing what kind of lighting you employ. It will be a little awkward, to be fair. You might not enjoy the darker areas, but, you may at that.> 4.  Can all fish, remaining live rock, and inverts then be moved at one time or should this be spread out over several days/weeks?  The fish all get along very well and I am worried that in moving, the two tangs may develop aggression toward each other.  The two tangs are inseparable in the 90 and we want that to continue so I was worried to not move them simultaneously. <Move the tangs together. In most cases, they will retain their bond, but you may not see it for a while. Keeping the livestock secure in the old system while moving each specimen one by one has it's own problems, and is a hard call to make. On the one hand, the fish staying in the system keep getting stressed as you remove livestock and rock. On the other hand, you have fingers! ...That is to say, er, moving them all at once may be hard to keep track of and observe reactions. Go with your gut is what I say.> 5.  Should I keep the new tank with less water and then move some of the water from the 90 to the new 240 when the fish move? <Here's another good read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/movingaq.htm look for the section on keeping old water to lessen shock.> 6.  Unrelated to moving questions.....is a school of 9 Chromis too much fish for a 240 with the other inhabitants?   <Maybe a little, as they do get large... how about 3-5 instead?> We do not plan on adding anymore fish after the move and would like a "lightly" stocked tank in terms of fish. < I reiterate: 3-5 specimens.> 7.  Are we giving the Naso a fair chance at life with a 240 or is this still way too small? <If you are talking about Naso lituratus, it depends on who you ask. If you ask the "Burgess's Atlas", then you need 500L (130+/-gal), but I think an eighteen inch fish is pretty large for a 130, or even a 500gal. I guess it depends on how fast he grows, and whether you have a LFS to trade him to if he does outgrow your system.> 8.  I have read numerous different opinions on sand sifting starfish (Asteroidea sp. maybe?). Opinions seem to range from easy to care for to very difficult.   <As they are usually based on experience, you can understand this...> Also, I have read they are beneficial to clean the sandbed <Yes.> to detrimental from eating too much from the sandbed. <Mmm... beyond my experience here, sorry. Stars in general aren't hard to catch if you have a problem with them, so if you've done some reading and think it's a good choice, just make sure you LFS will trade it in if you have a problem. I don't foresee one, but I'm not hugely experienced with many different stars.> Any opinions? <Um... sort of, above.> Thanks, and my apologies if I'm asking things that I missed in the archives. <No, and that is a common misconception that crewers think posters "missed" something. Any of the many times I link to a page here, I do so because I know how hard it can be to think of the right search criteria for Google to act on. In many cases, I can remember reading what you are asking, or I just know it's here, and where to look for it. Of course, there are some posters who just take the shortcut and send a message, typos and all (...And we KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!! ;) and I *do* appreciate the effort you put into writing a well-prepared query. -GrahamT> MLF

Tank upsizing Q's (And why we use spell-check B4 sending 1/15/07 Hey <Horsey?> guys, <Howdy, Mahendra! Graham T. with you today.> I have a question. <Then I opened the right message! (sorry, I'm a little odd today) > I have a 60 gallon reef (18 months) and I just bought a 100 gallon tank. <Well, at least you paid for it...> My question is: can I move everything I have in my 60 gallon into my 100 gallon. <Yup. Why would you think you couldn't?> I will use the same live sand and the same 25 gallon refugium. The rest of the water I will top of with (100-60)=40 gallons of premixed saltwater (aged over two weeks). <Sounds like a perfect plan to me!> The 100 gallon tank has already been disinfected <?> and cleaned. Any advice? <Just make sure you have lots of buckets, and a means to keep your creatures comfortable between tanks. Make sure your plan is all laid out before you take action, since you might end up stuck with a problem while you water is cooling fast.> Thanks guys - you have helped me a lot during my journey of perfecting my hobby. Keep up the good work. <You are welcome, Mahendra, but I would like to mention something that (unfortunately) is on the daily FAQs frequently in a week. I corrected more than twenty spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors before sending this back to you. While some of us don't mind terribly on a short message, it is ALWAYS tedious and, yup: annoying to have to capitalize your pronouns and put spaces after every comma, period or similar mark. Please try to consider the volume of emails we get in a day and decide if you would want to fix them all manually? -Graham T.>

Moving Aquarium  11/12/06 Hi, <Hello> I'm moving my aquarium and wet-dry filter to a different location and was wondering which would be better;   a) should I immerse the bio balls in a container filled with the  aquarium water, or b) should I put the bio balls in a small quantity of aquarium water and cover the container with a wet cloth. Which would let the bacteria last longer? Thanks, Rich Aylward <If the move is an hour or two maximum, submersing is the route I would go... if much longer... just the moist cloth. Bob Fenner>

SW Tank transfer question   10/4/06 Hello, This is my first time emailing you a question, however I have been using this website for quite a while for information. Here is my problem.  I am doing a fish tank transfer.  I currently have a 40 gallon hexagon tank with 20 pounds of live rock and 15 pounds live sand.  I don't have any special lighting.  For fish I have a dwarf lion, emerald green Coris, and a bi color goat.  I also have around 5 crabs, and three snails.  For filtration I have a bio wheel hang on the back filter with a bag of Chemi Pure in it and an Eheim canister filter with a UV sterilizer on the return.   Here is where it gets sticky.  I just bought a 60 gallon tank and am planning on putting it in the same spot where the hexagon is now.  I am going to do a refugium under the new tank and keep my Eheim canister filter with UV sterilizer and use them on my new tank also.   How should I do this transfer? <Mmm, I'll refer you to our "general" marine aquarium system Article/FAQs, but more specifically... I would double-check to make sure all the new 60 gallon system gear was on hand, including new substrate/s pre-washed and ready... drain most all the water out of the forty five, remove the rock there (watch out for that dwarf Lion!), and with a strong friend, carefully lift all and move over a few feet out of the way (leave the Eheim going, maybe re-add some of the old water)... set up the sixty, add water, adjust temp., spg... leaving a gap for the old water, substrates displacement... and move all (one fish at a time, natch) over to the new system>   I was planning on keeping all my water from my 40 and all my live rock and sand and putting it in the new tank in same spot as my 40 is now, while my fish were in a 5 gallon bucket of water from my old tank. <I would leave them in the 45 while waiting... less moves the better> I was then going to top off the 60 with new water and let the temperature stabilized and then put my fish back in.  Would this work? <Better to do all within a few hours... adjust the temp. just close with buckets of water...>   I really don't have room to have both tanks running at the same time.  I am terrified of losing these fish as we have become attached to them.  Also do you have an in sump pump recommendation for my refugium? <Posted on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/refugpumpfaqs.htm> I need something that is quiet because it is going to be in our living room.  My new tank has two one inch bulk heads in a built in overflow. Thank you! Jeremy <Here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/movingaq.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Tank Transfer Question 10/4/06 Thank you very much for the quick response and information. <Welcome on Bob's behalf.  Chris here taking over to save Bob a little time.><Yay! RMF>  When setting up the refugium in my new tank is there going to be a cycle period for it? <Yes, but small.>  I am planning on putting in a thick sand bed with Caulerpa.  Also I am planning on putting more live sand in my new tank along with the live sand already in my old tank.  Does the new sand also need to cycle?  <Will be some die off, so a small cycle may be noticed.> I was thinking about setting up my refugium maybe a couple of weeks ahead with just a powerhead inside to circulate the water and do some water changes on it, I could put the live sand in a bucket with a powerhead for a while if need be also. <Sounds like a good plan.>   One last question, the people at my local fish store told me to clean my new tank (I bought it used from someone) with highly concentrated saltwater.  Is this a good idea?  Thank you again for the info, you are very generous to share your  knowledge with us rookies. Jeremy <Better to clean it with a mild bleach solution or vinegar followed by thorough rinsing.> <Chris>

Moving...   8/23/06 I currently have a 29 Gallon fish/invert only tank. In two weeks I'm moving to a new place, so I've been looking up how to transport my tank. Today my   girlfriend bought a 55 gallon complete with wet/dry system, protein  skimmer, a lighting system that could light up Candlestick Park, <Heeee!> and many extras  for a $100.00 (last time I ever complain about her going to garage sales again). <I'll say!>   Now my moving the tank task just got more complicated. <Mmm, actually easier... setting up the new tank... move all livestock to it> I have about 3-4" of live sand in my current tank, with a Penguin Bio-wheel 350 filter and about 30 lbs of  live rock. I can't take both tanks to the new place, I have to get rid of the  29G one. I was wondering if I could use the filter from the 29G while I'm  waiting for the wet-dry to cycle? <Yes> I was planning on transferring the water from  one tank into another, then buying the rest of the water from a local pet shop.  Any help would be greatly appreciated. Chris V <Mmm, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/movingaq.htm and the linked files above. Formulate a plan, gather the tools, materials... get some friends to help... and you're done! Bob Fenner>

Getting new carpet... Mmm, so are we... Moving SW system    8/7/06 Hi there,     You have helped me in the past and I appreciate it, and I need your advice again.  In short I have a 55 gallon FOWLR, with a black saddleback clown, (in for about 6 months) and a blue tang (on it's 2nd week).  I have 50 pounds live rock, (about 3 months in the tank), Crushed Coral substrate, SeaClone 150 skimmer, turbo twist 18 watt uv, emperor 400 filter, 2 powerheads.... anyway I had the unfortunate event of having a leak from my tub drip enough water on my carpet that it is being replaced.  My tank is on that same carpet.  How can I get my fish out and drain my tank for a couple hours while the carpet is replaced without losing my fish. <Mmm, not hard to do with a bit of thought, planning...>     I've heard you can put them in a (clean) 5 gallon bucket for a while.  Or I have a 29 gallon QT, <This would be best> but I have 2 percula clowns that are always in there, and a small bicolor angelfish that came with the blue tang (I put the angle in the QT and the tang in my 55 right away).  Would I overload my 29 by putting them both or even one of them in there.   <Not likely in a/the short while. I'd re-set up and move the fishes back in the day or two it takes to empty/move/replace the tank, have the carpet replaced> The saddleback is a tough fish.  He's out survived a lot of others.  How would you go about this situation.  I have to drain the tank (I am going to save the water in a (clean) 30 gallon bucket and my water changing 5 gallon buckets) put the fish somewhere for a few hours, move the tank, move it back, refill it, and get the fish back in there.  I am very nervous about this cause I've never had good luck with blue tangs and this one seems to be doing great.  Please help me out.  I'm very stressed, and I think I'm gonna come down with the ICH before this is all over.     Thank You Bob, You are a great help to me and all others.. Aaron Lysek <No worries. Take your time... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/movingaq.htm and the linked files above... to help you formulate your thoughts here... Bob Fenner>
Re: Getting new carpet...   8/16/06
Thank You for helping me once again.  Moving my tank for my carpet was a success.  My 29 gallon had no spikes, I had the both fish in for about 10 hours.  Now they are back in their nice and clean home. Thanks again for your advice. Aaron <Ahh, thank you for this update. Congratulations on the successful move. Bob Fenner>

Marine tank move and pesticide concerns   7/25/06 Hi, crew!  Thanks again  for this resource and your help in the past... I have a couple questions for you today.  The first one is pretty easy- I currently have a 20 gal. marine tank with live rock (not sure of the weight, as I acquired the tank from a previous owner, but it covers the back of the tank 2/3 to 3/4 of the way up), a scrappy ocellaris clown ("Blooper"), a blue damsel ("Dex"), a 3-4" T. crocea clam showing signs of new calcareous growth, Astrea snails, a scarlet skunk shrimp (carrying her second batch of eggs this summer!), mushroom corals, and one Nassarius snail.  I picked up an empty 30 gal. tank and stand for a song, and am going to move this crew to more spacious quarters, after first painting the back of the tank with flat black water-based enamel and a mini-roller, as you suggest- the old tank is mirrored, which I hate.  I want to add a deeper sandbed to the new tank- currently it's in the danger zone of 1-3", would like to aim for 4-5".  Can I move most of the old sand to the new tank, and top off with more? <Yes... but best to place the new on the bottom... the old live on top> Much of the old substrate is coarser than it should be, I believe... crushed coral perhaps (again, it came with the tank from the old owner, so not sure exactly what he started with... tried to find out everything about it, but a language barrier prevented full communication... also, when he suggested adding a yellow tang to the tank because it "would look nice with the other fish" I knew we had a problem. He had had the tank set up for almost a year with no water changes, just freshwater top-ups, and only a small power filter on the back for circulation. Yikes! <I'll say... wonder if he ever flushes the toilet... Bad visual!> Took a long time to get those nitrates under control).  I have one 20lb bag of oolitic aragonite, but more will be needed clearly, even with the old substrate to reach an adequate depth.  Can I move much of the old substrate over, and top it off with the finer sand? <Same response> My thoughts are to let the substrate cycle in the filled new tank, transfer the skimmer and one powerhead to the new tank, then arrange most of the live rock around this equipment, add the damsel first to the cycled tank to stake out a territory (he is bullied in the old tank by the clownfish), then move the clown and the shrimp, and the canister filter to the 30 gal.  Does this sound like a good plan? <Yep> My second problem is more tricky.  Our cat, who occasionally goes outside, has kindly picked up some fleas, and introduced them to our apartment as well. My roommates want to spray, as the Bio-spot drops Mr. Fleabag was just treated with will only deal with the problem on him, and not on our carpets etc. Obviously, I'm highly concerned about the ramifications of introducing highly toxic pesticides into the aquarium environment. <Me too.> I'm considering setting up the new tank in a closet/alcove thing in our living room (currently filled with houseplants and a small gecko and Betta tank), which has sliding doors that could be closed and sealed off "homeland security style" <Hopefully better...> with plastic film and duct tape- thereby segregating the reef, my gecko, and Betta from the bug bomb.  However, cycling a tank takes time, and I'm not sure how long I can convince my roomies to wait for bacteria to grow while fleas are nipping at their ankles (uh... my roommates, not the bacteria, who to my knowledge, lack ankles, lol). <Heeee!> Given that I'm starting with an established tank and well seeded substrate, how much time would you recommend giving the substrate to cycle, <A week> and at what pace would you proceed with livestock transfer? <Next day...> I'm itchin' for an answer, ;-) *Carla M. <Wish you were my roomie... BobF out in HI>

Replacing a damaged acrylic tank   7/18/06 Hi Crew, <Tom> We have a healthy 120G reef setup for 2+ years now, much of the credit goes to the WWM database.  Around 170lbs live rock, 1-1.5" sand/rubble bed, several good size SPS (up to 12" across), <Nice!> a few nice LPS, xenia, 6" derasa, Lysmata shrimp, few dozen small hermits and Nassarius snails.  The fish range from about 4.5" down to 2.5", and are a purple tang, pacific blue tang, flame angel, pair of Percs, yellow watchman goby, royal Gramma, Twinspot/yellow hogfish, yellow Foxface - all healthy & active.  Salifert tests indicate quality & stable water. So what's the problem?  The old tank is giving out <?!> so we need to move the contents & gear across the room to a replacement tank of about 130G. Could it be done as simply as the following plan? 1. Pump about 1/2 the old tank water into the new tank. 2. Keep the old tank circulating with powerheads. 3. Put about 1" of new sand into the new tank. 4. Seed the new sand with a few pounds of the old sand and let settle for a 1/2 hour or so. 5. Move the rock and coral & arrange in the new tank. 6. Move the fish and remaining animals into the new tank. 7. Pump the remaining water into the new tank. 8 Top off the new tank with enough saltwater, probably 10-20 gallons of aerated, buffered saltwater. 9. Keep the new tank temperature stable & circulating with powerheads while we move the existing gear (sump, chiller, pumps, skimmer, lights, Ca reactor, etc.) <Sounds good, complete... will you move the remainder of the substrate ultimately into the new system?> We've budgeted a day for the move and the next day to work out issues, and another day for wrapping up.  Is this plan OK?  What else could we do to minimize the stress on the animals and make this a successful event? <Plenty of towels, buckets... a reduction in any/all other distractions> Is the new tank likely to have any re-cycling issues? <Likely not> Thanks, Tom <Welcome. Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Replacing a damaged acrylic tank  - 07/18/2006
Hi Bob, <Hello Tom> The current substrate is a mix of sand & rubble, and the plan was to use a kitchen colander to sift out rubble before putting the old sand in with the new. <Ahh... I see>   In the new tank we want sand only, no rubble.  Given the sifting & handling of the old substrate, do we need to be concerned about causing enough of a substrate die-off that we should just use enough to re-seed the new tank, or would it be OK to reuse all of the old substrate, after it is sifted? <Perfectly fine to use the finer-only bits... the bacteria will survive in good numbers if you rinse this with only the old system water. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Tom

Fast shifting of quarantine tank  7/18/06 Hello,  (not sure which one of the team might be getting this mail.) <Salty with you today.> I have a question which I did not see addressed in the archives which are available on your website. I have a bare bottom 35 gallon quarantine tank which is currently set up with a sponge filter driven by an air pump and an Eheim 2232 Ecco canister filter along with 30 watts of lighting and a small power head. This setup has been running for about 3 months and is currently housing a small Niger Trigger about 3 inches in length. The tank has been quite stable for sometime and regular water changes are performed to maintain the water quality parameters. <Sounds good.> Due to space constraints I need to shift this tank to another room (which is only about 4 meters away)  where I have a 65 gallon tank which I will now be dedicating as a quarantine tank. What would be the best way to move everything to my larger tank? Currently I had planned on placing water that is removed from water changes from my other tanks in to the quarantine tank (about 10 gallons) and then adding 20 gallons of aged mixed saltwater and then finally transferring all the  water and the filters from the existing 35 gallon tank into the 65 gallon tank as quickly as possible to avoid any die off of the established bacterial colonies. Would this be the correct way to do it? <Sounds good to me, as long as you are sure no disease is present in the tank you are removing the water from.> Could I expect any die off that could affect the fish at all? <Highly unlikely in that short a time.> Would you recommend doing things differently or are there any precautions that I perhaps should take? <Sounds fine.> Of course any and all help or advice you could lend would be greatly appreciated. Kind Regards <And the same.  James (Salty Dog)> Aehsun

Successfully Moved my Reef Tank Contents 1400 mi.    5/24/06 Hello again, <Hi there> Amazingly enough I have reason to celebrate and thought I would share how I successfully moved the live rock and livestock of my 75 and 58 gallon reef tanks into a 120 gallon tank 2 weeks ago. <Please do> Sadly I did lose my very large (6-8") bubble coral and 2 Firefish that hid in the rocks, but incredibly that's all. The live sand went putrid as expected, but that was OK. It will be easier to run the tank bare bottom with the LR and keep the sand bed in the refugium until we get a house out here. No use having a sand bed in the tank right now as it will have to be torn down and moved again once we get a house out here. Anyway, I finally found a new job back out West (  Utah ) where I belong after working and living in   Saint Louis ,  MO   for the last 4 years. I'm from   Colorado  , so I'm right next door now. Anyway I moved into a temporary apartment here in   Ogden ,  UT   the first week of April and started my new job. Four weeks ago my wife called me at work to say that the 58 gallon tank was overflowing and was half empty. <Yikes> I had to fly back home to   Missouri   to fix it and remembered to put a big chunk of Chaeto in a Ziploc and bring it back with me. It was clear after the mishap that my wife couldn't keep my tanks going so I decided to move the contents out here where my new job is until our house sells and we can buy a new home.   When I got back to   Ogden  , I bought a new 120 gallon AGA reef ready tank that I had my eye on and mixed up 150 gallons of saltwater to get ready for the move. I plumbed the tank so it would be ready for the drains to the sump and return pumps. The under tank sump is used for circulation and is the home of my EV-180 skimmer.    I built an external 40 gallon refugium from an EBay kit and added some live rock rubble, 80 lbs. of seeded oolitic sand and the large chunks of Chaeto I brought with me from my tanks back home. I put a small heater and a small air pump in the refugium to get it going during the weeks prior to the move. I added a pinch of fish food into the refugium now and then to keep things going.   I flew to   Saint Louis   to get the tank contents ready. I packed all of my fish and corals into Kordon Breathable Bags and suspended them from the sides of Styrofoam fish shipping boxes (Big Thanks to Beldt's Aquarium in Hazelwood, MO!) <What a great old store> with bamboo barbeque skewers to enable good gas exchange though the surface of the bags. <Interesting> (My wife's idea!) I tossed in some heat packs and left the Styrofoam tops off and only folded in the cardboard tops so as to have some air circulation and not suffocate the animals. I packed my 200+ lbs. of live rock in the same types of Styrofoam boxes and then covered the rock with wet cloth dish towels as they breathe better than newspaper and don't have the inks and chemicals that newspaper does either. I had about 2 inches of water in the bottom of the rock boxes and made sure that the towels were in the water to wick up the moisture and stay wet. I only folded the cardboard over the rock as well so that it could breathe. I tossed some heat packs enclosed in Ziploc bags into the rock boxes as well.   I rented a minivan to drive to   Utah   and that night I loaded everything into the back of the van and left the van in the garage. I left the back door of the van open and ran a couple of space heaters aimed at the boxes in the van to keep the boxes warm until morning. The first night we stayed at my Mom's house in Colorado to drop off my dogs until the house sells in Missouri as it makes showing the house difficult for realtors when the dogs are there. I brought the fish and corals into the house and once again aimed a space heater at the boxes in the van to keep the rocks warm.       The next day we got to   Ogden   and the rock was still wet and still smelled healthy. The only bad things that happened were that the 2 Firefish that hid in the rocks died and luckily fell out of the rock. Also the bag containing the bubble coral was cloudy and smelled really bad so unfortunately I had to toss it. The 200 lbs of live sand smelled like a sewer and found itself next to the trash dumpster. It's been 2 weeks now and I haven't detected any ammonia and everything looks just like it did before I moved it. So far my Flame Angel, Copperband Butterfly, all of my corals and clams are doing fine. I am really amazed at how well it went. Just goes to show with good planning you can successfully move a reef a long distance.    Bryan    <Thank you for sharing! Bob Fenner>

Tank Upgrade, Moving   - 5/17/2006 G'day again <Hi.> Marine Transfer <Okay.> If I remove all of my LR, Coral Sand and Water from the established 60 Gallon tank and transfer it to a 120 Gallon new tank, detach the Protein Skimmer and Trickle Filter, and hook it up to the new tank, along with extra sea water to make up the difference (50 G's), will my tank cycle all over again? <With such a large disruption to some degree yes.> I was thinking of adding some Cycle or bacteria supplement <No skip those products, I wouldn't add anything at all, extra water changes or bio-Spira if anything at all.> and some cured LR at this time also, would this help? <Yes but still better to set-up new tank before breaking down and transferring livestock, do read our FAQ's re: moving tanks.> Ta Lummo <Adam J.>

Tank Moving  - 5/2/2006 I am going to be moving into a new house and have a well established 175 gallon saltwater aquarium. What is the best method for moving the tank and all the fish without having to start over? <Read here, Brian.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/movingaq.htm James (Salty Dog)>

Moving and combining tanks in one day = mission impossible?  4/29/06 Greetings and thank you for your valuable service and advice.   Whenever I have a question, or anyone in my aqua club has a question, I go to your site for answers.  Thank you for all that you do!  I wish I had more time (hours) to read all the FAQs on this topic, but it appears my situation may have a unique combination of variables and I don't want to screw this up, so I am going to the experts to make sure I do this right.  Hope you don't mind . . . <Likely not> I currently have a 55g reef with about 60+ lbs liverock and 2-3 inches crushed shell/coral substrate (I now know after reading some of your site that this substrate is not a good thing). <Mmm, well, not as good as others in the majority of applications... but more so in others still...> Tank has been set up for 6 years but neglected by previous owner who sold it to me on eBay.  I have nursed it somewhat back to health (didn't realize the substrate was such a big problem).  It is running a skimmer and HOB CPR refugium.  No other sumps/filters applied.  It has PC lighting, not enough to do high light SPS corals, etc, just enough to grow a few softies, etc.  Current livestock:  mated pair false Percs, royal Gramma (owns the tank), juvenile coral beauty, 2 yellow goby clowns, 4 green Chromis, large peppermint shrimp, 3 emerald crabs, large serpent sea star (fancy banded) and a large and varied assortment of dutiful hermits and snails. I just purchased a non-drilled, non-bulk headed, 90g SW reef system that has been running for about 3.5 years (despite its previous owner, apparently).  It has a deep sand bed (2-6 inches, not even), 90+ lbs liverock, flame Hawkfish, two clowns (not same species, I know, again, big no-no), possibly a coral banded shrimp (may have been dinner to Hawkfish), sand sifting starfish of some sort, two tangs (yellow and maybe sailfin), very large anemone (he didn't know what kind), 3-4 damsels (will be donating those to a new home somewhere), 2 "furry" crabs one black one grey (?).  He is running two sumps/mechanical filters and no skimmer.  He has a UV sterilizer and several hundred watts of PC lighting plus moonlight.  he was not running a heater or any other powerheads (the glass looks rather green . . .).   When combining tanks, I will ditch the crushed shell/coral substrate in favor of the live sand.  I will also ditch the two sumps and UV sterilizer in favor of skimmer and large CPR HOB refugium.  Are these good ideas?  Or would you keep one or both sumps? <I would keep at least one of these... better both, and make one or... into refugiums...>   I hate the idea of sumps and the possibility of power outages leading to soggy carpets. .. I also will likely sell the other two clowns and Hawkfish and damsels to fellow marine aqua club members assuming the clowns will not get along well (not a big assumption I think). <Well worth investigating more here... much reduced maintenance and increased vitality from the sumps' use...> "Plan A" is to move the entire 90g setup and livestock, sand, rock and all in one day, set it up in the new home 30 miles down the road and once the sand settles, put livestock back in with livestock and rock from 55g, all in one day.   "Plan B" would be to move the 90g tank, set up in new home (with skimmer and fuge) and put livestock in the 55g reef temporarily.  I am worried that stirring up all that sand will result in a huge die off and nitrate/nitrite spikes.  Will this happen?  The livestock will undoubtedly be cramped for those few days while the 90g settles.  Aside from the clownfish issues and Hawkfish v. shrimp issues (serious issues), will the livestock be compatible enough to tolerate each other for a couple days in the 55g? <Should be fine here> I have no other tank space in which to temporarily house inhabitants. Which would be better, Plan A or Plan B? <Plan B... A is too hectic, likely to have/cause problems> And do you have any suggestions/modifications to make this move better?   <Posted... on WWM> I do have experience moving my current 55g across town as well and all went well with that one (except for nearly dropping the tank on the way up the stairs, but we don't like to talk about that). <Yeeikes> Thanks in advance for any and all advice and sorry for the long novel! <Thank you for writing, sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Moving and combining tanks in one day = mission impossible?  - 5/5/2006
Greetings again and thank you for the timely and valued advice you gave in response to my prior communication.  I am happy to report the move went well.  Nothing broken and most livestock (except one serpent star) made it through ok.  I did move all livestock into the established 55g temporarily until the 90g is "back to normal."  The 90g I purchased also housed a BTA with a foot about 4 inches in diameter (quite large for my 55g).  It acclimated well, or so I thought, to the new environment and was eating well for a couple days.  I fed it salt water-thawed pieces of Formula 1 and Formula 2 and a small bit of Prime Reef.  It devoured all readily.  Then, about 4 days later, it expelled a large number of tiny green balls from its mouth (probably sounds familiar). <Yes> I researched the website and saw a couple recordings of this type of event already somewhat addressed.   One was dealing with a Sebae anemone and Mr. Fenner appeared very perplexed and could not provide an explanation.  However, I did see another post wherein the hobbyist was told this was a normal reaction to feeding an anemone food of a size too large to digest.  Thus, I am seeking clarification.  I would like to believe the latter explanation, that I accidentally fed the anemone something too large and this yielded the aforementioned green ball event (which subsequently caused great cloudiness in my water, but which now is clear again, all livestock seeming to appear otherwise normal at this point).   <Is reasonable... not to worry> The anemone had shriveled considerably and showed a large gaping mouth.  After the event, the anemone is puffed up to "normal" size again and looks quite healthy.  I haven't checked water parameters since the event, so I can't say whether any nitrogen-based element levels are up, etc.  In the prior Sebae post, Mr. Fenner asked about macroalgae, so I will add that I do run a refugium with three types of macroalgae, one being the dreaded Caulerpa (which I plan to eliminate shortly now that I have other kinds). As for the 90g - nitrites are spiking at the moment.  So I am going to give it a few more days (weeks?) <Only time can/will tell> until all is well before transferring livestock.  As for the aforementioned "sumps" - they turned out to actually be Fluval canister filters . . . I understand these can be nutrient traps and should be avoided or at least not relied on too much (?) <Yes> I do plan to add an HOB filter carrying charcoal and crushed coral and removable (rinsable) sponge as well as an additional, roughly 30g, refugium to the 90g once it is all set up, per your suggestions. Thanks again for all your help.  It is very appreciated.  I remind my fellow reefers whenever possible (whenever questions arise on our bboard) of this immense resource.  Please do keep up the wonderful work. <Will endeavor to do so. Bob Fenner>

Tank Moving/Switching Good Morning Crew,  <Hello Howard> I have just recently set up a 25 gallon tank,  Florida live sand/live rock tank  about a month ago and decided it's not big enough to my liking and want to   transfer everything from this tank into a 55 gallon acrylic tank.  The tank  has 25 lbs. live sand and 45 lbs. of live rock and a cleaning crew consisting of  blue leg hermits and some Astrea and margarita snails, and I'd like to transfer everything over to the larger tank with the least amount of stress possible and   also without going through another cycling process if possible.   My plan was to get another 30 lbs. of live sand for the 55 and fill it up about half way with new saltwater (with the same PH, temp. and salinity)  and install the powerheads and new 4 X 65W PC light fixture and get it going,  and then slowly switch about 2-3 gallons of water per day between the tanks  for a week or so, and then transfer over the sand/rocks from the old  tank along with the water, powerheads, Remora skimmer, and the small  power filter.  Does this sound like a good plan or is there a better  way to make the switch over to the larger tank?  <Sounds like a safe plan to me Howard.> Thanks and keep up the good work,  <You're welcome.> Howard W.    

Moving a smaller to larger marine system - 4/11/2006 Dear Bob, this is Amit (and his son, who has all the questions but, fortunately, has not yet learned to type); <Heee! A valuable skill... but likely we'll be vocalizing to our "interfaces" soon enough... sigh> It has been more than a month since I have bugged you, and believe me, it was hard to refrain!  In the meantime, NC now has a Lottery, but teacher's salaries have not gone up. <I understand... when I was a H.S. science teacher, my J.C. college students were graduating in two plus years and making 50% and more more!> Nevertheless, thanks to a lucky break in the marketplace, my son is now the owner of a 75 gallon, and he is walking on clouds. <And mowing lawns I hope/trust> If you don't mind, I would like to run by you the distilled wisdom(!) of my research just to make sure that I am not committing any mental errors (I am terrified of taking the responsibility for all these thallassic lives, plus the happiness of a 7 year old kid.  Whenever I can, I will try to pose Yes/No-type questions to save you time--and please do take your time.  The person I got the tank from says I don't have to pick it up for a while): <A pleasure> The 29 gallon nano we now have has a purple Firefish, a YWG, <Yellow Watchman Goby...> and a mandarin that seems to be in good health so far (to maintain his good health is the main reason for upgrading).  Ammonia 0, Nitrate 0, Nitrite 0, Ph 8.3 (have not checked for alkalinity or calcium, nor have researched these yet, but from the stray remarks I have read, I have the impression that they are only crucially important for coral).  Salinity fluctuates between 1024-1026. Here are some True/False questions: (1) For a FO setup like the one we have and will continue to have for the foreseeable future, live-rock is not necessary, but is nevertheless beneficial. <Correct... but/though you do need something to (help) generate endogenous food organisms for the Mandarin... and likely YWG> (2) A skimmer is almost always a good thing to have. <Almost always> (3) If you have about 100 lbs. of LR and a skimmer, you do not need a filter... <Mmm, both are worthwhile> (4) ...but having a filter will enhance water quality. <Yes> Assuming that all of these are answered in the affirmative, I plan to set up the 75 gallon as follows: (i) 3-4 inches of crushed coral (mixing new CC to what we already have from the 29 gallon); <Good> (ii) 35 lbs of LR (from the 29 gallon we now have) + 65 lbs of new base-rock; <Yes> (iii) Sea Clone Skimmer (already have) <Mmm, more lawns... perhaps the neighbors cars to wash as well... and looking into, saving up for a better make/model> (iv) Millennium 2000 Filter (already have) <Worthwhile> (v) One maxi-Jet 400 powerhead (already have) <And maybe another one in time...> Here is the outline of the transfer: (I) Move fish to separate 1 quart plastic containers; (II) Siphon the 29 gallon's water to the 75--add only 20 more gallons of new water (add 20 more in a week); (III) Transfer the CC, and mix-up with new CC to attain 3-4 inches height; (IV) Transfer the LR, and mix it in with new base-rock (does it matter which goes on top?) <Mmm... better to set up the 75, leave running for a few to several weeks... does take this long... and move the gravel, water and 29's LR after...> (V) Put the fish in; (VI) FINISH (I)-(V) IN A DAY!! <As stated, would set up the 75 in advance... hopefully not in the same space... or move the 29 in anticipation...> (VII) Wait at least a couple of weeks before adding any new fish. <Yes, easily> One last question:  I believe that CC is recommended because it helps maintain good Ph levels--but we also have our eye on a Jawfish, which apparently likes to dig into sand. Can one set up a tank with one side/half CC and the other side/half  sand, so the Jawfish can find sandy bottom to dig into? <Yes... or even provide just one area for such> Thanks very much for taking the time. Deep regards, Amit <Welcome my friends. Bob Fenner>

Moving to a Larger Tank - 2/11/2006 Good Morning, Ladies and Gentlemen, <<Good Afternoon Ellen!>> Is it acceptable to, when going larger, to put all water, substrate, live rock, fish, inverts from the smaller tank to the larger (55 to 150) with enough extra water/substrate to fill it or should it still be done slowly as in setting up a new tank?   <I have done just this many times.  Do keep a close eye on water quality.>> Thanks so much, <<Glad to help.  Lisa.>> Ellen

Switching from a 44 gal to a 30 gal (Marine Systems)   2/1/06 Hi, hope this finds you all well.  My question concerns switching an established 44 gallon tank to a smaller 30 gallon tank that was used previously for freshwater.  I've looked over the FAQs and the Moving Aquariums article on the site, but nothing seems to quite answer my specifics questions; so here goes. I've had this 44 gallon pentagon tank established for over two years now and it's currently home to: Longnose Hawkfish (had for more than a year and is about 2.5") Coral Banded Shrimp (had for two years, first creature in the tank after cycling) Pencil Urchin( Had for about 2 months) Assortment of Turbo's, Nassarius (sp?) and hermits. ~35lbs Live Rock and about a 3" deep sand bed I have an Emperor Bio-wheel power filter (single wheel), and a power head and heater as the only real hardware within the system.  I've recently come to the conclusion that this tank is a) too heavy for the stand its on, more like a drafting table; <Yikes...> b) too deep for the strip lights I have on there (only 20 watts); c) not in a good place in the house anymore. I think I'm going to move forward on a deal for a 30 gallon tank, stand and hood into which I'll move everything from the 44 gal.  Most people seem to want to go bigger, but I'm trying to minimize on costs for the time being.  I would also be able to acquire a power compact lighting unit from a relative which I could use with a 30 gallon and get some better coralline growth.  Not sure if it's a wise decision to move to a smaller tank, but I feel that trying to go to something larger would be too expensive for me right now.  Also the Hawkfish isn't a very strong swimmer (lacking a swimming bladder I've read) especially in the vertical direction, so I would think this would be better for him.  Or should I hold out for a tank of equal if not greater size? <Up to you... smaller systems are harder to maintain...> My main question was mainly about the duration this move should theoretically take.  It's only a 20 foot move from one room to another, but I'm switching tanks.  I was basically going to follow this guideline. -Remove livestock place in separate buckets with water from 44 gal, or in a 10 gallon NanoCube which only has two peppermint shrimp in it. -Remove approx. 60% water from 44 gal and transfer it to the 30 gal -Transfer Liverock and substrate over to 30 gal and arrange as desired -Add freshly made water till its topped off -Add hardware from 44gal and make sure its all running, e.g. filtration, heating, power head -Add livestock Seem about right to you? <Mmm, no. Would be far better to set up the new tank, move some of the existing substrate, LR... leave going for a few weeks... move the rest later> Also, because I'm using nearly everything from a previously established tank I won't have to worry about cycling or any severe ammonia spikes, correct? <Nope... will re-cycle somewhat no matter what is done>   Lastly, is this is do-able in one day? Thank you so much for all your help. Very Respectfully, David H <I would set up both... move the livestock after the thirty is well-established. Bob Fenner>

Will be moving a tank, 100 gallons   1/17/06 Hi, Brad form Cleveland Ohio here. I will most likely purchase a complete reef set-up with a 100 gallon acrylic tank, 200 lbs live rock, 100 lbs live sand (bottom of display tank), five fish (1 chevron tang and several other more hardy ones) and numerous hard and soft corals. I have been doing research on moving this and the biggest concern seems to be weather or not to re-use the live sand bed. <What would the Nuge say? "When in doubt, I throw it out... it's a free for all"> Some have suggested that there will be no new cycle, just use all the sand (others say same sand but rinse it), some say use 1/2 new sand, 1/2/ old sand, others say use all new sand and maybe seed it a little with old sand. I am also obviously concerned about the corals and the fish. I plan on having a 30 or so gallon Rubbermaid container with pre-made salt RO, with heater and powerhead (maybe a hunk of live rock) ready and waiting for the fish (and possibly a few corals/ crabs, etc) so that if they need to live there for a day or two (if needed), they can. Also a similar set up for other life that may need to wait to go back into the system. We will move as much as possible (45 min drive) (using more Rubbermaid smaller cont. for live rock in tank water) and so on. I wonder if it is feasible to leave sand bed in place in tank and just drain water all out (and carry tank with sand in it-acrylic tank will be lighter). Will be moving items in a temp controlled minivan. <Is feasible> If you have any other ideas/suggestions please write me, <These are posted on WWM...> as the move may happen as early as this weekend (Jan 21-22). By the way, I have already read your article, wonder if you know of any more related reading? Any advice would really help. Thanks millions in advance! Brad Black <Nope. bob Fenner>

New Tank/Old Tank Transfer  - 01/12/2006 I am in the beginning stages of upgrading my system. <Awesome.> I have purchased a 120 48x24x24 perfecto drilled in 1 corner, a 150 ProClear /skimmer and a Dart Reeflo 3600gph pump. <Sounds sufficient.> My real question is how much of my existing water should I use. <If possible I usually recommend against "all-at-once" transfers, best to let the new tank go through a complete nitrogen cycle and then do the transfer. You can however use water, live rock, sand, etc.. from the old tank to seed the new one.> My thoughts are to set up the new tank and continue to do water changes on the old tank. I will then transfer the used water to the new tank while matching the volume with new water. <You'll want some type of pump in the tank then, until there is enough water to start your filtration system, stagnant water is not a good thing.> Once the water level is high enough to run my filter I am thinking I will start transferring LR and adding new then transfer corals and fish. <I would be sure the tank has stabilized before adding livestock.> Also any thoughts on water flow? <Depends on what you are keeping, I personally prefer 20X+ turnover for reef tanks but your return pumps sounds good though, Adam J.>

Proper steps to combining two aquariums  - 01/12/2006 Hello everyone (not sure who will read this), <BobF this time> I have asked questions in the past and have always received a response and I am very appreciative of your help. I could not find any specific info on my concerns so I need to ask another question or four. <G> Background: I have a 60g (48L) & 20g saltwater set-up which I will be combining to just the 60g. At this time my 60g is fish only with a sump (3g of water), 10g refugium, skimmer, and NO lighting. My 20g has 2 BTA, a Caribbean & Curlicue Anemone, some mushrooms, polyps <Not all easily mixed...> and a few small sponges, along with 2 small clowns, 1 blue damsel, and a brittle star. I will be removing the fish I need to from the 60 and want to place everything from my 20 (including live rock and sand) into the 60. <Good move> In the end I want to keep my  cleaner shrimp, yellow head jaw fish, and sea cucumber <A small/ish, compatible species I hope/trust> from my 60, the BTA's/fish/star/mushroom & polyps from the 20g, and find homes for the Caribbean & Curlicue, but at this time I need to transfer all of them. (I am aware of the problems and dangers of combining all of these, and so far they are cohabitating well in the 20.) I do plan on adding more 'things" to the 60 that will work well with the BTA's in the future, but will wait until I no longer have the C&C. Also, I am finishing a canopy which I will be slowly adding T5 lighting at 108 watt increments (retros), starting with the first 108 watts this week. (The 20g currently has a 76 watt set-up which I will be placing on my 10g refugium for the 60g.) My plan is to half empty my 60g (need to move it another 4" from wall), catch the fish I need to remove, and refill with fresh pre-mix water. <Sounds good> My questions are: Should I also move everything from my 20 at the same time, or wait for the 60g to stabilize from stirring everything up? <I would move all at once... including rock, substrate/s> With already having 45+lbs of live rock in the 60, will moving the 20lbs I have from the 20g be too much? <Mmm, don't think so> (What is the limit for a 60 gal? <Till it's sticking out the top...> How much weight can the glass support? <Quite a bit... especially if all is spread out via the gravel...> How much actual water volume do I need?) <... whatever space is left I guess... less than sixty gallons for sure> Okay, this last question will be painful I know . . . what do you suggest I could add to the 60g and also keep the 2 BTA's? <I'd leave off for a while with what you have> Thanks for all your help Jim Phx, AZ <Oh! Are you near Aqua Touch? I do wish the trade had more locations like Michael's (and Kingsley's)... Bob Fenner>
Re: Proper steps to combining two aquariums  - 01/12/2006
Hi Bob, <Jim> Thanks for the quick reply! YES!!! I am near and am dedicated to use Aqua Touch as my LFS. They are awesome with all their knowledge and outstanding customer service. <And excellent quarantining practice...> I think if it were not for them I would have given up on this hobby a while ago. (Of course this was before I found your website.) They know me by name and use a big crayon to explain things <G> As for my sea cucumber, I am not sure of species but it is only about 5" long, speckled brown/tan and has been doing well with cleaning the substrate. <You might want to look on WWM, elsewhere, get a species ID, some sense of the likelihood of trouble or not...> Only saw it on the glass once (not sure what goes on at night) and never on the rocks. Quick question off subject. My Caribbean Anemone's tentacles are twisting up on the ends. (Looks like thin rubber balloons that clowns make animals out of.) Is this normal, and a type of budding/reproduction? Thanks Jim <Could be nothing... sometimes do change in reaction to current, light, food availability. As long as feeding, staying put, I would not be concerned. Bob Fenner>

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