Question about moving my aquarium...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Clinton McClure, Feb 9, 2003.

  1. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    I just found out today that my dad has been called up to active duty and will be leaving for an extended period. In his absense, I am going to shut off the utilities to my house and move in with my mom and help out around the house with chores, taking care of my grandmother, etc...

    She has no room in her house for my HT equipment so it is all going in storage but I am moving my aquarium to her house.

    Here's my question: In moving my aquarium, I know I will need to drain the water from it into a bucket and put my fish in there while the aquarium is being moved, but is it safe to move with the gravel and decorations in it or do I need to remove all those as well? Any advice?
     
  2. Bill Harada

    Bill Harada Stunt Coordinator

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    If all you're worried about is the safety of the aquarium itself, then moving it with gravel and decorations should be no problem (assuming that the tank can be safely lifted with gravel an decorations in place). You'll need to remove as much (if not all) the water to prevent any excess pressure on the glass caused by sloshing water/gravel.

    Also, depending on how long the move is, you'll need to do a thorough cleaning of the gravel bed to remove any anaerobic bacteria buildup.
     
  3. HienN

    HienN Stunt Coordinator

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    The last time I moved an aquarium (small one, short distance) I followed these guidelines from the Petco web site, and everything worked fine. http://www.petco.com/pet_care_articl...&articleID=603

    The fish lived and were happy. The most important they stressed at the store was temperature control. I guess fish can tolerate only a small temperature range, and you need to maintain that during the whole trip from the time you start until you get them back into the tank at the new home.
     
  4. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    how big is the tank and how much gravel?
     
  5. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    29 gallon with 30 lbs of gravel and a few decorations. The trip will be less than a half-hour. If it is necessary information, my fish are: 3 tiger barbs, 3 long-finned rosy barbs, 1 pleco, 1 bala shark and 3 female betas.

    It is impossible to keep all the water from the aquarium unless I buy six 5-gallon buckets. If I do not do this, and only use one 5-gal bucket to transport the fish, would my aquarium need to be cycled again or would the 5 gallons from my existing fish bucket and the algae already growing on the gravel bed be sufficient to keep the fish from keeling over? I've had to start over once already because of ick and I don't want to do it again soon.
     
  6. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    my concern is that the bottom pane of glass is probably tempered, if it flexes too much or something smacks it hard enough, it'll shatter, not just crack like normal glass.
    I have a 29g tank for a sump on my salt system, I'm a little torn on it, it's long enough that it's tough to support the middle, and on most 29's there's no center brace, if it was something like a 55, it would be a definite no, the 29 I'd strongly consider removing the gravel, I wouldn't move it with the gravel were it my tank. gives you a good opportunity to wash the gravel anyway, get rid of any detrius or just replace it entirely.

    don't remember enough about freshies to comment on the cycle [​IMG] I'm sure others can
     
  7. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    1/2 hour doesn't seem to be that long, keep the lids on and you can insulate the bucket so it doesn't get too bad. They even sell battery operated air pumps.

    As far as cycling, I think you may be OK, 1/2 travel time and time to setup, I'd give you about a total of 1.5 hours of down time. I've had power outages that were longer (we had a transformer die recently, we were without power for 6 hours. But you can play it safe and measure the qualities after the move. You might not want to feed them for a day or two before and a day or two after.

    Good wishes for you, your fish, and your father.. [​IMG]

    Jay
     
  8. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    Thanks Jay! And thanks also to Philip, Bill and Hien.

    Looks like I'm going to be moving Wednesday and I'll most likely be there for at least a year. I know I'm going to be having HT withdrawals since my equipment (amp, receiver, speakers, sub and widescreen RPTV) is going into storage for at least 1 year. But to keep it from being so bad, I have a 25" TV which I'm going to take with me and put in my room along with my DVD player, LD, VCR, all my DVDs, my Indiana Jones widescreen trilogy (It's VHS, but hey...it's widescreen!) and my Star Wars LD set. In addition to that and my aquarium, I'm also taking along my PC and setting up a workstation so I can still get all the good info. [​IMG]

    The good part about the whole thing is that since all my utilities are off (and I'm going to be chipping in on the bills and groceries at Mom's instead of carring the full debit load myself), I can save all that money each month to put towards some serious gear when I move back to my house....and depending on a couple of job interviews I have tomorrow and Tuesday I may be looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of $10k or better over the course of 12 months.
     
  9. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    What kind of filtering are you running? If it's undergravel, you won't want to wash the gravel (it's where all the bacteria are), but you may want to vacuum it thoroughly. If you use hang off filters, they should be fine as far as cycling goes. I'd be tempted to remove as much gravel as possible and put it in its own bucket with just enough water to cover it.

    To be safe, get one of those battery operated airators so the fish don't starve for oxygen during the move. A half hour isn't too bad, but it will take you longer to tear down and set up again.
     
  10. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    It's a hang-on filter.
     
  11. Brian Mansure

    Brian Mansure Second Unit

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    Just do yourself a big favor...
    notch off close to a full day for moving just the tank.

    Ya don't want to move all those animals and their home with the rest of your stuff.

    Keep the stress down on the fish and yourself by allotting enough time to properly move and re-setup your aquarium.

    It probably took you quite awhile to get everything just right the first time you setup the aquarium so ya don't want to have anything happen just because ya need to move everything in one day.

    Good luck and if ya follow the advice others have given I'm sure your fishies will be healthy and happy after the move. [​IMG]

    I wish your father a safe return from active duty.

    Brian
     
  12. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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  13. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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  14. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    So, when the electricity in your house goes off for 12+ hours at a time, do your fish die? Neither do mine. [​IMG]

    We moved our fish 5 hours away (probably 10 total including tear down & setup) twice. The first time, we bought one of those battery powered air pumps. Turned it off 15 minutes into the trip because it was so annoying. Didn't use it at all during the second trip. Never had a problem.

    I've had my pumps (water & air) turned off for days in my 75 gallon aquarium. Never had a problem.

    If I were moving my fish on a long trip (read: several days) I'd replace 50% of their water every evening and drop an air pump in for the night while I slept. Other than that, there's not a lot more than really needs to be done, other than giving them enough water so they aren't crowded.
     
  15. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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  16. Bill Harada

    Bill Harada Stunt Coordinator

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    The biggest danger with losing power is not what happens when the power is off, but what happens when it turns back on. If you have an sort of biological filtration (under-gravel, wet-dry, sponge, etc...) a prolonged power outage will kill the aerobic (good) bacteria and allow anaerobic (bad) bacteria to prosper in their place. When the power comes back on all the toxins created by the anaerobic bacteria get flushed into the tank water as soon as the filters start cycling again. At minimum it could lead to a very smelly tank (I love the smell of hydrogen sulfide in the morning...[​IMG]). At worst, a lot of very stressed out fish.
     
  17. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    I figure what I'll do is get six 5-gallon buckets. Five of them will hold the tank water (with about 4 fish in each bucket) and the sixth will hold the gravel. I figure I can have tear-down, transit and build-back completed within 2 hours tops.

    After I post this message, I'm going to tear down my computer desk and get my PC ready to go. I should be operating and back online by Wednesday and let you know how the move went.
     
  18. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    Ok, I finally got everything moved and set-up. The aquarium took right at two hours to tear down, move and set back up. I only had one casualty, my new bala shark. While the fish were in buckets, I left the room for about 10 minutes to answer the phone. While I was away, the shark decided he couldn't take it anymore and jumped out of the bucket onto the carpet, where he promptly suffocated. The rest of the aquatic watersports team is doing well. Thanks for all your help!!!
     

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