Need advice on moving an aquarium.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by taraann81, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. taraann81

    taraann81 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    VVe have a 55 gallon tank. VVe are renovatiing our living room. HAve knocked dovvn the vval and novv vve are ready to paint and then lay the nevv floor. I vvill need the tank and fish moved for at least half a day. am going to have to empty the vvhole thing as I vvould suspect it vvould crack if vve attempted to move it evev partially full, not to mention vvith the gravel and vvater is prob vveights close to 500lbs or more.

    So hovv do I go about doing this. VVill I have to get another tank vvith filter to transfer the fish into? Or vvould they be okay in a pail(I assume not).

    ANy advice vvould be appreciated.
  2. taraann81

    taraann81 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Sorry everyone! Posted in the vvrong section. I notified the mods.
  3. thebirdguy

    thebirdguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2010
    Idaho Falls
    You can put the fish in a bucket as long as you make sure the bucket is clean.. I would use the water from the aquarium and put an air stone and your water heater in it so that you maintain oxygen levels and the water temp.

    Good luck!!
  4. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2010
    Blue Ridge GA
    I would not remove all of the water because if the tank is established it will take awhile to get it back to a viable environment. If it were me I would pour out most of the water and keep the bottom covered. You could put alot of the water in clean buckets and keep the filter wet in the originial water. I use to have emergency bubblers that operated on batteries. The fish could stay in buckets for a few hours so long as they get oxygen. The emergency bubblers would work or you could rig up a bubbler that goes in the tank--I think. I never had one. It also depends on what kind of fish you are talking about. I am referring to inexpensive fresh water fish.
    Good luck
  5. taraann81

    taraann81 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    I was waiting for someone to come along and tell me "its an ee..and a roo"

    Thanks guys, these are african chiclids and a pleco....
  6. Tdub4chiks

    Tdub4chiks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2010
    Constantia, NY
    I moved some very large fish from NC to NY. We put them in a cooler with a bubbler. They all survived even though the truck broke down for 4 hours, so it was a 16 hour trip instead of 12 hrs.
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Get a couple big storage totes and fill them with tapwater. Dump and refill every day for at least several days. Then they will be "reasonably" fish-safe.

    Then you can put the fish adn as much aquarium water as you can salvage into them when you have to move the tank. If it will only be for a half day or a day, just an airstone or such to keep water circulating (to improve oxygenation) is sufficient. However if you will be doing anything in the room that involves fumes/solvents (painting, adhesives used in flooring, etc) then it might be smart to keep the fish out of the room for *several* days, in which case you should probably put the filter in the tote(s) too.

    If you do not run the filter in the tote with the fish (e.g. because it'd create too strong a current), it would be best (if you can manage it) to give it it's own tote, again with water from the aquarium, and keep the filter running *there* while the aquarium is apart. This will keep the filter alive and functional. If you let it dry out, or even just let it sit stagnant, for half a day or several days, a whole lot of the necessary bacteria will croak and it will have a hard time maintaining good water quality when you set it up again. Best to keep it operating as normally as possible.

    I would drain almost all of the water out of the tank (this might be a good time for a thorough vacuuming of the gravel!) because even just the weight of the *gravel* can be a problem for moving the tank and causing it to crack or leak. Personally I'd move it with nothing more than damp or saturated gravel in there (depending how MUCH gravel you've got). And be reeeeallll careful, and reeeeeaalllll careful again when you set it back up. I would suggest filling it halfway and letting it sit for at least half a day with some sort of "telltale" under/around it to let you know if it's leaking, before putting the fish back in. You don't want to get it set all back up and then have to vacate it AGAIN cuz it's leaking. (A very small seep *may* cure itself in time, or it may not; a more substantial leak in a large tank usually requires getting a new tank as they're hard to repair reliably. This is extra incentive to minimize weight in the tank when you move it!)

    So, it can certainly be done, but especially with these larger tanks, it is a real good idea to take as many precautions as possible because it really sucks to have things go wrong [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun, happy renovations [​IMG],

  8. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Those "vv" instead of "w" give me a headache when reading your posts. [​IMG]

    Plastic storage containers work great for this purpose. Get the 15gallon size (bigger ones the sides will risk collapsing) and a few extra cheap filters or at least bubble wands/stones. Stick a filter on each one along with any filter media, a handful of the substrate, or anything else you need to move out of the tank. The fish can survive in those for quite awhile. In fact I was using one for breeding danios and had them in there for 2 months. I did have one I was using for mixing my saltwater give off ammonia though so while I think it was the salt doing it I can no longer recommend using them indefinitely. A few hours is definitely not a problem though. I left all my fish and half my plants in them for 24hours while I was letting the silicone set on an internal background I installed in my 90gallon. Do not throw anything away. If the substrate is really bad you can rinse it with dechlorinated water but don't use anything to clean it beyond that and keep the filter media. You want to save all the bacteria that is keeping your tank cycled and stable. Put it all back in when you are done.
  9. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    Our 2 plecos moved from NY to Kodiak, AK and then from Kodiak, AK to AL. They traveled in a small ice chest/cooler/lunch thing ma jig. Both times. Half water changed about daily at each stop.

    The rest of the tank and rock (to AK, not from AK though) was shipped and took forever to get there, so no keeping good stuff alive with the rock.
    But since you are just doing it for a day or so - fish go in a buck or tub. Give them some air.
    Keep your filter media wet (even if you just float it/sink it with the fish) and keep the gravel wet as well. If you can lift the tank with the gravel, do it. If not, put the gravel in a bucket as well.
    Once you are done, put it all back together again and it should be fine.
  10. bagendhens

    bagendhens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Outside the Boundries
    those big rubbermaid storage boxes and a plastic hose.
    suck water through hose and use the siphon method to fill up the tupper totes you want to keep at least 1/2 of your fish tank water.
    in one tote add heater and your fish 9if large you may want to use a couple of them for this. dont fill the totes too much incase you need to move them.

    siphon off whats left of the water and discard.

    in one of the totes put the media out of your filter (keeps the good bacteria alive as long as it doesnt dry out/isnt exposed to chlorine.

    depending on how much gravel is in there you may want to remove some of that too, again if you keep it in one of the totes filled with water form the tank your good bacterial bed will survive and wont take as lng to recover from the stress.

    your fish will be fine for a few days as long as they have heat your filter media and gravel will be fine for weeks in this kind of set up, but if your going for more than 3 days "feed" the tubs with the filter media and gravel in by sprinking just a few tiny crushed flakes.

    even empty a 55gal is a very heavy peice of furniture, so i think emptying it as much as possible is going to be your safest bet, not only for your own backs but for the structural integrity of the tank itself too.

    the good news is cichlids are tough little guys [​IMG]
    make sure to put something in the holding "tank" for your pleco to hide under though. they tend to stress easily.

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