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Tips on moving a planted tank?

andy198712

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14 Feb 2021
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Cornwall
Hi.

So moved into our new house and need to move my 200l tank which has a mix of wood, small stones and fairly deep substrate in.

It’s only ten mins up the road but :

Obviously drain as much water as I can

Do I need to dig out the substrate ?

How to move the plants?

Any other tips?

Glass flex and breaking or stressing of seals and leaks is my main worry.
The tank is less then a year old which will help I think but still a concern.

I though about cutting some thick wood board and making a stretcher maybe to help evenly support the bottom (once I’ve removed the water)

Ideally I’d not touch the substrate but I think it’ll addd too much weight and cause issues.

Cheers
Andy
 

tam

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5 May 2011
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I think you'll find it too heavy with wet substrate in. 25L brewing buckets (wilko etc. sell them) are great as they hold 25l and have clip lids which keep water and/or humidity in. I would use several, transport fish and plants in one, hard scape, substrate etc. You can run an airline/filter/heater directly on the bucket so that gives you time to reset up the tank and let it clear/get to temperature without having to panic to get fish back in.

I need to do the same soon for a similar size tank, so interested if you have any tips once you've done it!
 

andy198712

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14 Feb 2021
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I think you'll find it too heavy with wet substrate in. 25L brewing buckets (wilko etc. sell them) are great as they hold 25l and have clip lids which keep water and/or humidity in. I would use several, transport fish and plants in one, hard scape, substrate etc. You can run an airline/filter/heater directly on the bucket so that gives you time to reset up the tank and let it clear/get to temperature without having to panic to get fish back in.

I need to do the same soon for a similar size tank, so interested if you have any tips once you've done it!

Thank you, I’ve been looking for a suitable lidded bucket! Will look into those, I’d rather use a bucket then bag as the clown loaches have spikes. Also can just pop in a small heater and air stone like you say when I get there!

Looks like I’ll go for the empty it fully of substrate then.

Sounds silly but I though a kids beach spade would be good for that. Plastic, small, cheap ect?!
 

tam

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Sounds silly but I though a kids beach spade would be good for that. Plastic, small, cheap ect?!

Not at all, I've nicked them out the sandpit before. A plastic scoop (slightly higher sides than a spade) might work. Try the options in your local pet shop under cat litter scoop too. They usually have a few holes which lets the water through but the substrate is damp enough to hold together rather than fall through them. A sponge is handy for the last bit of water too as there is often half an inch the syphon stops on.
 

Deano3

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8 Feb 2012
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I am planning on maybe moving this year and dredding moving the tank 😔 i have a aquascaper 900 and was planning to drain and pack with bubble wrap round edges and sides and try and leave substrate and hardscape in place but not sure would be able to as tank was heavy without anything in so may try and plan it with a rescape 😅 as if wont have enough to do.

Best of luck, i will be watching the thread closely

Dean
 

andy198712

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Not at all, I've nicked them out the sandpit before. A plastic scoop (slightly higher sides than a spade) might work. Try the options in your local pet shop under cat litter scoop too. They usually have a few holes which lets the water through but the substrate is damp enough to hold together rather than fall through them. A sponge is handy for the last bit of water too as there is often half an inch the syphon stops on.
I did look at the litter scoop too....!
good idea on that sponge as that last bit is hard to get out! thanks for the idea, I could do a substrate change maybe, its currently mixed colours which annoys me....
 

robinj

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9 Aug 2018
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There is no chance to avoid digging out the soil. The 200L tank itself is rather heavy, my 90P was likely 30+ kg. The wet soil is at least the same weight. Some plastic buckets or those IKEA boxes are useful for soil/plants, anything. Moving the tank with all that work around is a whole day work. It's basically establishing new tank.
 

andy198712

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There is no chance to avoid digging out the soil. The 200L tank itself is rather heavy, my 90P was likely 30+ kg. The wet soil is at least the same weight. Some plastic buckets or those IKEA boxes are useful for soil/plants, anything. Moving the tank with all that work around is a whole day work. It's basically establishing new tank.
Yeah I am thinking out a whole day aside like a Saturday, with provisions for the fish if it takes a while (large container with heater and air )

Thanks :)
 

castle

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19 Dec 2015
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Anything under 60L is movable from my experience. Anything larger, if it can go into the boot neatly, or across the back car seats should be okay. However you're at the mercy of speed bumps, pot holes and other drivers.

There is a separation of effort, aquascapes (or just heavy planted tanks) are 10 times the effort, compared to a sand/rocks tank.

All that said, if I move I break down tanks. It's annoying, messy and takes so much time. In a move, break down the aquarium(s) first, invest in some tight sealing lidded buckets; I use beer brewing buckets. You can leave the fish in buckets with lids off for a number of days, providing you give them some attention (water top off, food, temp check). Plants will be fine in a bucket too for a few days, but I have always found that 7+ days plants suffer.

I've moved a few times and learned a few things. If I know i'm moving in 6 months; then I will break down an aquarium to become the staging area (largest, generally). Why 6 months? I am lazy and assign two weeks per an aquarium. So if you just have one tank, probably best to break it down a month in advance. If you have just one aquarium I'd suggest getting a large plastic square storage bucket thing so you've got two places to work. I then capture all fish and inverts and snails that I can over days, a week preferably (my tanks are heavy on plants and sticks). Of course, at this stage all non fixed decor is out. Once I'm certain the aquarium is clear, I will have many pots (jars too) to start potting plants into. I use as much of the substrate that's already in the tanks they're coming from. The other bucket will get the plants I've potted, which tends to fill up quickly. Again I do this over a day, and I take breaks so that the filter can clear the water for me. The internal of the filter would already be in a bucket; at this stage I'm using filter floss to just speed up the clarity fix. By storing the internal filter media in with the fish/plants or in a bucket of it's own the bacteria should not die.

After all that, you should have box(es) of water with potted plants, and fish (not necessarily together). I tend to keep substrate, I'll separate sand out from soil, and the soil gets used in the garden. You will have an army of buckets. It will be fine.

No matter what, I think aquariums in a move are still a top stress so having everything in sealed buckets really does help.

Once I am in a new place, I have a number of 40/60L buckets that I generally transfer fish to - until the tanks are up and running again. In fact, I've still got one bucket filled now - whoops.
 
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andy198712

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was down The Range and picked ups brew your own bucket, 25l and nice lid and handle, should make a good temp tank to move the fish!

now to decide if I want to re do the substate with that brown cat litter or not!
 

andy198712

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Well did the move today.

Few points to note.

Only when I removed the substrate into a bucket did I realise the sheer weight of that!!! MUST BE REMOVED BEFORE MOVING! Well…. On a 200l tank.

I had more shrimp then I thought.

Brewers bucket, air pump and small heater are a good investment!

Moved and all settled in for the night, as it was only 5 mins away the filter media could all stay wet and the plants. Had a move around too so will get some pics tomorrow once the filter media water conditioner has settled!

Thanks for the advice!
 
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