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Hi Everyone,


So I am in the middle of purchasing a house and am kinda curious as to what people have found the best methods for moving there tanks with minimal stress on the fish and corals? Ill be moving a 180 gallon and also a 30 gallon. what equipment did you find was most helpful in the move? did you save most of the water or start from scratch?


thanks for any advice

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Also I have heard from some people that they do not recommend keeping the current sand but I don't see why it would be necessary to change the sand any one have any opinion on this or any reasons to change it?

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I moved a fully stocked 120 gallon tank. I used 5 gallon home depot buckets and 10 gallon rubbermaid containers ( I borrowed most of the containers from my local LFS). I put all the fish and coral in the 5 gallon buckets. I took about 60 to 70% of the water with me and had fresh salt water made up and ready to go at the new house. I kept a small amount of the sand, but ended up buying all new sand. It was easier to put new sand in and much cleaner. I did not loose any fish or coral during the move. Its an all day project.... Good luck

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Well, there's alot of ways not to do it, that's for sure!



Maybe it's time to setup that 400 gallon tank, let it cycle and then just transfer the livestock over:)

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Our faithful Vice Prez., BadxGillen, has moved countless systems. He's helped me move twice, the last including a couple 75s. He actually did that the night after moving a 180, I believe. Hopefully he'll chime in with some specifics.


The more coral you have, the tougher it is. The trick is to use as many buckets as possible. As you fill up buckets with coral and rock, you may need to add some extra salt water into the display to make sure you don't run out of water. I also used large Styrofoam and rubber maids.


Have as much salt water made up at the other location as possible. Maybe 50-100 gallons or so, depending on how much you take in the buckets.


In my recent move, I didn't have extra water made up so I had to do it once we arrived. It made for extra complications, but we managed.


Do your best to keep temperature where it needs to be. You can also bag up coral like you were shipping them. That's a great way, but it takes a lot longer with a bunch of coral.


I'm not certain, but as I understand it, the sand issues is because when moving (whether you scoop it out or keep it in) the sand gets all stirred up and it can release phosphates and all the bacteria can/will die off, polluting the tank.

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Yes, have made-up water on site where the new tank will go. Large coolers work great but as Andrew mentioned if you have many corals you will be better off with more containers via buckets, they pack and stack well but don't insulate much. But that shouldn't matter in this weather, maybe get the AC going so things don't warm up too much. As far as the substrate goes I would only keep a small amount of the first inch layer in a similar depth at the bottom of the buckets containing some of the base rocks. This will be you're inoculation sand and you can take the rest out and wash it because I am sure if you tried to move it together you will tilt all that substrate during the move, not to mention lifting a 180 with substrate and a little water is asking for trouble. You can ask your local pet store to purchase some bags and rubber bands for your frags.


Totes work well for larger pieces as do sturdy Styrofoam, just get help to move these as the flexing and bowing can cause a side to burst and nobody wants that.

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