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youcallmenny

Buying a new house, need advice for moving tanks.

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Hello everyone!  Well, my wife and I and our 3 children have officially outgrown our current home so we're selling it and buying a much larger one out in west Salem.  We're hiring movers so the move shouldn't be too much of an issue.  Obviously they are not moving the reef tanks.  

I've never moved while doing this hobby.  I have a 75g and a 40b running off the same large sump and I'm going to have to move this all across town.  They are both loaded up with livestock and I don't really want to have to repurchase it all if I get the fish store involved.  Any advice you guys and gals have would be most welcome.  Perhaps some personal stories of your own tank moves would be helpful!  

I know most of you are quite a ways away from Salem but I'd be more than happy to compensate some help come moving day!  As it is it's going to just be the wife and I, it might be better to enlist some muscle.  We will be moving in the next 1-3 months when we find the next house.  Fish room here I coooooooooooome! :yippee:

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47 minutes ago, youcallmenny said:

Hello everyone!  Well, my wife and I and our 3 children have officially outgrown our current home so we're selling it and buying a much larger one out in west Salem.  We're hiring movers so the move shouldn't be too much of an issue.  Obviously they are not moving the reef tanks.  

I've never moved while doing this hobby.  I have a 75g and a 40b running off the same large sump and I'm going to have to move this all across town.  They are both loaded up with livestock and I don't really want to have to repurchase it all if I get the fish store involved.  Any advice you guys and gals have would be most welcome.  Perhaps some personal stories of your own tank moves would be helpful!  

I know most of you are quite a ways away from Salem but I'd be more than happy to compensate some help come moving day!  As it is it's going to just be the wife and I, it might be better to enlist some muscle.  We will be moving in the next 1-3 months when we find the next house.  Fish room here I coooooooooooome! :yippee:

Congrats on the new house!  Sounds like you will have room to add some more tanks :D

I moved a full 120 once and it was a bit of a challenge.  The biggest issues were to have sufficient temporary storage for the livestock, rock, etc. while you tear down, transport and set up the tank.  I would assume you won't get it done in a day so make sure you have some small power heads and lights (if necessary) to keep things going in the containers for a day or two (things happen).  I also would recommend not doing a 100% water change and saving a good portion of your current water for reuse just to reduce the chance for large parameter swings but others might have had better luck starting from scratch.  definitely some planning up front will save you a lot of grief once you pull the plug(s).  Guessing some of the professional maintenance folk on here will have some great tips/tricks.

Keep me posted on the time/date - would be happy to help if I can.

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Albertareef has it right. Do it quickly and be prepared. You'd be surprised what can happen when you are moving a little piece of the ocean.

I have moved a 29/75 gallon tanks before and it is a pretty straightforward process, but nerve racking. If it is within the same town and during the summer, I don't think you will have to worry about temperature issues. 

All I did was, 

  1. Make sure the location the tank is going is ready to go. I.e. doorways cleared, 20% fresh saltwater up to temp (with extra, just in case), extra buckets, pre-washed sand, multiple power strips etc.
  2. Drain old tank and put livestock in labeled buckets and separated appropriately. In my experience, I've had more fish die than corals in moving because of stress. So, I'd catch the fish last and it's easier to net them with there is 6 inch of water left.
  3. The sand is a pain because it is full of detritus. I've always replaced at least 50% of the sand and kept some of the top layer for the bacteria. Then thrown the rest in another bucket with water to sift for inverts after I re-setup the tank.
  4. Transport tank to new location.
  5. Setup tank, put pre-washed sand in, add a little old sand, put the rock in with coral and lastly, add the fish.

I bet you could do the move in two-four hours. If you need any help, let me know. I am close enough to Salem that it wouldn't be an issue. 

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I moved a 90 all the way from Los Angeles. Just get a couple 30 gallon totes from Home Depot and a couple of battery powered air pumps with air stones.  Good thing u won't need a heater on the transport since it's still hot. Reuse the 50 or so gallons in the totes and have water being made at your new house already to add in. I would also use this time to fully clean your substrate. You should still have enough BB from your live rock. 

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Oh, and any PVC or bulk heads that might be required. I am unsure on your plumbing and if it is cemented in, but go to your local fish store and grab what you might need. Plumbing is a pain to not have when you need it.

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I really appreciate it everyone.  It's going through really fast so I'll keep you posted.  It's very kind of you all.   

I actually just redid the plumbing with fancy schedule 80 so it'll disassemble easily.  Gotta love unions!  Also the tanks are fallow due to an ich outbreak.  They're all in QT so that'll be easy.  By the time we move the 76 days will be just about over so hopefully no risk to you all but you can never be too careful.  

Edited by youcallmenny

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You can plan out everything out meticulously with ample preparation, but the fact is no matter how ready you assume you are things will simply go wrong. My best advice is to ensure you have 1 or 2 friends who understand reefing like yourself with you during your move, this way you will be prepared for anything! Good luck, Hope it all goes well!

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Well, I agree with all that!  I fully expect shenanigans.  Coral is gunna get smashed, we are most likely going to kill some things.  That said, just having some extra hands that have adequate respect for the gear/livestock is going to make all the difference.  If we can get 2-3 people over then this should be a cinch.  We have the one truck which should be enough to move all the big stuff.  I'm going to go buy another dozen Home Depot buckets and lids so hopefully that will be enough.  I'm interested in the totes but it seems like they would be too heavy.  Any input Mrk13p?

We don't drink and would cook dinner for all involved but new house and all.  I hope pizza, soda and a couple frags are payment enough!  (Cash is obviously easier and I'd be more than happy to comp for gas and time if that is what you would like to receive for the help.)  

I look forward to spending some time with anyone that wants to come check it out.  You'll be the last ones to see the current incarnation of the tanks before the move and transition into a bigger system.  

Sean - It's a big drive but we'd love to have you!  Your insight and positive attitude are always welcome.

Miles - We haven't spoken too much but I know you're a super solid guy in this club and hobby and we would be grateful for your participation.  Plus it'd be nice to get to know the more local reefers better.

Mark - Thank you for the offer.  I might very well take you up on it.  Always comforting having another vet in stressful situations like this.  I'll keep you informed, I hope you're in country when it happens! :)

Edited by youcallmenny
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One thing i was told recently about moving sps frags and small.colonies was to zip tie them to a piece of styrofoam and place upside down in buckets. No need to break sticks during a move.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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Depending on the day, I can probably help. I'm not near Salem, but I don't mind a little driving.

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Well we are putting our first (and hopefully last) bid on a place today.  Our house gets listed on Tuesday so as soon as it sells we are moving!  I anticipate in  the next 30 days.  I will keep you all posted. 

This next house is huge.  Definitely going to have room for a fish room but might need to finish a bit of the huge unfinished basement area for it. Upgrading to a 150g extra high.  48x24x31.

Edited by youcallmenny
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10 hours ago, pdxmonkeyboy said:

One thing i was told recently about moving sps frags and small.colonies was to zip tie them to a piece of styrofoam and place upside down in buckets. No need to break sticks during a move.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

Cody (paratore) taught me that trick actually.  It does work well.  Unfortunately the sps (and thats the majority of my coral) are encrusted and we will break a lot of it.  Luckily I bought a ton of 27g totes so this should be pretty easy.  The good news is that broken sps just means free frags! :p

Edited by youcallmenny
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We've had 10 showings in the 3.5 days we've been listed.  The offer on the new place was accepted as long as we sell in the next week or two which looks more than likely.  

October 16th is the tentative close date so probably moving shortly after that.  We are exhausted already.  Spent 4 days in Santa Cruz with the family this week on vacation so coming back to this madness has been fun.  Oh well, got to surf the hook and capitola!

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1 hour ago, youcallmenny said:

We've had 10 showings in the 3.5 days we've been listed.  The offer on the new place was accepted as long as we sell in the next week or two which looks more than likely.  

October 16th is the tentative close date so probably moving shortly after that.  We are exhausted already.  Spent 4 days in Santa Cruz with the family this week on vacation so coming back to this madness has been fun.  Oh well, got to surf the hook and capitola!

Congrats man... things sound like they are moving along quickly!  Hope you get a good offer soon. 

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Ok, everything is finalized.  Moving will be 16th-17th of october for us and then we will be doing the fish tanks on the 18th.  So probably before noon we will get going on that.  I know it's in the middle of the week but if anyone would like to provide some extra hands we would be grateful.  PM me for number/addresses etc.  Thanks for all the support everyone!  Can't wait to get going on the next set up!

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I have moved big tanks several times.  Most recently across country but I dried out my rock and sold all the livestock that time. 

Its not a tough process to move locally but it is time consuming.  Here is what you need to do:

Break the tank down and put all your livestock including rock into a  Rubbermaid stock tank or Rubbermaid commercial trash cans.  It will take a few cans to do the job. 

move and setup your system at the new house while your critters are hanging in the stock tank/cans with powerheads to keep the flow going.  If for more than a day I would also retrofit lighting.  

Get a long siphon hose and a good submersible pump.  I used a trailer but a pickup truck would work just fine. Put one can in the truck and pump water from your stock tank then transfer critters/rock as you drain the stock tank (not filling more than 3/4 full).  Repeat until everything is in cans in the back of your truck.

Get to the new place and reverse the process back into your tank that is already setup.  I usually do almost all new water but be careful that the water is aged properly and all perimeters are identical before transferring back. I would also change out the sand bed so you will want to give it time to clear before doing the final transfer.

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Great advice Rob.  Thank you for the input.  I have 15 of the 27g roughneck tubs ready to use.  I'm going to have my fresh/salt water reserve barrels already over there and filled up before the move so no worries there.  I'll definitely consult your post and good advice before we get going.  This is going to be a brutal wait.  We are so excited to move (1400 sq/ft to 3200) and the tank move has been a huge stress.  Knowing we have plenty of advice and potentially help takes a lot of that stress off our shoulders.  Who knows, after the new tank/fish room is set up it'd be a great place for a club meeting!

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6 hours ago, youcallmenny said:

Great advice Rob.  Thank you for the input.  I have 15 of the 27g roughneck tubs ready to use.  I'm going to have my fresh/salt water reserve barrels already over there and filled up before the move so no worries there.  I'll definitely consult your post and good advice before we get going.  This is going to be a brutal wait.  We are so excited to move (1400 sq/ft to 3200) and the tank move has been a huge stress.  Knowing we have plenty of advice and potentially help takes a lot of that stress off our shoulders.  Who knows, after the new tank/fish room is set up it'd be a great place for a club meeting!

Once the move and stress is over it will be great.  Nothing beats a freshly moved tank!

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On 8/23/2017 at 6:06 PM, youcallmenny said:

Ok, everything is finalized.  Moving will be 16th-17th of october for us and then we will be doing the fish tanks on the 18th.  So probably before noon we will get going on that.  I know it's in the middle of the week but if anyone would like to provide some extra hands we would be grateful.  PM me for number/addresses etc.  Thanks for all the support everyone!  Can't wait to get going on the next set up!

Are you planning on doing this in the middle of the day?  Evening?  

My wife has a trip planned in Oct, so I may have to be there at least by the time the kids get home from school, but might be able to take a day off and help if you don't have enough people already.

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We both are early risers and like to get going quick.  Probably get going moving the display tank and sump around 10:00am.  Please don't stress your own schedule.  An extra set of hands would be great though and I will definitely be thinking up a decent "thank you!".  Gift cards to TPA perhaps?  Don't forget we are in Salem. 

As for the schedule, I have 4 things to move basically and only the main tank is going to need help.  I have the water barrels and RO/DI which will move the first night.  Then there's the 20g QT which is easy enough.  After that I've got to unhook and move the 40b anemone tank.  Finally after all that we should be ready to dismantle the sump gear, drain it, remove the front stand panel, remove the sump, drain the DT and shuttle livestock out.  Phew.   It really will move very fast.  We have a truck of our own so the only thing we really need is some strong spines and a healthy respect for the creatures we are ferrying. :)

 

Edited by youcallmenny

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