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Needing some tips on moving tank!!! PLEASE!!


pcsdlszr
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Ok, so we went and got ourselves a screaming deal on a bigger tank, however we're a little concerned with the DSB it has.... we'd like to keep it but I've read several posts on RC where people have lost all their livestock because of mixing/stirring up the DSB. The livestock that is coming with the tank has will be in tubs/bags for the move but we're not sure of the best way to move the sand. The tank is coming from Eugene to Salem and we'd keep the sand bed in it if we could but the tank isn't going to fit thru the doors any other way but sideways unless we decide to take out the sliding glass door............(I'm not really prepared to let him do that.) Any ideas, suggestions or tried and true methods would be greatly appreciated. (also any sources for large fish bags would be nice too. we're going to have a LOT of little things to move) I think we've lost our minds.... we spent all night last night thinking "How the HECK are we going to move all that stuff?" Oh, and if you know the cheapest truck rental place in Eugene that would be awesome to know too!! (it won't fit in our car) :D

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From what I have read and from personal experience, an established DSB should be disturbed as little as possible.

 

My most successful moving of a DSB was accomplished my removing everything from the tank including as much water as possible by siphoning or pumping. This was done by pushing back a small area of sand in the front corner of the tank. After relocating the tank, slowly refill with water as carefully as possible, trying not to disturb the substrate. A dinner plate set on the bottom of your tank will help disperse the water during the initial refill.

 

My experience moving a DSB by buckets resulted in a major hair algae/diatom bloom. I'm sure there was a considerable die-off of microbes in the DSB, along with whatever may have been realeased from the anaerobic bed into the water column.

If you must move your sand this way, be ready for large water changes. Keep a skimmer running and do frequent changes of activated carbon. The use of a canister filter will be very helpful in removing particulate matter. (Removing and replacing the patio door may be less frustrating than dealing with your tank if it crashes!)

 

Please read this article:

http://ozreef.org/library/articles/moving_tank_-_disaster_and_lessons_learned.html

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I would remove all the sand and rinse it with saltwater, if you can remove all the sulfer dioxide (or whatever it is) then you wont have as big of an issue, you will have an ammonia spike from all the buried dying critters though.

 

I would just keep like 5 gallons of the sand and rinse the rest out really well in freshwater, unti it runs clean. Put that sand back in and reseed it with the live stuff...

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I think that whatever the case, the DSB will be disturbed.

 

Joel's advice is to pretty much clean it out, and I think this will really change the dynamics of the microfauna. I think that if you were going to do this, you would want to replace most of the sandbed with fresh sand and start from scratch. This way you are using the current sandbed as a "starter culture"

 

John's idea is to keep it as intact as possible. Leaving all of the stratisfied cultures in place. It's the best idea by far, if it is feasible. Think forklift!

 

I dunno if this is realistic. ;)

 

Draining all that water will leave concentrated areas of debris and detritis, and this can starve the microfauna of clean water. On the other hand, I have drained a tank to it's sandbed and left it for two weeks with no flow, no heat and no lights, and still saw pods scurrying around. In fact, I took out half the sandbed and put it in a bucket. Then I left the bucket on an outside patio. Two weeks later, fireworms were looking for food at dusk. Just to give you an idea of the durability for some microgfauna.

 

I have changed tanks and used the entire existing sandbed in the new tank, which resulted in an algae explosion, but what I think will happen inevitably is you will see some "sorting out" of the system after you start out with the transplanted tank.

 

That said, I think I would go with Joels method with half new sand. I would also get a few other sand sources (make a day trip of it) and get cultures from other fish stores with healthy sandbeds and few preditors such as red bugs etc... This way you would be in a place to have a greater amount of biodiversity and allow this to populate a new sandbed.

 

I think you would be hard pressed to move a stratisfied sandbed in it's entirety, so go with the most positive outcome of moving it. ya kno?

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I just moved my tank about 3 miles with the sandbed intact. I thought we had done a good job of not disturbing it, but since the move i've been losing acros left and right. I hope things balance back out, but its been 5 weeks and a new frag just started to receed yesterday after thriving for 6 months. So i'd say definately remove the sandbed especially if you have SPS. Use lots of buckets/tubs. Bag what you can individually, larger rocks in buckets with lids and water.

 

Did you get that 100gal in the paper for $300 OBO??????????????

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Thank you all for the suggestions. We're already planning for this to be an all day thing (tearing down and moving) and the set up is going to be insane too. The whole sandbed thing is pretty daunting, I believe it's about 4in +/- just in a 250 gallon tank and the same in the fuge. I like Joel's idea but wow that would be a lot of sand to replace.... The fuge is going to stay like it is, we're just going to lower the water level to 2-3 inches above the sand so the mangroves still have a little water. I would love to do this with the tank itself but I don't have a forklift at home or in Eugene although imagine all the fun I could have with that...... (:D) The tank would be completely too heavy to move with the sand in it anyway, and it's going to have to come in on it's side. I'm getting tired just thinking about all the work ahead but excited for what's to come once it's actually set up!!

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We moved a tank just a couple of miles in town two years ago, and ended up having a major outbreak of first slime, then hair algae, and the sand never looked as bright and clean as it did before.

 

I'd start new to avoid problems right from the start and just keep a little of the sand as a starter culture.

I did have good luck rinsing the sand for my 40G i got from Cormac *really* well with freshwater and using it with some LS added from my 20G.

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If the tank is Glass, it would be a death wish to move it with anything at all still in the tank. It would even be taxing on acrylic if you tried to move it with 400+ of sand (thats dry weight!).

 

I wouldnt move either with sand in it.

 

I dont think you would have to buy new sand, simply wash part of what you have.

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