Moving Cross Country

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#1
So I've taken a job in Michigan and I live in Arizona. I've decided that I am going to attempt to move my underwater buddies. I have a 150 gallon reef and a 30 gallon "nemo" tank. Livestock consists of 5 tangs, 4 clownfish, 2 grammas, goby, blenny, angel, a couple of starfish, a few shrimp and a number of snails and crabs, not to mention numerous corals.
I've purchased 2 40 gallon coolers from Costco and a couple of battery powered aerators for the car ride.
Cooler 1 will consist of live rock layered on the bottom and all of the fish in individual containers (with holes).
Cooler 2 will consist of the rest of the rock and the corals.
This will be a 3 day, 2 night trip. Each night I plan on bringing the coolers in the hotel and putting a powerhead in. Cooler 2 will get the tank light on it for the evening. I also plan on bringing an extra 40 gallons of water and will do a water change each evening of about 10 gallons per cooler.
Since the movers will be crating my tanks, I am buying a smaller tank to be used temporarily until my main tanks arrive.
I am posting here so that I can document my move for others and get advice from any who have attempted a big move like this themselves.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

jackri

Active Member
#2
Wow, good luck doing this. I'll be interested in seeing how this works out.
One of my biggest fears of upgrading houses some day is moving my tanks... something I DO NO WANT TO DO.
I've actually had a nightmare of moving my tanks to where people have tried to help out before I was ready and put all my fish in a gallon bucket and my corals sitting in an empty tank with no water.
The day will come sometime and I know it'll be a mess. Good luck and hope it all works out for you.
 
#3
Good luck. It's great that you want to post this. Maybe we could all learn something from it.

I have nightmares about switching my 75 to the 180.
 
#5
good luck moving ~ I recently downgraded by 90 gallon reef to a 30 gallon and moved to another house 30 miles away. I think its great you have the coolers, but I would recommend at least getting 1 more. Keeping rock and fish together in 1 cooler ("separated" or not) scares me because all it takes it one good bump (or one special idiot driver) and you could literally have a small catastrophe in your ~ what are you driving btw?? If it's not already a truck, make sure you arent overloading your vehicle ~ you could burst your tires down the road. I would recommend 1 cooler for the rock and a heater and and leave it in the car until you get where you are going, because the other thing you need to keep in mind is that, even just stopping for the night, if you are planning on taking everyone/thing out of the car and putting everyone/thing back the next morning ~ that's a lot of wear and tear on YOU ~ remember water is still like 8 lbs a gallon and you will have at least 25 to 30 gallons of water for each cooler full of stuff PLUS whatever rocks/equipment. I dont know if the corals could probably fare well in a 40 gallon cooler with just a heater, but maybe consider putting those and the rocks in first when you are packing so they can go out last. And pack some shamwow's just in case ~ I still ended up with water on the floorboards. ;) I'm sure these are all things you have probably already considered ~ but just in case, I wanted to share my 2 cents with you. Good luck on your packing and your drive!!
 

cranberry

Active Member
#6
I agree to keep the rock and corals separate from the fish. They tend to want to hide under the rock.... not a good place to be.
Bring Amquel plus.
 
V

vinnyraptor

Guest
#7
Originally Posted by PHXFishGuy
http:///forum/post/3090007
So I've taken a job in Michigan and I live in Arizona. I've decided that I am going to attempt to move my underwater buddies. I have a 150 gallon reef and a 30 gallon "nemo" tank. Livestock consists of 5 tangs, 4 clownfish, 2 grammas, goby, blenny, angel, a couple of starfish, a few shrimp and a number of snails and crabs, not to mention numerous corals.
I've purchased 2 40 gallon coolers from Costco and a couple of battery powered aerators for the car ride.
Cooler 1 will consist of live rock layered on the bottom and all of the fish in individual containers (with holes).
Cooler 2 will consist of the rest of the rock and the corals.
This will be a 3 day, 2 night trip. Each night I plan on bringing the coolers in the hotel and putting a powerhead in. Cooler 2 will get the tank light on it for the evening. I also plan on bringing an extra 40 gallons of water and will do a water change each evening of about 10 gallons per cooler.
Since the movers will be crating my tanks, I am buying a smaller tank to be used temporarily until my main tanks arrive.
I am posting here so that I can document my move for others and get advice from any who have attempted a big move like this themselves.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
first off GOOD LUCK! but now the realist in me has to respond. your gonna lose alot of livestock in this move. probably about 40 to 50% imo. and what are you gonna do for cycled water once you get to Michigan? there is no way you can house 5 tangs and "numerous corals" with the amount of water your taking and that water is gonna be nasty when you arrive especially the cooler with the fish.
IMO there are 2 solutions. 1 is put yourself and all your stuff on a plane and fly to michigan. have someone with a van waiting for you at the airport and get your stuff in the new place asap.
2 is sell all of your fish and take the rode trip with the LR and corals only.
once again GOOD LUCK!
 
#9
Thanks for all of the advice and wishes. I know this is risky and there is a chance that I will lose some livestock. I hope that you are way off on the 40-50%. You are right that a 30 gallon tank can weigh over 240 pounds. I was going to do a test this weekend to see if we can lift it in and out of the SUV when it is filled. If not, it is a 7 day cooler so theoretically, the temperature should stay stable inside. Also, the low at night for the 2 cities I will stop in is in the mid-60's. I also bought a 200 watt AC/DC power converter so I can run a powerhead while I am driving.
The water should not have to be cycled. That is the reason of bringing the live rock. The rock will probably experience a reduction in the bacteria colony but it should not die out and should not require the tank to be cycled. New water will be purchased at the local fish store.
Also, I already was planning on the Amquel plus.
 

flower

Well-Known Member
#10

Originally Posted by PHXFishGuy
http:///forum/post/3090007
So I've taken a job in Michigan and I live in Arizona. I've decided that I am going to attempt to move my underwater buddies. I have a 150 gallon reef and a 30 gallon "nemo" tank. Livestock consists of 5 tangs, 4 clownfish, 2 grammas, goby, blenny, angel, a couple of starfish, a few shrimp and a number of snails and crabs, not to mention numerous corals.
I've purchased 2 40 gallon coolers from Costco and a couple of battery powered aerators for the car ride.
Cooler 1 will consist of live rock layered on the bottom and all of the fish in individual containers (with holes). Rock will shift and continers will splash the water out, and if it tips you will loose water...fish are not safe to transpor this way. You can put them in seperate containers flat on the bottom of the cooler, fill contianer only 1/3 so it wont splash out. The bigger the individual container, the better chance the critter will make it.
Cooler 2 will consist of the rest of the rock and the corals. You can't put the rock and coral together, the rock will shift, there is no way around it
and crush the coral
This will be a 3 day, 2 night trip. Each night I plan on bringing the coolers in the hotel and putting a powerhead in. Cooler 2 will get the tank light on it for the evening. I also plan on bringing an extra 40 gallons of water and will do a water change each evening of about 10 gallons per cooler.
Since the movers will be crating my tanks, I am buying a smaller tank to be used temporarily until my main tanks arrive.
I am posting here so that I can document my move for others and get advice from any who have attempted a big move like this themselves.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

I have moved before...not as far
Put the rock in a NEW big plastic garbage can ... cover with newspaper, you can pour saltwater over it to keep moist and it should be fine. The newspaper will absorb the water and keep the rock wet and alive.
Transport the water in 5g jugs. Bring an empty bin wth you..a cooler can set in it to save space...and some extra salt... you might
have to mix some saltwater on route....you never know what could happen, and you should have it as an emergancy plan.
Do keep us posted!
 
#11
Im about to do the same thing,Illinois to Florida.Ive inquired here on the how to with no luck but i did get some good advice from people at Reef Central who have moved with livestock in haul.One person claimed to have had fish in cooler for 48 hours and lost none.
Your plan sounds good, one other thing i was advised to do is stop feeding your livestock two days prior to move,it will cut down on waste during travel.
Good luck
 
#12
GOOD LUCK
my advice..
-sell livestock if able to
-sell corals
The move for you and the livestock will be stressful enough. If you have to worry about feeding/caring for livestock at the same time that will make the move worse for all.
 

salt210

Active Member
#13
Originally Posted by Veni Vidi Vici
http:///forum/post/3091832
Im about to do the same thing,Illinois to Florida.Ive inquired here on the how to with no luck but i did get some good advice from people at Reef Central who have moved with livestock in haul.One person claimed to have had fish in cooler for 48 hours and lost none.
Your plan sounds good, one other thing i was advised to do is stop feeding your livestock two days prior to move,it will cut down on waste during travel.
Good luck

where in FL?
as for the OP's questionuse airstones off the power converter. I would also use a trash can for the rock as well
 
#15
1. GOODLUCK!!!
2. please keep us posted...we're military so we WILL be having to move our tank sometime or another. i actually have moved our tank once but i've upgraded since then...so it'll probably be a whole other story...plus we just moved 20 minutes away...not hours upon hours.
3. when are you moving?
 
#16
Ok, so here's a little more info...
I am not planning on feeding the fish for at least a day before.
The idea with the rock is to layer them on the bottom of the cooler with the individual fish containers on top. This is a BIG cooler I can fit 10 7 inch Glad Plastic containers in a single layer on the bottom of the cooler. Come to think of it, maybe it's better to put the containers on the bottom with the rock on top. The rock will continue to act as a biological filter.
I am still weighing between the airstones and the powerheads. If I decide it's best to leave the coolers in the car, then I will definitely use the battery powered portable aerator at night.
For the coral cooler, I was going to pick up that plastic stuff that some people use for frag shelfs (can't remember the name of it) to keep the corals on top of the rocks. I was considering separate containers for the corals as well.
The bus leaves on Wednesday, 7/29 so after that I won't be able to post until I get my computer set up again.
 
#19
So I returned one of the big coolers and bought 2 smaller ones. After someone pointed out the weight issue, I decided I better rethink some of this.
So now, the plan is still to do all the fish in the big cooler with some rock.
The 2 smaller coolers will contain rock and corals. These I should be able to bring into the room at night and put the light on and plug in a powerhead to each.
Any rock that doesn't fit goes in the 40 gallon garbage pail that goes in the trailer.
I bought that egg crate stuff today. I plan on cutting it and zip-tying it together to make compartments in the coolers to keep the fish/corals/rock separated.
I also ordered an aerator for each cooler that will be "plumbed" in through the drain hole in the cooler.
I have also called ahead to a chain store to pre-purchase a basic 75 gallon tank. Since I am bringing all the equipment from my tanks, I won't need anything else.
If I get around to piecing together the egg crate tomorrow, I will take some pictures.
 

novahobbies

Well-Known Member
#20
Wow! I have never done this before, but I may be doing it within the coming year, so I'm going to be watching this thread with great interest. Good luck to you!!! The furthest I've had to "move" a tank was when I swapped out a 55 and replaced it with a 110 in he same spot...and I thought THAT was stressfull!!
 
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