I am in the process (but almost done!) of moving, hence the lack of posts lately. I just got my internet hooked up last night. And one of the worst parts of moving is moving fish tanks, especially large ones. So, I thought I would chronicle the process for me.
11:00 PM: Take the canopy off (two person job). Remove trim from my stand in order for the tank to be moved, remove all items underneath the stand that were not vital to the tank, including buckets, nets, water conditioners, food, ect.
11:30 PM: Removed all but one piece of driftwood from the tank. Started to remove the gravel from the tank. I have about 2-5 gallon buckets worth of and I ended up taking out 1-5 gallon buckets worth before I called it a night. Too tired. This was about 12:15 AM-ish.
Moving day after the jump.
Movers were supposed to arrive at 10:00 AM so I had to get an early start.
8:00 AM: Hook the Python up to sink and start draining the water. Also started to remove the glass tops and push the lights out of the way. Then, I went back to removing the remainder of the gravel.
8:30 AM: Gravel all out and the water is about 1/3 empty. I have 4 filters on the tank (3 HOB, 1 cannister) and the HOBs were shutting off due to water level so I went about removing them. These were placed upright in plastic tubs to keep the filter media wet.
9:00 AM: Tank is about 2/3 of the way drained, so it is time to get the fish out. The plan was to have the fish out at 9, movers come at ten, 1.5 hours to move everything, and I would have water in the tank 12:00. so the fish would be out of water max 3 hours. For this reason, I decided just to buy 2-16 gallon tubs and no air pump because they wouldn’t be out of the tank for long.
9:15 AM: 20 inch Fire Eel, and 3 of my bichirs are in one tub.
9:30 AM: Had to drain the water a little more to get the faster fish. Wild snook, red bay snook, L330 pleco, royal knifefish, and red-shoulder severum are in the tub. I take he canister filter off the tank and remove lights.
9:45 AM: Tank is completely drained. I had to lift one end to drain all the water out, so I got my calf, traps, and grip work in for the day. I am right on schedule and I begin to carry the filters and stuff to the my car. The movers will be here soon and I want it out of the way. The fish will go in my car right before the movers have packed everything else. I don’t want them in the Florida heat.
9:50 AM: Get a call from the movers saying they will be 45-60 minutes late. Damn.
11:30 AM: Movers arrive. My “keep the fish out of water 3 hours max” plan is done for. Movers start moving stuff and they are very fast about it. Obviously wasn’t a case of them being lazy and that is why they were late… there boss obviously overbooked them. The tank and stand is placed at the end of the truck so they can get it out first.
12:15 PM: Place is empty, on the way to the new place.
1:00 PM: Tank is in at the new place. Takes forever to line the stand up (needs to be perfect for the wife) and then takes forever to get the tank on the stand with the foam in the right place. The movers were not strong enough to lift the tank while I moved the foam. Fun times but eventually got it. I start to connect the new hose to one of the facets to let it run for a bit before I fill the tank.
1:30 PM: Movers finished and are one. I start to fill the tank with water. I dump about 300 gallons worth of conditioner in the tank as well as the rest of my Seacchem stability that I had. When I turn on the filters, I don’t want the toxic water killing my beneficial bacteria. I also hook up the canister filter, but it will be the first one to turn on.
1:45 PM: The new fridge shows up. Joy. I have to stop what I am doing to deal with that. This was supposed to be here 3 days ago lol.
2:00 PM: Canister is running and the 1 of the HOB is added, although I had some issues with it. Gravel is dumped in (literally) and it is time to add the fish. They have been in the tubs way longer than expected. But, I can’t find my nets. Seems I left them at the house and I don’t have time to go back because I have to leave at 3:00 to pick up my wife.
2:15 PM: I decide I am going to have to dump the fish in. I stop the water because the tubs are about 8 gallons a piece. So, not too heavy but super awkward. I decide to dump the tub with the eels and bichirs first, as something in that tub has been jumping out of the water and slamming into the lid constantly. The water fills the tank to the absolute brim. Fuck.
2:30 PM: Add the last filter and put the glass tops on. The other fish are going to have to wait until I get back.
5:00 PM: Get back with the nets, put the fish in, and everything seems fine still.
So, that was the process. Wasn’t as easy as this makes it of course, but it could have been worse (also could have been better). All is well at the moment, but I still need to put the trim back on, add lights, add driftwood, and touch up the stand and tank with some paint. But the fish is in and everything is fine. Hopefully I didn’t kill of my bacteria and the tank doesn’t recycle. That would be bad.