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How to move 60 gallon tank?

Kristen g

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Hey everyone! I’m new here and I’m not sure if this is the right location for this topic, but I am moving soon and need some pointers on how to go about moving my 60 gallon goldfish tank.

It is a 60 gallon marineland heartland tank& stand with 3 goldfish, and I am running a fluval FX4 filter with it.

In my new place, I have an empty 29 gallon which I plan on using to house the goldfish temporarily until my movers can move the 60 gallon over for me. But in the meantime, I have no idea how to go about moving this canister filter - I figured it would be best to move the fish and the filter over ASAP.

It was relatively easy to set the filter up initially, being that I had no prior experience with canister filters. But I have never taken one apart, so does anyone have any pointers on what I should be careful about, or things I should do/ not do?

Also, I know the filter media is supposed to stay wet with aquarium water during the process so the bacteria does not dry out and die. I have not replaced any of the media since I got the filter about a year and a half ago, so I figured now would be a good idea to replace SOME of it. My question is, which of the media is the most important to preserve, and what should I go ahead and replace? (Meaning the foam blocks, ceramic rings, etc.)

This is a huge project for me so any suggestions or guidance as to the best way to go about it all would be greatly appreciated!! :)

EDIT: I figured I should add that the goldfish are pretty large, about 7 or 8 inches long. The move is about a 45 minute drive, a little bit longer with traffic. So any tips on how to safely move the fish would also be great!
 

Colin_T

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Hi and welcome to the forum :)

Filters need to be cleaned at least once a month and every 2 weeks is better.

You do not need to replace filter media unless it is falling apart. Sponges, ceramic beads and most other types of filter material will last for 10 years or more and only get replaced when they break down and fall apart. The only exception to this is carbon (black granules) or ammonia adsorbing agents (white granules). These get thrown out and you don't replace them because they are not necessary. The ammonia adsorbing granules are different to the ceramic filter beads. If you are unsure, post a picture of the filter media and we can ID them for you.

---------------------------
To clean an external power filter you turn it off at the power point and unplug it.
Put the filter in a sink or outside on the lawn and open it. Tip the dirty water out onto the lawn.
Get a bucket of water from the aquarium and squeeze out the filter materials/ media in the bucket of tank water. When they are clean, put them in the aquarium with the fish.
Wash the filter case with tap water and empty it out. Put the case somewhere safe.

Remove the hoses from the aquarium and wash them under tap water before putting them back on/ in the tank.

The motor has an impellor assembly in it and this needs to be cleaned. The impellor is a grey magnet with 3 or 4 (sometimes more) plastic blades on one end. There is usually a steel shaft that runs through the centre of the impellor and there is a rubber grommet on either end of the steel shaft. Some models have a small plastic washer next to the rubber grommet. Do not lose any of these bits.
Take the rubber grommets off and remove the steel shaft. Rinse these parts in a bucket of tap water so you don't drop them down the sink.
Wash the impellor under tap water and make sure there is no gunk in it.

If your filter is currently running then the impellor is fine, but the following info is how you check the impellor to make sure it is in good condition.
If you hold the magnetic base of the impellor and gently turn the plastic blades, they should only turn about 180-250degrees, and they should not be able to turn continuously around if you are holding the magnetic impellor. If you can turn the plastic blades around and around whilst holding the magnet still, the impellor is stuffed and needs replacing.

The electrical components of most power filters are sealed in a plastic resin to prevent water getting onto them. So do not worry too much if a bit of water gets on the outside of the motor. Shake it off and dry it and you should be fine.

When the filter case, motor and impellor have been cleaned, you put the old filter media back in the case, reassemble the motor, and put it back together.

Attach the hoses to the filter. Have the intake hose in the aquarium and put a clean fish bucket next to the filter.
Suck on the outlet hose until water starts syphoning into the filter.
Put the outlet hose in the bucket next to the filter and let the filter fill up with tank water.
When water is flowing out of the hose in the bucket, give the filter a gentle shake to help dislodge any air bubbles.
Let the bucket fill up with tank water, then put your thumb over the end of the hose to stop the water coming out.
Put the outlet hose in the aquarium and attach it to the glass with the suction cups.

Make sure your hands and the plug are dry and plug the filter in the power socket and turn it on.

Pour the bucket of water on the lawn and top up the tank with some clean dechlorinated water.

---------------------------
You should clean the filter one week before you move it. This removes most of the gunk from the filter and will mean it is cleaner and the bacteria will travel better. The bacteria will also be able to recover during the week before moving.

To move the filter, simply turn it off at the power point and unplug it.
Put a plastic bag on the end of each hose and use a rubber band to hold it on. You do this to stop water draining out of the hoses.
Put the filter in a cool dark spot (out of sunlight) and take it to the new house.

You can do this on the same day you move the fish and you should move the fish a few days (or more) before the removalists move your furniture and tank.

To move the fish, get a couple of big plastic buckets or some eskies (coolers that you use to keep drinks cold when you go out). Half fill these containers with tank water and put the fish in them. Put the lid on and put them in the car and take them to the new house.

If you take several buckets of tank water you should be able to half fill the smaller tank with their old water, add the fish and filter, then top up the tank with clean dechlorinated water.

Get the filter running asap and monitor the ammonia and nitrite levels for the next month. If you get any readings, do a 75% water change to dilute it.

Keep the feeding down to a couple of times a week until the filters have recovered and or the fish get moved into the big tank.

---------------------------
Do not feed the fish for 24 hours before moving them. This will reduce the amount of waste they produce when in transit.

---------------------------
After you have moved the fish into their new tank, go back home and gravel clean the big tank. Drain all the water out while doing this, then refill the tank and gravel clean it again. Completely drain the tank and then remove the gravel and put it in buckets.

Carry the aquarium outside and put it somewhere safe so you don't damage it. Have the aquarium on its side and hose it out with tap water. When it is clean, drain out the water and put the tank inside somewhere safe, usually back on the stand.

Pack up all the fish gear and put it in boxes and put them in the car.

You can either tape the coverglass to the aquarium or wrap them in towels or paper and put them in the car with the rest of the fish gear. Do not put anything on the glass while it is in the car of you will break it.

When the movers come, get them to load everything else in first and do the tank last. Put some thick blankets on the floor of the truck and put the aquarium on the blankets. Put blankets around the sides of the tank too. Gently tie the tank in place so it doesn't move around. Make sure nothing made from metal is in contact with the glass. Some removalists use metal ratchets and tie down straps. These can crack the glass so be careful using them. Rope is safer.

Put the stand in the truck and tie that in too.

You can put the polystyrene under the aquarium (between the base of the tank and the blankets), or you can take the polystyrene with you in your car. You can also put it inside the aquarium.

When you get to the new house, put the stand in first. Put the polystyrene on the stand and put the tank on the polystyrene. Empty the truck of all the furniture, pay truckies and send them on their way. Then wait until the next day to deal with the tank.

Have fun moving :)
 
OP
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Kristen g

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Thank you so much for such a thorough answer. Just to clarify though, I should move the canister filter while it is still filled with water, and just cover the ends of the hoses to prevent the water from leaking? I was worried that the filter would be too heavy this way but if not, it’ll make things easier!

Hi and welcome to the forum :)

Filters need to be cleaned at least once a month and every 2 weeks is better.

You do not need to replace filter media unless it is falling apart. Sponges, ceramic beads and most other types of filter material will last for 10 years or more and only get replaced when they break down and fall apart. The only exception to this is carbon (black granules) or ammonia adsorbing agents (white granules). These get thrown out and you don't replace them because they are not necessary. The ammonia adsorbing granules are different to the ceramic filter beads. If you are unsure, post a picture of the filter media and we can ID them for you.

---------------------------
To clean an external power filter you turn it off at the power point and unplug it.
Put the filter in a sink or outside on the lawn and open it. Tip the dirty water out onto the lawn.
Get a bucket of water from the aquarium and squeeze out the filter materials/ media in the bucket of tank water. When they are clean, put them in the aquarium with the fish.
Wash the filter case with tap water and empty it out. Put the case somewhere safe.

Remove the hoses from the aquarium and wash them under tap water before putting them back on/ in the tank.

The motor has an impellor assembly in it and this needs to be cleaned. The impellor is a grey magnet with 3 or 4 (sometimes more) plastic blades on one end. There is usually a steel shaft that runs through the centre of the impellor and there is a rubber grommet on either end of the steel shaft. Some models have a small plastic washer next to the rubber grommet. Do not lose any of these bits.
Take the rubber grommets off and remove the steel shaft. Rinse these parts in a bucket of tap water so you don't drop them down the sink.
Wash the impellor under tap water and make sure there is no gunk in it.

If your filter is currently running then the impellor is fine, but the following info is how you check the impellor to make sure it is in good condition.
If you hold the magnetic base of the impellor and gently turn the plastic blades, they should only turn about 180-250degrees, and they should not be able to turn continuously around if you are holding the magnetic impellor. If you can turn the plastic blades around and around whilst holding the magnet still, the impellor is stuffed and needs replacing.

The electrical components of most power filters are sealed in a plastic resin to prevent water getting onto them. So do not worry too much if a bit of water gets on the outside of the motor. Shake it off and dry it and you should be fine.

When the filter case, motor and impellor have been cleaned, you put the old filter media back in the case, reassemble the motor, and put it back together.

Attach the hoses to the filter. Have the intake hose in the aquarium and put a clean fish bucket next to the filter.
Suck on the outlet hose until water starts syphoning into the filter.
Put the outlet hose in the bucket next to the filter and let the filter fill up with tank water.
When water is flowing out of the hose in the bucket, give the filter a gentle shake to help dislodge any air bubbles.
Let the bucket fill up with tank water, then put your thumb over the end of the hose to stop the water coming out.
Put the outlet hose in the aquarium and attach it to the glass with the suction cups.

Make sure your hands and the plug are dry and plug the filter in the power socket and turn it on.

Pour the bucket of water on the lawn and top up the tank with some clean dechlorinated water.

---------------------------
You should clean the filter one week before you move it. This removes most of the gunk from the filter and will mean it is cleaner and the bacteria will travel better. The bacteria will also be able to recover during the week before moving.

To move the filter, simply turn it off at the power point and unplug it.
Put a plastic bag on the end of each hose and use a rubber band to hold it on. You do this to stop water draining out of the hoses.
Put the filter in a cool dark spot (out of sunlight) and take it to the new house.

You can do this on the same day you move the fish and you should move the fish a few days (or more) before the removalists move your furniture and tank.

To move the fish, get a couple of big plastic buckets or some eskies (coolers that you use to keep drinks cold when you go out). Half fill these containers with tank water and put the fish in them. Put the lid on and put them in the car and take them to the new house.

If you take several buckets of tank water you should be able to half fill the smaller tank with their old water, add the fish and filter, then top up the tank with clean dechlorinated water.

Get the filter running asap and monitor the ammonia and nitrite levels for the next month. If you get any readings, do a 75% water change to dilute it.

Keep the feeding down to a couple of times a week until the filters have recovered and or the fish get moved into the big tank.

---------------------------
Do not feed the fish for 24 hours before moving them. This will reduce the amount of waste they produce when in transit.

---------------------------
After you have moved the fish into their new tank, go back home and gravel clean the big tank. Drain all the water out while doing this, then refill the tank and gravel clean it again. Completely drain the tank and then remove the gravel and put it in buckets.

Carry the aquarium outside and put it somewhere safe so you don't damage it. Have the aquarium on its side and hose it out with tap water. When it is clean, drain out the water and put the tank inside somewhere safe, usually back on the stand.

Pack up all the fish gear and put it in boxes and put them in the car.

You can either tape the coverglass to the aquarium or wrap them in towels or paper and put them in the car with the rest of the fish gear. Do not put anything on the glass while it is in the car of you will break it.

When the movers come, get them to load everything else in first and do the tank last. Put some thick blankets on the floor of the truck and put the aquarium on the blankets. Put blankets around the sides of the tank too. Gently tie the tank in place so it doesn't move around. Make sure nothing made from metal is in contact with the glass. Some removalists use metal ratchets and tie down straps. These can crack the glass so be careful using them. Rope is safer.

Put the stand in the truck and tie that in too.

You can put the polystyrene under the aquarium (between the base of the tank and the blankets), or you can take the polystyrene with you in your car. You can also put it inside the aquarium.

When you get to the new house, put the stand in first. Put the polystyrene on the stand and put the tank on the polystyrene. Empty the truck of all the furniture, pay truckies and send them on their way. Then wait until the next day to deal with the tank.

Have fun moving :)
Than
 

Colin_T

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Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
17,878
Reaction score
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Location
Perth, WA
Normally you just move the filter with water in. If the filter is big or too heavy to move when full, then put the filter materials in a bucket that is half filled with tank water and put a lid on it, and keep it out of the sunlight. Empty the canister filter and rinse it out. Wash the impellor assembly.

Transport the bucket containing the filter media and the empty filter to the new house and set it back up.
 
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