Tips On Safely Moving 200L Tank

betta fish

Fish Herder
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
1,563
Reaction score
121
Location
GB
Hello all, I will be moving house in a month or so and starting to stress about how to move my 200L tank with the least disturbance.
The tank is an aquael length 100cm width 40cm height 50cm.
It is a planted tank with around two inches of gravel/sand substrate on its base I also have various rocks and branches in the tank.
I will remove the rocks and branches and obviously the water and the fish but really don't want to disturb the substrate or the plants as I know it will only make a big mess but is it safe to move the tank this way? I have help with my partner and his dad and mum to lift it so there will be 4 of us.
My partners dad is reluctant to move the tank with the substrate in place as not only would it be heavier it also risks the base cracking and whilst I understand this is a risk has anyone actually done this? I really don't want to move the gravel if I don't have to as it's been in situ for around a year and who knows what it will stir up! the fish will be stressed enough as it is, although the new house is less than an hour away and the water chemistry not too different.
If anyone has any ideas on how to do this or they have done it please let me know thanks 
 

Akasha72

Warning - Mad Cory Woman
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
5,535
Reaction score
554
Location
GB
hi ... I had to move my Rio240 back in July/August to have a new living room carpet fitted. It was the most stressful thing I've ever had to do and if I have to move house I'm buying a new tank, setting it up in the new home and moving the fish and ditching the old tank! 
 
I'm afraid you will have to remove everything - including the substrate. I didn't want to remove my substrate either but the tank was just too heavy with it in. There was also a serious risk of the bottom cracking under the weight. In the end I put all my plants and wood in plastic storage boxes filled with tank water. I brought my Rekord 800 in from the shed, put it on the kitchen worktop, filled it up and hoped and prayed the worktop held out - all my fish went in there. My female curviceps jumped out and I lost her 
My substrate went into buckets and the tank was moved still stood on it's stand by 4 big strong boys. 
 
Do not try to slide the tank on it's stand. This was my plan but I was warned that the stands are not designed to be slid that way and it could have folded up like a stack of cards. 
 
I would recommend bagging up the fish and your plants in the same way they are bagged when you get them. If you ask at your lfs they will give you bags and they may even give you a polystyrene crate to keep them in while you move. If your lfs are really understanding they may even be able to look after the fish till you get in and get settled. If you have bogwood try to keep it wet if you can ... that way you will avoid it floating when you try to put it back and it will also help guard against fungi growing on it.
As to your substrate, it is going to stir up some crap so take your time in removing it and consider washing it in sections as you remove it. That way when it's ready to go back in it will be cleaner and less likely to stir up and cause a bacterial bloom. Maybe this is the time to consider a substrate change???? Just a thought ...
 
Good luck with your move :)
 

bricko

Fishaholic
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
419
Reaction score
1
Location
GB
I moved home in June this year and had to relocate my 400 l planted tank.  In the end I bought a brand new 600l tank and set this up with substrate and moved one of my filters and heaters over the day prior to moving.  (I was fortunate that the owners of the house I was buying permitted me to do this)
On the day of the move i firstly removed all the plants and decor from the original tank, then planted up the new tank (the new house was only 15 minutes away)
Once I had returned to collect the fish the disturbed water had settled, I used large plastic storage containers about 1/2 full of tank water to transport the fish, these were heavy when full but enabled all the fish to be transported in one move.
All the fish and the other filter where then moved to the new tank successfully.
I did lose a couple of botia loach due to stress but these were around 6 years old and probably couldnt cope witht the move, all my denisoni (7) and Mascara (6) barbs as well as my platinum acaras, bristlenose plecs amd siamese algae eaters settled in fine.
Unfortunately there is no easy way to do this but believe me I would not risk transporting your current tank with substrae in situ, this WILL crack and you will be in an even worse position.
 
Hope this helps
 
Mark
 
OP
betta fish

betta fish

Fish Herder
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
1,563
Reaction score
121
Location
GB
Thank you Akasha and Bricko I thought that may have to be the case I was thinking about a change in substrate, I have a bag of play sand I could use initially and then slowly but surely begin adding the old stuff back bit by bit instead of all in one go, say each day add a cupful or two rather than all at once? I will bring it with me in a lidded bucket and see how I go! Thanks again 
 

bricko

Fishaholic
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
419
Reaction score
1
Location
GB
I would just discard the old substrate, playsand is perfectly fine for a planted tank and most of the nutrients are picked up in the water column anyway.  Thats all I added into the new tank and plants are thriving, you may want to add some fertiliser tabs to any root heavy plants like swords etc but other than that just start again
 

Gruntle

Fishaholic
Joined
Nov 26, 2013
Messages
632
Reaction score
43
Location
AU
A year ago I moved my 130l and 200l tank twice (moved out for renovations). This is how I would go about it:
 
Three days before the move, stop feeding your fish. They'll be fine (unless you have fry) and there will be less fish waste (poop and ammonia) to worry about during the move.
 
Get some fish bags from your LFS. Most of them are quite happy to give them to you.
 
On the day of the move, make sure your new place has a spot for the tank and access to it is clear.
 
Capture the fish into the bags, then seal them up as per when you bought them from the LFS (about 1/3 full of water, the rest with air, sealed with a rubber band). If you can, keep them in a dark place like a cardboard box or polystyrene crate (even throw a towel over the top to keep the light out).
 
Turn off your filter and disconnect it. This will stop any muck from your substrate getting into the filter. You can empty the water out of the filter, but make sure the media remains damp. I tipped the water out and shut the filter up again.
 
Remove your plants and bag them. Remove any other décor (if you have wood, bag it also, even a garbage bag will do).
 
Empty the water.
 
Scoop out the substrate (a fish net is a great help here, or even a dustpan). I put mine into several buckets with lids, to keep it moist. While you're doing this, you'll realise how heavy a couple of inches of gravel really is, and your back will thank you (as will the backs of your partner and his parents).
 
Load everything into the car, making sure the tank is on a solid flat surface.
 
At the other end, set up your tank in reverse order. If you're changing substrate, you can do this now, I'd even go so far as to wash the sand thoroughly before the move so your fish are back in the tank as soon as possible. If you're not changing substrate, give your old stuff a thorough run-through with a hose before adding it. 
So substrate, plants, decorations, dechlorinated water, filter, and fish.
Try and add water at the temperature you want to end up with, taking care if you have a copper water heater (I ended up boiling the kettle a couple of times to get some warm water in, I didn't dechlorinate the water in the kettle, obviously).
 
I'd leave the light off for a day or so to let your fish settle, and feed sparingly for a day or so. Keep an eye on your water parameters for the next week.
 
I didn't take the substrate out of my 130l tank and then had to haul it up a flight of stairs. 40kg of gravel is quite a lot, along with the weight of the tank. It's a tall tank and the base was very flat in the car, so I wasn't worried bout it cracking, but once I learned that lesson I thoroughly emptied the 200l.
 
It took me about 4 hours in total, including an hour's drive. Just don't get stressed trying to catch the fish, this in itself can take more time than you expect, and it may help to remove your decorations and plants and half-empty the water, although this can stir up the muck in the substrate, so I was lucky in that the water in the bags came out of the tank before this happened. So I guess half-empty the water, keeping some in the bags, take out your décor and wait for the muck to settle, then catch the fish.
 
Best of luck with it all.
 
OP
betta fish

betta fish

Fish Herder
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
1,563
Reaction score
121
Location
GB
Thank you Gruntle that is excellent advice, I will def do as you all say, I remember how heavy the tank was when we lifted it empty! luckily I have a good supply of bags already to put all the fish in, I also have a couple of poly boxes from when I used to order marine stuff online. I have two large angels so they will have to go in seperate bags to one another as I don't trust them being in close confines together or with any other fish lol, I have a colony of assassin snails in my gravel so didn't want to get rid of it as I know they are in there somewhere plus I prefer a mix of gravel and sand in my tank 
 thank you all.
 

Wills

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Jun 15, 2009
Messages
8,166
Reaction score
1,766
Location
East Yorks
Ive moved a few tanks a few times - far and away the worst was my 512 liter :( Took 6 people to lift and organise the move lol.
 
Totally agree with what Gruntle has said - and just wanted to reiterate how hard it can be to move fish in any given time period as they often dont want to play ball - my advice buy big nets as big as possible!
 
Also a tip to keep external filters alive get some air pumps and feed the tubes into the bottom of the filter so the air comes up through it, big stress relief and means you have longer over all :)
 
Wills
 

Gruntle

Fishaholic
Joined
Nov 26, 2013
Messages
632
Reaction score
43
Location
AU
I remember when I moved back. I moved all of the fish into one tank the day before the move and moved the other tank home. Catching all of the fish in the second tank to move them (and come back the next day for the tank) took me nearly 4 hours, and by the end I was down to two inches of water and a dam wall of gravel to stop the fish from escaping to the other side of the tank. Even with two nets I was getting very annoyed with the little darlings.
 
OP
betta fish

betta fish

Fish Herder
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
1,563
Reaction score
121
Location
GB
Lol, luckily the fish I have in my tank are fairly easy to catch so hopefully it won't take me too long to catch them all up, I am so pleased I no longer have my kribs for the move otherwise I would be there all day 
 

Akasha72

Warning - Mad Cory Woman
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
5,535
Reaction score
554
Location
GB
it took me hours to catch all mine betta fish. The angels were the easiest and so was my curviceps cichlids. The tetra's and harliquins though .... seriously fast. The cories I thought would be easy too but they were the worst of the lot and the one's that caused the most stress was my SAE's. They are renouned jumpers and so trying to catch them was a nightmare,
In the end my Dad had to help me. We got a piece of perspex, lowered the water level and got a group pinned into a corner and netted all I could before pinning another group in another corner and so on. 
 
This is why I've said - when I get the call to move (I'm currently on a waiting list) I'm buying a new tank, setting it up in the new place and moving the fish in and ditching the old second hand tank!
 

Far_King

Fishaholic
Joined
Sep 9, 2015
Messages
645
Reaction score
147
Location
GB
I sometimes see the guys in the LFS struggle to catch fish in bare tanks.
 
It drives me nuts when I need to catch them in heavily planted tanks.  There's nowhere to swing a net!
 
OP
betta fish

betta fish

Fish Herder
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
1,563
Reaction score
121
Location
GB
Hey all, just thought I'd update you on the move 
it went better than expected, I emptied it all and then refilled it when in my new house, been here nearly two weeks now and the fish seem fine so much so my angels have laid eggs for the first time on an anubias leaf last night! they are actively protecting and looking after them but my bristlenose was on the leaf this morning and I thought they were gone but most appear to still be there, I am not sure if she has harmed them and some have turned white the majority still look orange/yellow.
 

Akasha72

Warning - Mad Cory Woman
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
5,535
Reaction score
554
Location
GB
glad it all went well and congrats on the spawn. Hope you get some baby angels and if you do don't forget the photo's :D
 

trending

Members online

Most reactions - Past 7 days

Top