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  1. #1
    Senior Member Pickoff's Avatar
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    What is the best way to move a 180gal salt water tank?

    I just introduced myself to the salt water hobby by purchasing a 180gal. Talk about diving into it...what is the best way to move my new purchase?

    The tank currently has live rock and sand, and some cheap fish (damsels and a couple of old tangs). The tank also has quite a bit of algae on the glass due to a lack of maintenance. Can it be removed and how?

  2. #2
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    First of all, allow me to be the first to welcome you to Aquaria.ca! You came to the right place, as lots of us here are willing to help.

    Now, since the tank is already established, you will want to keep as much as the current water as possible if you want to avoid a cycle. This means lots of jugs to transport the water back home.

    However if the tank's been neglected, then the water may not exactly be up to par. If you don't mind using new water, and going through a cycle BEFORE adding any fish, then you may as well drain the tank and take it home.

    You will however want to keep the liverock wet on the way home, and have lots of water ready to fill 'er up.
    What condition is the rock in? Is it nice and clean, coralline encrusted rock, or is it full of algae? You may need to scrub the rock before placing it in the tank again.

    You'll also have to decide on what substrate you will use, if any. Crushed coral, aragonite sand, or barebottom? You may want to keep some of the current sand, a couple of pounds of the topmost sand only to seed your "new" tank.

    Many decisions to be made here. How about letting us know the answers to all the above so that we can help and guide you in the right direction.
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member ReefVan's Avatar
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    t_m,

    Lets ask for some digital pics if available... type of skimmer and model... where the heck do they live... what is the type of lighting overhead... I would stick with the water... it may just need to be skimmed and filtered... use big clean water cooler jugs... do some water tests to see the parameters... what type of pump and / or sump.

    Pics are worth a 1000 words and maybe a lot of work could be saved...
    It's not junk, it's un-assembled DIY!

  4. #4
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    Any time I move the water in my tank I purchase plastic Tupperware type storage bins of manageable size and move them with a hand dolly. Fill them 3/4 full only and try to get the roughneck ones that have good handles at the ends. They can be used to move everything including water, sand and loose equipment in a hurry. The containers will come in handy in the future so they are not wasted. Plan a 20 % water change so you only need to move 140 gallons. If you can not get help with the tank its self and stairs are involved rent an appliance moving cart and have some cardboard handy to protect the glass on the tank from the dolly's uprights. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE STRAPS ON THE DOLLY!!!!!!! or you could break the tank. A few good friends with strong backs... that you will owe beer to ...can do the job pretty fast.
    Rob

  5. #5
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    I just got a 180 gallon fish only tank for the new digs and it was heavy! 3/4 inch glass took 4 people to lift. I am not looking forward to the 400 gallon tank that is comming in May for my reef system!
    ________
    Tanks: 400 gal Reef, 180 gal FOWLR, 300 gal Sump, 40 gal Frag Tray plumbed as one system - 900 gal total water volume.
    DIY Calcium Reactor, Nielson Reactor and Skimmer

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pickoff's Avatar
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    Wow! I am pleasantly surprised at the responses my question has generated. I guess I have come to the right place.

    After hearing some of the advice, my plan is to use an empty 90 gal tank that I have lying around to temporarily hold the water, live rock and livestock from the new 180 gal I purchased. This will give me time to clean and properly setup the new tank.

    As I said before, the tank and everything in it, including the live rock, is covered in purplish brown stuff. I am not sure exactly what it is or if I can remove it entirely. The owner has reassured me that it can be removed.

    We are planning a phased approach which starts on Wednesday with moving the live rock, live sand and water. I have already filled the 90gal with 20% tap water. The 90 will be setup with one of the wet/drys. On Thursday we plan on catching and moving the fish along with more water. Sunday we are going to move the 180gal tank, stand, light canopy and the rest of the equipment.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any pics of the new tank. From what I remember, the skimmer hanged off the back of the tank, there was no sump, two eheim wet/dry's ran the mechanical fitration with two powerheads creating water movement. The lighting consists of three metal halide bulbs and two flourescent tubes. The distance between locations is approximatley 15 km.

    I have called some moving companies to enquired about the cost of moving the tank. Most are not interested and the others will do it for no less that $250 uninsured. When I enquired about the appliance dolly, the feeling was that it would do the job, but they would recommend a piano skid for going down a two flight 90 degree staircase to the basement.

    The new tank will have a deep sand bed consisting of aquarium safe sand (home depot) and aragonite sand. I am planning to use a sump. Any good designs you would recommend? Do you recommend a refugium? Is mechnical filtration required?

    Thank you for the warm welcome. I really appreciate your interest and enthusiasm to help.

  7. #7
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    Is what they call a piano skid a simple flat dolly with 4 wheels on the bottom? If so I would stick to the appliance dolly. They are extra heavy duty, extra tall, have straps to hold things on them and have tracks on the back of the up rights for controlled slides on steps. Thats just my opinion.
    Rob

  8. #8
    Senior Member tiffany's Avatar
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    I have already filled the 90gal with 20% tap water.
    The fish and other inhabitants you move will need salt water to live in.... If you're using ASW tap water is ok if treated first. If not treated you can introduce toxic metals and chlorine and chloramide etc, and have a lovely algae outbreak from the phosphates...Which is most likely what the brown stuff is.....
    "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
    - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Pickoff's Avatar
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    Well, the temporary holding tank (90gal) is filled with 2/3 the live rocks from the 180 gal and some gravel. We left the best quality stuff out to allow the holding tank to settle.

    Unfortunately we did not reuse much of the old water, it was too difficult to move. We treated new water and introduced the gravel and live rock. We are planning to wait a day or two to introduce the rest of the gravel, rock and fish.

    The holding tank is being heated and circulated, but no filtration is attached yet.

    After seeing both the piano skid and the appliance dolly, I do agree that the appliance dolly is a much better choice. I will place a piece of plywood over the top of the tank so I can fasten the straps without placing any pressure on the side of the tank.

    Thanks

  10. #10
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    My only concern here is that you didn't use much of the old water. By doing so, your tank may go through a small cycle. Keep an eye on your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings and hopefully you won't have any losses.
    What kind of fish are there already?
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

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