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Moving a reef tank





It’s not often that one may face the necessity of moving a reef tank but there are times when you have to take these actions, be it due to job transfer or for study purposes. Moving a reef tank requires a lot of care and precautions and above all, pre planning. Every little part is delicate in its own way and all of them need special care and attention while being moved. Motive should be to transfer the marine tank with no damage and least stress to the invertebrates. It’s certain that you have dedicated a lot of efforts and money for following your hobby of reef keeping and leaving them behind or selling them could be such a pain. While transferring them to a new location would not be easy but leaving them behind is even harder. As I said earlier there are ways of carrying them safely. Take a look at my suggestions on moving a reef tank.

1. Plan the course

Planning is most important in moving a reef tank. It is good if you can begin the planning a week or a month in advance to the actual shifting day. Take a tour to your new place and decide the new place where you are going to keep your tank. Check if the place is appropriate for a large or whatever is the size of your tank. Keep the walkway to that place free of hindrances to that you don’t trip over an object while carrying them. Check if there is lighting sockets available close to the new place where you are going to place your tank. Also make sure they are working fine. When the place is set make a list of equipments you will need for moving. Get them all before hand and check for the fastest and safest way to transfer them. Whichever moving means you prefer, talk out with them in advance so that everything goes according to plan and the livestock is transferred at the desired time limit. Consider how lifting the tank will be carries out without causing damage to it.

2.Ready them for the journey

Fortnight before the final moving get all the equipments and livestock prepared for the trip. Remove the pumps, filters and other fixtures and clean them well. The best part of moving are that you get time to thoroughly clean the aquarium. Replace parts that are over clogged or look too worn out. If the journey is longer see if you could get them lighting available during the journey. If not, don’t worry until you have oxygenation life-support available without which you cannot carry. Keep enough ice chests, styrofoam boxes or tubs to carry them and transfer them in before an hour to see how they are doing. If you are experienced with carrying them, you can shift them in the last minute so that they will have to face the least time out of their usual habitat. Feed them well. It may happen that during journey they might not accept the changed conditions and refuse to eat so it’s better if you feed them well in advance.

3.Carry as much of existing water

There is a probability that the new place may have different weather conditions as well as different water type. The mineral content of the water might differ along with temperature and salinity. The livestock are already going to be a little shocked for the whole carrying process. To lessen their stress, you must carry them in water in which they have stayed for a few days. Carry them in the same water and if possible stock the leftover water for use when you arrive. This is only possible with smaller tanks. Keep test kits and thermometers handy to keep checking the salinity and temperature. If your tank is large, of course carrying all the water is not possible. You must not try to mix water of both the places. Instead give the tank whole quantity of new water. Keep testing them to lessen stress on the livestock. However, some level of stress is evitable and can be sorted in a few days when the marine invertebrates and corals learn to adjust with the new conditions.

4.Ready to go

Keep water level shallow to ensure more surface area for gas exchange. Livestock and coral should be so placed that they are the first things to be moved in and the first to be moved out at the new place. What you can do about sand bed is to siphon them through a 1-inch flex line rather than scooping them. Once you reach the new place get the corals and fishes out first and next the aquarium and equipments. Carry the tank with care to the new place where is supposed to be set up. Don’t miss the part of checking it briefly for damage or leakage. Instead of rushing with the installation work, get down on a couch and ponder on your plan and if you have executed them well. Now think on the plan next. Once you have revised what you are going to do to get the tank back to work, you may begin. Get water ready and arrange the rocks and the sand bed. Get the corals back to water and gently transfer the fishes using net. With everything in proper order, your livestock should be able to adjust to the new place and be happy again.