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FAQs about Moving Aquarium Systems 3

Related Articles: Moving and Transporting your Livestock and Tanks By Amy Janecek, Moving Aquariums

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Moving a tank to another state Hello- Decisions, decisions: We're moving from Indiana to CT sometime this Spring, and I'm struggling with how/if to move my reef tank. Given all the moving options gleaned from pouring over threads here, I'm at the point of simply selling/giving the lovely creatures to homes where they'll be safe here in the hometown, rather than risk hauling them 900 miles....Or, I hire one of the better local dealers (which includes a major e-tailer) to ship them for me, once a new tank is up and going in CT. I can afford the expense, I just would worry about stressing the animals. Any thoughts? (it's a 40g display, mostly LPS, with a 60g sump, established roughly 4 years). << Here is what I would do.  I'd sell all the stuff to a local store, or to a local club.  Then invest that money in buying stuff at the new house.  You can move a tank, but honestly why?  When you get the new house it will be nice to picture a tank and layout where it will go, and take your time.  You won't want to hurry and get the old tank set up, while your corals are in buckets. >> Thanks very much- <<  Blundell  >>

Moving My Tank Advice... and Cleanup Crew Hi Bob (or whomever answers this). <Hello David> I have enjoyed over a year of my saltwater aquarium.  I have developed my basement and am about to reposition my tank into the wall of a recreation room.  I do have an entire small 'utility room' to house my tank... it's just the front that is visible in the rec. room.  I have a few questions and it's been forever since I chatted with you guys. 1) I do have a 1,000 watt <!> home theatre system hooked up in the rec. room (including subwoofer).  My 90 gallon tank will be resting against a foam stripping against the wall (to the rec. room).  I don't plan on cranking my volume on my stereo or anything... but is this of any concern??? <If very loud, very often, possibly... the oceans are pretty noisy at times, places> 2) I am moving my fish tank (it's about a ? hour drive).  Currently my tank has live sand that seems constantly plagued by green grassy like algae or a burgundy dust like algae. <These are blue-greens, aka Cyanobacteria... please read over their control, limitation on WetWebMedia.com> My tank has about 2" of live sand... I've heard that I should have about 3" so I do intend to top up my live sand level during the move.  Should I rinse out the existing sand attempting to clean up the algae??? <I would, yes> Should I just add the new sand and carry on?  Because I have only been able to observe my tank about once a week to two weeks, my water changes and cleaning over the past few months has been terrible.   The new location will not offer any direct sunlight which I am hoping will help. Comments? Suggestions? <See WWM re> 3) I have setup a 20 gallon quarantine tank with new water and gravel/shell bottom.  Is it a good idea to transfer my shrimp and fish into the 20 gallon tank for a day or so while I cleanup and organize my new tank? <Likely so... if the transit will be more than a few to several hours... otherwise I'd keep all individually bagged, in a cooler or fish box> The 20 gallon tank just has one of those cheap little filter systems and no protein skimmer. Details of my tank: 90 gallon salt water tank (the tank is about 4ft x 2ft giving 8sq ft of sand or live rock bottom) Salinity 1.0024 - 1.0026  (I may be missing some zeros) Temp 25/26oc Protein Skimmer 2 Power Heads (aimed at the 'dead' areas of my tank for better circulation) 90lbs live rock 2" live sand Two Percula Clowns, Yellow Watchman Goby, Orange Spotted Goby (forget what it's called), a Coral Banded Shrimp, and a Pistol Shrimp... a few remaining blue legged hermits and turbo snails. 4) In my 90 gallon salt water tank, I have had at one time about 50 blue-legged hermits, a Mithrax, about 30 turbo snails, one black brittle star.  My snails and crabs eventually dwindled down to about 10 hermits I have now and perhaps no snails.  I have gone through two starfish over a year or so.  My first Mithrax survived about 5 months... the second Mithrax lasted maybe 5 weeks.  Although I have witnessed Pistol Shrimp and Coral Banded Shrimp attacking my hermits... with the spec's above... does anything appear wrong for my cleanup crew? <No... but then again, I am not a fan of these arrangements> It's expensive losing that many over a year.  Can you suggest a better cleanup crew for my system? <None... as in have the system set up "properly", do regular maintenance, don't over/mis-feed... You are the clean-up crew>   Of note, with both Brittle Stars it appeared that something was either feasting on his arms... or else he was simply losing them?   It would be nice if you could suggest something better for the algae cleanup... would a Conch be too big and bulky for my tank?  A sea urchin perhaps? <Maybe. My opinions on such scavenger arrangements, purposeful algae eaters are posted in articles on WWM> Other interesting observations recently.  It appears my Yellow Watchman Goby is become quite aggressive/territorial.  He frequently lifts off the bottom to shake his open mouth at my larger Clown fish (the clown fish is almost twice as big)... as well, it frequently charges at my other goby.  I did have a Cleaner Shrimp (that survived well over a year) that just recently died or was killed?  I noticed him or his remains hanging out of the mouth of my Yellow Watchman Goby. <Happens> I am suspecting it died, and then the Goby just fed on him? <Maybe before... perhaps during a molt> Ever hear of anything like this? <All the time> There were legs and antennae sticking out of his mouth.   As well, I did have a small Fire Goby that lasted about a year.  The Goby has not been seen in about 3 months... can't find him in my tank and the water quality has been frequently tested with no visible fluctuations in quality.  Is it likely that he was fully or mostly consumed and therefore the water quality wasn't affected?? <Very possible, or might have "jumped out". Bob Fenner>   Or is it more likely that he is small enough that there was no visible change in the 90 gallon tank.

Changing Tanks Help Dear Crew, I am after some advice on the best procedure to change my marine tank over to a larger one. I currently have a 3 foot Juwel Vision 180 (180 litres) bow front marine aquarium with a Tunze 3130 protein Skimmer (can cope 400 - 1000 litre aquariums), Eheim 2026 External Power canister filter (can cope up to 98 gallons), UV sterilizer etc, no corals, just coral sand, plenty of live rock, hermit crabs, star fish, clown fish, yellow tang, goby and a blenny. <Sounds like a very nice set-up> The new aquarium is 400 litres so I think the skimmer can definitely cope :-) My external Eheim filter should be able to cope I think??????. <Should be fine here> I guess I am asking some advice on firstly if it is recommended to move to larger tanks, is there much work needed? I.e., are water changes less frequent? Easy to maintain, I guess there would be a larger margin for error? <Much less "work" overall... much more stable...> Should I go with this new tank I planned to set the new tank up and start to transfer some coral sand and live rock, take some water from my current tank and add to the new tank. Then transfer live stock to new tank and place the remaining water from my old tank into the new tank. Then make fresh lots of salt water and top the new tank up. Is this wrong? <Nope... sounds to me like you have a very good grasp of what your options are, the steps to complete this improvement> Please any advice would be appreciated. Many Thanks. <You might gain by reading: http://wetwebmedia.com/movingaq.htm and the Related FAQs (linked, in blue, at top), if you haven't already... making a few notes re tools and materials you'll want to have on hand. Bob Fenner>

Tank transfer question Hi Bob, <Brian> I hope everything is just salty with you.......  Anywho, your (et al) wonderful wisdom/input would be much appreciated.   I'm in the process of setting up a new 125g tank to replace my 55g.  I had to take down the 55 so that I could set up the new 125 in the same local and so my fish, few hardy corals and LR are camped out in a 35g trash can for now.  I'm a bit worried/concerned and here is my dilemma.  I want to put everybody in the new tank as soon as possible to minimize stress from being in trash can (I have a powerhead, airstone and heater for the trash can but no real filtration).  I'm done with most everything and now filling the new tank.   The crew from my old 55 have been camping now for 3-4 days and I want to transfer them to the new tank as soon as the water, temp, pumps, etc. are all good.  If I am reusing the old sand (hopefully still live, sitting wet in a large bucket) mixed with the new sand, live rock (40 lbs.) and some of the old water, do I need to be overly concerned that the new tank will not be properly cycled??  Just want to get all the critters back into a proper tank as soon as possible.  Many thanks for your help. Kind regards, Brian <Odds are very good that you can go ahead and place this life w/o problems... you might test for ammonia and nitrite though I doubt if there will be any. Bob Fenner>

Reef moving question 11/21/04 I read your publication on moving a tank as well as all the great info from wwm.com readers. I'm moving a 58g with Acropora, Monti, gonio, anemones (pl?) and 3 pretty hardy fish. In accordance with detailed info from the book and on here, I plan to double bag all fish 1/3 water in large fish bags, same for all corals and inverts. Here's where the spot check becomes useful: as far as live rock, I plan on removing all 90# of it to a large garbage can waiting in the truck. Then, I think I'll fill that same container with water from the tank in order to keep micro critters happy. I also plan on keeping as much of the water as possible, <Ok... but do keep the water separate from the live rock... separate from all else so it stays clean and clear> and maybe floating wet/dry bioballs in that container. I'm going to remove all sand from the tank to a box or something. Blah. Would it be overkill to prep an ice chest before hand for the trip by filling it with tap water and putting in a heater set for 80F then removing the water right before moving and putting the double-bagged fish in the "temperature primed" container? <seems thoughtful/helpful indeed> This will be a December move... Thanks for any info...I could use the de/constructive criticism. <no worries... it sounds like you are right on track, my friend. Anthony>

Moving to a larger tank 10/14/04 Bob - First thanks for all the information I've read and received from you and the folks at wet web.  It has really been helpful. <Adam here today.  Glad you have benefited!> Now my question--I presently have a 55g aquarium which is fully mature and been set up for about 2 years.  It is a live rock and fish aquarium with just a few pieces of coral.  I have about 50 lbs of live rock in the tank and about 3 inches of what has become live sand.  Fish consist of a few blennies and damsels and I have one seahorse (who seems to be doing quite well in spite of the quicker damsels) as well as a fair number of snails of various types, a few hermit crabs (small) and a couple of small conches.  I am seriously considering switching to a 90 gallon tank mainly for the stability and ability to handle a few more fish.  <Sounds nice!  Beware that more fish, more room, and more dilution of food will add to your seahorses disadvantage.> My problem is that the only place I can set up the 90g tank is in the same place as the 55g tank. So how do I transfer?  One thought I had was to put the 90g on the floor near the 55g, fill it with salt water about half way and use it to cure some additional live rock (maybe another 50 lbs or so) and perhaps some more live sand.  After curing, then empty it to as low as possible and do the same for the 55g.  Then move the 55g out of the way, put the 90g where I want it and then somehow transfer the sand, rock and fish/critters to the 90g and just basically clean out the 55. Any thoughts or suggestions?  <Hmmm... many. First of all, consider draining all but a couple of inches from the 55, moving it a couple of feet away and re-filling it (you will need some strong, steady handed help... be careful!).  This is a fairly minor disturbance, and would allow you to completely set up, plumb, leak test, etc for the 90. This way, you aren't rushed to do these things all in one day. Curing a bit more rock in advance is a great idea.  Once the process is complete, I would do several water exchanges between the two systems to "equalize" the water quality before actually combining systems.  Moving sand can cause serious problems if not done carefully.  I would either take only the top inch or so (where most of the life is) and discard the rest, or else take as much as you can by lifting and setting it down like slices of pie (careful not to mix the layers!), and be sure to re-submerge the sand as soon as possible (less than an hour if possible).  One or two plastic 55 gallon drums are tremendously helpful for this kind of tank move. Thanks- Larry <Best Regards!  AdamC.>

Moving Tanks (10/6/04) When moving a saltwater tank from one location to another, you "DO" suggest on emptying the tank of all water, live sand and other objects. <To do otherwise would be to risk breaking the tank, with all the catastrophic consequences of flooding and perhaps even a dangerous laceration to the person trying to carry it.> Then put as much of the old water back in as possible? <Yes> Won't empting the tank cause several spikes in the water that will kill the fish??? <Not if you keep the sand & rock alive and re-use most of the water from the tank. For extra insurance, you could add Bio-Spira Marine after setting it back up. There's lots of discussion of tank-moving in the FAQs. Do search/read. Hope this helps, Steve Allen.>

Moving aquarium question I was wondering if you could offer me some help. I am looking to move my saltwater aquarium from my parents house to mine. The details: Its fish only with some live rock. 125 gallons (very heavy),  probably the only good new is I only live 4 blocks away... The filters I use, if this help at all is 2 250 magnums, one undergravel, two power heads and a wet dry. <Okay> My LFS says that I need to drain all the water (save as much as possible, to reuse), keep all the substrate in there, remove rocks and fish. Hurry it over to the new house. Put the water back in slowly and then add the rocks and fish, start the pumps and filter and add 2 to 3 bottles of "TLC".  The "TLC" should help the disturbed water... <Mmm, I would NOT do this... move the tank with the substrate, rock in it... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/movingaq.htm and on to the linked FAQs files (at top, in blue)> I was just afraid of lifting the tank with rocks and water still in it, afraid it could break.  I was thinking of maybe setting up a big long tote, take substrate and water from the tank put in the tote, empty the tank (save the water) move the tank then just put it all right back in. Any help would be much appreciated. Bill <Read on my friend. Use the "action plan" you've been directed to make a parts, tools list and steps to completion. Bob Fenner>

Moving fishes, marine hello I just needed advice <Hi Roel, MacL here with you> we have had a 100 gallon all saltwater fish for about five years now with the following fish: 1 porcupine puffer, 1 purple tang, 1 sailfin tang, 1 Vlamingi tang, 1 blue spotted rabbit, and 1 banded shark. <Marvelous mix of fish>  We recently purchased a 300 gallon acrylic tank and was wondering how we could transfer everything from our 100 into the 300. <Are you going to try to do it slowly or in one day?> Our 100 setup includes a wet dry and a ASM g2 skimmer.  The 300 will consist of a fluidized bed filter (currently seeding the filter on the 100 right now), and Berlin style sump with EuroReef cs8-2 skimmer. <You'll need to move all of the water that you can if you try to do it in one day, and if you can set the other pieces up temporarily on the new tank it will help.>  Please advice me on the best possible transfer so that I don't loose any fish. <If I had the luxury I would move things over very slowly one fish at a time with the least aggressive going in first.> thanks, Roel  

Moving livestock from a 55 gal to a 125. Hi! << Hi. >> Love your site!  I have found it extremely valuable!  First, I have a compatibility question.  I currently have a 55 gal tank with about 41 lbs live rock and 60 lbs live sand.  I have a sailfin tang, blue hepatus tang, bicolor Pseudochromis, 2 ocellaris clowns, 2 yellow tail damsels, a lawnmower blenny, and 3 pajama cardinals.  For inverts, I have a green brittle star, 2 cleaner shrimp, 5 camelback shrimp, and some snails and hermits.  I had 3 feather dusters and over a period of about 3-4 months, two of them have disappeared (tube and all).  I also had 3 emerald crabs that have totally disappeared. Two of the camelbacks have also come up missing (found pieces of them, but I don't think it was just a molt). Any suspects? << Doesn't sound like any of those fish would be the cause. I'll bet it is a water quality issue. >>   Next question.  I am planning to upgrade from my 55 gal tank to a 125 gal.  I plan to move all of the live rock, sand, water, and livestock from the 55 to the new tank. I don't have a place to set up a second tank, so the 55 is coming down and the 125 is going in its place. (I know I should have a QT tank, but I don't at this point)   I plan to transfer the water from the 55 to the new tank, but is that enough to safely move the livestock after topping it off to 125? << I'll say no.  When you move all that over, your new tank will need to be cycled, and could go through a huge ammonia spike.  >> Should I maybe not fill it all the way up right away?  I am concerned about the cycling of the new tank.  Do you have any suggestions? << Yep, I would put the fish and inverts in a friends tank for several weeks while setting up the new tank.  I wouldn't try to move them all over at once. >>   Also, right now I have a Fluval 404 canister filter on my 55 gal.  My LFS recommended that I get a Pro Clear Aquatic System with bioballs for the new tank.  I have read your articles about how bioballs can cause a lot of nitrate problems.  Would I be better off to stick with the canister filter (maybe add a second one?) and add more live rock for the new tank? << Well yes, I think you would be much better off.  Basically because I liked your idea of adding more live rock. >> (I am planning to get more live rock and live sand for the bigger tank anyway)  This choice will determine whether I go with a predrilled tank or not.  (Just FYI, I also have a protein skimmer on the tank) << Pre drilled is so worth the money.  Do it. >> Thanks so much for your information!!  I really appreciate it! Regina << Good luck, Blundell >>

Moving livestock from tank to a new tank. Sorry for bothering you with so many questions and this long email.  I have a few questions about upgrading and set-up to ensure that my livestock won't get too much of a shock w/ the transition. I have decided to upgrade my 24" long 25 g tank w/ mostly zoo's, polyps, mushrooms, Ricordea, clown & royal Gramma.  My new system is a 36" long acrylic 30 gallon tank with 2 holes drilled for two 1" bulkheads at the waterline to serve as gravity overflow into a 30" long 20 gallon glass tank placed underneath.  (Maybe upgrading to a 50 gallon would have been better, but I don't have much space for it and this was the best compromise I could think of considering I don't plan to add any more fish, just more polyps and mushrooms) For the return to the main tank, I will use a powerhead rated at 400 gph and add a clear tube to return the water up to my main tank (maybe 3' at most).  Then also add another ph to the main tank to pick up the slack (probably rated at 270 gph).  In the refugium I will have my AquaC Remora Skimmer, heater, and maybe a hang on the back filter to add Chemipure and PolyFilter.  I plan to move my 35 lb of live rock from my old tank and I already bought an additional 15-20 lb LR and it is in the process of getting cured in Rubbermaid tubs w/ ph.   Also, I don't plan to add any baffles to my 20 gallon refugium.  Will this be a problem? << Not a problem. >> People talk about micro bubbles, but if I placed one of those pre-filter cones made for ph's onto the return pump, wouldn't that decrease those bubbles? << I say just run it.  If you have a problem, we'll find a fix, but I wouldn't worry about it. >> Will the lack of baffles prevent my refugium from growing beneficial nitrate reducing algae? << No, it is possible that you would get better growth with baffles, but certainly not necessary. >>  I don't care too much about pods and such to feed to fish. << Unfortunate, I think this is very important, and often overlooked. >>   Does this set-up seem ok?  Will there be enough flow?  What should the order be for placement of my equipment into my baffle-free 20 gallon refugium (i.e. skimmer right next to the incoming flow, then filter w/ Chemipure near the outgoing pump?)? << All sounds good to me.  I would have a prefilter on the incoming water to the sump.  Then the skimmer, then the refugium, then back to the tank. >> I plan to move my 1" aragonite fine sand bed from my old tank into my refugium.  Then I will buy more sand (probably Fiji pink) and make a 5" sand bed in the refugium.  I want to add the Tahitian black sand (less than 1" in depth) to the main display.  I know this black sand will not have all the benefits of using aragonite, but is it okay since I will have the 5" bed in my refugium? << Okay, but I would still have a deep sand bed in the main tank, regardless of what substrate you are using. >>  Or should I stick to aragonite sand for both.  Also, will adding all this new sand put my system out of whack and increase my ammonia/nitrites? << Yep, for a while.  But it will soon recover.  Try minimizing the destruction of the move.  Move all rock and sand in small buckets so that they stay completely in water during the move. >> I will move all the water from my existing tank into my new system and add pre-mixed, aerated salt to account for the rest (probably about 20 g).  Any help will be much appreciated and thanks for all your help thus far.  I have relied on you guys and Bob's book and everything has gone well so far. << Sounds good, I don't think you will have any problems. >>  Thanks! -Dennis <<  Blundell  >>  

Aquarium Storage (7/22/04) Hey Everyone <Steve Allen tonight.> I have been in the process of setting up a 157 gal. reef tank for a year now. I purchased the tank used and resealed it and due to time and cash flow problems have just finished putting in my floor support system and am now ready to start with the real tank set up. Question is, the tank has been sitting for a year dry and is the reseal job still going to be good? <Did you check it when you did it? Quality-sealed tanks can sit around in stores for a long time without deterioration in good environments.> It's been in the living room, so the conditions it's been sitting in are the same as it would be if it were running. I just want to be sure the seals haven't dried out before I start to fill it. <The smart thing to do would be to set it up and slowly fill it with plain ol' tap water to test for leaks before adding saltwater.> Thanks Robert <Good luck.>  

Switching Tanks (7/22/04) OK, I am moving my 125 reef (150lbs live rock, some inverts, NO CORALS) on the 4th floor, to my new 125 tank on the 1st floor. <Big job.> Yesterday, I put down a few inches of live sand, and made the salt water, and put in the circulation. Today, (12hrs later) the cloudiness is starting to clear. Can I start moving the live rock immediately? <I'd wait until the clouding is gone, otherwise it will settle onto the rocks.> Then, how long before I can transplant the animals? (serpent stars, snails, shrimp, crabs) Your friend in CT, -Pat <If you are able to maintain your biofilter in the move, you will be able to start adding right away, but going slow is always wise if you have the time. Good luck, Steve Allen.>
Moving On...Down (Moving an Established Aquarium)
OK, I am moving my 125 reef (200lbs live rock, some inverts, NO CORALS) on the 4th floor, to my new 125 tank on the 1st floor. Yesterday, I put down a few inches of live sand, and made the salt water, and put in the circulation. Today, (12hrs later) the cloudiness is starting to clear. Can I start moving the live rock immediately? Then, how long before I can transplant the animals? (serpent stars, snails, shrimp, crabs) Your friend in CT, Pat <Well Pat, if the water tests out OK, i.e. no nitrite or ammonia, then I would add in the live rock and monitor for a few more days.  Before adding the animals, I would once again, test the water to make sure that you don't have elevated levels of nitrite or ammonia.  Good luck.  Regards, Scott F.>

Tank Move Present Opportunities WWM Crew, <Hello! Ryan Bowen with you> OK, I am breaking down my 125g salt (150lbs live rock, numerous inverts, no corals, no fish) at home, and setting it up at my office. <Great> I have the luxury of moving everything into a new 125g tank, which is already there, and I'd like to use this luxury to do things better this time. <Oh, yes.  Now you can finally get it just right> In the old tank, I originally went with 3-4 inches of crushed coral substrate, which ended up being nothing but a muck bed. Upon your advice, I reduced this to only enough substrate to pad the rock from the glass. (Much cleaner tank) (Question 1) This time, if the substrate is purely decorative & padding, should I do sand, which I find more visually appealing? Or nothing at all? <Sand is great, either in 6 inches or more for a DSB, or less than 1 inch for a ground cover.> (Question 2) From the overflow, the water falls into a trickle wet/dry chamber, then a 50g sump where a protein skimmer sits. Should I once and for all ditch the wet-dry? I haven't had the guts to do so yet. (Oh yeah, I have a hang-on for additional mechanical filtration) <Yes, get rid of it.  Au-natural, mon ami.> (Question 3) I have a friend that advises a DEEP sand bed, live rock and no filtration whatsoever. <No, they are the filtration... see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/deepsandbeds.htm> He has a healthy, clean reef and there is absolutely no plumbing or clutter underneath it. Is he genius or insane? <No, he's just found a balance.  It's easy to do with patience and tinkering.> (Question 4) I have a Turboflotor t-1000 skimmer which produces barely any skimmate. (takes about 2-3 months to fill the cup)<Whoa...You may want to look into a pump replacement, and/or soak the air lines in vinegar.> Can you recommend a great skimmer that is "plug & play" and requires no plumbing? <Euro-reef, Aqua-C are my favorite P&P skimmers.> Thanks for putting up with all the wording, as I was trying to be thorough enough for you to give accurate advice.  <It is wonderfully helpful to get all the info up front.> Also, if there is any other pitfall I may avoid this time, I would love to avoid it. <I'd look into installing a high-end circulation system while the tank's still empty...see here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/circmarart.htm.  Circulation is likely the key that keeps your friend's tank immaculate.>  Thanks again for having such a wonderful website. Your friend in CT, <I'm glad to help! Your friend in San Fran, Ryan> -Pat

200 Gallon Move Hi Guys and girls <Two in one day Joe?  Ryan again ;)   > My clown is looking rough. I have a cinnamon clown and have had it for more than a year. He is housed in a 90 gal reef with a Kole and blue tang (moving to a 200 gal soon) a royal gramma, and crabs and shrimp. I added an elegance coral that he calls home right around the time he started looking beat up. He also really digs in to the star polyps growing on  rock too. He also has a couple brown spots along his belly and lower side area. Can the elegance or polyps be stinging him?? <They're stinging him, but they're probably not doing the damage to him. <<<RMF disagrees>> I'd guess it's from scraping rocks, or of a bacterial nature.  If it gets worse, quarantine him and treat him accordingly.> Also, the 200 gal I'm going to be setting up for the 2 tangs, they are about 5" long now. What other types of fish can I put with them?? Id love a Picasso trigger. A clown trigger I would love but I wont for fear of its unpredictableness. A lion is on the list. What else would be safe?? <Triggers truly are at their best when housed alone...I'd pick up a Flame Angel with this setup.  Good luck, Ryan>

Moving Fish Tank hi guys my name is mike <Hi Mike, MacL here> I live in Andover, MN. I used to work at a local fish store and I know a lot about reef aquariums but not on moving them. I just got done talking to my boss and he sold me his 54 corner bow that is fully packed with fish corals halide lights everything only $800. now it was a steal. now I read everyone of those articles on how to move a tank that's been established already but I just have a few more questions. now my boss thinks he can move this in a day and here's both of our reasoning please forgive me if I sound like a total amateur.  the first thing we are going to do is empty the water about 50 to 80% into huge rubber maid containers along with five gallon buckets. some of the corals will go in one and the live rock in another. next we will bag up all the fish and inverts in the tank and here's my question. can I leave the 1 1/2 inches of live sand in the tank while transporting. <If you can carry that heavy of a load and the tank is put together well enough to hold that kind of a load. Meaning if the seams will hold.> now I know you can move it if it covered but how much detritus will be there when I start setting it back up again and will there be a huge ammonia spike or nitrate spike when I set it back up. <That depends on multiple things, like how hot it gets, how much die off you have, whether the bacteria gets disturbed in any way during the move. On the bright side you'll still have the live sand and a lot of the live rock and water with the bacteria in it to help. The big thing is that a lot will depend on the creatures in the tank and how delicate some of them are.> my final question is, is it possible to move the tank and set it back up bout 4 miles away and be able to just put everything back into it that night? <Yes but its best to be prepared for the worst. Be prepared for an ammonia spike and be prepared to do water changes as necessary until the tank gets stable again.  And to be honest it might take multiple water changes over several days or weeks to do this. You'll need to invest in some good test kits.> we are also going to use some bio Spira marine cuz that stuff works wonders. <Another type of bacteria I assume.> but please answer my question.

STORING LIVE SAND Hi Folks-I've got 2500#'s of live sand that I have to move (along w/all the livestock). << That is a lot of sand!  Were talking some serious Rubbermaid containers for this. >> Some of the sand is going to have to be stored. Can this be done? << Yes, but it's difficult.  I wouldn't store it long without light, heaters, and powerheads. >> Can I reuse it at some point?  << Yes, but I don't think this is a good idea.  I think you would be better selling the sand, and buying new down the road.  Keeping it alive and in a running tank is going to be very difficult, but certainly possible. >> Please, please help me. Lynne Bennett << Adam B. >>

Saving Sand Dwellers - 6/14/2004 Crew: <Hey Rick, MacL here> I am planning an upgrade from my 55gal (4feet) to a 125gal (6 feet).  I currently have an established DSB (1.5 years), and I would like to use the 55gal as a sump and keep the DSB.  <Sounds nice> This is proving to be difficult, because I do not have the 55 drilled for a return, and I would like to have an external pump (Iwaki or Dolphin). <Very nice choices>  If I stay external, I will have to empty the tank (and destroy the DSB) to get it drilled.  Is it feasible to sift out the infauna as I remove the sand bed, and save them in a quarantine tank until I get the tank drilled and setup for sump duty? <How long do you think it would take you to empty the tank and then get it drilled?  A day, a week, a month?> Do you know of anyone that has done this, or similar? <People do move their sand beds all the time and while they have some die off the majority does fine.> How fine of a sifter would work best? <I don't think you will find a sifter fine enough to get the bacteria from the sand.> Is there another way? <I would suggest putting your sand into a quarantine tank. It will do fine as long as you have some circulation going. This should keep the sand and fauna alive for at least a couple of weeks.> I would really hate to lose my 1.5 year investment in this DSB, so if I can save the critters, this would make my day. <Definitely> If not, would it be better to just go with an internal return pump, and section it off from the rest of the tank somehow? <Just a thought here but I can't see why you couldn't go with an external pump that is plumbed to pull things from close to the sand. Similar to the way a canister is plumbed?> This would present some of its own challenges. <Many people do use internal pumps in their sumps. I have it running both ways personally. There are always ways to put some live rock around it to isolate it in the tank.> There surely would still be some disturbance, along with other concerns, yes?  <Both ways do have their share of problems Rich. I hope I have given you some ideas to think about. >Thanks a million, Rich <Good luck, Mac>

Fish tank on wheels? 5/27/04 I've taken care of a 45 gallon reef tank at my Dad's oral surgery office for the last three years. I will be leaving after the summer for college and I'm currently redesigning the system to be more automated and easier to care for. <very nice> Unfortunately, the month after I leave, the waiting room in which the tank is situated will be completely renovated and I don't want my Dad to have to tear down the tank and relocate it during the renovation.  <Hmmm... likely no option here> I'm hoping to put the entire system (tank and stand) on industrial casters so that he can roll it into another room, fully stocked, for a few days while they work on the waiting room.  <this is very risky and often leads to a stress or tear of the tanks seams from the momentum/sloshing of water in the pushed tank> I know that the casters can take the weight (they're rated for thousands of pounds each), <correct> and I'll put quick-disconnects on the plumbing to the sump which will be located in the basement. Have you ever heard of an aquarium on wheels? Any suggestions or warnings?  <many folks have tried moving aquariums with water and/or sand/gravel in it to spare a laborious breakdown. Some folks succeed... many fail, or the tank fails/leaks rather. I would not recommend anything short of a move. Please consult a local aquarium service professional. These chaps do this for a living and can move and refill a tank safely in hours... mere hours> I would like to use a glass tank because of the cost and ease of cleaning but I'm wondering if acrylic would be better because of the strength?  <neither are impervious to the stress of motion> Will a glass aquarium be able to withstand this kind of journey or will the plans for my future aquarium be shattered and flood the floor? Thank you for your help. I would also like to send you plans for my sump/refugium/top-off system if you have time to look at them and give me suggestions. <we will as best we can>  One quick question though: The sump, a 30 gallon tub, will be in the basement about ten feet below the water level of the tank (it will be located in the basement for RO water access). I want to use a submersible return pump because of the ease of plumbing; and the Mag Drive 18 is rated for a higher flow at the same head as a Little Giant pump with comparable wattage. Will the submerged pump raise the temp too much in my little sump?  <Hmmm... tough to say without knowing the ambient temperature of your room. Do call/consult the techs at the pump mfg for the best answer here> I don't want to fry my fish in the summer, and I already have trouble keeping the tank temp below 82. <hmmm... any submersible pump may be a problem then. Do look at those very reliable external Iwakis instead> I will, however, be removing 3 small powerheads and adding 30 gallons of water volume which will be in the basement, and the basement temperature runs about five degrees cooler than the temperature upstairs. Should I just plan to plumb and find a more efficient pump (perhaps an Iwaki?) <BINGO... you win the hairy kewpie doll <G>> or will a submersible pump be adequate? Thank you for your great website I read for hours when I should be doing homework. Sawyer Cohen  <best of luck in school/life my friend. Anthony> 

- Moving - Hi guys, I am moving in a few weeks and of course need to move my 75 gallon FOWLR tank.  I presently have 2 blue/green Chromis, 2 percula clowns, a blue spotted Jawfish, and a Sailfin tang (I know he will get too big for the tank, but when I bought him two years ago he was the size of a quarter and the LFS said it would be fine.   I have since learned a great deal mostly from this site and Bob and Anthony's books.  I may take him back to LFS before the move, but I am worried that they will just sell it to someone else who doesn't know any better and puts it in a 55 gallon or god forbid a 30 gallon).  Also, have two cleaner shrimps, 3 turbo snails, and an assortment of hermits (~10). There is also about 90 lbs of live rock. This is what I am planning to do for the move.  I am going to place some of the live rock in a 30 gallon garbage can and fill it with water from the tank. <That's going to be a heavy garbage can... consider splitting that between two cans.> Then I am going to place the livestock in the trash can as well.  Also, I will add some powerheads, and a hang on CPR back pak skimmer.  Next I will move the tank to the new place and set it up.  Presently, I have crushed coral substrate (~ 2 inches) in the tank.  It has been there for 3+ years.  Should I get some new substrate or just use the old? <Now is a good time, but I would have it rinsed and ready to go.> Also, should I replace the substrate with sand instead? <Can if you want, but not necessary - easy to clean crushed coral.> Also, I am going to place a 30 gallon refugium underneath the tank with a 4-6 inch sand bed. <Then do leave the crushed coral in the tank.> Once everything is set up, I am going to move the livestock, and the rest of the live rock to the new location.  My main question is: Can I keep all that livestock in the 30 gallon Rubbermaid trash can for a few days or longer, while I set up the system in the new location? <As long as the container is heated, and well circulated and aerated - some kind of filtration would help... they should do alright in there.> Thanks in advance for all your help!!   Jeff J. <Cheers, J -- >

Combining Tanks <Hello, Ryan with you today> I inherited 2 reef tanks, (200 gallon, and a 75 gallon) several years ago that have been running fairly smoothly. <Sweet> After much thought I decided it would be best to combine the tanks into a larger 270 gallon custom tank.  I was a little tired of the "garage" science experiment approach and wanted to display these guys in my living room.  I've had someone helping me care for the tanks since I'm not really an expert. Both tanks have mostly soft corals. <Great place to start>  I recognize that some of the fish won't be appropriate to make the change, i.e.. the blenny and the dwarf lion shouldn't live together unless the blenny wants to be lunch. <Yes, likely> Anyway, my real concern is cycling the new tank.  The person who helps me with this plans to re-use the sand and some of the water when it's time for the change over. <sure>  Most of the components on the 200 gallon will be reused with the exception of the sump which will be larger and new and the refugium will also be changed. <OK>  I'm being told that the new tank won't need to be cycled again, but that just doesn't sound right to me. <It will certainly go through a re-cycling period, in which all livestock should be temporarily held elsewhere.> Any thoughts?  Also he wants to change my salt brand. I remember being told when we first started this  to never change brands. <I have switched once with no adverse effects- but only because the brand I initially favored was no longer available in my area.>   What are the possible benefits of switching?  Do they outweigh the possible costs?  This is a risk, especially to the corals.  I would refrain if at all possible.  If I had any advise, it's to build this system with YOUR goals in mind- not his.  Every wonderful aquarium I have seen has been tailored to meet the needs of it's owner- this is what makes it unique.  We're here for the technical stuff- The fun part is all yours ;)  Study what you'd like to keep!  There are so many options with this size.>  Any advice would be appreciated. <I hope I have pointed you in a helpful direction- we'll be here when you have more detailed questions!  Thanks, Ryan> Lisa Dreyer Ball

-Tank transfer-  Hi Crew.... <Hellooo there>  I have read the FAQ's about moving tanks but have a "quick" question....I didn't see anyone who had just coral moving from a small tank to a medium/large tank. <k, shoot>  I have a 20 gallon reef only tank that I am moving into my new 55 gallon (finally made the jump). I have limited coral in the 20 gallon [green star polyps, xenia x2, leather toadstool, zoos --all frag size] along with a cleaner shrimp a handful of hermits and a few snails. This tank has @20lbs Live rock and @20lbs live sand. I have lots of life in the sand and rock (pods, brittle stars, worms etc). <ok>  My new 55 gallon is up and has some new cured (at the LFS) LR in along with some new CaribSea Aragonite. I want to move the 20 over but I'm a bit nervous about how/when to do it. The 55 has about 35 gallons of water in it (left room for the 20) and has been up for about two days. Should I buy some more live sand to put in the 55 or should I just take the coral out of my 20, put them in containers and move the old LR/LS and water into the 55 and wait an hour or so and then put the coral in the 55? <I'd fill up the 55 the rest of the way w/ new saltwater, and run the tank with just the live rock and sand in there and let it establish for as long as you can stand it. The longer you let the 55 establish, the better off you'll be. Once you're ready, just move everything over all at once, or after a test specimen has decided that it's a-ok.>  I don't have any fish (will get some in the future) and I'm trying to avoid the new tank going through a cycle with the coral in it. Would the water, live rock and live sand from the 20 be enough to stabilize the 55 and avoid a cycle? <With little feeding, it is extremely unlikely that you'd get any measurable ammonia or nitrite.> At present, all of the rock will equal about 35-40 lbs (will add more later) My 20 is doing great and I don't want to screw this up. I have checked with others and each has given me different advice. With that in mind, I defer to your collective advice as I am still fairly green. <You've got all the time in the world. I'd let the 55 establish w/ rock and sand, then move everything in in a couple of weeks.>  Also, I have a AquaC Remora on the 20 that will be going on the 55 once this is done. <Move the AquaC over when the big move happens.>  Thanks for your time. Hope to hear from you soon.  Keith <I hope I've been useful! -Kevin> 

Moving my Fish Tank 4/12/04  Thank you very much for the prompt response.  <I try!>  One more thing, is it okay to remove the substrate so that the tank is not so heavy? Perhaps it will affect the structural integrity of the tank if I don't move the substrate.  <Definitely moving your tank with sloshing water can cause the walls to crack. I have moved smaller tanks with the gravel still in there, but you can certainly put the gravel into a bucket & move it that way. ~PP>

Preparing A Tank for Storage I would like to thank you for a great web site, it contains a ton of information. I am in the process of breaking down my tank for moving. Unfortunately I will not be setting up the tank for 3 to 4 months. I gave the fish to a friend who just set up a tank and cycled it and the fish are doing fine. The tank is a 72 gallon marine tank with fish only. <Great> My question is I have a 72 gallon bow front tank made by All Glass Aquariums. The rubber sealant inside the base of the tank is black except for on area where it is tannish in color. I also noticed some salt crystal formation on the underside of the tank. I had a defective tank leak on me and cause a huge headache so I am ultra paranoid. Is that discoloration normal? <By description it sounds like a natural variation in color> Is it a sign of things to come? I don't think the salt on the underside came about from cleanings and drippings over the side of the tank, could that be from evaporation from my wet dry? <Yes> Another question, what should I do with my live rock and sand? I was told that the rock can be dried out and will come back to life when I set the tank back up and introduce bacteria to the tank? <I would sell it, or have a buddy just run it in a Rubbermaid with a couple powerheads.  Your rock will be base rock, and take at least 6 months to re-seed.> Are there any other things I must be aware of in moving, storing the tank. Also will the rubber dry out if not used? Thanks in advance for you help. <The tank should be cleaned thoroughly before storage, and the seals can be reinforced when you're ready for use.   Best of luck, Ryan> Alex Jeannopoulos

Big Project Ahead -- Temporary Housing Plan (3/9/04) Dear Crew, <Steve Allen with you today.>   I am planning to take down and rebuild my 3 year old 100 gal. reef tank. Reason is to add more overflow by drilling (now only 600 gph), polish out scratches in the acrylic, remove an un-catchable fish, replace the one inch substrate (clean dry aragonite) and re-arrange the rock work for better maintenance. I feel that my temporary set up will be needed for about 48 hours. <Sounds like a good idea. This is a big project. IME, these things always take longer than planned. Be prepared for it to take up to twice as long.>   I will be moving everything including 100 pounds of rock into two 50 gallon tubs each with heater, power head, and air stone. I will fill them with the system <water>. <To save some system water for re-start, you might consider using 20-30% new water in these tubs.> My system has a total of 170 gallons in circulation with sump, two remote refugiums with 6 inch sand bed, 50 pounds of rock, macroalgae, etc. <nice> These will be valved off and equipped with temporary heaters. <Small powerheads to provide circulation during this time would be good too. I used a heater and a Hagen 301 to keep my refugium alive for three weeks waiting for a new sump to be built to replace the defective one that ruptured & flooded my home office. That worked quite nicely.> Water is perfect with ORP at 450, no nitrates, etc.   On the second day I will move the base rock,<live rock?> add the new substrate, pump some system water back into the show tank, add the upper rocks with polyps and corals, let it all settle and then add the fish, shrimp, and snails back. <Hopefully the second day. You may find yourself getting very little sleep to finish in 2 days.>  I will have 50 gallons of mixed, aerated water, for make up as needed. <Smart to be prepared.>   Any suggests would be appreciated. <Sounds like a well-reasoned plan to me. I do thing circulation in the refugiums would be a good idea.> Am I safe from a re-cycle of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate with all this seasoned water and rock? <Preserving a good portion of the system water will help. A blip in nitrogenous compounds is possible. Consider adding Bio-Spira Marine if you can get some. Should help.> Howard <Hope this helps.>

Storing a Tank I have a quick question and I hope you good people can answer it for me. <I'll try! Ryan with you today> I recently purchased a 175 gallon aquarium. ( This is quite an upgrade from a 30 gallon aquarium.  I could not pass up the price for the beauty!!!!) I currently live in an apartment, I will be putting the aquarium in storage.  The aquarium still has the sand in it.  My question is what should I do with the sand. <Put it in a brand new bucket, Once it's dry put a top on it.> Should I leave it in the tank (the organisms will die of course). <NO> If I choose to go this route will there be any problems with the sand when I decide to set the tank up. <Once you're ready, just take it out and clean it out.> The tank will probably stay in storage for awhile.  Maybe up to one year  Is there anything that I can do to assure me that everything will be working (sump and all the other goodies---pumps and stuff) in a years time. <You could give them a good freshwater/vinegar rinse now, to free up all the nasty deposits.  Dry them out, store 'em.  Give the tank a good rinse too...> Thanks for the help! <You're welcome! Have fun, Ryan>

- Holding Rock while Removing Fish - Hi Guys, The fish in my reef have Ich. I have set up a very large separate hospital tank to comfortably hold and treat all fish (with copper); an Eheim canister has cycled and is ready to support the load. <Excellent that you've got the quarantine ready to go...> To catch the fish I have to remove my corals, inverts and live rock, hold them in a container for a few hours while I transfer the fish, then rebuild the reef. Given the large mass of corals and live rock the ideal temporary container would have a big footprint and a shallow depth (to save me having to stack them on top of each other). My children have a hard PVC paddling pool which fits the bill. Assuming I thoroughly wash the container first, only hold the rock and corals in there for a few hours, then throw away the water afterwards (i.e., do not put the water back into the display tank), is this likely to harm the rock or corals? <Think that will work fine - don't use soap just rinse and scrub with a clean brush and leave out in the sun before use.>, If your answer is - "the paddling pool is unsuitable" - can I use a fresh water pond liner in the paddling pool to prevent the water coming into contact with the PVC pool? <That would work, especially if you think that pool is somehow suspect... but I doubt you've been storing toxic waste in that pool...> I don't know if the freshwater PVC liner itself would be dangerous to salt water life. <Again, just rinse... let dry. Should be fine.> Thanks for your help. Treating the Ich this way feels a bit scary, but I know it is the best way. My LFS is still saying "hold your nerve, your fish will recover from Ich on their own!" I am glad he is my LFS and not my Doctor!! <I hear you there.> Andrew <Good luck with the treatments, you are doing the right thing. Cheers, J -- >

- Upgrading the Tank - Hi Guys, Great site -- I pretty much live by it. I am finally taking a plunge into a new tank -- moving to a 220Gal Reef setup from an existing 75Gal which has been working great for the past year. I will be going from a 2- 3" sand bed of crushed coral and fine sand in my 75Gal tank to a DSB of fine sand around 4" deep in the new 220Gal. I have a couple of questions, and am hoping you can help. I want to make sure I do not make any major mistakes this time: 1) once I have the DSB up and running, should I still take a couple of hand fulls of my old sand/coral mixture and throw it in the new tank to "liven" it up a bit. <I wouldn't wait - I'd use a couple of handfuls of sand to kick start the sandbed when you start the tank.> Also, I am planning on getting almost 40 lbs of live sand and spreading it at the top of the normal sand. <Unnecessary - you already have a live sand bed - will seed any dry sand you add.> Will using the crushed coral/sand mixture from my existing tank mess up the sand only DSB in the new tank or will it help. <No.> 2) I have almost 70 lbs of Tonga live lock in the 75Gal that I will be moving into the new tank - Will this be enough for now or do I immediately need add'l live rock? <You can add more rock over time.> 3) I will be moving my old Fluval filter (along with a new sump / wet/dry filter setup) to the new 220 Gal tank. Will using the existing Fluval and media also help establish the new tank and minimize / eliminate the entire cycling process? <Not appreciably - more likely your live sand and rock will handle that task.> 4) Should I also use the existing water form my tank into the new tank (at least the 50 - 60 Gals that are there) to seed the new tank with any bacteria - Will that help? <Yes, it will help - use as much as possible.> 5) If I use the same salt mix in the new tank, and ensure that the temp / ph is the same in both tanks - do I still have to acclimate each of my fish and coral from the 75Gal to the new 220 Gal? <No.> or can I just pick from one and put in the other? <Just grab and go.> 6) Lastly, I have high output compact fluorescents on my 75 Gal providing a total of 385Watts of light. Can I temporarily unevenly distribute the light in the 220 Gal tank - i.e. 325 Watts on one side of the tank and 60 Watts on the other - put all my corals on the brighter side till I convince my wife to let me spend more money on additional lighting. <Well... you may have some issues with depth - you may need to place your corals up higher than they used to be in order for them to get the lighting they were used to.> Will this uneven distribution of light mess up the fish in the tank or will they be o.k.? <The fish won't care.> If you can answer these questions, as well as provide any insights into other things I need to watch out for as I make the actual move, I would be eternally grateful. Once again, thank you every so much for sharing your experience with your fans. Take Care S. A <Cheers, J -- >

Moving Day! Good Morning Crew; <Hello there! Scott F. here today!> Well, moving day is getting closer and I would like to be a little clearer on one part of the move. No Long haul move, just one side of the house to the other. <The best kind of move- though just as challenging, huh?> The Livestock!!  I have been doing water changes from the existing system and putting in a holding tank (to help keep the perimeters of the water a little closer to the old system) to go into the new system along with live sand and live rock.   <Excellent idea!> In the actual transfer of livestock, should each individual fish and invert. be bagged and floated in the new system then released after the acclimation or just transferred directly from the old tank to the new system as we catch them, with warmer water as stated in your "Moving Aquarium" article? <Just transfer them directly into the new tank, as long as all chemical parameters appear identical (they should be, if you're using water from the same tank as part of the water in the new system. Bagging the fish would be an unnecessary source of stress.> I am getting a little nervous, this is a big step, in planning and actually completing the move, from a 75 gal. to 210 gal. <It is!> The livestock are doing so well, I want to keep things from getting to stressed for them or even me. I have had freshwater for some 35 years and now finally, a saltwater tank has been a lifetime dream come true. <Glad to hear that. I'm excited for you!> Once again, thank you in advance for all you great help. The work all of you do in research and sharing with all of us out here in hobbyist world is much appreciated. <We greatly appreciate that! It's really fun bringing this site to you every day. It's nice that we have a group of truly dedicated and helpful hobbyists to turn to> One other thing, I see on your up-coming events that Bob is going to be at the New York Aquarium Society in May.  Tried to get some further info on their website but could not.  Are there tickets available or is this just for their members etc.? Ceil Wagaman <I'd contact them directly by email, if there is a link on their site. They are one of the finest clubs in the U.S., but I am not familiar with their practices concerning speakers and meetings. Bob, do you have any details...?><<Mmm, no... was at the Brooklyn Society last year... maybe this is an old (03) posting. Am going out to the Sept. MACNA in Boston though... RMF>>

New Tank- Old Water? Hi Crew, <Hey there! Scott F. your Crew member tonight!> We are in the process of setting up a new 210 gal. saltwater.  We currently have a 75 gal.  The local manager of the marine supply suggested that I do a water change (I do this bi-weekly) of the 75 gal. keeping the water each time to use in the new tank and add new mixed saltwater to make up the difference.  The reason is to eliminate the regular cycle time of completely new water, live sand (crushed coral) and live rock. <Not a bad thought at all...It won't eliminate the cycle, but it will certainly reduce the time required...> I have approx. 140-150 lbs. of live rock in the 75 which will also be using and the live sand (crushed coral) from the 75 and adding new live sand as well. I will be adding additional live rock.  Is this a reasonable thing to do?   <If the other tank was healthy, this is certainly a good idea!> My husband and I were planning on doing it just as a completely new setup from start to finish the same way we did when we first set up the 75. We want to do it right again, our 75 has been a very healthy tank, and want to keep things that way. You have been very helpful several times in the past and we really appreciate it.  Looking forward to hearing your advice once again on an especially big project for us. Regards, Ceil Swagman <Sounds like your new tank will be off to a great start! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Tank upgrade Hello,         I currently have a 33 gallon FOWLR tank (40 lbs of rock). Aside from the live rock I have a Fluval 404 and an AquaClear 300 for filtration as well as an additional powerhead. The tank is overstocked with a 3" Picasso trigger, a 4" powder brown tang, a 4" golden headed sleeper goby, two damsels, a clownfish and a chocolate chip starfish. I want to upgrade my tank to a 150 gallon tank which I already have. My question is what is the most efficient way to make the swap? I don't have enough extra equipment to set up the 150 first and let it cycle completely before moving the fish. Would it be ok to fill the 150 most of the way up and then add the live rock and most of the water from the 33 as well as the filters and fish all at the same time? <I tried this when I setup my first marine aquarium about 5-6 years ago and it doesn't work...I had a Red Sea Emperor Angelfish, Vlamingi Tang and Clown Trigger and I would have lost all the fish If I hadn't had a friend that let me place them in his aquarium>Would that be enough to have the new tank instantly cycled?<Definitely Not> The second part of this question is once I have switched everything over I will be able to add a Fluval 303 and another powerhead but will that be sufficient filtration.<Keep the fish in the 33...even if it means saving up for equipment to put on the 150...do not risk the lives of your livestock> I don't intend to add any additional fish until I can add additional live rock at the same time.<I wouldn't do it...I was already burned once. IanB> Thank you.

- Moving and Transferring Tanks - Hi Bob! <Not Bob today but JasonC here in his stead...> Thanks for all your great info. I have a question about moving/upgrading my reef. I currently have a 16g reef with many hard, and soft corals, a DSB, much live rock with corals attached and encrusted.  I am moving in six weeks to a new house, close by.  The mechanics of the move are pretty well worked out as I have moved this tank once before.  The issue is in the upgrade to a 30 gallon, and using the existing sixteen as a sump/refugium with DSB and macroalgae.   To accomplish this I want to add 30# LR (from Tampa bay Saltwater) and 30# LS (15# Aragalive and 15#  from TBS) The TBS stuff is great, but is totally fresh, and needs to be cycled.   I will only have the new tank in place for about 5 days before the old one has to be moved. My question is multi-pronged. Should I cycle the new LR and LS for the five days before the move? <I would.> Or just add it as new stock when I move? <Could be an invitation for disaster if you take this route.> Where should the new LS, old LS and Aragalive go, the fuge or the sump (45# total, 15 in the fuge and 30 in the tank)? <That sounds good.> My first instinct would be to move the tank into its new location, let it settle, and then add the new LS and LR gradually over say 2 months.  But this presents some real problems, i.e.:  Landscaping (I'm hoping to not remove the corals from the rocks they are attached to), cost ( I get a much better deal on LS and LR as well as cleanup crew if I order it all together, not to mention shipping). <You could easily keep this stuff brewing in a Rubbermaid bin or trash can while you make the gradual transfer to the new system. I'd really like to see you take your time.> My biggest worry is having a crash due to the new LR and LS, but is mitigated by wanting to be able to aquascape with the new rock so I don't have to try to add it later. <All the more reason to take your time - again, would consider a low-cost holding container for the rock and sand and cure/store that separately... adding to the new 30 gallon as time allows.> The other option I guess would be to skip the new LS, and just use Aragalive, and mix it up with the old LS and split it between the fuge and the tank, and to use dry/clean base rock in the tank instead of new LR.  But will this leave me with enough LR(30#) and LS(45# w/ Aragalive) to take care of the new water volume (45g +/-), and populate the dry rock in a decent period of time? <Prefer more the idea of using the live materials from TBS - don't have much faith in the Aragalive product.> And finally, should the old tank being used as the fuge/sump be thoroughly cleaned, or left with the coralline and other stuff in tact to speed the growth of these things in the new tank? <I'd leave it the way it is.> The tank will only be dry/empty for an hour or two. <Just keep it out of direct sunlight and you should be fine.> Thanks very much for your help, and sorry for the length of this email, but I really value your opinion and want to make sure this move goes as smoothly as possible. Thx Again Al <Cheers, J -- >

Aftermath of Moving a Tank (1/30/04) I have 29 gal. tank. It was up and running at my house for about 4 months. I have recently moved the tank. Prior to the move I had a blue star fish that died. I also had a deep green algae, and a scooter blenny that stopped eating 1-2 days before the move. When we moved the tank we vacuumed as much of algae we could. Was this bad? <No> and did a 20% water change <good>. After this water change the pH dropped to about 7.8 and we had the water checked at a local fish store and the nitrates were at about 20ppm, the water was also really cloudy white. <Has the cloudiness gone away yet?> This was the first time anything besides ph and salt were checked. Since I have performed 2 five gallon water changes with RO water <good>, and checked all parts of the water. my new readings are salt 1.022, ph 8.3, ammonia .5 <still to high>, nitrites 0, nitrates 5. Is there a way to drop the ammonia or should I wait, can I add something to help? <It just needs to cycle again after the biofilter was disturbed by the move. You might be able to speed this along considerably with Bio-Spira Marine if you can get it from an LFS.> Also I moved all my fish to a buddies tank so they are safe I have 1 maroon clown, 1 tomato clown, 1 4 striped damsel, 1 domino. <A very aggressive mix> Is it safe to put them back? <I wouldn't do this until ammonia is zero. It would also be preferable to not add back all of them at once.>Is this too many fish? <Not so much too many as a bad mix of mean fish. I would expect the Maroon Clown to kill the Tomato eventually, although perhaps the Tomato will prevail. Maroons get meaner as they grow and get up to 5 inches or longer. The Damsels are quite mean as well. Very likely to quarrel.> Also just a question about a yellow tang, they say 50 gal min <That resource is wrong. Minimum 75--more is better. You should snorkel in Hawai'i sometime. It will transform your entire perspective on this hobby.> Would it die in a small tank? <Would you die if confined to your bedroom for the rest of your life? Likely not, but you would not thrive either.> Can I get one and move it to a larger tank later on? <Bad idea. How do you know you'll ever get a bigger tank? Circumstances change. Always buy only fish that will fit into your current tank. Get fish that get bigger only after you get a bigger tank. Hope the info helps, Steve Allen.>

- Moving Day - Hello crew, the big day will be coming next week when I have to move my 90 gal. reef tank.  I have been asking around a lot of chat forums, and local shops on how to deal with the 5" sandbed that I have my tank.  I have heard a whole bunch of different ideas, (and I know everyone has they're own idea on what will work, but I wanted to shoot it at you guys because I trust you out there. I have all LPS corals, and some reef fish in my setup. I am only moving 15 minutes away, so it won't be as bad as some others.  The transfer of the animals shouldn't be a big deal. I WILL be keeping all the water to put back in. The only thing I'm worried about is the 5" of sand. Should I take all the sand out to move the tank? <You could test the tank once the water is out to see if you can pick it up, but I'm going to bet it's going to be very heavy.> Should I only take out an 1" or 2 to move the tank and then put it back in when I get settled? <Again... see if you can pick it up after you've removed an inch - I'm still betting that the tank will be very heavy.> Should I leave all the sand in the tank and try to move it? <I don't think you'll be able to unless you have a quartet of gorillas.> I don't know where to go when it comes to this. My biggest worry is if I disrupt the sandbed then put all the corals back in that it will cause an upset. <A real possibility.> Would it  be better to just keep the top 2" of sand and put that in? Or put all this sand back in? <Think you should keep/use as much sand as possible.> I don't really know. I've heard about Hydrogen Sulfide being released. <That will only happen at the move time, if it happens at all. It's not going to happen post-move.> I'm also worried about maybe an ammonia spike, or nitrate spike, or just that the tanks chemistry won't react the same when I add the water and animals back. <A possibility.> Should I be prepared to do a large water change? (if so how much and when) <Yes... I'd have at least 50% made up - the amount to change will depend on the severity of whatever comes about.> I will be testing for ammonia probably every day but I was wondering if there are other factors to consider that I'm not aware of. <I would test for all the nitrogenous wastes - ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.> Will need to do a large water change soon anyway? <Yes.> The above are just some of the suggestions that have been made.  Really would appreciate you're professional opinion on the correct way to accomplish this move with the safety of my reef inhabitants in mind.  Thanx a bunch. <Cheers, J -- >

Tank Move >Most Honorable Gurus, >>Oh shucks, I'm a mom, not a guru! >I am planning to move my existing live stock and live rock/sand (Florida stuff) from a 55 gal to a 180 gal. >>Oooh.. fun! >I'm in the process of cycling the larger tank with Walt Smith live rock (Fiji),  (it's only been a week, don't worry, I'm patiently waiting...want to do it right...) So anyway, my 55 gal has been running for about 17 months and I have a healthy Mandarin among other things in there. Finally the question is, will the copepods survive the transfer to the new tank or should I leave the rock/sand and Mandarin in the 55 until the 180 has developed it's own copepods? >>Some should survive, but you may be doing the more prudent thing to let a population develop before making the move. >Also, I want to make one of my two connected sumps (overflow feeds into the first sump and is skimmed by Turboflotor Classic, which then feeds into the second sump...only because the LFS didn't have a large enough sump to begin with...together I have about 25 gals, they can take more but I leave space for error)  a refugium, but I'm concerned about sand passing through the sponge filter and getting into my Dolphin pump...any suggestions? Thank you in advance...Kimberly Torres >>I would search our site, I believe there are a few diagrams/schematics regarding how to add baffles to your 'fuge to help diffuse flow velocity through there.  Besides that, you could add a shallow layer of heavier rubble (crushed coral or the like) to cover the sand.  I'd look at our FAQs on refugiums first, though, and look for the queries and articles with the diagrams.  Marina

- Tank Move - Low pH - Hello, I'm in the process of moving a 20 gal reef into a new 75, tank residents are 2 small Ocellaris clowns, 1 yellow tang, 35 Nassarius snails, 4 turbo snails, 10 blue leg reef hermits, a small Ricordea, a small Favia, a small Wellsophyllia, a small yellow polyp colony and 25 lbs of live rock.  This tank has been setup for about a year, and doing great, good coralline growth, lots of pods.  the only filtration for about 8 months was 1 hang on carbon filter, and 1 Millennium 1000 hang on with a bacteria grid, 1 powerhead for movement.  I got the 75 with a wet-dry system and a protein skimmer, I needed to build a stand, so I hooked up the wet-dry and skimmer to the 20 gal to get some bacteria going so to speed up the cycle on the new tank, BTW I test the water weekly and all chemistry of good.  Well, the new tank is going in the same place that the 20 gal is setting, so I drain off enough water to move it easily, and set it back up with the initial filtration and put the wet-dry on the new tank.  The water is cloudy and the corals are not happy, tested the water and 0 ammonia, 0 nitrate, <0.3 mg/l nitrite, but ph had dropped to 7.7 and KH had dropped to 7, so I added some buffer, still no improvement. <Therein is the problem - need to work primarily on the pH now.> The Ricordea and yellow polyps are alive but have shrunk a lot, so I moved the Ricordea to the new 75 gal. and it perked up and looks better yellow polyps are starting to open also, all water chem. is good on this one too but has only been up and running 1 day, I want to save everything but I'm at a loss, any advice would be appreciated. <Would look to anything new in the 75 - decor, rock, etc. - that would be dragging the pH down. In lieu of that, I'd have a couple of large water changes queued up - make sure the pH is on the money - and then execute a couple of large changes - perhaps 25-50% a couple of days apart.> Thanks, Rob <Cheers, J -- >

- Tank Move/Upgrade - 'Lo there again WWMCrew, I've mailed them some weeks ago 'bout a stocking plan for a 29gal micro-reef (thanks again for the pretty quick reply). In the last weeks I read read read read read and sometimes I read bout reef tanks and got completely hooked. Guess the result? I'm planning on buying a used pretty good system (Eww my soon-to-be wife will probably kill me for this new hobby).  Let's write down the tech details bout that system: tank is 120cm x 50cm x 60cm (height), something like 360 litres (90 gallons barely, 75g net water maybe). 20 gal sump and 2 hang-on skimmers, HQI light system with 2x150w, plenty of add-ons like testers, food, pumps etc. etc.  Least but surely not last 100 lbs of live rocks.  I've seen the system running and it's pretty good with plenty of coralline growth everywhere (the tank is running with the same rocks since 4 years). The problem is that that guy who's selling me lives 400 km away from my house and I want to install that new system + adding livestock from my actual 29g as faster as possible. I've made a kind of a plan and I mailed you to be sure it can be a "good" plan. Day 1 : the owner drains the system and puts the rocks in bags/buckets with as much system water as he can. <Bags don't work well with rock - the rocks tend to pierce the bags - buckets are you're best friend.> Day 2 : I come there and take everything and I'll be back home in 4 hours. After arriving home I'll setup the system with 20 lbs of new fine not live sand, new water made with tap water (I cannot make that before as I don't know where to stock it, here tap water is pretty good, ph 8.4, ca 500, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and phosphates = 0) and all the rocks he gave me with all the system water with them. After that I'll let the system go for a week and then place my current livestock (20 lbs live sand, 40lbs of live rocks, some turbo snails, some soft corals, 1 sand sifting star, 1 Lysmata amboinensis, 1 Gramma loreto and 2 cute false perculas) in the new established system.  Is that timing correct or is it unsafe for my current fishes/corals? <It will likely work fine.> I don't want to loose anything!! <Test before you add.> Of course I'll move the fish and coral with the usual safe acclimation I use when I buy from LFS but without a freshwater dip.  I'd wait 1 week mainly because I fear that some small cycle can happens in the tank. <A distinct possibility.> Do you think I can wait less than a week or more? <Hard to say - the tests will tell.> I've read all the FAQs about moving but I think my case is different as I've no possibility to keep much of the old system water. <Live rock is already 'cured' - will help quite a bit.> Second advice needed : I'm planning bout hosting mainly soft corals for the first year in the low part of the system and maybe LPS and very few SPS in the upper part when the system is older, do your think it can be done with 2 x 150w mh? <It can, but generally speaking, these corals mix well only in the largest of systems. All corals are chemical warriors, and you'll find that certain corals will win-out over others.> (I'm planning about make it stand at 10" from the water) I will not add a fish till next year too, just another Lysmata amboinensis and maybe a couple of Lysmata debelius to keep the bioload low.  Please enlighten me with your wisdom and forgive me for my bad English. <All sounds good so far...> Thanks again for all the shared wisdom in your site.  Andrea from Italy <Cheers, J -- >

- Concerns with Moving Aquarium - Hi Crew, I was delighted to find an entire section on WetWebMedia dedicated to moving aquariums. <Not at all an uncommon chore - just moved mine a couple of days ago.> I am always amazed at the breadth of information you provide!  After reading all of this material, I do have a few additional questions. My problem is that my moves are part of a relocation package so they are managed by a moving company (operating on their schedule in a non temperature-controlled environment). <Then you will likely need to manage the moving of the tank yourself... perhaps see if you can expense later.> It typically takes about 1 ? weeks for the movers to deliver to my new house.  I have a 180 gallon acrylic reef aquarium that has been established for about 7 months (200 pounds live rock, 200 pounds live sand + livestock). <Trouble.... would not leave this to the moving company.> I might be able to put my live rock in aquarium water-filled containers and have it shipped by the movers (although I am concerned about the die-off that could happen due to uncontrolled temperature) but I see no way the movers could successfully move my livestock. <Neither do I.> Even if I drive to my new location and take the livestock with me, this is a 22 hour drive so the livestock would be in bags for at least two days (hotel stay ? way through the trip).  Even after arrival at my new location, I will still not have the aquarium setup for the livestock. Do you have any additional suggestions for managing such a lengthy move? <Yeah... work with LFS in your current area as well as your destination. Get their assistance to ship the fish either ahead or behind you... leaving them at one or the other store for a brief holding period, ready for your arrival/their new home. Movers could take the tank/system... you could haul the live rock.> I suppose I could carry a few empty Rubbermaid-type (15 gal) containers, stacked inside each other along with a few heaters and air pumps.  This would allow me to let the fish out of the bags for a "breather" during the midpoint hotel stay.  I would not have access to RO water so I would have to bring a dechlorinator and salt. <Again... a good reason to get in touch with LFS in new area to see what you might be able to procure.> This sounds like a lot of work just for one night (as well as added stress for the fish - moving and re-bagging them) but I am concerned that two days in bags is too long. What do you suggest? <Check with your LFS or maintenance company... they have much experience with shipping livestock.> You mention also the possibility of anesthetizing livestock in preparation for a move.  How is this done (what product, how to administer, dosage)? <Have heard of this... wouldn't suggest for the average hobbyist.> Could this help significantly? <Don't think so... anesthesia lasts only so long, and in some ways being in an oxygen-filled bag in a dark box has a similar effect. Would add just one more complication to the move.> Thank you for the advice! -- Greg <Cheers... good luck with the move. J -- >

Maroon Clown Query <Hello! Ryan with you today> First thanks for your reply and for the excellent info your site offers. <Surely> I am buying a 72 gal bow front and need new lights. <Great> I am looking at doing 2 pendant lights. Is this enough to keep my crocea clam, Green star polyps, waiving hands, green anchor, blue mushrooms, green horn, toadstool, pagoda, red brain, green buttons and bubble tip anemone alive? should I run some actinic as well? <You should certainly run actinics as well.  I'm not a big fan of pendants at all.  I recommend a hood with both built in, around 450 total watts.  For more, see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lgtmarinvfaqs.htm> Any advice is appreciated. It is time to rid myself of that boring tiny 30 gallon and get a neat larger tank. Now I also could use some transfer advice. What do you recommend I do? Add a little say 15 gallons of the old water along with the crushed coral to the new tank? <No, I would cycle the tank from scratch.  You'll need to run both systems for at least a few months, and slowly add your livestock from most hardy to least.> I have a small CPR zone refugium as well. Should I just use this and my live rock to cycle the new tank? <I assume you're getting more live rock?  Cure this in the new tank, and let the refugium support your corals in the smaller tank.> Or can I pretty much skip that by transferring filters ref. and skimmer all at once along with the live rock and crushed coral? <See above, and research charge: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupii.htm > Last I bought a second maroon clown. I want to get them to be buds but so far not so good. I bought a much larger one to add but as yet my old one beats it up. I have been keeping the new one in a specimen cont. in the tank and releasing like once per day for a few minutes. I do not want a huge fight so I put the new one back into the container within a few minutes of fighting. Should I just continue this till they get along? Or release him to just get whooped? (please don't say this one lol)<Actually, I think you should return the fish, and do more research the next time around.  Maroon clowns are notoriously "grumpy," and seldom act well in the presence of their own genus.  I have seen maroon clowns paired in the tank of experts, but it's certainly not an easy task.>  Well as I said thanks in advance. I appreciate the info and sorry I had to ask. <We wouldn't be here if this way easy!> I tried to search for a while but didn't see a whole lot on these subjects that helped as everyone has different circumstances. <Good luck! Ryan> Shane

- Tank Move - Hi, I have a 75 gallon SW tank w/ 70 pounds of LR and I also have a lot of sand in there with a stars and stripes puffer, yellow tang, Clark clown, and 5 damsels, I am currently getting new carpet in my room and the tank will need to be moved for 4 hours....any ideas? <Just drain it and move it.> Also I just purchased a 700 watt home theater system and I wonder since the home theater is going to be right next to the fish tank if the vibrations or something could kill the fish? <It will certainly be a source of stress if you turn it up too loud - the ocean is a pretty noisy place, but anything that shakes the house will be trouble.> Any ideas or help would be great, Thanks -wazuph2o- <Cheers, J -- >
- Tank Move, Follow-up -
Ok, you said just drain the tank but will I be able to put the fish in right away... <Probably not 'right' away - it's going to take a little while for the temperature to stabilize.> Won't I have to go through the whole cycle again? <Nah... for a four hour move? No.> If I drain the tank then the fish will be a tub for at least 4 hours with a powerhead, will they survive? <They should do fine - make sure you put a heater in and get some air in there as well - either via the powerhead or with an air pump and stone. Good luck with the move. Cheers, J -- >

- Moving Between Houses and Tanks - Greetings Crew, I am currently running a 55 reef with a 30 gallon sump, 5" DSB in the tank.  The tank has been up and running since May of this year and has 85 lbs of beautiful Kaelini live rock.  Ammonia, nitrate and nitrites all set at zero, calcium is maintained at 450, alkalinity at 10 dKH and pH is 8.3. Nothing but RO/DI water has ever been used  All is well in the tank, thanks to members of PMASI, books such as The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, Reef Invertebrates and boards such as this. Right after I got my 55 up and running I picked up a used 110 gallon tank, to set-up when we found a house to buy. Well that day has come. Found the house and after some negotiating, agreed on the price. Found some fool to give us a bunch of money and have a closing date set for mid-December. I will be setting up the 110 when we move!!  We will have access to the house a couple of weeks prior to actually moving. I've printed off the moving instructions, but since I'm also upgrading as well, I do have a few questions that were not addressed in the moving article.  A brief summary of my current plan is to set-up the tank as soon as we close, i.e., new stand, plumbing etc. After placing the 110 onto the stand, adding my Southdown, a cup or two of sand from my 55's DSB and running my main pump from the sump. That will run for 7-10 days prior to our move. On tank moving day, carefully pack-up LR and livestock, place LR in the tank followed by the livestock. Good news is the new home is only 4 blocks away. <That is a luxury.> Questions: 1)  Would it be beneficial to store and use water from my water changes on my 55 for use in the new tank? <Not for too long - I'd do this only once the new tank is set up, and then I'd try to move as much of the original water as possible.> 2)  When I physically move the 55 to the new home, will it be beneficial to scrape off the top inch or so of my DSB to put into the new tank or not? <It would, but would also likely be a cloudy mess...> I am planning on using my 55 as a 'fuge after we move. <Might be best to leave it then.> 3)  Any benefit to moving a little bit of my LR to the new tank over the course of the 7-10 days between 110 set-up and actual moving day? <Yes... recommend as much as you can spare.> Any thoughts/suggestion/things I am missing are always, muchly appreciated! <Sounds like a good plan to me.> David Kittanning, PA <Cheers, J -- >

Moving marine setup_ Hello great folk @ WWM, I have a 20 gallon FOWLR that is 6 month old now.  It houses a juvenile  porcupine puffer, and a brittle and chocolate chip starfish and a few hermit crabs (I know its too crowded).  I am moving across town and I have gathered everything necessary for a 55 gallon FOWLR setup.  I plan on transferring everything from the 20 into the 55 but I'm not sure how to do it correctly.  I was thinking about taking half of the live rock (I have 20lbs currently and probably 20 more later), crushed coral substrate, and water and putting in the new 55 gallon to start that tank to cycle.  Than slowly do water changes in the 20 and put the old water in the 55. <sounds good>   I also want to keep my 20 as a QT(what do I need to keep in there?) <a piece of live rock a sponge filter and a heater>   I have all the time in the world to move I just want to do it correctly. I have one last question for the crew, the lighting I'm planning for the 55 FOWLR is 2x dual fluorescent 18' bulbs two blue two white).  The grand total is sadly 60W is than enough for the setup that I have describes above? <yes ,because you are not keeping coral> Thanks for all of the awesome advice and the killer web site, <your welcome MikeH> Ryan King

- Tank Transferring and Calcium - Kevin, thanks much -- again.  One last question regarding the new tank set-up:  You suggested that I should have the calcium and alk levels up to where they ought to be in the new tank before transferring in my existing corals.  However, due to space constraints, I cannot run the two tanks on a parallel basis, and the old tank will have to come down at the same time as the new tank goes up.  Is there anything I can do before transferring the corals, such as "super-saturating" the new tank with calcium <Oooh, no need to do that.> , or transferring water from my old tank to the new one, in order to reduce the risk? <If you use a high quality salt mix (IO, Kent, Tropic Marin, etc) and use some water from your old system, I doubt you should have any problems. Sorry for the delay! -Kevin> Best, Ralph

SHIPPING LIVE ROCK I have seen some of your questions and answers on shipping Live Rock, but they are for short distance. I am moving from Wisconsin to South Florida in a few weeks and have a reef tank that I want to take with me. Will you please explain the best way to ship the live rock< place in Styro foam box with a saltwater damp pages of news paper on top of them> and corals? Bag individually and place in a Styro box> Your LFS should be more than willing to lend you some boxes. Eric Rood> Thank you so much for your time. Jamee

- Switching tanks - Hey Gang, Top 'o the WWM day, Anthony <Kevin here in his stead>, I'm currently planning the rearrangement of reef tanks. The currently running 70g needs to be moved to make room for my new 75g over 70g sump. I have recently set up a 55g over 55g sump to be used as a holding system for the contents of the current 70g. I've mixed up the Reef Crystals in the 55g'S & that system is flowing as planned, however, there's no sand or live rock, just water flowing in 2 bare tanks with a heater. Should I be concerned with transferring the contents into the 55g's from the current 70g all at once, or, would you do it slowly ( a few rocks a day over a period of days)? <I would start by installing any additional substrate that you may need, and then move much of the rock over for a while. The slower you draw this out by letting the rock and potentially a hardy fish or two hang out, the less of a chance there will be of problems. Does that mean that if you moved everything over all in one afternoon that the tank will crash? Probably not, but it's better to be safe than sorry.> I still have some equipment ordered that's not here yet, but, I could be moving the tanks into position in the meantime, aka; manual labor! I'm concerned that because the 55's don't have any filtration, for some reason the reef inhabitants would suffer because of that fact. <I would wait until you have a protein skimmer running, or at least use the one you already have.> I'm thinking that by moving some of the live rock from the 70g to the 55's over a period of days, the corals would suffer less in the long run, being the last animals to be moved. What do ya think? <I think you answered your own question! Good luck, Kevin> How would you do it?                                                    Thanks for your advice, Have a wet one!, Stormbringer (Aka; Scott in Denver)     

- Tank Swap - Greeting folks, <Hello to you.> I have just purchased a new 125 gallon tank.  I currently have a 72 bow and a 75 gal.  Together they have ample water and cured rock for my new tank.  All of the inhabitants of both will be going into the new tank.  Would it be advised to fill the new one with new water and do water changes from both my old tanks and then in a month after cycling introduce the fish and inhabs to the new tank or is it ok, because both tanks specs are exact, to do a move over (because there is ample cycled water and rock, I would be putting in new substrate)?  I am thinking the first choice because there would be a new wet dry filter that needs cycled.  What are your thought. <I think you can get away with putting in as much of the water and rock from the two tanks into the new one, perhaps also with a couple of handfuls of the old substrate to give this system a kick start. The wet/dry will eventually cycle, but my thinking is that your live rock will stabilize things in the mean while.> Thank you  (Saltwater by the way, sorry if I am not being specific) <Cheers, J -- >

May need to tear down the tank before moving day. Dear Crew, <Howdy> I find myself suddenly moving as a result of my landlady selling the house unexpectedly.  The "big day" is 10/4. So I read all the moving FAQs and the articles, but don't find some of the exact info I'm looking for.   The new landlord/owner of my duplex has already begun major renovation in the downstairs unit (I'm upstairs).  They are rewiring the whole house, which caused a power outage for me upstairs on the circuit which runs the tank and my sump overflowed (thank god I was home)... you get the picture.   I anticipate power interruptions now on a regular basis until I'm gone.  Here's my question -- I read Anthony's post (last week?) about using a new dustpan to remove the DSB in layers and label them  and replace in order.  Can I pack the layers covered in water  in Tupperware for like 7 days? <Yes... do anticipate having to "re-cure" the DSB substrate... there will be some die-off...> If not, for how long?  Can I wrap my rock in damp newspaper and seal it up in plastic for that long as well ? <Yes, much of the LR collected/provided from the wild is "out of water" this long... and longer nowadays> If I wanted to add more sand to my DSB to make it the deeper DSB :)  once I get in to my new place (30 min drive), should it be the bottom layer, or the topmost layer?   <The bottom if you want to do immediately, on top a bit at a time (a sixteenth or two of an inch) over a period of weeks... after a month or more wait after the move... if you can wait to add to later.> Thanks as usual for the great guidance! <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Not-So-Smooth Move... Hello, <Good Evening! Scott F. here tonight> I recently moved to a new house and brought my 55 gallon tank with me.  Unfortunately,  the movers were late getting to the new house and it was a total disaster. <Sounds like fun...LOL> My question is, can I keep my sand which spent 30 hours under about 2" of water and my bio filtration which spent the same amount of time out of water? <Yep...Think of how this stuff ships from the South Pacific...It makes it though in good shape...> I know I need to re-cycle the tank, but do I need to replace the sand and live rock? <No, it will need cycling, though, as you surmised> Should I treat all of it as brand new? Cycle the tank and do water changes before I introduce fish? <That's the way I'd play it. Add the rock and sand and treat the system as if it were brand new...Just do regular water tests and stay on top of things...> I'm lost and I could really use your help.  Would adding live sand or live rock speed up the process?  Thanks, Dru <Well, Dru- you pretty much have it...Not a complicated process...You just need to be patient, and test the water regularly to follow the tank's process...You have the right idea! Good luck in your new home! Regards, Scott F>

Tank Moving Hola wet ones, <I got sprayed by the sprinklers this morning, but am dry now, hey, how did you know that?> question on moving my 90G tank.  In a few months the tank will be changing locations in the home, so I will temporarily move the inhabitants so it can be lifted.  I have about 4" of fine grained aragonite in tank and I was thinking of adding another inch since it is a good time to do so.  Once the tank is drained, can I just add the extra sand on top of the existing wet 4 inches of sand?  I have read about 1/2" if I recall, maybe the 1" is too much? <I would add the inch now while your tank is in turmoil rather that muck it all up again later once it settles down.>   It's just that I would like to add it all now instead of some now, some later, but I don't want to destroy the sand bed either.  Also, how long can the sand be left without being submerged in water?  That will be the case at the point when I eventually have to lift the tank. <You must be huge! That is going to be super heavy, and will more than likely break a seal on the tank.  Remove the sand in 3 or 4 layers, store it submersed in tank water until you are ready to put it back, then put it back in the same order it was removed and add the extra inch of sand.  Moving the whole thing is too risky.>  I might do some drilling on the tank as well (another bulkhead or two)<yeah, more flow!>, so if it is a problem leaving the sand exposed, I can add a little bit of water to submerge it and then stick a power head in there to aerate the water.  Will this be necessary? <can't hurt.>  And finally, I would like to add some supports for my live rock, made up of a grid of acrylic rods.  Will it cause any problems jamming this framework of rods into the sand, too much disturbance to the bed, etc.? <nope, it will work fine.  Have fun, Gage> Thank you,  Paul

Moving Live Rock and Sand Hey crew...real quickie here.  Was wondering how long it my live sand and rock will remain "live" for in 5gall buckets?? There will be enough water in the buckets to submerge everything. I think it would probably be about hr and a half before it was all put back into a tank full of water. Thanks! Rick <Hey Rick, your live rock and sand should remain live in the buckets for the trip, I would not worry too much about 1.5 hours.  Try to avoid any major temperature swings, do not crank up the A/C.  If a temperature drop is going to be a problem in your area you might consider heat pads.  Best Regards, Gage>

Moving Sucks!!! Use of pond liners Hi Anthony, Bob and Crew: <Hello Gregory> Thanks for the great support and books!!  You guys can truly be a godsend at times. Sorry if this is a silly question...I tried to search the faqs re: moving, etc., but did not find a definitive answer.  I am in the process of moving my 110 tank to a new house.  Unfortunately, I will have to spend 3-4 months in an apartment while the house is being finished.  Since I am afraid to set up the 110 in the apartment, I have decided that I will temporarily house everything in the oversized soaking tub in the apartment's second bathroom.  This is the largest container (approx. 60-70 gallons I think) that I could think of for keeping everything healthy.  Anyway, I thought that I would line the tub with plastic pond liner (because of soap & chemicals), but the guy at the garden store said that it might be toxic to marine animals.  Is this so, or is there a certain type of liner that I should use and/or avoid? <No problems in using any type of liner intended for pond use. All, EPDM, Butyl, Vinyl, composite, are chemically inert, non-toxic to marine life. Bob Fenner> Thanks for all your help.  Take care, Greg
Re: Moving Sucks!!!
Thanks for the info Bob!  That's a load off...I thought that I was going to have to rethink this whole process midstream so to speak.  Great new book BTW (I have told Anthony so, but have never been in touch with you directly).  I think it really fills an interesting niche that is, of necessity, skipped or lightly treated in most of the marine "standards." Very shrewd of you guys to include so many (!!!) quality photos as well. <Agreed. Must need "get the attention" of folks as an a priori step to "introducing them" meaningfully to informational content. In our interest this is supremely easy... with so many gorgeous, interesting life forms> I think that alone will broaden the audience that you reach.  I've read it through once, but have flipped through the photos too many times to count. I look forward to Volume 2.  Take care, Greg. <Thank you for your input. Bob Fenner>
Re: Moving Sucks!!!
Hi Bob (again): Sorry to be a nuisance, but I just bought my pond liner for this rather bizarre project and had one last question (I hope!).  The liner is covered in the gray powdery substance that I assume prevents dry-rot, etc. during storage.  I rinsed it and scrubbed it with a broom a couple of times, but I think there is still quite a bit clinging to it.  Is it necessary that I get this coating off before using the liner? <No, but if it bothers you, it can be scrubbed off with some water, rock salt and a scrubby brush> If I need to get it off thoroughly, I would appreciate some advice on what to use as a cleaning agent if anything other than elbow grease.  Thanks again for your time and wisdom/experience.  Take care, Greg <Glad to share. Bob Fenner>

Moving Hello, This past weekend I moved my 90 gallon tank to a new apartment across town, and thanks to all the advice posted here, it was mostly successful.  I say mostly, because I had planned to do it all in one day to minimize troubles/recycling, but the movers did not show up on Saturday afternoon like they were scheduled to,<oh> and I was not able to move the tank myself on Saturday.<ok>  We were able to get movers on Sunday morning, and so they moved the tank then.<good to hear>  I am describing all of this because I am worried about the tank needing to recycle and a possible subsequent ammonia spike. <agreed> I moved almost all of the water, although added about 20 gal. new water, moved about 200 lbs. of my deep sand bed, covered with water in the Rubbermaid's, and moved my 80 lbs of live rock, also covered with water. <sounds good> The fish I put in a 30 gal rectangular Rubbermaid's, w/ 2 pieces of live rock, an air stone, powerhead, and heater during the whole ordeal. <good> I broke down the tank starting at 10am on Saturday and was able to restart the pumps and add fish in the new place at 8pm Sunday. Last night I checked the ammonia, and it looked like there was some present, btwn about 0.2-0.3. Also, I know that there was a decent amount of algae that died off in the tank by being out of the water for a day.<could be the problem>  The fish (one 4.5" Naso tang, one yellow tang, 2 ocellaris clowns, 1 neon goby, 2 cleaner shrimp, various hermits and snails) were all living and swimming this morning , although they are clearly spooked.  I have a EuroReef (CS8-2? can handle a much bigger tank than my 90) skimmer going.  Also, I took out the original bioballs in my sump about 5 months ago, with good results, so they are not a factor here in bio filtration. How bad will the ammonia get?  Will the sand and rock and water all need to recycle?<Well sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't ...I would check water parameters daily> What should I do in the meantime? <Do small water changes... to dilute the ammonia/ and keep checking the water> What level of ammonia is lethal for a short amount of time? <any ammonia in aquariums can be deadly so its best to keep checking the water... and do small frequent water changes to dilute it> Many thanks for all of your advice, especially for posting it in one place on the web! <your welcome, IanB> Thank You, Laura

Moving Tank and Home >Hi >>Good morning, David, Marina here. >I have e-mailed you guys in the past and your advice has been excellent so I was hoping someone can help me out once again, it's Steve that has dealt with my questions in the past but I suppose any body can answer this one (or two, maybe three). I had freshwater fish in the past and decided to switch to marine late last year with all new equipment, I started off setting up a small 5 gallon quarantine tank (which I will come back to, Oh, oh, I hear you say) which I eventually used to 'seed' my main 40 gallon tank, blah, blah, until it had matured. The main tank was ready to accept its first occupant when due to unforeseen circumstances we have to move house (NIGHTMARE), anyway what I would like to know is what is the best possible way to strip down and store my setup (obviously without the water) for use again in several weeks (maybe longer). I will mention that I live in Scotland so don't have access to anything fresh if required. It consists of a Fluval 2 external filter, Eheim external wet/dry filter, internal Juwel filter (Juwel tank), external protein skimmer (this has never been switched on), 25Kg of Tufa rock and 25Kg of Ocean rock (Honeycomb rock) and a layer of coral sand. I have never had anything living in my tank, if you exclude the algae growth on rocks/sand and what lives in the filters. >>So, as I understand you, you haven't even had a chance to stock with fish or invertebrates. >I expect to have to discard the sand, but would like to save the rock and filter media. Can I just scrub and store the rock in a box ? If I rinse out all my filter medias (foam inserts, substrates, etc) can I store them for reuse or do I have to bin them and buy new ones ? What should I use to clean the inside of the tank and pipes/hoses ? >>David, you don't even have to get rid of the sand.  Everything can be rinsed with clean, fresh water, dried, and stored as though new. >Any advice on the above would be great as I am not sure if nitrite and nitrate will eventually effect the medias while in storage. As promised, if you don't mind I will now refer back to my original small quarantine tank as I am unsure what is happening in here. It consists of an internal Sea-storm fluidized bed, small internal foam filter, Sanders Piccolo internal protein skimmer, layer of coral sand and a 5Kg of Tufa rock. It only houses a cleaner shrimp and has done for the past six months. The cleaner shrimp has done great, I have a small hair algae problem, but my big concern is that a few months ago after doing my weekly maintenance I noticed a couple of tiny what I can only describe as white brittle stars (pale grey hexagon body with long white arms), but now after monitoring my tank since I now have a lot of these critters in almost every nook and cranny, they also live in the small foam pre-filter of the sea-storm which I have not changed since I noticed they were living in it as I do not want to kill any (if they are good guys), now I am worrying about Nitrites, etc. I have not introduced anything into my tank since the shrimp. Do you know what these are and are they anything to worry about and require treatment?? Are they good guys and beneficial?? They do not seem to bother the cleaner shrimp and it doesn't seem to bother them if it has even noticed them. Some of them are getting to have very long arms (app. 2-3cm but only a mm or two wide). >>This is not at all uncommon, though it is unusual to have these sea stars (they could be juveniles) without any apparent form of introduction, i.e. via live rock/sand.  However, no worries, they're simply detritus feeders.  They will die when the sand is rinsed and dried, but as you now know, their populations are relatively easy to build up. >Since I noticed these 'starfish' I had obviously been looking at my tank more closely and also noticed that on the hair algae I mentioned earlier were tiny (pinhead size) white/beige 'things' running all over it, then on further inspection I noticed that they were running all over the rocks and everything else. I suppose the same questions apply to these guys as the 'starfish'. >>Likely "pods"--copepods, isopods, and the like.  Simply another indicator of tank health, and, if you had such animals, tasty food for those that require smallish foodstuffs. >I do not understand how the 'starfish' even got into my tank in the first place as I have no live rock, etc., or has something gone horribly wrong within my set-up?   >>Again, no worries, just unusual in a non-reef/non-live rock set up. >To move home I was just going to half empty my tank water into a container and transfer the shrimp on my knee to the new house and refill and plug in, it is only a fifteen minute drive so I reckon this should be okay, what do you think. I hope you guys can help and thank you in advance for any help at all on the above. I bought Bob's book on Steve's sound advice previously and it is brilliant. Thanks Bob it full of great advice for the novice like myself. >>Bob is always pleased when another hobbyist meets with success, whether or not using his material, but glad that his works help so greatly.  Now, if you're not needing to store anything, you can simply bag up the sand and the filter media, keeping everything very moist, and make your move.  No need to trash or even rinse anything for such a short move.  I do hope this helps, everything should go smoothly enough.  To help control the hair algae, if you can acquire one, try a tuxedo urchin--post move.  Best of luck!  Marina

- Moving to a New Tank - <Good morning, JasonC here today...> I currently have a 55 gallon reef set-up that is stocked with rock and coral.  It was converted from a fish only tank several years ago, so it has a wet-dry filter and only about 1" or less of crushed coral on the bottom.  I will be moving soon and plan on buying a larger tank (between 75-100 gallons).  For the new tank, I will set it up with a deep sand bed.  Should I also transfer the crushed coral since it is seeded with plenty life or not?  <I would.> If I should transfer it, should it be mixed in with the sand, put on top of the sand or on the bottom? <I would mix it in.> Should I buy all dry sand or that packaged live sand? <I think the dry sand - or if possible actual 'live sand' from your local fish store, but not the bagged live sand.> What size sand should I use? <Fine... Aragamax is good, but I'd also mix in a bag or so of more coarse material to create small void spaces in the sand bed.> Also, for my new sump, I should also probably keep the wet-dry filter running for a little while until the DSB has matured, right? <Would be better than way, yes.> Thanks. -Brian Kysia <Cheers, J -- >

New WWM garments and help moving a reef tank 5/31/03 Anthony, how's it going?  swell I hope.   <indeed... We have our new book being released in a couple weeks, and to celebrate it, Bob has had sequin thongs made for the whole crew with the WetWebMedia logo placed strategically. Thanks for asking!> Here is my situation:  I'm planning on moving in a couple months and I've read over the tank moving section but still would like some additional input from the man.   <he's not here, but I'll answer in his stead> I have a 90 gal. reef with frogspawn, torch, brains, bubbles, a doughnut coral, and an Elegant that are all doing awesome.  I have maybe a 100 lbs. or so of live rock and a 4-5 inch fine sandbed, I would say about 130 lbs., not the superfine stuff. My move will only be about 15 minutes away from where I am at now.   <excellent... will be an easy move> So here is my thing:  I would really like to avoid disrupting the 5 inch sandbed. <too bad> Is there a way I can move this tank without doing that?   <nope... thanks for asking, again <G>. Heehee... the truth is, that moving the tank with that much weight in sand or water puts you in serious risk of pulling a seam on the tank. Remove the sand in layers and replace them in the new location in the same order of depth> Will I not be able to put my corals into it after the transfer if I have to remove most of the sand?   <no problem... are you worries about turbidity? If so... rent or buy a diatom filter (cartridges... not powder)> I was thinking of getting a piece of 3/4 plywood cut for the size of the tank and having handles cut into it so as to maybe carry the tank off like a coffin, (with the help of about 5 or 6 friends) and putting it into the back of a truck and taking it that way as to not disrupt the sandbed.   <honestly, it is a very good way to get a tank to leak as the tank bumps and pitches through the journey. Its too much pressure/weight> I would do all this at midnight or so when I could drive 5mph or so (like miss Daisy) so as to not bang the tank around hard.  I would save all the water and then add it back , get the corals use to the temp. and then add them, what do you think?  Any problems with that?   <I wouldn't do it, bud. And the disturbance of the sand bed is no biggie. You will need to do some large water changes in the next week or two anyway for the disturbance. Just focus on water quality and make a proper move> Any other ways to go about this?  thanks bro. <no worries... easy but laborious. Best of luck with it! Anthony>

- RE: Moving Tanks and Fish... far away - Hi Jason, <Hello...> Not encouraging news :( <I'm sorry...> Will battery power heads not save my water enroute? <They would help, but you'd likely be changing batteries a lot.> If FedEx'ed can't the Orlando LFS look after them (fish and LR) for a fee? <Of course they will... I'm just pointing out that this is not a real money maker for them, and similarly tank commitments to fish they are trying to sell.> If restarting my tank is my first priority even before the furniture when we arrive and making arrangements for the fishes to remain in the quarantine LFS setup for a month can't the LR be saved? <It would have to re-cure... would be wise to boost it with some new live rock.> If it is FedEx'ed along with the fishes? <It's going to be REALLY expensive, and would still need to re-cure AND the fish store is less likely to put this in a system for you. Don't consider having the LFS put the live rock in the same tank as your fish, that would be bad.> I am just so sad at the thought of there being no solution. <I didn't say there was no solution, I just pointed out some of the pitfalls, and the need to be realistic.> Can you ask around for others "moving experiences" and see what plan they used or if they had any success stories:) PLEEEEEESE (I am not above begging:) <I asked around long before I shipped my own fish, and begging doesn't change the reality of the situation. This is not an impossibility, just something that needs intricate planning, and honesty with one's self to make it happen.> Thanks Christy (Got to take my children with me) Evans <Cheers, J -- >

Going to a larger tank Hello guys, (first time writer) <Welcome, Don here today> I've had a 20 gal marine tank going successfully for almost a dozen years.  Right now the current residents have significantly outgrown the tank. (3 yellow faced damsels (2-3"), 1 lg. Blue Devil, 1 yellow tail damsel, 1 med. royal gamma, 1 med. maroon clown, 1 Coral Shrimp, 2 brittle stars, 3 emerald crabs with quite a few snails and hermit crabs. All the fish have been in the tank for at least 4 years and the shrimp and stars have been in the tank for 3 months and are also doing fine.  Filtration has always been a under gravel filter/power head and a 2213 Eheim canister filter. <Excellent!> Happily I'm setting up a new tank (45 gal - sadly it's all the room I have).  So what I'm looking for is some advice on the best way to change over to the larger tank. I still plan to stay with an under gravel filter and the Eheim Canister filter, and thinking of adding a skimmer. What would be the best way to add new substrate and water to the new tank?   Should I put the new gravel in first and distribute the gravel from the 20 gal evenly over top.  Do you recommend power head driven under gravel filters or are air stones better. <Having gone through this myself, I would recommend you setup the new tank and let it cycle without any livestock. Even using the water from the 20, you will have a cycle, although it should be shorter. Move the gravel and fish over as one. I would add a good skimmer and the UGF will be up to you. Hope this helps, Don> Chuck

- Moving Tanks and Fish... far away - Hi guys, <Good morning, JasonC here...> Hope everybody is having a great Memorial Weekend. <I did, thank you for asking.> We could be moving from Seattle to Orlando (oh blessed day, I can't wait): :-) But we have our little wet children to move as well. Here is my idea: Call down to Orlando (the aquarium down there or the college) and get the name of a reputable LFS. Over night our entire crew fish inverts and LR (except all water and tank itself) via FedEx to the LFS down there. Put our water in buckets with tight lids and bring tank etc with us in a pulled trailer. When arriving set up tank with its water from buckets and wait about two more weeks for testing and balancing, then go and retrieve our children and reacclimate as if we had just bought them? It will take us about a week to drive there so they would be with the LFS in sunny Florida for about a month or so total. <Well... I actually have a good deal of experience with this. This past winter I moved from Massachusetts to San Diego and shipped my fish ahead of me. To make a long story short, none of them survived... mostly because I didn't get them out of the store soon enough.> What are some thoughts or better ideas? This is a real source of worry for me. <I bet... moving in general is very stressful. Taking the water with you is a bad idea - it will be worthless by the time you reach your destination. So in actual fact, you will be starting your tank from scratch. I'm going to wager that getting settled at your new destination will be your number one priority so your fish will [not intentionally] end up getting short shrift.> Here are our children: (not to mention the black standard poodle and the Red Factor Canary:-) Boy oh boy 55 gallons 50lbs or so of LR <This will have to recure...> 2 Firefish 1 double saddleback BF (which I bought BECAUSE he was so sick and  would have died at Petco had I not) So he is my special love 1 false Percula 1 baby Naso (sooo cute) 1 baby regal blue tang (sooo cute) 1 neon psycho (emphasis on psycho) delic Goby( not a dragonet) I am not sure what his name is (he would be the Harley rider if he were human, very cool guy:-) 1 bubble tip anemone with clown mentioned above Various bumble bee snails and crabs What do you think???? <I would skip shipping the invertebrates, including the anemone... these are easily replaced. Everything else should be shipped in larger than normal, individual bags. FedEx overnight works fine. Do check with the various LFS(s) to see if they can provide you with premixed water, perhaps pre-cured rock so you can get things up and running quickly. The larger problem with the storage of my fish was that I shipped two tanks-worth and all the fish were put into a single tank smaller than either one that they came out of... the resulting social problems doomed all the small fish. This is pretty standard for a fish store as they don't really have the space or inclination to hold fish that they aren't making a lot of money on. The other problem that came around as part of the move was that it took three months for me to get my tank going... and by that time, even the toughest of fish had checked out. If you can avoid some of these pitfalls, you may be in good shape.> Thanks again for your dedication to this hobby. Christy Evans <Cheers, J -- >

Moving 115 Gallon FOWLR Hello helpful gurus, <Bummer, you got Craig the apprentice today, the Gurus are on Kona drinking coffee and contemplating scuba. No to worry, we can still help!> There is a 115 gallon fish only tank in our office that I have recently been awarded custody of.  Not that I get to take it home or anything just that I get to clean it.  "Lucky me" I know, but actually I'm really excited about it because now I have the opportunity to keep a great looking tank on someone else's dime.  Unfortunately, it's in pretty bad shape.  We battled a horrendous outbreak of red slime algae (after cleaning the glass it would be covered again in a day or two) and unfortunately before I was put in charge the guy before me put in some of that algae be gone stuff and directly there after killed off most the inhabitants.  But I'm starting to tell a story instead of asking questions, sorry.  The inhabitants left are a porcupine puffer, tomato clown, and yellowtail damsel with intentions to add more fish once we get water quality under control.   We are on to a kind of green algae outbreak now.  The tank has been up and running for around 8 months. There is about 2+/- inches of Puka shell for substrate and around 60-70lbs of base rock that has been in there for 2-3 months.  The only filtration consists of an ETSS (made by AETech) protein skimmer and some bio-balls (around 3 gallons) in a wet/dry.  The return pump is insufficient (RIO 3100) and the lighting is just a shop light with some fluorescents in it. <The source of your algae nutrient is the Puka shell and bio-balls. Recommend replacement of these with as much live rock and sand as can be reasonably accommodated. This will enhance denitrification, stop nitrate production. Increasing circulation will also help with some algae varieties.> Now to what I think is the cool part.  We are moving offices so the tank is going to be drained and set back up.  I now have the chance to do whatever I want.  First, I just wanted to make sure what can be done to keep the tank from cycling once we set it back up?  I assume that bringing the same water from the tank now over to the new place will work (its just two doors down). <No, I would acquire additional "well cycled" live rock and perhaps aragonite sand as well (as opposed to dry "dead" or uncycled aragonite sand) from local fishless system/store (or a combination). Use all new water (aged and aerated as normal procedure). Please see the Marine section for moving procedures and how to best accomplish that. Glad it's only two doors down, but you will need some large transfer containers (Rubbermaid tubs) and heaters/circulation to transfer what you need and to introduce additional bio-capacity in the form of LR and LS.  See Live Rock and Deep Sand Bed articles on WetWebMedia.com for the full scoop here.>   But it is obvious that there is some undesirable nutrients in there, so how much can I get away with replacing with new salt water (RO water to be used for mixing from the drinking water jugs we have delivered). <All, as long as it is heated, pH matched, aerated/aged 12-24 hours.> Second, what kind of turnover, as in gph, should I look for in a new pump? For fish only, at least 10X total volume turnover (1150 gallons per hour +) I tried finding this on the site but only came across the "can't really have too much" approach applicable to reef systems, is it the same for FO tanks, maybe even a pump you recommend?<Just match to desired flow/head height. Use the manufacturer's flow charts.>  Would it also be better to drill (it's acrylic) for the water outlet as opposed to using the "j-tube" siphon? <Absolutely!> Also, is there a better substrate to use as the Puka seems to offer plenty of spaces for detritus and other "nutrients" for the algae? <Absolutely, see above.  Deep aragonite is best. 6' or so is ideal.> Do I need to add more mechanical or biological filtration to be effective (recommendations)? <Depends on fish wish list. The lighter the bio-load the less is necessary. Also diet/feeding habits of fish to be kept. More bio-capacity in form of LR and LS should go a long way to resolve nutrient issues. Also elimination of coarse substrate and bio-balls.> Any other thoughts are greatly appreciated.  Thanks so much for putting up with all this wordiness I just didn't want to leave too much out.  You guys really are the best out there. <You said all you needed to!  No worries!> Thanks so much for your time, Dominic <The things to watch out for...

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