I need to move an established 40-gallon saltwater aquarium to another house. Do you have a procedure for doing this?
Since you didn't mention whether this was for a short or long move, I will assume it is a short move.
The first thing you'll want to do is get yourself some buckets. Several, in fact. You should be able to safely transport all of your water, rock, corals, fish and inverts by placing them in 8-10 five gallon buckets. Keep the fish in one bucket, corals in another bucket or two (you may want to bag them to prevent them from stinging each other), rock in another few buckets and water in the rest. Avoid having your buckets in direct sunlight and try to keep them in an area where the temperature will be relatively stable.
Now if you have a deep sand bed (DSB), that'll make the move a bit trickier. One option is to move the tank with the sand still in it and a little water in the bottom. You'll need to be careful, though: too much weight and the tank could break. If you have a shallow sand bed this method should work just fine.
Once you've reached your new residence, begin setting up the tank in an appropriate location. Try not to disturb the sand bed when you put your water, rock and livestock back into the tank. The aquarium may go through a "mini cycle," so it's a good idea to have some saltwater already made so you're prepared to perform extra water changes during the next few weeks. You may also want to feed less than normal during this period.
For more information on moving a tank, please read Moving a Reef Tank, Part 1 and Part 2 in our Knowledgebase.
And, of course, if you have any additional questions, concerns or comments, don't hesitate to let us know.
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