Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Moving an Aquarium--No Small Feat

Recently, I moved to a new apartment. At first, I was devastated, thinking I would have to sell my aquarium, just over 1 year old. It was doing so awesome. Tearing it down would break my heart. Luckily, my fish guy, Mike, agreed to move it for a small fee. It was a lot of work but totally worth it!
--aquarium before the move, focusing on the elegance coral, my favorite part of the whole tank. The clownfish have taken up residence in it, and offer hours of endless entertainment.
--Mike begins to disassemble the aquarium. He bagged up all the livestock carefully, transporting them in a styrofoam cooler. He saved as much water as possible (although I had a huge batch (32 gallons) of freshly mixed salt water ready to go at the new place. He then takes apart all the equipment. With the help of a strong friend and our two trucks, we loaded up all the livestock and equipment. Time was of the essence. Luckily, I was only moving 30 minutes up the street.
--Mike takes apart the plumbing and the sump in the cabinet under the aquarium.
--My precious aquarium empty and up turned on the front lawn!
--Old aquarium water in several 5-gallon buckets, livestock and other equipment in front of the new apartment. We had to remove all the substrate (about 100 pounds) and live rock (another 75 pounds) in order to carry the aquarium down the stairs. Even still, it took the three of us all our might to lift it. I calculated the total weight of the aquarium, water, substrate, rock, and cabinet. It weighs about 2,000 lbs (1 ton). Sheesh!
--Mike setting up the aquarium in the new place. Make sure you have it exactly where you want it before adding water! Having an experienced aquarist was absolutely key. It made the process seamless. After setting the aquarium on its stand in the preferred location, Mike set up the plumbing. Then, the substrate and live rock was added back into the tank. Finally, the water was added back in.
--The tank is running (note how cloudy it is) and livestock are acclimating in bags on top. It was impossible to arrange the live rock exactly how it was before. We did the best we could. We arranged the coral next. Then, the fish were released.
--Finally, the canopy with the lights were set up.
The next day, the sea urchin had lost all its spines and was exuding a thick slime. One of the Banggai cardinalfish had popeye and was lethargic, close to death. The Scopas Tang had one popeye but was still eating. Frantically, I ditched the urchin, performed a large (50%) water change and performed several frequent feedings throughout the next several days. I lost the Banggai (R.I.P. Mr. Roper) but the tang recovered (yay, Toby!).
Little by little, the tank is recovering. I had to restock the macroalgae in the refugium and add all new snails and hermit crabs (most of them died in the move). Also, most of the coralline algae died. I'm performing weekly water changes for now to help the tank recover (and get on top of some nasty, green-hair algae). Thankfully, the worst is over. I will be testing water parameters regularly. The elegance coral, my most precious speciman, seems to be doing great. I also want to spike the refugium with more pods.
Keeping my fingers crossed....so far, so good.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I work at a dental office and we are moving locations. I am so worried about moving the aquarium so I just decided to hire someone to do the aquarium relocation in Cincinnati for me. Please let me know if you have any recommendations. Thanks.