Paul..I have moved my tank many times..the best thing you can do from my experience is to keep as much of your current water as possible..this keeps your water chemistry in place and will pay off when the tank re-establishes. Start w/ your corals(or rocks w/ lots of corals attached)..put them in rubber maid buckets and then move on to your base rock in seperate buckets. This way it is easy to do the reverse after you have moved the tank, use additional buckets for your leftover water....you are removing your DSB also correct? You can also use one of your photographs to set it back up the same way. For the next few days after the move use a turkey baster to blast away settled detritus. I remember that you have good current so that will help in the recovery. You will be suprised how fast everything will recover. You shouldn't loose anything. Save the fish for last (before dsb removal) I have many buckets if you need to borrow any. What happened to the basement?
Havey plenty of saltwater on hand. When you think you have enough, make more
Don't try to shortcut things by moving livestock the night before. Keep them in the main tank as long as is possible without risking their health. I lost a lot of coral by trying to get a jump on things by moving some into tubs over night before the move.
Plan the plumbing changes in advance. If going barebottom and using a spraybar, I suggest holes all the way around so you get coverage below and toward the back of the spraybar.
If I had it to do all over again, I would create as many individual coral "lifeboats" as possible. Rubbermaid tubs and styros from the store work good, but I suggest individually isolating your truely prized specimens. I lost and/or damaged many corals due to what I think were toxins put into the water. The snails and fish were fine, but there was lots and lots of coral slime. I had heaters and air pumps going etc....
I agree with the suggestion to fully plan out your plumbing in advance, and would add: start the process early in the day if possible to maximize daylight, lamps at night were difficult especially to fine tune the last steps.
Do you want to keep your sand or not?
If not it is easy. Get 1/2 of the water out, get the rock/coral out in the water, get the fish out. Get most of the water out. Dump the sand , move the tank then put everything back with some new water.
If you want to keep your sand bed, then it get tricky because you cannot disturb the sand.
You can get some of the sand, like the top inch or so, and use new sand (recommended). Just move the tank as above except then you put the new sand in, some of the old sand on top, add rock and then add water and corals and fish.
If you want to keep all the sand, then you need to build a patform with wheels, same hight as your stand. Removed as much water and rock as you can, you can bolt the platform to the stand, then move the tank over to the platform. You wheel the tank to where you want, move the stand over, then scoot the tank over to the stand and restart. I actually use this method to my brother 120 g tank. Make sure you use heavy duty wheels. You can get them from Home Depo. If you are cheap, and carful, you can return the wheel back undamage once you finish. You cannot disturb the sand or else you will need to let it recycle befor putting fish and corals in.
8ft is easy. 2"pvc pipe. Cut a few pieces a foot wider than the bottom of the stand. Use a fulcrum and lever to get the stand up 2". Now just roll it on the pipes. I moved a hot tub this way by myself (easy).
Witfull, I didn't even think about sending the wife and kids out for the day. Man, that's going to be a life saver :lol:
DonW, are you suggesting the 2" PVC method for moving a full/semi full system?
I will be removing the sandbed. My new sump has a built in refugium area, so that is where my "new" DSB will be located. I'll use the top inch of my existing bed and 3" of new sand below it. Any cycling concerns with going that route?
Jim, we finally decided to go with the living room for fear of moisture problems in the basement. Plus, I think it'll look nice being the first thing you see when you come in the front door (right where the piano is now - and yes, I'm having to move that too ).
I've done so many moves (from one apartment to another...and another... and another) over the past year and a half...
I think the best advice I can give you is to go to home depot. Go to their plant section. Buy a couple of their wheeled planter stands. (not the ones with the "X", but the ones that have an actual wooden platform for the plants... trust me on this) They are generally rated for 100 lbs each. Put some high friction rubber liners on them... You can move your plastic and styrofoam tubs on them... and after all the tubs of coral and water are out of the way and you've had valuable practice using the planter stands, you can move the entire tank and stand using them (instead of pvc pipes).
I think the key is to make sure you have something rubbery on the plant stands. I use the rubber non-skid liners from Costco. IF not, you risk having things slide off of the plant stands.
Those things only cost $10 each and are well worth it. After the move, you'll have a bunch of planter stands for your plants!