As stated in an above post, I moved my 29 gallon from Ann Arbor to Minneapolis. Here is a little bit more about the move.
First off, this trip by car is between 650-700miles. I have driven this several times in the past 6 months and frequently drive the whole way in one day, which takes about 12h. Completing the trip in one day was the plan as I was concerned about keeping everything alive. However, with a 26ft moving truck and a 3 vehicle caravan, the one day trip turned into two days, with an overnight stop in Madison.
The worst part of the trip is always Illinois, especially aroiund Chicago with the heavy traffick and construction, but also because of all the darn tolls. In total the whole trip took almost exactly 24h.
This is a list of a few things I did before the move:
1. Decrease bioload. I sold a number of corals to the LFS.
2. Purchase various consumables such as salt, chemipure elite, fish food to have on hand in MN so no rush to find new LFS was required.
3. Purchase used 10gallon tank for temporary set-up at new apt. I had wanted a 15gallon, but LFS only had a bunch of used 10gallons, and it worked out fine.
4. Purchase new 29gallon Perfecto tank with black silicone. I wanted to replace the old 29g tank which was purchased from Salvation Army and was fairly beat up. In particular I was concerned about some bowing in the tank.
5. Purchase 20lb of new Caribsea Arag-Alive substrate (Bimini Pink)
6. Make up ~15gallons of freah saltwater to have on-hand at new apt.
General strategy: Transfer ~50% of old tank water for new set-up. Transfer all livestock including 4 fish, various corals, and live rock. The live stock would be transferred in home depot buckets with lids. Each bucket with live stock would be aerate with battery operated Azoo pump. The old substrate would be thrown out. I chose to throw out the old substrate because I was concerned about dentritus or toxic junk that might spark a crash or large cycle. Also I wanted to switch to a finer grade substrate.
The plan for night before moving day:
1. After lights out, take down and pack MH pendant.
2. Take down, rinse out and pack HOB
3. Prepare 15 gallons fresh salt water.
The plan for moving day:
1. Early in the morning, drain about 50% water into home depot buckets and in these buckets also place live rock, corals and fish. I had the not so bright idea of using a large styrofoam box to transport fish and corals in while I was taking down the tank. I thought the styrofoam box would be useful because it would provide better thermal insulation than the buckets, and because it was white, would better resist heating by sunlight while in the back of my car. After adding water and livestock to the styrofoam box (given to me for trip by LFS), I had a problem on my hands. Water was leaking out of the box. I figured there must be a hole or something. I happend to have another larger, more heavy-duty styrofoam box, and transferred everything to that...no apparent leaks
2. Discard all remaining water, substrate and tank.
3. Drive to MN in one day. Well, driving a 26ft truck and needing to follow lower speed limits, meant the trip took longer than planned. We would up stopping at a hotel in Madison. The fish, coral and live rock were taken into the hotel room for the night (luggage carts were very useful for this). For overnight, in addition to the air pumps, I controlled temp using plug in heaters. In the morning, I noticed the table the stryofoam box was sitting on was quite wet, which could have only meant that this styrofoam box was leaking too! So lesson learned, stryofoam boxes (at least the two I used) are like dense sponges and allow water to slowly leak out. All live stock was transferred to home depot bucket, the original plan
4. When arrive at new apt (now the next day), set-up temporary 10g tank with all livestock, heater, water pump and AC50 running new chemipure elite. This temporary set up would provide me time to figure out where best to set-up the 29gallon tank. This was a very useful thing to do as it took some time to figure out where best to put the furniture and the tank, and when I did get to setting up the 29gallon, it took quite a bit of focus, which would have been hard to muster immediately after the long trip, especially when so much other work needed to be done.
5. Set-up 29 gallon tank the next day. After adding substrate, mix all old water with 50% new salt water. Then gradually transfer livestock. As a child proofing step I used nylon strapping attached to heavy duty eye screws that were achored into a wood board that was attached to wall studs behind the aquarium. This was to prevent the stand from possibly tipping forward.
That is about it. All live stock made it, but some of the stony corals were damaged/fragmented due to bouncing about over the course of the trip. The tank has been set up for 2.5 weeks now and still everything looks great.