Moving 200 Gallons 500 Miles ...


New member
Just trying to start a quick discussion on tips and tricks to make the move successful. I just took a new job in a new city and have to move my 200 gallon reef with me.

I have a few advantages. First one being that I'm moving first and am able to set up a holding tank in the new city before I go ... so that when the move takes place, I can move my livestock into the holding tank while I get everything set back up.

So first question ...

Should I replace the sand? I've heard moving a sandbed usually causes problems


New member
Also, please share any links or articles with good info ... I'd love to take a read before I risk my thousands of dollars worth of livestock


New member
I am not an expert, at all. I did move a tank once, back in 2002. Having a holding tank set up gives you a huge advantage! I had to mix new saltwater the second I arrived.
Can you run a filter on the old tank for a month or so to seed with bacteria? Unless you can transport your rock underwater, you may get a cycle. I sold off my delicate fish, and moved with only the ones who could take mild abuse. That hurt.
My LFS here is able to hold things for people for a fee, then send them on later, once their tank is set up. Maybe a local reefer or LFS can do the same.
I was told (maybe this is outdated) not to feed for a few days beforehand, to minimize waste.
I only moved a 6 hour drive, but my tank made it. It was only a 55, set up under 2001 guidance (dsb, skimmer, 1lb/gal live rock, nothing else) I took the water out, and let the sand bed sit damp, with a bit of water, covered to keep water from evaporating. I boxed corals separately in Tupperware and bags, and fish (ok, I only had three for my 55g) went into a bucket with an air stone.
Had a mini cycle, but didn't lose a coral, fish, or shrimp. I'm sure I lost some small stuff.
Good luck! Again, I can only give old advice, but just to share my experience. I'm sure he advice has changed.