Moving With Fish, Is It Worth It?


Meat Popsicle
I'm going to be moving in a few months and I'm trying to decide if I should try to move my tanks and keep my current livestock or rehome everything that I have and start over after I've moved. My thinking was that if done properly it wouldn't be any harder on the fish than when you buy fish online.

I'll be driving and can accommodate containers for fish, corals, and live rock packed with water in bags, in Styrofoam boxes with heat/cold packs. I'll be moving about 600 miles and the drive should take about 9 or 10 hours with the truck. I would be keeping any livestock in QT at the new place until the DT cycles.

Obviously moving with the livestock will be a lot of work to do right, but I'm quite attached to some of my fish. What I'm most concerned with is how likely things are to survive. Anyone have experience with this? How did it go? Any suggestions? Anyone know where can you get O2 to fill the bags with?
I moved a 125 reef and a 125 fish only from south Louisiana to north Alabama and only lost 3 crabs. Get the little pills from your LFS that take care of the ammonia. I used 5 gallon buckets for the larger fish and for the rocks. I left the sand in the reef with a few inches of water. Five of us started disassembly at 4 am on Saturday in Louisiana and were in the house in Alabama fully set up and water flowing by 1am Sunday. I had four of the 65 gallon barrels of saltwater already made up and moved it to Alabama. It was a softy reef. I reused all of the water in the rock buckets and the water used to transport the corals in the reef. I reused all the water to transport the fish in the fish only tank. I used 3 barrels of the saltwater in the initial setup, and immediately began running my RO/DI, and 2 other RO/DI units brought by my friends to make more water to mix salt with. I did 30% water changes every 12 hours for 3 days, and by then everything was stabilized. It's a lot of work, but I wanted to keep what I had.
You might lose some things but most should be ok as long as you pack everything smart. I've had to move my tanks multiple times since I rent and hence move almost yearly.

My system is having a plethora of Rubbermaids, styrofoams , baggies etc... but separating everything for a purpose (aggressive fish to themselves, strong corals vs fragile ones and so on). The key in my eyes is temperature and reseting the tank.

What I do is separate as stated, take out all my rock and put it into 2-3 of my large rubbermaids while keeping coral-attached rocks on the top and secured so they don't get crushed by everything moving around. then any crazy fish or stars etc i bag seperate and float in the rubbermaid. then ill take out my water and fill 2-3 other rubbermaids with just my water. then i leave the tank bare with just the livesand in the bottom and about 2inches of water covering the sand(now this is impossible if you have a huge 150gal plus tank cause of weight, but you could still just rubbermaid the sand with water still covering it). The number one thing is reseting up the tank. I literally goto town reassembling everything before I'll even move my bed or furniture in. Since I'm reseting with my own water I don't really need to "cycle" anything(you could use those premade 5gal seawater mixes if you needed to though).

Besides going 10-12 hours without light and flow is nothing. I had a power outage last 4 days and most of what I had lived. You just can't get complacent when you arrive. It has to be your first priority when you get there. I've done 5 moves now with 3 tanks each move.
I moved a 75 from North Alabama to West Tennessee (4 hours) using 5 gallon buckets. I kept all of the rock (~120lbs)submerged and brought about 50 gallons of tank water with me. I set it back up the same day and didn't lose a thing! With all of that rock along with 2/3 of the tank water, I didn't even have a cycle that I was able to detect!
For a 600 mile trip i would suggest catching your fish in buckets with plenty of water and take them to the fish store. Let them pack the fish individually with o2. Keep the rock wet and you will have little die off.
I moved my tank about 4 months ago. I moved it from Fla to SC the drive was a lil over 9 hrs.
What I did was take all live stock… i.e. corals and fish and inverts to the lfs to have them bagged the night before with o2. Then I had 6 or so water jugs for my water. I put the lr in the styro coolers that your lfs gets its fish shipped to them in. And put the lr in there with lil water and put some towels over them and wet them. I got some 5 gal buckets with lids and put the sand in to about ½ way and had about 3 inches of water over the sand.
When I set it back up I poured the water from the buckets out then put the sand in set the lr up and the filled. Once it was running for an hr or so I put all the live stock in. I didn’t lose a thing.