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I CHANGE WATER
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8,440 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Someone who really cares about this site recommended I make a thread on this topic.Thanks first go to Tom H who started it all with his 120 gallon giveaway.He has decided to enjoy his (and his wifes) retirement and very generously has offered his established(since at least 2007) 120 gallon reef to anyone who could move and properly care for it.I may be a fool in many peoples eyes,but I'm not foolish.The offer was to good to refuse and I greatly appreciate Tom accepting my offer.
In this move I will be breaking down his whole system(filter with more accessories than most dream of),including his filter in basement(40g fuge) and even his RO system.This does not even begin to explain how much "high tech" equipment he has.He list it in his "120 saltwater give away" thread.
I will be disassembling and moving his tank on Sept.8(next Sunday),so today the preparations begin for me.Simple as it is yesterday I went to Lowes and picked up 2 more 32gallon rubbermaid garbage cans(giving me a totall of 4).These (all 4) will be used to prepare salt water before the move takes place(I plan on having 140 gallons of prepared salt water ready when I return from NJ Sunday evenning).The reason I start today,and purchased cans yesterday is /was the need to rinse the new barrels out and have enough time for myRO/DI system to produce all the water I need.My system is rated at 75 gallons a day and I have a 44 gallon resevoir inline with it so I should easily have all the water I need by Friday(got to use some for my ram fry and my existing salt tanks(120,75 and 29 all with large sumps).
I have a very good relationship with my LFS so are going to give me styrofoam packing boxes( the commercial guys use) and bags so I can seperate and hopefully tranport each animal,coral and invert in their own space.I'm really trying to do this right and upon recommendation,will be posting(and possibly adding photos) of the process and the out come.
So I am "T minus 7 days" to head to NJ and do the hard part, but am preparing already today.More to come as I think of things I am doing to make this work.
I geuss the idea is this may help anyone who has to move a saltwater tank or reef.I know this will not be as easy as I think,but nothing I do ever is and I seem to manage,so HERE WE GO!
 

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I CHANGE WATER
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8,440 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
So tomorrow is move day!I'm pretty excited!I got all my water prepared this week in advance(4x32 gallons).The day after buying 2 32 gallon rubber maid garbage cans with lids from Lowes for $32 my local hardware store put the cans on sale for $19,without lids($9) so I picked up 2 more without lids.I already have two lids from my freshwater prep cans and don't use them on my freshwater so it seemed to be a good/workable deal to me!
I will be getting styrofoam shipping boxes and bags today for all the livestock,from my LFS.
I plan on doing a 30 gallon waterchange on my 75 reef today and clearing out the sumps to house the "large" anenomes until they can get back into their original tank on Monday or Tuesday.The livstock will be spread around between my 3 running tanks and possibly I'll get the fish in the 120 sunday evenning.
So I'll be on my way to NJ at 5:00am tomorrow and hopefully back before 6:00 pm.
I'll try to take pics of the process and report back on this whole move Monday.
 

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I CHANGE WATER
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8,440 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
OK 3 1/2 hrs driving each way and 4 hours breaking down and packing ,the move is done.But the hard work still goes on.Left at 5 am and returned home at 4:30pm.The tank was filled and running by 9:30 pm.I lost one fish in transport(don't really know why) and everyone else shipped well.The anenomes and mated pair of clownfish are happy in my 29gl section of my sump on my 75 reef(the 29 is the third section in filter).All other fish went into my existing 120gl and seem fine (besides their general health).
I will say I have gained new respect for those who moved larges tanks(I have but not with this much equipment),and had fish in same day.Iguess if I had to put the fish in the tank I would have but I am fortunate that I had other avenues.So pics of the set up when I'm pleased with it as it still has much tunning to be done.
BIG THANKS TO TOM H FOR THE OPPURTUNITY, AND THE $12,000+ GIFT!
 

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I CHANGE WATER
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8,440 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Ok here's pics;
Filter and skimmer;

filter again;

Tank;

Here's the story;
Tank moved and set back up in 1 day.No fish installed for 3 days.Fish that came with tank placed in my existing 120 FOWLR and are doing well despite being in very poor condition(lost rabbit fish in transport,my LFS says they ship very poorly{didn't know that!}).
Installed 1 royall gramma,never adding fish I don't intend on keeping,thought it to be good choice.Royal gramma dead in 3 days!
All test are well within acceptable parameters except pH being high at 8.5.
No ammonia,nitrite or phosphate.Kh of 7(a little low for me),Ca 460(a little high for me),nitrates at 10-20(I'm all good with this).
I'm at a loss for the death of the royal gramma,besides possible residual ozone or high pH.
The tank came with computer to control ozone and preset for 390.The ozone has been running non stop since set up as the OPR is 290-310(moving throught day).
The way the filter is configured(not happy with it) there is no way to have water returning from skimmer go through carbon to aide in removal of ozone.
The filter is aprox 40 gallons but due to over under baffles only 5 gallons is available for evap(don't like this either).
All sand that came with tank was not used(seemed filthy).I used BRS argonite(ARM) for calcium reactor as my new substrate.
Everything except pH tested good to me yet still dead fish!I haven't killed a saltwater fish in years,I don't get it?
 

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Reefer, Plants and Ponds
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270 Posts
Looks like a MTC skimmer. I had one of about the same size. Worked like a charm; I opted to add the waste collector and it was a beautiful system. I had it going and coming from my sump, and was able to have carbon both before and after due to the sump's compartments. Congrats on the move. I wonder if not using the sand contributed to the gramma's demise. A ton of beneficial bacteria was lost, and I don't know if the amount of live rock was sufficient. I did a 75 gallon reef move with fish and tons of live rock, MTC skimmer, hood, corals soft and hard, sump, etc. Used mainly the same methods you did and also only had one victim. But I found that the biggest asset was the 6 members/friends of my online local reef group who joined me. Nothing like having expert movers! Made it so much easier, and I still found myself alone and finishing up at 3 AM. but all worth it. My hat's off to you, Tom, for doing this on your own with only one trip. I had a number of back and forth trips by me and others, but was lucky in that the distance was only about 5 miles each way.
 
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I CHANGE WATER
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8,440 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I had a helper,my partner in work who (thanks to me finally started keeping fish 3 years ago and has a 75 reef now) and he helped tremendously,but if I had to place everything in the tank after move I fear it would have been fatal to all.The nems and clownfish are HAPPY in my sump for my 75 and I hope to re hab the three tangs that really seem to have had nutritional deficiences for WAY TOO LONG.
I LOVE FISHKEEPING! NEVER TOO MUCH WORK!
Thanks Howard it was a little more than I(having over 800gls before move )anticipated.
But SERIOUSLY 15K worth of tank and equipment!Only one loss in transport,and one victim so far.I really want "life" in this tank but have to go with my gut,there seems to be a bug or two work out still!
 

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I CHANGE WATER
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8,440 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I've seen them taller then the "man" who stood next to them.In adds and my dreams with me standing next to it!They really are one of the best (nartural) filter components in tanks.And although I made mention of all the "high tech" equipment that this gentleman (previous owner) had he also had replacements(brand new) for much stuff!
Replacement blue line pump for return,for skimmer,multiple calcium reactors, computer to control everything and a co2 meter,and a replacement ozone unit.With the replacement ozone unit I can "try again" to run protien skimmer on fresh water tank(back in the '80's again{they did it you know?).
 

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I CHANGE WATER
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8,440 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Ok following some real good advice I'm getting the pH lower naturally(less light,less circulation,and a little vinnegar).I really don't think the elavated pH is the cause of death for the poor gramma.I'm leaning towards "residual " ozone as the way this filter system is set (many other things about it I don't like) there is no way to run returning water from skimmer over carbon to breakdown the ozone AND it's by products.Ozone can be compared to chlorine as it is a massive oxidiser,and its effects on organisms in the system can be deadly.So ozone off for now and I need to contemplate how I will configure a new sump to accomadate the massive skimmer and return its flow through carbon.Hopefully with the ozone off all day today I will be able to try to install another fish in the next couple days with better results.In the mean time all previous inhabitants of the tank are all still well in their "temporary "locations.I don't think the tangs will be placed back in this 120 as they are fine in my 120 fowlr,but I do so want the mated pair of (I believe)black sebae clowns and their two anenomes to go in this set up.
Possibly another sump build is in the works(I love building filters!).
 

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I CHANGE WATER
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8,440 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Tried another royal gramma last week and it to died in 1 day!
I fell like a newb as all test came back well within reason.
I felt I had no choice to but to run carbon on the possibility there is something in the water I can't test for.
So 4 days after carbon was installed I am trying fish(victim)#3,an algae blenny as there is a good amount of algae now growing in this tank.
It is day 3 for the blenny and he seems fine so maybe there was "something" in the water or I still have no clue?
Hopefully he will fare well and I can move the clowns and their host anenomes into tank this weekend(maybe,kind of nervous).But hopefully things are getting straightened out,although pH is still high.
 

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This is my favorite part of getting a new tank. Setting it all up and getting it running and adding all the fish
 

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I CHANGE WATER
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8,440 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
This is my favorite part of getting a new tank. Setting it all up and getting it running and adding all the fish
This is one of my favorite parts(a guilty pleasure) if the fish live!
The algae blennie seemed fine and has been eating the algae in force, so to up the stocking ,and add to the bio load,and add fish I plan to keep(if they live) I got 6 clown gobies today.3 yellow and 3 green.Both on sale for $6.99 at my LFS.Although they are recommended to be kept singulary(in small tanks; like 10 G ) I figured they would do ok in the 120G?We'll see!
 
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