How do I move a fish tank from one house to another?


Reefing newb
I have a 32 gallon biocube that I need to move from one house to another. I’m not sure of the best way to do that. I’m guessing it would be best to remove the fish and put them in separate bags (like they do when you buy them)....dump the water....and then start from scratch once I get it to it’s destination, but I’m worried about the fish. Any help is greatly appreciated....:)

SIDE NOTE: The old house is about 40 minutes from the new house.
The biggest key in this whole thing is keeping your rock submerged/wet in saltwater to maintain the cycle. I recommend removing the rocks first and keeping them submerged in containers that have lids that you can travel with and then drain part of the water (buckets with gamma lids/tops or a garbage can with a tight fitting lid would be a good choice). This will make it harder for the fish to hide and easier for you to catch them. If you are keeping the same tank and sand, you can keep a little bit of water in the bottom of the tank to keep the sand wet for the transfer. After you get there, pull the rock out and place it where you want and then fill up with saltwater and put in the tank heater and power head to get things going and then add fish once the tank is brought to temp. The good news is that your general location doesn't get super cold so at least that shouldn't be an issue.
OMG...awesome! I'm planning the big move this weekend, and have been so worried about it.

I AM keeping the same tank....(not sure if you remember that I got involved in this whole fish tank thing for my dad who was battling cancer and was unable to get it started himself........remember? Well, unfortunately....he passed away on the 13th of this month. So, guess who's the PROUD owner of a 32 gallon biocube (that's fully furnished, btw...)? Needless to say, the pressure's on.

I have a couple follow up questions for you now....

1. Is it better to keep the old sand instead of replace it with new sand? I bought live sand, but if it's better to use the old stuff, then I'll do that.

2. Do I need to get some type of thermal container to put them in during transport?

3. Once I get it all set up with all the rocks, sand, and water.....and am ready to add the fish back I need to add them the same way as I did when I ORIGINALLY put them in the tank (float the bag in the water and slowly acclimate them into the tank/water)?

Thanks again for all the help you've given me throughout this whole process......I truly appreciate it!!
1. If you can go with new sand, then do it. New sand prevents the nasties that may be trapped and stirred up in removal from being an issue. As a compromise, what you could do is new sand and a cupful or two of the old sand to add established bacteria to it. I did this when I upgraded from my 36 gallon to my 90 gallon and it seemed to work well.

2. I would say in your area it should be okay with a standard container, unless it's a colder, rainy day in the bay area

3. As a precaution you would want to try and get the tank and and fish back up to temp, but keep in mind that any more than a few hours in the bag and you start having potential waste/ammonia issues. I would say do your best to get the tank up to temp and float the bags during the process and get it as close to regular temp as possible. what?

They're moved.....and they're ALL doing wonderful!!! The tank looks great....the fish are happy....and the stress is gone! So....I HAVE to say THANK YOU! I followed your advice, and apparently it was the right advice to follow. Thanks again....for ALL the help you've given me the past few months....I appreciate you. :):thumbsup:
Glad to hear it worked. I didn't necessarily use the aforementioned move to transfer stuff across town, but it is the method I used when transferring stuff from my 36 gallon (and moving it out of the way) and replacing it with my 90 gallon setup and it worked pretty well for me as well.