Moving cross country.


Reefing newb
Sometime soon we have a move coming up. Pretty much whenever and wherever my boyfriends job sends him. Right now we're looking at Texas which is about 1000 miles away from where we currently live.

At the moment we have a 55g reef tank that we've had up for about 2 years that we're hoping to move with us. Our only two fish and most if not all of our inverts I assume will not survive the move so we're trying to make arrangements to leave them with friends or the LFS. So pretty much we're just moving the corals.

What's the best way to go about moving them that far? My one LFS told me to just stick them all in a 5g bucket and submerge them in tank water but for a 1000 mile drive they would definitely be sloshing around and banging into each other, yeah? The guy's generally not very knowledgeable and we pretty much only ever buy hardware from him. I was planning on bagging each one separately and sticking them all in a styrofoam container like the ones you get when you get corals shipped. Would we need heat packs in the container with the bags? I've heard a pellet of carbon in the bags will keep the slime/chemicals down, is it necessary/recommended?

Once we get there I plan on downgrading. The 55 is just too big. Especially since we don't even really want fish. Maybe one or a pair of b&w clowns. Just coral and inverts would really be fine with me. Aiming for a 15-20g tank once we move. Much smaller footprint and maybe I can actually reach the bottom of the tank. -_-;

So for keeping mostly softies and LPS (I miiiight try for SPS if the light price is right), what lighting fixture/how many bulbs would you recommend? The light on the 55 is a CF lunar aqualight that's kept even some corals healthy that should have higher light.

Trying to get a grasp on whether or not to just get a biocube or to start with my own setup. I just hate the look of the biocubes but it seems convenient to just get everything in one transaction.

Is a protein skimmer needed in that small of a tank? Either with or without fish?

Lastly, looking at the tank at night the last couple days we've seen a monster looking worm. Thing was about 15 inches long moving across the back of the tank and looks like a centipede. It's reddish brown and looks sort of blue/green shiny with the flashlight. I assume some sort of Eunice worm. I'm not too worried about extracting him before the move unless I need to. Whats the best way to make sure I don't bring him with me? Would it be more prudent to just buy new LR when we reach our destination? Other than the bits the corals are attached to anyway.

Long winded. Sorry! But thanks for the time.
Hello and welcome to the site...glad to have you.
Your idea of placing the corals in bags and placing them in a cooler with heat packs will be your best option.
The size tank is solely up to you, or course, the more water volume, the more stable the water parameters. If a 55gal is too large, then see if a 29gal will be suitable. Also a good rule of thumb is 1-2lbs of rock per gal.
CF bulbs are outdated, and majority of people use T-5 fixtures or metal halide fixtures, but you wanna shoot for 4+ watts per gal to support majority of corals.
A protein skimmer is very useful, but not needed...especially with a smaller tank with a light bio-load, if you perform regularly scheduled water changes, and have the recommended amount of live rock and sand(which is your primary method of filtration) there's no need for a skimmer.
That worm you saw was probably a bristle worm...which are great scavengers and part of your cuc...they do become somewhat large, but are harmless, as long as you don't touch them. :)
Do not get rid of your live rock, when transporting it, get a few buckets and place the rocks in them with some of your old tank water covering them.
Good luck and feel free to ask any other questions you may have...and keep us posted. :)
If you're buddy buddy with the LFS, they might be willing to hold on to your corals until you get there, and then send them (at your expense, of course) to you once your tank is set up. Could arrange for them to frag your corals as a handling fee....

That way you'd have plenty of time to make sure your tank is nice and stable before putting the corals in.
Put a heater and small airpump in a 5G bucket and use this to power them:



Make sure then heater will keep the temp where you want it before putting the corals in there.
Excellent idea about seeing if the LFS will ship to us. I'll definitely have to look into that.

If my bring my LR with me, how much die-off would there be over a 2 day journey? I'd probably keep it in a rubbermaid with a bit of water and wet newspaper over the top that I'd change out once it got dry. It takes about 18-20 hours to drive there in one shot. We planned on making it into 2 days but we're driving only one car so theoretically we coooouuuulllld make it in one shot and just take turns.

My theory on just buying new rock is that I wouldn't have a cycle or much of one at all if I bought nice cured rock from a LFS. And I wouldn't take the scary ass worm with me. (Which I don't think is a bristle worm, the head is different. Could be wrong though.) As a general rule of thumb, I try to remove anything that's bigger than my finger. And this guy stretched out to fill almost the entire back wall of a 55g tank. I'm pretty sure it's been eating my Zoas and Xenias as well. There one day, gone the next. I kept thinking I somehow killed them.

About the heat packs for the corals though, should there be a buffer between the pack and the bags? I feel like I'd bake them into coral goo... Should the packs be on top with the lid closed over them? Or between the bags and the cooler walls?
You should wrap the heat pad in some newspaper and put in on the bottom of the cooler, more layers of newspaper and then the corals.