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EvilVegan

Move acrylic tank with ~100 pounds of sand/dirt/plants in it?

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Hey guys, 

 

I feel like I'm over thinking this, since aquariums hold hundreds of pounds of water, but I need to move my aquarium off my stand for a minute while I do some electrical work (and shimming...).  

 

Can I, with the help of some other dudes, move a 6'x1.5' aquarium with sand/plants in it?   Just need to move it about 4 feet and set it down, then pick it back up and put it back.  No real jostling or angling.

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Don't. It can be done but acrylic tanks aren't frame tanks, the weight is meant to be distributed evenly across the bottom on a pad or extremely level surface. Picking it up and moving it around can create torsion, yes, but it can also risk hot spots in the tank where more weight of substrate or decor is pressing. That greatly increases the chance of cracking at that point.

A glass tank could even get away with it, or a heavy enough plywood or acrylic, but most off the shelf ones are not that durable. The rule of thumb is it is moved completely empty or not moved at all, it's just not worth the risk to such an expensive tank otherwise. Remove the substrate and such into buckets and move the empty vessel, get everything done behind it, and then set it up again.

I should add I have personally moved partially full acrylic tank on and off a stand. That's part of why I don't advise it. It didn't ruin my tank but it was a near thing and I still kept one end anchored while lifting the other, no less. Bad move for the back and tank, both.

Edited by Arctic Mama

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I wouldn't move it with all that weight in there.  Sure it holds much more weight with the water in it, but the tank isn't moving either.  :scared

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What if I move it only laterally along a surface?  I can put something up to just kind of shift it along the plywood.  No up/down/turns, just sliding.

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It's sand over dirt over clay, I'm not sure how I could even go about separating this into buckets.

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Don't do it!!!!

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I'd recommend doing inconvenient things with the electrical until you're ready for a two or three year tear down then. My tank and stand is roughly a ton fully loaded, and a good 300 pounds even when completely empty - there is just no tweaking or working on it without taking out everything and dividing the stand back into three pieces to move. Any electrical or plumbing work is done in place or strung off the back to another outlet that is accessible. Maybe that's a good choice here. Otherwise I'd just mix the clay and sand in buckets, and then top it with a little more sand once reassembled. I had dirt tank and that was how I handled it when I needed to deal with a leak.

And I swore to never do dirt again, with zero regrets in the meantime :lol:

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I wouldn't move something that large. People move full aquariums all the time for trade shows in Europe (aquascapers in particular), but the larger tanks tend to be set up in situ and then torn down afterwards. Too much hassle, too much weight and too much risk.

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I wouldn't move something that large. People move full aquariums all the time for trade shows in Europe (aquascapers in particular), but the larger tanks tend to be set up in situ and then torn down afterwards. Too much hassle, too much weight and too much risk.

Not to mention they usually move them on a piece of plywood that they were set up on, to keep the bottom supported at all times and at all points. That's the way to do it, if you need to - set it up on something rigid so the bottom of the tank has no chance to bow or twist.

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Mischief managed, thanks everyone.  I didn't try lifting it, I just scooted it back a bit and did what I needed to then scooted it back.  It hasn't exploded yet.

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Glad you figured out a disaster free solution :)

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Mischief managed, thanks everyone.  I didn't try lifting it, I just scooted it back a bit and did what I needed to then scooted it back.  It hasn't exploded yet.

Well thats a very good thing :teehee

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Don't. It can be done but acrylic tanks aren't frame tanks, the weight is meant to be distributed evenly across the bottom on a pad or extremely level surface. Picking it up and moving it around can create torsion, yes, but it can also risk hot spots in the tank where more weight of substrate or decor is pressing. That greatly increases the chance of cracking at that point.

A glass tank could even get away with it, or a heavy enough plywood or acrylic, but most off the shelf ones are not that durable. The rule of thumb is it is moved completely empty or not moved at all, it's just not worth the risk to such an expensive tank otherwise. Remove the substrate and such into buckets and move the empty vessel, get everything done behind it, and then set it up again.

I should add I have personally moved partially full acrylic tank on and off a stand. That's part of why I don't advise it. It didn't ruin my tank but it was a near thing and I still kept one end anchored while lifting the other, no less. Bad move for the back and tank, both.

What was the thing about moving glass?  I also have a 75 gallon glass aquarium I need to move that has about 60 pounds of sand and plants in it.  It's just sand, so not as big of a problem.

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