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Any suggestions on preserving tank bacteria during move?

This is a discussion on Any suggestions on preserving tank bacteria during move? within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; So life has been kind of hectic. My Axolotl tank was originally in the basement for years, then we were ...

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Old 25th February 2014   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Any suggestions on preserving tank bacteria during move?

So life has been kind of hectic. My Axolotl tank was originally in the basement for years, then we were doing renovations and I had to move the tank to another room. I emptied the tank almost completely and then filled it up again and let it run through the filter for two days before adding my axolotls because the water was a bit cloudy! They stayed in that room for about a month before I could move them back to where they were originally. This time I preserved most of the water and put it in the tank after I moved it. Now, 3 months later I have to move the tank AGAIN. This time to a whole new house. I don't think I will be able to preserve the water because it will be too difficult to move containers or wear up 3 flights of stairs to an apartment.

So my question is: how can I preserve the beneficial bacteria so the axolotls don't get disease or stressed? My thoughts are that I can keep a bucket of their water which will hold all the plants and the filter media (doesn't the bacteria die if the filter media dries?) and then I will set the tank up right away at the new place and start running dechlorinated water through the filter for a day or two while the axies stay in the fridge?

Please suggest anything! I feel like with all the changes in the last 5 months they are so stressed and I care about them and want to do everything I can. Thanks!!



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Old 25th February 2014   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any suggestions on preserving tank bacteria during move?

Since most of the bacteria live on the filter media its really important to keep it wet with tank water. You do not really have that long once you take the media out, I think some users on here say about an hour, so I would make that the last thing you pack and the first thing you unpack. Even if you save the media as best you can your tank will still fluctuate a little. yesterday I had to clean out a blockage in my filter and I placed the media in a bucket for no more than 20 minutes and still saw my ammonia and nitrite go up slightly but I expect them to return to normal in a day or two. When you do move them, try to acclimate them as best you can by making it cold and dark for them. Try to feed them but don't be surprised if they wont eat. Hope this helps



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Old 25th February 2014   #3 (permalink)
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Default Any suggestions on preserving tank bacteria during move?

I've moved my tanks quite a few times and have never had any problems. You're spot on about putting the filter media, decorations, plants ,ect in the bucket. Put enough old tank water in there to submerge the media. Take as much water out of the tank as you want. I left enough in all of mine to just keep the sand wet. Move the tank, fill it up and set everything back up right away.

Make a trip to the new place with just the tank so you can have it running again quickly. Acclimate the axolotls and toss em in. They might not eat for a couple days but that's fine. As soon as they're used to the move they'll be back to themselves. Keep an eye on your water parameters and do water changes if necessary.

Don't fridge them and let the tank run without them. There's no need to do that, and you will not be feeding your beneficial bacteria in that time because there are no animals making waste.



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