A large empty tank weighs well over 100 pounds (the one I want is a bit over 200). Moving them isn’t exactly easy.
It takes a group of people
This really isn’t something you can do alone. In fact, the recommendation is typically a person per 60 pounds of tank. Fortunately there are lots of ways to make the process easier.
Get the right tools
Pneumatic suction cups are a good way to attach strong handles to glass. This makes it much easier for a group of people to move a large object. The cups can be moved if necessary while the tank is on a safe surface to accommodate complicated paths to the tank location.
Get the tank shipped to your house
As it turns out, it is hard to fit a large tank in your car. Even in your SUV. It’s also hard to supply the labor at the store and in a timely manner to get the thing out of your car. The simplest solution to this is to have it delivered. However, don’t take delivery if it comes damaged. Report it immediately.
One disadvantage to delivery is cost. Many aquariums ship for “free.” But usually that just means the cost is built-in to the purchase price. I see this frequently at my local fish store. Their tank prices are as good or better than the tanks delivered to my house.
A second disadvantage is how the company ships the tank. Some don’t do a very good job protecting it from damage. Since it’s such a large and expensive object to ship, this becomes quite the process depending on the quality of the company.
Custom Aquariums has some solutions
On this page, they go into depth about two things. One is that they box their aquariums for shipping really well. Cool. The second and more interesting thing is they will allow you to rent the pneumatic suction cups necessary to move your tank!
How does it work?
Basically, you pay an upfront deposit which is returned to you minus the rental fee. It comes with a return label, box and everything. All you have to do when you are done is put them back in the box and send them back (that is your expense). Since you are likely to need 4+ of these ($60/piece if purchased) this is a good deal. The total fee varies based on the number you need, but the most common package is $33 rental with a refundable $200 deposit.
This solves a lot of problems in coordinating the installation of a large tank. You can do it at your own pace and accommodate your friends’ schedules. Honestly, I really wasn’t sure how I was going to move a 200 pound tank into position.
I really like this option from Custom Aquariums. Again, there is a thoughtfulness to their entire package. I really want to order a fully configured tank from them and have it ready to go. It’s just not an option in the budget.