Some of the readers of this blog are aware that we had a pending home purchase in the works when this project started.  Thankfully it was a short move.  NOTHING like my marathon 8-hour drive move from Chicago, IL to Duluth, MN, where I moved 4 reefs and 2 juvie tanks all in one shot in one car.   No, this was not going to be anything that drastic.
The short story is that after months of wrangling with the seller (Freddie Mac) we were supposed to close on Friday.  Let me tell you now that Freddie Mac, as a seller, was absolutely horrible to deal with.  We probably got a great deal on the house, and now that I sit here I’m pretty happy about it I guess.  But if you find yourself looking to purchase a foreclosure (we didn’t know it was when we first put in offers), be forewarned that what you hear about foreclosure purchases is probably true.  Whoever was handling our house as Freddie Mac genuinely should be fired.   I say that because Freddie Mac is a company and had something to sell.  When you are trying to sell something to a consumer, the last thing you should do is treat them like crap and screw up the deal.  Honestly, were it not for my wife, I would’ve walked away from the entire deal sometime last week, and yes, it would’ve largely been out of spite and teaching someone a lesson.
I had several members of our local marine aquarium club, LSMAC (Lake Superior Marine Aquarium Club) who were going to come help move stuff, including fish.  Of course, the seller screwed things up on their side and pushed our closing to Monday.  Which meant all that great help in moving basically evaporated.  My inlaws (bless them!) came Sunday and helped us pack.  Renee did all she could despite being almost 8 months pregnant.  We moved all the house stuff into trucks on Sunday, and all Monday we unloaded, again with the help of my wife’s parents, as well as a coworker’s husband and one of his friends (wow, thanks again…two people to me who are basically strangers helped us move – I am still floored and grateful they came to our rescue to help!).
The first opportunity to move fish came Tuesday evening, when fellow aquarist Nick Krumrie came to my rescue and helped me move the 4 reefs.  Things really couldn’t have gone more smoothly.  We moved each 24 gallon nanocube one at a time.  Basically draining out the water, saving it all in buckets, removing the rocks and fish, driving them to the new house and setting them back up.  Nick got to try his hand at aquascaping the second one we moved and he did some stuff I’ve never tried with those rocks!   Interesting to see someone else’s creativity with the same materials.
And no, I’m not forgetting…you’re all here to read about the Lighting Maroon Clownfish!  Well, I’m happy to report that the tank housing him (and the Labrador Maroon from Frank & Mary) was the last one we moved on Tuesday night.  It’s a bit over 24 hours later, and the Lightning Maroon is doing fine.  I haven’t fed today because the tanks are already compromised…no need to add MORE waste to them at this point.  The only loss I’ve had on this move was a male Orange-Tail Dottyback…killed by the female.  I knew it was risky letting them “play” but they’ve been next to each other for months while forcing the sex reversion.  The best time to introduce them was when EVERYONE was new to the tank, or so I thought.  Figures.  Chalk up another breeding failure.
I’ll leave you with an interesting side note.  I think I discovered a way to stimulate Red Bubble Tip Anemones to split.  I say that, because I moved four clones on Tuesday night.  2 were recent splits and are small, but the other 2 were rather large (i.e. one filled up a 6 gallon nanocube).  I noticed today that the 2 large ones both have split following the move, and they are in totally different tanks.  It’s definitely NOT coincidence…something about the move caused them to split.
As best as I can determine,  I’m guessing there was a temperature drop combined with a lack of circulation, and/or possibly having physical stress being placed on the anemone during the moving process (i.e. low water levels, sagging weight).  In other words, a bit of  “stress” applied to the anemone caused a healthy mature specimen to split.  I don’t know if it was one stimuli or a combination, but it’s certainly no coincidence in my opinion.
Interesting find.  I wonder if it can be replicated again or by someone else.