Two years ago, I moved two planted tanks – 40g and 55g two miles. It was an entire day’s work, and I had my husband and two friends to do the heavy stuff. But I learned a lot, and it was successful, so I’ll share what we did.
Draining: On the 55, I removed the fish and driftwood and put them in buckets; on the 40, I removed nothing (it had only inverts and bottom dwellers I couldn’t net out). I drained the tanks as low as I dared, and saved about half the water in buckets from Home Depot. Covered the plants (still in the tank) with wet paper towels.
Moving: We moved each tank in a separate trip. I bought a sturdy board that was larger than the largest tank’s footprint, and borrowed a wheeled cart that we could transport the tanks on. The board went on the cart, the tank went on the board. Wheeled out of the house with the help of ramps rented from Home Depot. Lifted the tank using the board, and slid it into the back of a rented van. That way it could be slid back out again, shifted onto the cart, transported into the new house the same way. The board kept weight distributed as equally as possible for the entire journey so the tank was minimally stressed.
Refilling: I was refilling mostly old water from buckets, so I rested that board I’d bought on top of the tank’s lip, put each bucket on top of the board one at a time, and siphoned the water in slowly on top of the wet paper towels to avoid disturbing the substrate and plants. (I would not normally have saved as much water as I did, but our new house was under a boil water advisory at the time, so it was in an abundance of caution.)
So it IS possible to move a tank without destroying your aquascape… but all that said, if your tank is leaking? I’d probably take the chance to totally break it down and fix or replace.