Help me move my 55! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: chicago, ilinois
Posts: 7
Help me move my 55!

To make long story short, I've grown impatient and want to move my 1 month old 55 gallon planted tank (low tech) to a 150 that used to have big nasty Central Amer. cichlids and an oscar I plan on puting in the soon to be vacated 55 with a few smaller friends. Where I need help is in how to make the move to the 150 while stressing out the plants as little as possible. What have some of you done in the past when moving plants from one tank to the other? My main concern are the plants and I want to have similar success with starting up the 150 as I had with the 55.

What needs to be moved: assorted anubias, crypts, 1 amazon 1 ozelot 2 melon swords, dwarf subulata(1/2 are doing well), 1 aponogeton crispus, some wisteria, bacopa car., lotus bulbs, and a banana plant that I actually haven't killed. They are in 3 inches of marked up SMS in a red bucket with pellets in the soil for 3 weeks now. They are under 80 watts of NO flourescent and have yet to get a water change or algea. Fish are 21 cardinals, 2 otos, 1 BN, 3 cories and 2 dime sized angels. Fish will go into the 150 along with the biological media.

This is what I have done: Last week I got the ciclids out of the 150 minus the oscar. Then cleaned out filters and placed the old substrate, biological media from the filters (Aquaclear 110s), and the oscar in a storage bin with a heater and power head. I decided to get two more marked up red buckets of SMS for the 150. The substrate has been lightly rinsed and placed in the 150 for 3 -4" of depth. Filters were restarted (hob 110s) and floss placed in one of them to help clear up the cloudiness.

I plan on letting the water clear up and then start aquascaping the new tank on Sunday after a trip to the local fish store for more plants.

How would you proceed from here. Specifically I need advice on which plants to get and what should I do with those that are in the 55. How woluld acclimated these plants to such a short move? Should I bother triming roots again, can I expect another minor crypt meltdown, and do I need to do anything if particular with the lotus that have sent leaves to the surface? Should I dip the plants again before placing them in the 150?

Answers to any of those questions would be greatly appreciated.

fyi-Lighting will be the 4' 80 watt with a 4' 108watt t5 fixture. There will be overlap in the middle. In another week the 80 watt will be replaced with another 4' 108 watt t5. No co2 and ferts when needed. Very low tech.

Here are some pics of the move in progress:

The 2 tanks together geting ready for the move.

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Oscar out and in his temp. home.

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A pic of the 55 and plants.

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Filling up the 150 and substrate inplace.Click image for larger version

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Thanks again!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 04:59 PM
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Location: Portland
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I think the way you're doing it is the best way possible. You might loose some of the crypts for a few week, they like to melt whenever you touch them.

I'd consider turning those cinder blocks on the other side so the holes all line up, they aren't load rated lying down the way you have them. I'm sure it's not something critical, just a nit pick, but it'll be easier to do when you've already got the tank drained and all the fish and plants out than trying to fix it when all that is back in the tank.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 05:15 PM
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I wouldn't dip plants or worry too much about them, some will take off immediately, some may temporarily die off as they re-acclimate. I'd put a root tab under the crypts and other heavy root feeders like the sword, and I'd vacuum all the mulm out of the old tank's substrate and and put it in/on the SMS, to add back the nitrogenous compounds and nutrients to assist both plants and the biofilter in the new setup, since it'll take it some time to age to that same level on it's own. I'd add a ton of new stem plants to make up for the size difference and help ward off a new tank algae explosion while your other plants struggle to get back on their 'feet'. Fast growers like hygrophila difformis (wisteria), Ceratopteris thalictroides (water sprite), and Vallisneria are all really useful for that, even if temporary.

I think the main thing to do is have patience while things acclimate to the new setup.

Kornphlake is right about the blocks, although I'm probably a lot more worried about it myself. I've crumbled them easily by simply standing on them that way, it only takes a small unseen crack to compromise the integrity of the block when it's sitting that way, and if one gives under the pressure of hundreds of pounds of water, then it may cause a domino effect straight to the floor.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: chicago, ilinois
Posts: 7
Thanks for the great advice guys. I will change the cinder blocks as explained.

As far as new plants go I will follow your advice jaidexl. Luckily I just came back from the lfs and they had some wisteria and a ton of water sprite. I'll be back there tomorrow. I like your idea of the mulm from the old tank as well. Thanks again for helping out this noob. I would have killed more plants if it wasn't for this forum!
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