Upgrading 10 gallon to 20 long. Need advice please. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
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Upgrading 10 gallon to 20 long. Need advice please.

So I've decided I'm going to go buy a 20 gallon long and move my residents of the 10 gallon to a bigger home.

Currently, I have a substrate of flourite black sand. I plan on moving this over to the tank, but I don't think I'll be buying more to add to it. I want to add some eco-complete instead. I have that in another tank and it's just so much easier to plant in and clean, it looks better to a some extent, too. I'm going to try and keep one half of the tank as sand and the other eco complete, since I have pygmy cories who prefer to have sand.

The 10 gallon has two filters on it at the moment, a double sponge and an aquaclear 20. I'd like to drain the tank, put my fish in a bucket and set up the other tank with the current filters/plants/substrate + the new stuff. I don't have anywhere else to keep these fish and don't have enough room to keep both tanks running. I will be pouring the old tank water in the new tank as well (even though that doesn't matter much for bacteria, I know). I just figure the two filters, one being a well seeded double sponge that's been running for months, would prevent the 20 gallon from needing to cycle. The aquaclear has been running almost as long as the sponge filter.

Is there anything I should do or be cautious of? Should I treat with prime and expect ammonia spikes? Am I missing anything? Thank you.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 01:21 PM
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Being aware is the biggest thing to be aware?
So when you move, there is a hazard to keep in mind, which is what you are doing currently. Fine, so far.
Just a review of some things that "could" happen. When you move, you will lose the bacteria on the tank and the surface of the sub but keep what is in/on the filters, plants, décor, etc. that is moved. What is on the sub is likely to be buried and die so I don't count it. So the question gets into things we can't see like what percentage is where and lives or dies. So being aware that there could be a spike but it should be a short one as bacteria does seem to grow to meet the food supply very quickly. Not like starting over with no bacteria.
It should be fine as the move to larger also dilutes any pollution, in this case, cuts it in half. So you may have a bit fewer bacteria at first but twice the water so I would not expect any great problem but have a plan in mind. Have some extra water that meets what you are using? Right temp and any treating already to use? A bit more ready to do some ammonia testing, just to see for sure it is all okay? A little more time and attention to the tank for a few days? Depending how much you have to adjust the water and how you are set for that, I might lean toward NOT using the old water but use new as it is not semi-polluted as the old is. Then be sure to let things settle good and steady up before going into any changes/rearrangements.
Proper prior planning prevents poor performance? Sounds like you are doing right.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 02:06 PM
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Rich's thoughts are pretty much spot on.
Keeping the fish in buckets for a day or even two isn't a problem at all. You're seeding or have seeded a filter or two. Good. If you can't get them onto the new tank in a couple of hours or so then run them in the bucket with the fish.
You're stirring up the substrate big time. I would expect an ammonia spike. And you are adding additional substrate. That also could spike it.

As a precautionary measure in my own tanks I would start doing 25% water changes every day for a week before the transfer. And small changes for a week after.
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Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-13-2017, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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@PlantedRich Is there anything wrong with mixing a non buffering substrate with one that does buffer?A little while ago, I remembered that I have about 7 lbs of extra fine controsoil and thought maybe I could put that under the eco-complete and maybe the flourite black sand to get some extra depth and a dirted effect.

Would this cause any serious PH swings? I'd really like to keep my PH around 7, which is what the fish are currently used too. I'm thinking it might not be the best idea, but thought I'd ask anyway. I'm guessing that eventually it would buffer the water down to 6.5 ph.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-13-2017, 02:27 AM
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I know of no reason to avoid mixing them but part of that is guesswork. I should think that they will possibly move things in different directions at times. I'm not a big user of different soil types as I mostly just go with sand, gravel, mixed yard dirt, or Flourite in different mixes. Not because I have any objection to any of the other items, just more because I tend to go with what is working until I see a real need to change. That leaves me not using those you have mentioned. Likely others will have better thoughts on how that might play.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-13-2017, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
I know of no reason to avoid mixing them but part of that is guesswork. I should think that they will possibly move things in different directions at times. I'm not a big user of different soil types as I mostly just go with sand, gravel, mixed yard dirt, or Flourite in different mixes. Not because I have any objection to any of the other items, just more because I tend to go with what is working until I see a real need to change. That leaves me not using those you have mentioned. Likely others will have better thoughts on how that might play.
Hmm. Alright, thanks. Appreciate it.


Maybe someone else can chime in.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-13-2017, 04:25 AM
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I wouldn't bother to add the old tank water. I once upgraded from a 26g to a 40b and used all new substrate, all new decor except for one large anubias, added a new filter but brought over the old filter too. I had an empy temp tank I was able to transfer the fish to while I was making the switch (new tank went in same spot as old) so i was able to keep the filter running for the few hours it took to make the switch and set up the new tank. I added all new water (it's just a 100% water change) along with Prime which was temp matched to their existing condition. I had no losses, although I watched the tank carefully for a couple of months before making any additions to stock.
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