moving 250l planted tank journal - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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moving 250l planted tank journal

ok so i am moving house this weekend and thought i might keep track on how things go and what mistakes i make. might help someone out.
ok so first thing i did before i even moved was get the new substrate that i am going to use, richgro aquatic potting mix for ponds. i would prefer to use something like flourite or eco complete but way to expensive here in australia and the richgro was $10 for a 20lbs bag. very dusty so i got that rinsed (which took forever).

ok so substrate check. over the top i am going to use black crushed quartz, again very dusty, more bloody rinsing!! ok so now thats done. i am going to be using some slow release fertliser tabs under the richgro so i got them organised.
With all that done i started thinking about the fish and what they would need. i went to coles and they gave me a styrofoam box for free, Bonus!! then the lfs gave me some fish bags for the move. i asked all my friends to collect as many empty softdrink bottles as possible for me so that i could keep as much of the old water as possible.

great so i got the substrate, the fish and the water taken care of. now for my canister filter. i knew that i couldnt have that turned off for long so that will be the last thing off and the first thing back on.

ok so on with the move. the night before the move i put an extra air stone into the tank to increase the o2 levels as much as possible for the fish. i started with taking all my plants and placing them in a few bags with a little water. next i started filling up the 2L softdrink bottle that my friends gave me and ended up keeping 60Litres (1/5 of the old water) not to bad.

i started siphoning out the water. Down to about 3" of water. now to catch all the fish. that took about an hour and a half (yoyo louches and bristlenose are the worst). I still had the canister filter going so i turned that off and siphoned out the rest of the water.

with that done i scooped out the sand that had been in there for over 3 years. that took a bit of effort but now the fish are out and in their bags in the styrofoam box, the filter is ready to go, the new substrate is there waiting for me and the plants were bagged.

the new house
first thing that i did was rerinse all the richgro and quartz sand. i got the stand and the tank sitting where i wanted them and positioned the fertiliser tablets where they needed to be. I put in the richgro and gravel and graded it to slope deeper towards the back. Now for the saved water. With that in, next i started filling the tank 3/4 full. i put in the heater and got the canister filter going again. I floated the fish in the tank and started repositioning the hardscape and the plants.

with the fish floating and the plants in i though i might do a water test. wow was the PH high, 7.8. ok so now to add peat to the canister filter to try and bring that down. i let the fish out of the bags after they had been floated for about 45mins. no real dramas there other then loosing 6 mollies and 3 glass shrimp.
water was a bit cloudy but that is to be expected.
day one
PH 7.5
ammonia 0.25
nitrite nill
nitrate 0.25

i will keep you guys posted on how things progress over the following weeks and try to upload some pics
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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ok, day 2 and i am starting to get the ph down a little bit but now the ammonia and the nitrite are going through the roof. time for a water change. with that done i check my co2, o2 and other levels,
ph 7.3
ammonia 0.25
nitrite 0.5
nitrate 0.25
so the water change did help a little bit but its going to take a few weeks i think before the filter is cycled enough. anyone got any suggestions on how to get this done quicker?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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day 3 and the ammonia and nitrite are getting high, like really high. i have done another 50% water change. tested the water and am still getting really high levels. the ph has dropped to 6.8 so thats alot better. the ammonia is still sitting at 2.00, the nitrie is sitting at 0.75 and the nitrate is sitting at 0.75 . Think i might do another water change today and just keep checking. fyi my housemate is sick of helping me with all this maintence lol
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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ok its been almost 2 weeks,
i thought i might do another water change and then put in some geo liquard and see if that helps. 24 hours later-
ammonia nil
nitrite 0.25
nitrate 0.5
i am now sold on geo liquard to help quickly cycle a new tank. yes there would have been bacteria in the filter by now but before i used it i was still getting really huigh ammonia and nitrite levels, 24 hours later they are almost gone. total loss of fish is sitting at 20 but they are mostly guppy's and mollies. give it a month and i will be giving them away again
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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ok. time for another update.
checked the water this morning.
ammonia nil
nitrite nil
nitrate 0.25
ph sitting at 6.8

this is great. i have done one water change in the fortnight and all is going well. the only maintence i have had to do in that time is scrub a little bit of green spot algae from the glass. i was worried from what i had heard about using richgro aquatic potting mix that it was going to take months for the water to clear. no problem with mine, i capped it with crushed black quartz. the plants that have reached this seem to be doing pretty well, it is really course and uneven shaped so that is going to allow the roots to get in there, plus it isnt going to compact like sand does. to early to tell though. i have been dosing with seachem flourish once a week asw well as with pressurised CO2 and there doesnt seem to be a problem yet (touch driftwood).
i hope that this thread has helped anyone in australia that has been thinking of using richgro aquatic potting mix but wasnt sure about it.
i will try to post a few pics as soon as i get the chance. if you have any questions please feel free to ask
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 07:43 PM
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Hi Phantom85
a few yrs back I moved a 150 reef tank and so I know what a nightmare moving a tank can be. Glad it sounds like it worked for you thanks for the info and updates.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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ok so it might have taken a while but here are some pics of the tank after 2 months, did a water test this morning before taking the pics. ammonia - 0 nitrite - 0 nitrate - 0.25, all is going great. current inhabitants 15 sailfin mollys, 10 guppys, 3 bronze cory cats, 2 albino cory cats, 6 swordtails, 6 platys, who knows how many cherry shrimp, 2 bristle nose plecos.
filtration 2 sunsun canister filters 1500 liters p/hour, pressurised co2
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