Help! Advice on Switching tanks - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Question Help! Advice on Switching tanks

Ok so here is the deal, I have a 55g tank and i am going to buy another to replace it when I move in about 3 months because when i first bought my tank, in a rookie mistake i used a razor to remove calcium from the edge on the top and put a million tiny scratches in the glass which you cant really see that well with water in it but it kills me, and also the sides have a water spot like haze on them that will not come off. I would also like to switch substrates at the same time because i am using gravel and would like something a bit better and more suited for plants.

My plan is to set the tank up with substrate prior to the move and paint the back and i am going to use all the equipment for my current tank. My question is will switching the tank and substrate cause my tank to need to be cycled again or is there something i can do to make this switch as painless and easy as possible?

I currently have a HOB filter on it now and a power-head with a filter on it and am getting another HOB filter with the new tank. Will installing the new filter on the current tank to acquire beneficial bacteria help?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 06:05 PM
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You will have bacteria in your hob, assuming you switch it over immediately, also put some of your old substrate in a sock and place in your new tank to help seed bacteria. you may experience a mini cycle but should be short and mild

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 06:52 PM
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I think if you switch to soil the decomposing organics may cause an ammonia spike. On a transfered bacteria colony and an instant full bioload I would watch ammonia very carefully and be ready for some large water changes.

Usually, the transfered filter media should be adequate as long as you keep an eye on it, but with the soil, that may be equivolent to just adding a grip of fish to an established aquarium, so your mileage may vary.

If you're using soil and have the time, seed the new tank with soil in it as suggested above, and let it go through its cycle. That way you end up with enough bacteria in the tank to take care of the soil, and enough in the filter to take care of the fish. This also gives fine rooted plants time to establish in case you keep any catfish.

Flourite or other non organic, just allow the plants to root.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 07:00 PM
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I do this all the time around my house. I usually have 3 or 4 empty tanks sitting around and when I get bored with a running tank I change it out and I always use fresh substrate. I've never had any ammonia issues or mini cycle. I just use the same filter and switch it over to the "new" tank. As long as your filter remains wet during the switch you're fine. You can even throw just your filter media in a bucket of de-chlor water to move it easier depending what kind of filter you have. If it's a canister just shut the valves, put it in a dry bucket just in case, and move it to it's new home. Very easy.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 10:09 PM
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Pandacory is right - it really depends on what the new substrate is going to be. Decide what you want to use and then come back and ask specifically about that particular substrate and if it will release ammonia. If it does then do like panda said and get a cheap filter, fill up the tank, load it with plants and cycle it with the ammonia produced by the substrate, then when it's done add the fish and the existing filter.

If you can't do that because of time restrictions moving from the old place and into the new, then you could always set up a small tank now and cycle it with a large bio load of ammonia and use that filter with your old one when the time comes.
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