Do I need to cycle if I move everything? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Do I need to cycle if I move everything?

Im wanting to take my existing 20 tall and move it all over to a 29gal.Can I just move everything, fish, plants, substrate, filter?
But I need to put the 29 gal right were the 20tall is now.And I cant move anything with the water still in it.

How do I go about doing this?
Do i use some of the old water and replace half?
I have only hardy fish, 4 platys,some feeder guppys,a betta and a dojo loach.
As well as some hardy beginner plants.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 02:24 PM
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I did just this a few weeks ago. 30long to 125 even with substrate and the hob going into the new tank it still cycled on me (two weeks till everything was coming up 0, would have maybe been 1 but I kept seeing a slight reading on ammonia). Granted I'm at the extreme of what your trying to do. Being as it's only a 9-10 gallon upgrade it won't be as bad but your still going to have to deal with ammonia spikes while everything gets settled in. Try and keep you filter running for the entire time if you can. Also if you have some extra filter/bio material on hand start seeding it now it will help speed things along.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 02:28 PM
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My tank cycled after moving it and replanting. I used same filter and most of existing water and it still cycled. Took forever because I didn't realize it was cycling and I continued water change routine.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 02:34 PM
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I did this last May. I did have a little ammonia build up but part of that was because I took nearly a week to finish the job. The old tank has been ten years in one place so I needed to clean really well, paint the wall and do some plumbing. In December I took everything but the substrate and plumbing out and put everything back in during one very long day and no issues at all.

If you can get it done in a day or two you will be fine. Find a big food safe tub or pail for the fish, fill with tank water and put the filter and heater in/on the tub along with the fish. Put the plants in another tub or wrap in wet towels.

Drain the old tank right down to the bottom moving the substrate out of the way to get as much as you can. Move that tank just out of the way and put the new one in its place. Scoop the old dirty substrate right into the new tank picking out big bits of debris but leave all the mulm [gunk] you can. Arrange the substrate and hardscape as you please. Take a break and come back to see if you still like it. Plant the tank dry since you don't have many plants to flop around and be annoying.

Put a sheet of bubble wrap over the entire surface of the planted substrate and pour water in slowly, a hose is best. Once 1/4 full look. If the water is cloudy then drain all the water out and refill. This time it will be much clearer as you removed the stuff that was on top of the substrate. Be sure the water has been dechlorinated and is close to the temperature of the fish tub. Put the heater and filter on the new tank, net the fish out of the bucket and done.

To prepare for the big day rinse out your filters a couple weeks before so they have a good biofilm going but aren't clogged. If you don't often change water then either save most of the tank water somehow or make a number of good sized changes during the weeks before the big day so the fish are used to the fresher water.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 02:57 PM
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Make sure you keep the old water and transfer the the media from your filter over and should be okay. Because you are disturbing the substrate it can cause ammonia spike and can cause stress to your fish and may have some deaths.

Good luck

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 03:02 PM
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There is no reason to keep the old water, it doesn't hold the beneficial bacteria, the filter does. I wouldn't wash your filter first, wait a month or so after the new tank is set up. How long has your filter been running? If filter has been running a good 6 months or more you should get an instant cycle. I always do.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 03:41 PM
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It's like a mayor WC, but monitor your parameters, use as much of the tank water as you can handle.

I rescaped, added a diy under gravel filter and changed substrate in this tank with zero ammonia readings after I did.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 04:14 PM
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I have moved aquariums about a dozen times in my life. I have never moved more water than it took to move the livestock in their bags (I only ever use the bagging method to move) and I have never had the tank lose its cycle.

i always keep the substrate wet. I always put the filter media in bags of water like I do the fish. Never a problem, never had a spike, never lost a single fish on a move.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, thanks everyone for all the advice.I wont be starting this till next week when I have time to do it all in a day or so.Kind of dreading all that work but at the same time my tank is looking shabby and needs some rearranging so this will give me the chance to get it looking all spiffy again.
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