Best way to move everything to a new tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Best way to move everything to a new tank?

I have a 20 gallon tank. RCS are abundant and reproducing. I want to transfer the entire content of the tank to another tank that is 24 gallons. Can any body give me an idea of how I can make the change without stressing out the shrimp? The new tank is a JBJ 24. It has three chambers in the back for filtration. I had a saltwater setup in it. So I need help.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 04:50 PM
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Before you start on the tank itself, prepare enough new water to fill the new tank at least once. Maybe more. Have on hand a bacterial supplement if you want. Something with Nitrospira species of bacteria.
1) Turn off, unplug, remove equipment. These can be moved over to the new tank.
2) Remove anything else that will not cloud the water. Hardscape stuff can go in the new tank, or a bucket.
3) Catch the shrimp and any other livestock and put them in a bucket of the cleanest tank water. Cover it.
4) Start digging up the plants. This is where the substrate will get messy. Put the plants in a shallow tray, covered with water, or mist them. Something so you can see which plants are which. Or a bucket will work. With shrimp, they may cling to the plants, so putting the plants in something with sides deep enough so the shrimp cannot jump out is probably a good idea.
5) Deep vacuum the substrate. Take this opportunity to remove a lot of the fine debris that would cloud the tank.
6) Move the substrate to the new tank, setting up hills and valleys, set up the hardscape. If you think there is still too much mulm in the substrate then do a partial fill (maybe 25%) and slosh the substrate around to clean it, then drain the tank. Stick the siphon down deep in a corner below the substrate so 99% of the water is removed. Then arrange the 'scape.
7) Plant, misting the plants.
8) Put a plate or plastic bag over the substrate and fill the tank slowly, allowing the water to seep over the edges of the plate and into the substrate. Do not use the water from the livestock bucket. Fish (don't know about shrimp) can add stress hormones and ammonia to the water.
9) Turn on the equipment, make sure it is working. Add the Nitrospira, if you choose to use it.
10) Add livestock.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Diana. The step by step really helps. The back of the tank has three chambers for filtration. I had live rock in those chambers when it was a salt tank. What filter media would you suggest? Is this Nitrospira you mention a product?
Thx you!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 12:23 AM
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You can use those chambers for any filter media you want.
In a planted tank most people go for sponge and floss, not much biological media because the plants ARE the bio filter. The nitrifying bacteria will grow on all the sponges and floss just fine.

Nitrospira are the actual species of nitrifying bacteria that may be compromised in doing something as major as this to the tank.
Several companies sell them in a bottle.
Tetra Safe Start
Dr. Tim's One and Only
Microbe Lift's Nite Out II
... are several of the products with the right species. If it does not say Nitrospira do not waste your money.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 06:16 PM
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Are going to keep both tanks? If you are then I'd be tempted to start the new tank with new substrate and filter material and then start pumping and return siphoning water between the two of them for a few weeks (you will have to balance the levels in them) until there was no difference in the water chemistry and the new tank was fully cycled. Then I'd move the plants one by one and finally scoop up the livestock and drop them into their new home.
If you aren't going to keep them both running then the advice above is as good as it gets.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 08:24 PM
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Easy way to catch shrimp:
Siphon them.
Trap them in a bottle trap.

Sure, you could connect the two tanks and share stuff any way you want, as long as they are connected. But the total filter media and all other surfaces will only grow enough bacteria to support the livestock inhabiting the system.
When you separate the tanks, moving all the shrimp into one tank you will only have half the bacteria needed in the one tank system.
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