MOVING TANK! Breaking it down and killing BBA during move. How to keep it cycled? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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MOVING TANK! Breaking it down and killing BBA during move. How to keep it cycled?

It's official. I have a moving day for my tanks. Oct 30. Two days before I must be out of my apartment.

The guy confirmed that I will have to strip the entire tank, including plants and substrate. Further, he charges by the hour so the more work I do in advance to prepare for the move, the cheaper it'll be. Sounds good to me! I'd rather do most of it myself anyway.

Since I have no choice but to break the entire tank down, I want to use this as an opportunity to completely eradicate the BBA. I don't mind using a combination of H2O2 and Excel. I just want it stripped out completely.

That means I'll have to treat everything, including even my substrate. My filters, reactor, uvs, all must be treatedl. I will replace the hosing.

I'm also considering replacing my substrate. I have the "bad" eco complete and I'm finding that some of the colored pieces are more prone to getting BBA on it than the "good" black ones. There's a thread on this board someone with a phone number to call to get it replaced which I'll try if I can find the thread again.

So here's the deal. I have a tank full of fish, plants that are trying to become established, and a problem with BBA. I have to break it all down to move it so I'm going to clean everything in an attempt to kill out all BBA. I have several smaller tanks that can hold the fish for a few days so I don't have to rush.

Does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to do this? And how can I keep the good bacteria when I'm also trying to kill the BBA? This is especially a concern if I replace all my substrate which I am very seriously considering. But even if I don't replace it, I'll have to clean it. Any mulm I move over will have to be treated for BBA with H2O2 or Excel.

The actual process of moving the fish from my apartment to my house isn't a problem. I can handle that. It's killing the BBA, requiring that I thoroughly clean everything that's of concern. How do I keep the tank cycled under these conditions?

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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 04:13 AM
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If it requires you to clean your filter I'm not really sure you can. You could try setting up another tank at the place you are going to be moving to with just water and ammonia to feed the filter then move the filter off the big tank when you need to and put it on there. Once that is done maybe massive dose that tank with excel and let it run for a day. I think anything else like h2o2 would will kill the bacteria you want.

If you can get some biospira you can sterilize everything then use that to cycle while holding your fish in another tank.

Be careful how you introduce the fish back into the tank. I don't think you would want some BBA spores to ride in with them and set up shop and undo all this effort.
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 04:15 AM
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I od heavily with H2o2 with fish in, the trick is I turn the filters off for 20 min and spot treat then I do a 50% WC. Works great haven't lost a fish yet. Good luck let us know how it goes.


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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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I would love to use Bio-Spira, but they discontinued it. A product named SafeStart is supposed to replace it, but I have no idea if it works or not.

Something like Bio-Spira would be perfect for me in this situation.

mott, do you think BBA spores could survive if I put the fish in fresh, treated water and did an overdose of H2O2 before putting the fish into the tank?

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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 09:03 AM
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Place filter media in a bucket of tank water and areate it, you will not loose a lot of benificial bacteria that way

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 03:52 PM
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I'm not sure about eradicating BBA (though I'll be watching this closely as I noticed some growing on my heater the other day...EEK!)

But as for keeping beneficial bacteria alive, what if, similar to what Preeths said, you take the filter media out, but instead of placing it in a bucket, you put it in one of the tanks holding your fish so that they provide the beneficial bacteria with an ammonia source? Perhaps you could treat the filter media wiht H2O2 before putting it in the tank with the fish to kill any BBA spores that might be in there, or do it in the tank if you plan on treating the tanks to get rid of any spores that might be on the fish. Not sure if that would work, but in my head it seems like it would


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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Not a bad idea. I could then treat the water the basket is in to, hopefully, kill out any BBA spores.

What I think I'm going to do is move to my house the tanks I can move myself. Then, I'll catch the fish and move them to those tanks. During this time, I will continue to treat the 75g with H2O2 to kill the BBA.

Then I'll break down the 75g a few days before they move it and treat everything for the BBA that I can. I'll use more aggressive measures for rocks and pipes (bleach) and less aggressive measures for other things like plants (H2O2 and/or Excel).

When the tank is moved, then it's just a matter of setting it all back up, continuing to treat for BBA, and then add my plants, fish and inverts.

I'm thinking the disruption will take about a week, meaning I need to start moving the smaller tanks and the fish/inverts to those tanks about a week before the actual move. So I'll need to stock up on Prime to help with the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate problems in the spare tanks since they won't be cycled.

Maybe I can just pour out the media in the spare tanks to not only help those tanks with cycling while the fish are in them, but to also keep the bacteria alive.

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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Karackle, we were posting the same idea at the same time! I like the idea. It helps with all of the issues all the way around.

I'm currently treating my tank for BBA again. I'm going to keep hitting this tank with H2O2 as much as I can between now and the move. I'll post the results in my journal thread. I'm being pretty aggressive with the H2O2 so wish me a lot of luck!

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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 03:58 PM
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HAHA you read my mind, I came back to this thread because I forgot to mention that maybe splitting the media between all of the "holding tanks" would help those tanks cycle and make your life slightly easier, and then you'd have seeded the filters on those tanks, so when you switch everything back to the big tank, you'd have some extra established filter media/pads (not sure what kind of filters you'll be running) that you could hang in the 75 to reseed it.....or something to that effect....i hope that made sense!


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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 03:59 PM
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AH! We posted at the same time again! are you a mind reader?!

Good luck with the aggressive treatment!


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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 04:01 PM
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Start another tank, don't plant it, low light levels, completely cycle it with any new Eco-Complete if you want. Cycle with any filters you can spare, HOB, canister, heck, even sponge filters. Let's call this Tank2.

Warning: I'm not sure of the size of BBA spores but I'm guessing your filter media will be laden with the spores. I wouldn't re-use it...just in case. Again, I'm only speculating, which is dangerous, but it's the best I can do without more research on BBA.

When it's time to move, move the fish to Tank2. Nuke the old tank (Tank1), run all the equipment from Tank1 on Tank2 so that the filter pads can be re-established, then move fish, equipment, substrate back to Tank1.

I don't see of a way to nuke the tank to rid yourself of the BBA spores AND keep around any beneficial bacteria. The method I proposed is probably one of the safer ones, but also the most time consuming, requiring you to have a spare tank and a spare filter or two handy.

Any treatment of the mulm and/or filter media with H2O2 and/or Excel will probably kill off at least a good portion the beneficial bacteria. H2O2 is a strong oxidizing agent, and the active component of Excel, glutaraldehyde, in higher concentrations, is used as a sterilizing agent.
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 04:07 PM
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Read the top half of: http://fins.actwin.com/aquatic-plant.../msg00108.html

Krombholz bleach treatment: http://www.aquabotanic.com/plantsandbleach.htm


Personally, I'd spot treat the plants w/ H2O2/Excel in the 75g tank while the fish are gone and bleach the equipment in a separate container.
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfish View Post
Personally, I'd spot treat the plants w/ H2O2/Excel in the 75g tank while the fish are gone and bleach the equipment in a separate container.
I would say this is the best way to rid yourself of BBA. BUT it still isn't a 100% guarantee it will solve your BBA problem. Kinda risky to kill off all of your bio no?

People say inadequate co2 causes BBA and I tend to agree.


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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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*thud*

I know you're right, but I hate facing this. This hurts so much, and I only have my own self to blame. I bought the anubias with BBA. The anubias died thanks to the bleach, but the BBA lives on.

Another thought to throw into the mix. Does anyone know if my huge UV sterilizer can kill BBA spores? The one I have is rated for a 500g tank. It's the turbo twist 12x 36w. Can it be useful in killing the spores?

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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mott View Post
People say inadequate co2 causes BBA and I tend to agree.
I understand. I've been throwing out as much CO2 as I can, but the BBA continues. I think the power outage affected it because it really spread once the lights came back on.

I'm going to lower my photo period, as well. Both sets of lights for 7 hours. The idea is to keep the plants growing strong while trying to get the BBA under control.

I wonder what would happen if I cranked up the CO2 to very high amounts once I remove the fish and inverts?

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