Migrating to a new Tank. Need Ideas... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-03-2020, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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Migrating to a new Tank. Need Ideas...

We are really enjoying our new 25 gallon rimless tank but it now seems too limited. We would like to have space for more fish to school, explore and for us to try more plants

With that in mind we have ordered a new WaterBox 120cm(~48") tank and an Archaea stand and Twinstar light from Aqua forest.

My tentative plan is to setup the new tank with a larger Biomaster 600 filter, seed the filter with media from the "old" Biomaster filter, move over hardscape, then plants, and then fish/snails/shrimp. Obviously there are a lot of holes to fill in. I will also move the present CO2 system over to the new tank once we move the plants. If possible I would like to move over some of my substrate as it is well seeded by bacteria. One obstacle it a central driftwood piece that predominates my present tank and has a large slate base beneath the substrate to keep it submerged. Moving it will cause quite a disturbance of the substrate and I am concerned about losing shrimp or especially any Pygmy Corys.

My main goals are to recreate some of the main hardscape elements of my 25g tank while adding new creative spaces and to preserve all of my livestock.

So I will briefly have two tanks and need to move the contents of the first to the much larger new tank. It will be a little like making a bed while still in it!

I would greatly appreciate any tips from those who have done this before.

Thanks!
Paul
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-03-2020, 04:20 AM
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What's the substrate in the two tanks? Inert or active soil? If soil, remember the potential for ammonia leaks with new soil for the first month or two.

Dr Tim's "All-in-One" bottled bacteria is very good. They say you can add fish to a new tank on day one using it. Not sure I would go that far, but it would be good to add to the new tank along with the existing seeded media in the filter in order to boost the bacteria whilst the new, larger tank settles.

Having said that, if you are only initially transferring over the same livestock (i.e. same bio-load), then the existing small filter will still be able to cope. In fact it is already perfectly balanced to your existing bio-load in the old tank. Additional water volume won't make a difference, so you could setup new tank with old filter initially, move livestock across, then later switch media into new larger filter (along with additional new bio-media) to give the bacteria room to grow as you increase stocking.

Kind of all depends upon what substrate you're using really and whether the new substrate added to the new tank needs time to age before adding livestock. If inert (no ammonia release to worry about), then I would be tempted to do it all in one go, moving livestock, plants, water and old filter to new tank in one go. Then worry about switching to bigger filter at later date once everything has settled.

But no doubt someone else woudl do it completely differently!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-03-2020, 06:09 PM
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I did this very thing a few months ago . I was going from a 15 to a 75 gal . I had a Sun-Sun canister on the 15 and a sump on the 75 . I just moved the plants first , stopped the 15 , took the media from the canister and put it in the sump , moved fish and snails . Fish and plants never missed a beat , but I had inert substrate in both tanks , BDBS and pool filter sand so I didn't have to consider an ammonia spike from dirt .

My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-04-2020, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Much thanks for the replies.

I am using Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum in areas where rooted plants are and pool sand in the open front areas. My initial reading on substrates luckily indicated that Stratum is not know for releasing ammonia. I might try mixing something in with it however as it is hard to plant in. Too loose. As mentioned above I am expecting(hoping) that by moving my media over I should not need to worry about cycling. I may add some bio-started just to be sure.

My current plan is to:

1. Move the easily accessible hardscape, plants and fish to a large temporary plastic storage box or two. Airstone for fish/snails/shrimp.
2. Move the large central driftwood piece to the new dry tank.
3. Move some of the 2 month old Stratus to the new tank and add more Stratus and sand to complete the design.
4. Rebuild hardscape in new tank, which would be: rocks, accent gravel and plants that are attached to wood or stone.
5. Move over old biomedia to new tank filter. Still deciding between Oase Biomaster Thermo 600 or a sump.
7. Partially fill tank and replant remaining plants
8. Fill tank and turn on pump.
9. Add fish, shrimp and snails back in.
10.Start up CO2 schedule
11.Cross fingers...
12. Enjoy abundant new space!

Best,
Paul
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-26-2020, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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I am now rethinking my plan. I am strongly considering setting up the new tank basically from scratch and just bringing over the fish, shrimp and Nerites.

The reason for this is that I now am thinking that I do not want to seed the new tank with the algae from my present tank. I thought that I had it pretty much under control but now have a bad outbreak of BBA. It is spreading on my slow growers: ferns and Buce. Oddly the Buce is growing well. I think that I had an issue with my CO2 system and did not detect it until the BBA took off. I am cutting off the leaves on the ferns and pulled the Buce out to treat with Excell since they were mostly attached to individual stones.

I just do not want to carry over problems to my new tank. I would like to carry over the what I have learned, not the algae.

Any thoughts?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-27-2020, 02:35 AM
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I upgraded a 26g bow front to a 40b years ago. The 40b had to go where the 26 was sitting which meant a full tear down, move out, move in and set up new tank. I bought a 20g tank to house the fish, drained water from the 26 to the temp tank and also moved the existing filter to that temp tank to keep it running.

After cleaning out the 26g, moving it out and the 40b into place, I set up the 40b completely new - new substrate, new decor, new filter, all new (treated) water and only brought over one large annubias from the original tank. When I moved the fish back, I also brought over the original filter to run along side the new, larger filter for several months. Voila!...all fish survived.

But it was stressful as I had only ever had the one tank for a few years and was still pretty new to the hobby. But with the help of my 20-something yr old (at the time) son I was pretty proud of us. While I sold the bow front, of course that 20g temp tank became #2 permanent tank and it spiraled just a bit from there. Today, I'm at 5, down from a high of 7 and looking to get down to 2, maybe 3.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-27-2020, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueD View Post
I upgraded a 26g bow front to a 40b years ago. The 40b had to go where the 26 was sitting which meant a full tear down, move out, move in and set up new tank. I bought a 20g tank to house the fish, drained water from the 26 to the temp tank and also moved the existing filter to that temp tank to keep it running.

After cleaning out the 26g, moving it out and the 40b into place, I set up the 40b completely new - new substrate, new decor, new filter, all new (treated) water and only brought over one large annubias from the original tank. When I moved the fish back, I also brought over the original filter to run along side the new, larger filter for several months. Voila!...all fish survived.

But it was stressful as I had only ever had the one tank for a few years and was still pretty new to the hobby. But with the help of my 20-something yr old (at the time) son I was pretty proud of us. While I sold the bow front, of course that 20g temp tank became #2 permanent tank and it spiraled just a bit from there. Today, I'm at 5, down from a high of 7 and looking to get down to 2, maybe 3.
Thanks so much for sharing your experience. This is about where I am headed now. A lot of work but probably will ensure the safety of my livestock and to not bring problems over.

My current thinking is to set up a much larger new filter on the new tank with some of my existing media in it. After a short while I will bring the second filter over along with the tank inhabitants. Going from 25 to 58 gallons I will probably need both anyway. I will use the larger filter mostly to water polish, create flow and add CO2. The old filter will continue to use my current cycled biomedia and help supplement the circulation.

I plan to not keep my 25g tank as one "big" tank with two filters should keep me busy enough!

Last edited by mourip; 09-27-2020 at 03:17 AM. Reason: wording
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-27-2020, 06:41 PM
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I'll soon be going through the same move as you: from a 29 gallon to a WaterBox 3620. I've got Amazonia in the 29g and will be adding Stratum and leftover new Amazonia to the 3620. Have a Eheim 2217 on the 29g, and have a 2215 that will be added to the new system. Similar to you, I want to get the old Amazonia out of the 29g and use in the new tank, b/c I'm cheap, and why waste it. My plan is similar to your post #4 above: pull the plants and hardscape first, net out all of the inhabitants into a temp plastic bin, and then remove the substrate / clean the tank. Throw fish/shrimp back in, throw plants back in too, keep old filter/CO2 on the 29g. Then I can take my time w/ the hardscape and meanwhile inhabitants/plants are happy and ready when I am.

I really think you shouldn't worry about bringing over algae to the new set up. It's in your filters, it's on your hardscape and in your water already. Once scaped, you can crank up the CO2 and get things healthy w/o risking gassing your fish/shrimp who'll be safely still in the old tank.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-27-2020, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by brohawk View Post
I'll soon be going through the same move as you: from a 29 gallon to a WaterBox 3620. I've got Amazonia in the 29g and will be adding Stratum and leftover new Amazonia to the 3620. Have a Eheim 2217 on the 29g, and have a 2215 that will be added to the new system. Similar to you, I want to get the old Amazonia out of the 29g and use in the new tank, b/c I'm cheap, and why waste it. My plan is similar to your post #4 above: pull the plants and hardscape first, net out all of the inhabitants into a temp plastic bin, and then remove the substrate / clean the tank. Throw fish/shrimp back in, throw plants back in too, keep old filter/CO2 on the 29g. Then I can take my time w/ the hardscape and meanwhile inhabitants/plants are happy and ready when I am.

I really think you shouldn't worry about bringing over algae to the new set up. It's in your filters, it's on your hardscape and in your water already. Once scaped, you can crank up the CO2 and get things healthy w/o risking gassing your fish/shrimp who'll be safely still in the old tank.
Thanks for the input. I have been following your 3620 tank journal. Nice stand.

I had not considered putting the fish and plants back in the old tank for a while. It does make sense and also takes some pressure off of scaping the new tank. Will you leave some substrate in that tank?

I use Fluval Stratum also and moving it over will give me a quick cycle. I will probably take some filter media over to my new filter to seed it...

Regarding algae, the bottom line is no matter what I do I will need to find a balance that takes care of it.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-27-2020, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mourip View Post
Thanks for the input. I have been following your 3620 tank journal. Nice stand.

I had not considered putting the fish and plants back in the old tank for a while. It does make sense and also takes some pressure off of scaping the new tank. Will you leave some substrate in that tank?

I use Fluval Stratum also and moving it over will give me a quick cycle. I will probably take some filter media over to my new filter to seed it...

Regarding algae, the bottom line is no matter what I do I will need to find a balance that takes care of it.
I wasn't gonna bother leaving any substrate. I've got plenty of stems that I can clump w/ weights while it's bare bottom.

Good call on seeding the new filter--will likely do the same. I figure that when the hardscape's finalized, I'll pull the plants I'm keeping from the old tank, plant, and move the CO2 over. May swap filters at that time too as the old tank has the larger one right now, crank the CO2 and wait for any potential cycle to finish. Same time will lower lighting on the 29g just for the fish's sake / avoid too much algae growth.

And algae, yes, you'll have to worry about balance on the new set up, and there's only so much you can do until the 2nd filter's added and you're working w/ full flow. May just have to be touch and go for the first few days after adding the fish. I'm sure you'll get it.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2020, 12:00 AM
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If you are even thinking about a sump, DO IT!

In 30 years of fishkeeping, putting a 40 breeder sump under my 75 is THE BEST thing i have ever done! Its much easier to go to a sump now than deciding to do it later.

Advantages of a sump ive found:
Larger water volume.

Custom diy filtratration options with more biomedia space.

Pvc plumbing more robust than what comes with canister filters.

Maintenance easier than carrying a large canister to the tub in winter.

No leaky orings etc

Place to hide heaters and ph probes and temp sensors.

The only 3 disadvantages I have found are:

Cost but this is a non issue if you diy on the sump vs buying a ready made solution.

Need appropriate space under the stand. I took this into account when I built my own stand.

Have to inject more co2 because of imcreased water volume and better flow/agitation thru the system. Im my area a refill on a 5lb co2 tank is $20 and a 20lb is 30 so the co2 wasnt that big of an issue.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2020, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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If you are even thinking about a sump, DO IT!

In 30 years of fishkeeping, putting a 40 breeder sump under my 75 is THE BEST thing i have ever done! Its much easier to go to a sump now than deciding to do it later.

Advantages of a sump ive found:
Larger water volume.

Custom diy filtratration options with more biomedia space.

Pvc plumbing more robust than what comes with canister filters.

Maintenance easier than carrying a large canister to the tub in winter.

No leaky orings etc

Place to hide heaters and ph probes and temp sensors.

The only 3 disadvantages I have found are:

Cost but this is a non issue if you diy on the sump vs buying a ready made solution.

Need appropriate space under the stand. I took this into account when I built my own stand.

Have to inject more co2 because of imcreased water volume and better flow/agitation thru the system. Im my area a refill on a 5lb co2 tank is $20 and a 20lb is 30 so the co2 wasnt that big of an issue.
I have thought a lot about going to a sump. I had a modest sized sump on a 75 gallon planted tank with CO2 about 15 years ago and ran it for 5 years. I found a good balance to be easy and maintenance easy also. I am not up for drilling my new low iron tank so I would need to use an HOB overflow.

I currently have an OASE Biomaster Thermo with integrated heater and use inline CO2. It is basically silent and I have very little equipment in the tank.

How is the noise level with your setup?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2020, 02:52 AM
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I use a hob overflow and it is absolutely silent, and safe...no issues at all.

I use an Eshoppes PF-1200 which has 2 drains, and 2 siphon tubes. Having 2 drains, I set it up in a herbie style. One drain with just a strainer is full siphon, with a good gate valve for adjustment. The other is an emergency drain. Once tuned with the gate valve the main drain is absolutely silent. The u tubes never get bubbles stuck and always restart after a power outage. In fact I shut the return pump off 2 times a day for 10 minutes while feeding the fish.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2020, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bigtrout View Post
I use a hob overflow and it is absolutely silent, and safe...no issues at all.

I use an Eshoppes PF-1200 which has 2 drains, and 2 siphon tubes. Having 2 drains, I set it up in a herbie style. One drain with just a strainer is full siphon, with a good gate valve for adjustment. The other is an emergency drain. Once tuned with the gate valve the main drain is absolutely silent. The u tubes never get bubbles stuck and always restart after a power outage. In fact I shut the return pump off 2 times a day for 10 minutes while feeding the fish.
Thanks! A couple of questions.

I would like to understand how using a valve on an overflow works. It seems like you would be risking draining the sump and/or overflowing the tank unless the valve was still open with plenty of buffer. In which case I guess that I do not understand it's purpose. Does it just cut down on how much air is entrained along with the water?

Do you have shrimp in your tank?

Best,
Paul

Last edited by mourip; 09-28-2020 at 11:53 PM. Reason: wording
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2020, 11:24 PM
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It works like this, 2 drains on the overflow, one is valved with a nice fine adjusting gate valve. And only a strainer in the overflow box. The valve tunes how much the full siphon flows. So yes it is full siphon with no air entrained. So it is silent. The other drain is an emergency standpipe about 4 inches higher in the overflow box than the main drain. The main drain valve is adjusted so that water just trickles down the emergencty pipe. This is how the overflow drain flow is matched to thw return pump flow. If the main pipe clogs the emergency can handle full flow and can go full siphon.
If the return pump fails the sump is sized such that it can take all the water that still drains. This is the water in the return pipe and the main tank water until it gets below the overflow teeth. The return pipe has a siphon break hole drilled just below waterline.
There are two siphon drain tubes, if one clogs or siphon breaks the other can handle it.
If both drains would somehow clog or break siphon. The pump return chamber is sized such that if the remaining water is all pumped into the tank it wont overflow it.
I have tested this with every scenario i could think of and its rock solid.

Im pushing 550 gallons per hour thru the sump(measured). This is enough flow to keep bubbles from forming in the siphon tubes.

I do not have shrimp however, so no idea if they would try to take a ride. I have had a few fish try and they end up in the overflow box and are stopped from going into the sump by a strainer. Fish are usually alive. No idea if it would beat up a shrimp.
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