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Old 08-09-2008, 06:15 PM   #1
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Transfering Reef from 65 to 120 Gallon

Hello--

This is a pretty big one. I need to move my 2 Year Established (and Cranking!) 36" x 18" 65 Gallon Reef tank. Instead of moving it, I want to upgrade to a 48" x 24" 120 Gallon tank.

My plan is to do water changes directly into the 120 until its filled about halfway---then on "The Big Move Day" put the rest of the water from the old tank in.

#1) Is it enough to just put a couple of rocks and sand from the old tank into the new one and run a power head + heater to keep the parameters right and the pods alive while I`m gradually filling the new tank?

#2) If I get a bunch of totally dead rock to be my base rock for the new tank, wont it gradually become bacteria-filled filtering live rock that will enable me to support a larger bioload at some point?

#3) How long does it usually take for dead rock to get "activated" like that?

(I`d like to do it this way because it will save me the big bucks (not to mention the environment) by not having to add more live rock.)

#4) I`ll be putting all the animals in 7 Gallon containers during the move. Does everything need airstones in the containers---Corals, inverts + Fish?

#5) It feels like I should move as much non-animal life as possible into the
new tank first. How long should I let the tank settle before I start putting the corals and fish back in the tank?

#6) The new tank is the same height as the old one. I`m simply moving a successful biofilter/eco-system into more water. I dont have to upgrade lights and skimmers until I increase the bioload, right? (Ive got plenty of powerheads laying around for circulation).

Thanks for any input and insight. Maybe theres a link for info on this subject?

Like I said , this is "a Big one" and I`m concerned about it. Sorry about still being naive about a lot of this stuff.

regards...............
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:38 PM   #2
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1- When I moved my 75 into my 125, I first made about 90g of fresh sw for the new tank, then just moved everything into the new tank. I made the transfer in 1 day. Do you plan on doing this over a period of time?

2- Base rock will eventully become live.

3- Generally, it will take a few weeks for the bacteria to populate the dead rock.

4- If they are only in containers for a few hours, they should be fine with just some circulation.

5- I did the transfer the same day...so everything went in.

6- Correct.

You shouldn't have any problems. When I did my move I didn't have any livestock losses or any chemistry issues afterwards.
I didn't see any mention of sand. If you are also transferring your sand, I suggest you only save a few cups and thoroughly wash the rest in freshwater before putting it in the new tank.
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:51 PM   #3
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You`ll do fine. Just keep everything wet on the transfer and it will be fine.
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:57 PM   #4
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Wow---that was a really quick and helpful reply, thanks!

I am planning the whole move in 1 day.

The only twist is that I was gonna do a few water changes in the weeks leading up to the move. I`d put the "old" pod-filled water into the new tank , with some rubble rock from the old tank and a powerhead. That way---when I made the big move, almost the entire 120 gallons would have once come from the original tank. I thought that was the most stable way of doing it.

What about acclimation? Do I have to do some kind of "Drip" thing into each holding container?
Or if I keep the temperature steady in the house, can I just gently place everything in the new digs?

About the sand----How much should I keep unwashed?

Wont I be losing lots of needed live-stuff if I wash it?

thanks again
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:42 PM   #5
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I would shy away from your twist. The reason we do pwc's is to replenish trace elements and dilute pollutants. Do you want to start a tank with deplenished and polluted water? I would not start a tank with pwc water.

As long as the temp, sg and pH match, drop everything in.

I would only used 2-3 cups of the old sand. You will lose some good live stuff, but the loss is outweighed by all the junk that has accumulated in the sand that would be transferred. More than likely that would start a little cycle.
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:05 PM   #6
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[quote=cccapt;889906]I would shy away from your twist. The reason we do pwc's is to replenish trace elements and dilute pollutants. Do you want to start a tank with deplenished and polluted water? I would not start a tank with pwc water.
quote]

Yeah, of course your right---thats a case of me thinking too much. Thanks for catching it.

Is totally new live sand prefferable to my washed old sand? Ive got a real deep sand bed in there, so again, I could save a lot of dough if washing it is OK.

Well, by all acounts (including LFS) this is not gonna be too big a deal. If there is one thing Ive learned in these 2 years is that if you do things right and methodically, the actual sea-life is not quite as delicate as one imagines it to be.

thanks a million......
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cccapt View Post
I would only used 2-3 cups of the old sand. You will lose some good live stuff, but the loss is outweighed by all the junk that has accumulated in the sand that would be transferred. More than likely that would start a little cycle.
I agree with Larry. Buy new sand and seed it with a cup or two of the old sand.
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