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Old 12-02-2008, 06:37 PM   #1
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want to rearrange the tank.

i really want to re arrange my rock work, sift all of the big chunks out of my sand and clean off my glass really good. i dont want to do it with any livestock in the tank to make sure that i dont kill anything. i can easily make a list of everything and get it out. the only question is where to put it and how can i keep everything alive for as many as 6 hours out of the tank? (i take a while to get everything to my standards). i have a spare 16 gallon that i could easily use for a little while and a small powerhead that i could use for some flow, and i can take the airstone out of my skimmer for some air. ill be transferring most of the water out of the tank in to the holding tank and ill be putting most of it back in. does this sound ok? im just sick of needing to clean the tank all of the time and getting in between the rocks and the glass is just a hassle so im going to rearrange all of the rock.
Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:47 PM   #2
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IMO that looks like a lot of work. but if you want take a shot at it then I don't see why not use a holding tank for them just for a little bit. But I usually re-arrange them while they are in my tank I just move my LR to one side of my tank and as well as my live stock. I think it's easier than setting up a whole different holding tank... and plus once they see I am moving stuff around they usually stay one one side anyways... and it would prevent shock for the fish taking them out of the water....
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:52 PM   #3
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i did it once before when i had only a few things and it worked fine. but i ended up losing a shrimp because of squishing it i believe. and i have a goby that is extreemly jittery and cant handle anything if any foreign things in the tank. and i would hate to crush him. i think that id be much better off removing everything than leaving it all in.
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:12 PM   #4
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I have honestly never had a problem re-scaping my tank with all livestock in it. I would wear some gloves and go for it, and do a good water change after. Good luck.
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:13 PM   #5
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i still think i might transfer to help me sleep that night, i really just dont want to risk anything.
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:22 PM   #6
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I would add as much of the rock into the holding tank for the biofilter. Other than that, I don't see any real issues. I wouldn't try to stir up too much old sand and definitely have some PWC ready.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:09 PM   #7
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yep, plannin on a bunch of extra water, i have an idea for gettting the bigger rocks out of the sand so we'll see if it works or not.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:54 PM   #8
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i still think i might transfer to help me sleep that night, i really just dont want to risk anything.

Keep it simple we all to often create problems by making things overly complex...
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:47 AM   #9
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I think there are a few days to think about this.
For one, 6 hours is a long time to stress the fish with your hand in there, rockwork moving around, and with elevated nitrates from stirring up the sand and rocks. There's also the chance of crushing/injuring one of them during the rearranging.
The other thing to consider is, even if you had a holding tank, you should still wait longer than just 6 hours before transferring the fish back in, some of the debris you've raised out of the water will cause a change in water parimeters, and you'll have to wait for these to go back down.
In an established tank, it doesn't take a lot to cause large swings in water perimeters and hurt your livestock.
If it's a simple rearranging, then sure leave them in, and just move slowly. Turn off your powerheads so if you do stir anything up from the sand/rocks it doesn't end up affecting your entire tank too quickly.
In my experience (with FW, not SW), I usually use a holding tank when I want to do a complete tear-down and re-set up again.
If this is the endeavour you wish to take, then I would do the following:
1 - Make new SW and keep it in a tub, enough to do a good 40%-50% water change after your rearranging. Make sure your water is buffered, and to make this a few days in advance.
2 - Fill up another tub, large bucket, or holding tank with water from your main tank. Put a live rock in there for hiding, a heater, and an airstone in there. I wouldn't worry too much about a powerhead / water flow, especially in a bucket (cause a whirlpool effect)... remember, when they were transported from the ocean they were in bags for hours. Keep your holding tank in a dark room somewhere to keep them more relaxed, without much commotion going on around them.
3 - I would remove the rocks (keeping them moist), then clean the glass, then clean the sand bed. Also go through the filtration, cleaning out the tubes, media, etc.
4 - Put the rocks back into the aquarium. Turn the filtration back on.
5 - Remove as much water as you will be replacing with new SW in the tub. (40-50%)
6 - Wait around 2-3 hours for the water to settle
7 - Introduce the new SW into the aquarium
8 - Test water perimeters, ensure your pH, salinity, ammonia, nitrates, nitrites are similar to the original perimeters in the holding tank (or better).
9 - If there is a large deviance in the water perimeters, then wait hours (a day?) until the aquarium settles, it may be a good idea to re-acclimate the fish to the aquarium again if there is a big difference in water quality, instead of shocking them when you drop them back in again.
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:13 PM   #10
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yea ii have a few days. so would a 5gallon bucket be ok to keep them in? other than that i only have a 16 gallon tank that if im doin 50% would be where i'd have to keep the water in.
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