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Old 02-06-2010, 07:01 AM   #1
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Starting a second tank

Hi guys,

Hoping for some advice.

I've had a 35L SW aquarium (FOWLR) for 2-3 years now, and I've just purchased a new tank to use (the old one was always meant as a temporary solution until we got a nicer/newer tank).

The new tank is still 35L, and has a filter and lights built in, so is a nice simple setup. I'm just wondering if the following plan is okay for the switchover:

1. The new tank comes with quite a lot of ceramic media with its filter. I'm planning on putting this in my current tank for 3 weeks, to seed with bacteria.
2. I'll set the new tank running (new SW, mechanical filter on), and will purchase some new cured live rock (better suited in shape to the new tank). I'll keep this in the tank for a week to make sure there's no die-off/ammonia spikes etc. I'll also put a small amount of fish food in once a day to keep the bacteria going on the rock.
3. If the tank levels are still okay after 1 week, I'll then do a 25% waterchange in the new tank, and transfer from my old tank: my 3 fish (clownfish, magenta dottyback, yellow clown goby), the ceramic media which will have been in my old tank for 3 weeks, and one small piece of LR from my old tank. Obviously I'll make sure the SG/temp is the same in both tanks, and will acclimatise properly.

I'll then keep a close eye on parameters in the new tank for the first month, being ready to do a couple of waterchanges if the needs arise.

Using this plan, I'm hoping not to experience a cycle/ammonia spike in the new tank, due to the cured live rock, and the ceramic media and 1 piece of old LR that will have been seeded in my old tank.

Hope this plan is okay?

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Old 02-06-2010, 09:17 AM   #2
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Sounds like a good plan. Only thing I could see as an issue is adding all the fish at once. I'd go with one at a time to give your bio filter in the new tank a chance to catch up to the load,.add a fish, wait a week, add another,etc. Even though your using cured LR and some LR from your current tank, there probably will be a small ammonia spike the first week as the new tank cycles up. There's no way to avoid a small cycle in a new tank, everything has gotta grow and get moving.

Oh and also when you start moving stuff around in the old tank (LR, substrate) have a siphon on stand by. When you move that stuff it may kick up some nasty stuff into your old tanks water creating a mini cycle in there. When you move the rock just suck out the junk you see under it, don't let it just flow around your tank.

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Old 02-06-2010, 09:52 AM   #3
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Hi, thanks for the reply.

The only problem I have is that the new tank is in my new house which is 2 hours away! I'm coinciding the transfer with moving in. So, I won't be able to keep both tanks going; I know that would be the ideal thing to do (1 fish at a time), but I'm hoping it will be okay, as long as I feed sparingly initially, keep an eye on the parameters and keep up to water changes (25%) maybe once a week for the first month?

If there is going to be a small cycle in the new tank while everything settles down - while the fish are in there - will this cause problems for the fish? Or, as long as I keep an eye on the water parameters and do a couple of 25% waterchanges if I notice any level of ammonia/nitrite, should everything be okay as it won't be a full cycle with much of the bacteria being in there already from the new LR and the seeded filter media?
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starting, tan

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