Originally Posted by Ericwm
Did you transfer all of your live stock at the same time? That is what I am thinking for my upgrade but I really want it to go smoothly because I really like my current stock and don't want to loose any. Did you transfer the water too or just start new?
It's always tricky transferring live stock! Yes I did.
It's been about 5 to 6 weeks now and no fish has died. So I am assuming the worst is over. I did add three new fish to the mix, and it's been a week now and no issue. I think all the live sand and live rock has really helped with keeping everything just right.
What I did was drain about 15 gallons of water into a 18 gallon bucket. I than moved ALL of my live rock out of my 29 gallon into the bucket. I than unhooked my filter and set it up to run in the bucket while I was doing everything else.
With all the rock out catching the fish was easy. I filled up 1 gallon tubs for each fish I had and one more for my hermit crabs. I had total of 5 tubs. I put each fish into their own tub and set them on a table and covered them with a blanket so they would be in total darkness.
I proceeded to vacuum all the top layer of my live sand and took about 10 pounds of it into the bucket. I dumped the top layer of sand out and kept the bottom layer to transferred to the new tank. I had 60 pounds of live sand in total, 50 pounds after I vacuumed up all the junk. I than stirred up all the sand to release any gasses that might have built up. I let it sit for 2 hours while I set up the 55 gallon.
I moved the old 29 gallon tank from the spot I had it, and put the 55 gallon stand in the old spot. I made sure the stand was cleaned off and I cleaned the tank with just water. While I was doing this my friend was rinsing out the new sand I had bought (I didn't buy live sand, just 30 more pounds of normal sand). Once he was done, and the tank was in place I put then new sand on the bottom of the tank.
I than took the old live sand from my old tank and put it on top of the new sand. With that I got about a 3 to 4in sand bed. I than proceeded to add the new rock that I bought (15 more pounds) to the new tank, and I added the old rock. Did some aquascaping and added the old water from the bucket to the tank.
I than added all the new water that I prepared two days before set up time. In total I added 17 gallons of old tank water and about 30 gallons of new tank water. The other 8 gallons was displaced with rock and sand.
I poured a bottle of bio-spira in to help out with keeping the cycle down, and I added back all my equipment. Turned everything on and waited for about an hour for the water to clear up some more.
Once the water was a little less cloudy, I added back my fish. In total it too me and a friend about four hours to complete the process of moving the 29 gallon tank to the 55 gallon. I did not have no spike in ammonia, and my tank did not cycle really. I believe this was because I kept most of my live sand "Live" without rinsing it, and because I had 50 pounds of live rock already with a good strong Bactria colonies on them. I also think adding more rock helped, and the bio-spria helped as well I believe.
Overall I have had a good experience.