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Old 04-23-2013, 12:35 AM   #1
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Switching tanks-never done this

About a week and a half ago, my 65 gal fowlr sprung quite a few leaks and we had to do an emergency evac of the fish. We set up a 45 gal Rubbermaid with the filter, powerheads, and heater, and they have been in there since then. They also have some PVC structures to hide out in. The fish are two clowns and three blue reef chromis. There was also a royal gramma but she died after the switch. I was worried about her making it, she has never handled stress well since I have had her. They were in hypo for ich...I believe I made a mistake during a water change that stressed them that caused the ich. I caused the salinity to change drastically very quickly. Stupid. So when the tank started leaking and there was an additional stressor....that was really bad timing. And I'm so sad that I lost her. Anyways, I have a few questions...thanks for your patience as I am still learning...

While they have been in the Rubbermaid, we bought a new tank and had to reaquascape, because the tank is a different size and shape. My live rock sat out and dried up while we did this. We also purchased new sand, because the old tank was just a mess and we just needed to get it out of here. I know that was probably a mistake because the old sand could have offered some good bacteria for the new tank. But I panicked. So right now I have my new sand and my live rock which is now probably not so live in the new tank. The fish are doing fine in the Rubbermaid for now, the bacteria in the filter seems to be enough to keep up with the bioload. I am testing the water every day to make sure of that. But I'm wondering what my next step is. Will my new tank have to completely recycle, even with the bb from the filter, if I moved that over? I have an extra filter...maybe I need to just keep the fish in the Rubbermaid for the next month or so, and run the new tank until it cycles? Or do you think I could move them over now?

The other question I had is...when I do move them over, can I do it all at once, or should I move the clowns first, and wait a little while, and then add the chromis, like you naturally would? There was no aggression between anyone before, but now I will have disturbed the order of things.

Thank you for your help!! I don't know what I would do without you.

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Old 04-23-2013, 08:29 AM   #2
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ok so what is done is done we can not cry over spilled milk so to say i would cycle the tank again only because if your live rock died off you wont have nearly enough bb to just put in fish is the new tank bigger or smaller or same size? also be sure your live rock is really dead before you make any decision hope this helps and good luck

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75 gallon (community)
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:43 AM   #3
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This is only a recommendation.

I had moved my whole tank over from a 29 gallon tank to a 55 gallon tank. I used;

Instant Ocean Bio-Spira Start Up Nitrifying Bacteria Aquarium Additive at PETCO

It helped my tank out. I have not had issues, and it's been two weeks. I did move over my live sand and my live rock. Also my filter media, so I am sure that is helping out a lot.

If the fish are fine in the rubber maid, I would leave them in while your tank cycles fully. If they are not fine, I would buy the bottle Bactria and follow the instructions (you need to turn everything off for 48 hours). I would add the fish, and check water daily! If you get a spike in ammonia, do 90% water change. I would keep doing this until your cycle is fully complete.

The Bio-Spira should really help! I do not have any ammonia in my tank at all. Again, this could be because I moved everything over without killing off the good bacteria.
Fish Sticks, the best thing you can do with your dead fish.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:32 PM   #4
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If your fish are doing ok in the rubbermaid I would leave them there until you're sure the new tank is okay.

For the live rock, if it is bone dry I would rinse and clean it really good to make sure you get all dead material off of it to prevent an ammonia spike. I would do the same with the sand in the old tank.

Once that is done I would set up the new tank with the sand and rocks and run some powerheads while watching the water perameters to make sure you don't get an ammonia spike.

Once I was sure the new system was stable I would swap the filter and the fish from the rubbermaid to the new tank and just watch the system.

You could even just cover all your live rock and sand just barely so you could use most of the water in the rubbermaid in the new tank.

My biggest concern would be die off from the rocks/sand bumping up ammonia really quick.
65 gallon freshwater | 14 neon tetras | 6 emerald cories | 2 zebra nerites | 5 guppies | 2 dwarf gouramis | 1 bulldog pleco | 1 golden apple | 1 bamboo shrimp | water wisteria | java fern | anubias nana | java moss
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