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Old 10-10-2010, 03:54 PM   #1
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55g conversion to 75

I run a 55g planted tank with two T5 bulbs, pressurized CO2, Turface substrate and a Cascade 1200 filter. The fish are small community tetras mostly. Nothing more complicated than a few zerbra loaches.

The 55 tank is old and the silicone is started to chip and wear away. Some algae is growing on it at parts and I'm afraid to clean it off for fear of removing more Silicone. I've wanted to move to a 75 gallon tank anyway so here's my chance!

My questions...

Should I move to a bigger filter? Cannisters are probably the only option since I don't want surface disruption. The Cascade 1200 works great in the 55g but is a little noisy.
I'll be running low on the Turface substrate. Are there any substitutes I could mix in with it to help fill up the 75? Possibly some small pea gravel? Has anyone tried this before?
Will my 48 inch T5 lights be enough for the 75g? I play on buying a fixture with 4 T5's in the future, but would like to squeak by with my current lighting for a little longer.

Are there any other concerns I'm missing?
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:15 PM   #2
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I prefer Fluval canister filters, on a 75 I would recommend the FX5.

You could add almost any substrate in to what you have to supplement and fill the 75.

A 75 is the same length and height so you wouldn't really need more light depending on how you arrange the plants, or at least a second light could wait a little while until it is a little more affordable. You could simply add another 2 bulb HO T5 fixture (I am assuming that is what you have now) rather than buying a 4 bulb and replacing your current fixture.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:55 PM   #3
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Thats great news on the substrate. I think I'll go with a small black gravel to darken up the light brown Turface. I hadn't considered just buying an extra 2 bulb HO fixture. That would make more sense, thanks!

I looked into the FX5 filter and that seems like a bit of over kill doesnt it? I won't be keeping very messy fish in the 75 in the first place and all the heavy plants should help keep the water clean. I suspected the Cascade 1200 might not be enough, but I didn't think I'd need to go that extreme with a new canister.
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:07 PM   #4
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I would go with at least a Fluval 405 in addition to the Cascade. My 75 has two 405s and I wish I just had an FX5 (it would have been cheaper anyways, but I already had the 405s). If it is lightly stocked you could definitely get away with less, I just prefer to go with more, especially if I change the stocking at a leter time.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:06 PM   #5
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Got the tank and stand! Unfortunately, I fell prey to a sales pitch. They took $100 off the tank price if I bought a filter from them. Unfortunately all they had was a Marineland 360. I've read reviews that they can leak of not handled well, so I'll probably have my work cut out for me. If I'm running the 360 and the Cascade 1200, I assume I'll want the outputs and opposite ends pointing at the middle?

thanks again for all the advice.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:36 AM   #6
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When you say "conversion", does that mean you're cutting apart the 55g to make it a 75g?
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:38 PM   #7
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No, nothing complicated . I bought a 75g new tank and will be moving everything in the 55 over to it. Then I hope to reseal the 55 and try an african cichlid tank, but thats a whole other project!
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:47 PM   #8
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Good call.
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Old 10-14-2010, 02:39 PM   #9
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Well, the dreaded moving day is coming up. My 55g is on the second floor and it's contents are going into the 75g in the basement. I've got a rough idea of how to do things, but could someone pick through it and point out any inefficiencies/bad ideas?

1. remove canister filter on the 55 and put half of the dirty filter media in the NEW second canister filter to help avoid any cycle (I'll have both canisters running at opposite ends in the new 75).
2. Take out all drift wood and plants, putting plants in wet rag.
3. Remove 30+ fish and place them in large buckets full of existing tank water.
4. Remove substrate in buckets.
5. Put substrate in new 75 tank, along with rocks and driftwood.
6. Fill new tank w/tap water, add lots of PRIME, get two canister filters running, and plug in heaters.
7. replant the green stuff with fresh root tabs.
8. wait for temperature to be right, add a little more Prime, then add fish.

I'm hoping the fish won't be in the tank for more than a few hours. Should this be ok? I don't own any airstones and feel uncomfortable putting a 150w heater in a plastic bucket. Speaking of heaters, will two 150w's be enough for a 75g?

thanks for reading all this. All warnings and tips are appreciated.
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:20 PM   #10
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2. Throw the plants into a bucket of water. When I moved, I left a piece of driftwood with java ferns out of the water because I figured the wood would have enough water for a while. My mother fern lost several large leaves because they dried out too much. I was worried about losing the plant.

3. If you keep the buckets at room temperature, they should be fine for a while. Consider adding Prime to control the ammonia in the unfiltered buckets.

Everything else sounds fine.
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