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Old 11-28-2005, 12:34 AM   #1
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how do i upgrade from a 5.5 to a

hello...ive had my 5.5 gallon for about 1 month...i want to upgrade it to a 10 gallon...My question is. How do i upgrade it...besides supplies...as of right now i have a scarlet hermit crab, damsel, and a citron goby. how do i upgrade it and get it setup without killing my fish? Any comments appreciated...josh

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Old 11-28-2005, 10:18 AM   #2
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You basically have to run the 10 gallon empty for a while. You'll need to buy almost a duplicate of everything. Is that 5.5 heated?

Throwing a little shrimp (like... frozen, the kind you eat) and running the tank with the filter for a week or 2 should do it. Also, if you take some old filter media from your 5.5 it will speed up the cycling process.

Some people will cycle with live fish... i personally have a hard time doing this, as it can be hard/fatal with the fish you use. The shrimp does the same job.

you may want to keep both One as your nice "show" tank, and the 5.5 around to quarentine.

SO: Heater and filter, run it for a week or so. try and get a water tester that does ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and PH. Once you have little or no nitrates and ammonia, its safe to add your fish slowly (maybe 1 every few days)

Basically, think of your tank as a composter that needs to be jump-started. The fish make the waste, and bacteria brakes it down (eventually) into nitrates.


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Old 11-28-2005, 10:20 AM   #3
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I just moved my 40g 2 weeks ago, but I'm sure your experience will be a lot better than mine! I'll tell you what I would do for your size tank. If I catch something that you don't have, I'll try to help you out with it. Make sure you read it a few times until you get the hang of it. Here goes:

Items needed: 100 watt heater (would be best just in case it gets too cold out, you won't have to worry about it getting too cold in the tank. If you have a 50 watt already, you could get away with it.)
What kind of filter do you have? I would recommend something equivalent to a penguin bio-wheel 200 (100gph). (It probably has a higher gph than the filter that you have now, and would help with filtration)
LR -- If you don't have LR you should get about 10-20 lbs of it to help with your filtration and to prevent another nitrogen cycle, especially if you're transferring your tank. (See if you can get "pre-cured" from your LFS)
If you have LS, make sure you have 10-30 lbs of it. If not, use the substrate that you already have, but make sure you have 10-30 lbs of whatever you have.
5 more gallons of salt-water
Airline tubing
A net or a cup to catch the fish
A cup to transfer your sand (if you have it already)
A tall 1 gallon(or close to 1 gallon) container for your fish
New canopy to fit the top of it
New light

The transfer:

1.) Add 5 gallons of the new saltwater to the 10g.
2.) Add the heater so that the water can begin to heat.
3.) Add your filter.
4.) Add/Transfer your LS(or whatever substrate you have) with a
plastic cup and/or Add/Transfer LR.
5.) With your airline or siphon, add about 3 gallons of water from
your 5.5g to your 10g. (or you could use a plastic cup)
6.) Fill the container 1/4 to 1/3 full with your 5.5g water.
7.) Add your fish and your hermit crab to the container.
7.) Add the rest of the water from your 5.5g to your 10g
to finish off the water transfer.
8.) Acclimate your fish with water from the 10g. (Use the airline tubing
to drip acclimate your 10g water into the small container)
9.) After the container is full, place it in the tank and let the fish and
crab swim out and let out the rest of the water in that 10g tank.
8.) Add your canopy and your light.
9.) Clean the floor. =)

You shouldn't lose any fish this way, the tank shouldn't go through another cycle since you are using the water from your old tank and/or your LR and LS. You can keep your 5.5g for a QT, which is what I would do, and set it up the way it was, but without LR. (Just incase you might use some medications in the future and you don't want to kill your LR.)

Hope this helps you out a little. Let me know if I forgot anything at all! Good luck!!
40 gal Reef
45 # LR
1 Black and White Clown
1 Bi-color Blenny
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Several hermits
Several snails
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:31 AM   #4
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thanks so much! i will def be doing that when i get back from work...hehe i'll letcha know how it goes...i just hope i dotn kill my citron goby! hehe thanks again!
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Old 11-28-2005, 11:26 AM   #5
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When I upgraded my 38gal reef to a 72 gal it was pretty easy. Have enough well-aged SW on hand. You will likely need more sustrate to add to what ever it is you have. Put down the new substrate fist, remove the water and fish from the 5.5 to a bucket. put your cycled substrate on top of the new. Add some aged SW that matches Ph, SG and temp of your tank water. Add the tank water and fish and any LR if you have it. Fill up the remaining room with the rest of the SW. Keep an eye on water parameters for a couple of weeks and be ready to do PWC as needed.
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