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Old 08-16-2014, 12:14 AM   #1
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Tank Upgrade Question

Hey all,

I'm going to upgrade my 12 gallon SPS dominated tank in the near future, and I'd like some advice from people who have been through similar situations.

Right now, I have a 12 gallon display with a 20 gallon sump with appx 25-30 lbs of live rock between the sump and display. I'm going to be upgrading to a ~50 gallon display and a 50 gallon sump. I have about 60 lbs of really awesome "dry" rock ready. I have new lights, skimmer, etc...basically everything I need for this upgrade.

I have a bunch of acros, a BTA and a clam in the existing tank...The only non SPS corals in the tank are a couple of ricordeas

I figure I'd start with all new sand and eventually transfer most of the live rock from my sump to the new sump so I have around 100 pounds of rock between a 50 gallon sump & 50 gallon display.

So the question is, how would you approach getting the rock "cured", dealing with a cycle and being able to put the stand for this new tank in the exact same place as my existing setup?

If you've done this before, double karma for your experiences or links to threads where you documented it :)

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:03 AM   #2
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Why do you want to "cure" the rock that you payed so much money for? Back when you set up the 12g since your using base rock.

Why not just do a soft cycle? There are several great articles on here about it. You can contact Wy Renegade, who knows plenty about it.

As for putting the tank in the same place, you can transfer everything to 5 gallon buckets (the rock remaining in water) and then move the tank in, and set it up.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:29 AM   #3
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I wouldn't soft cycle a tank with a clam and nems in it. Op the biggest problem I see is the fact that you want the tanks in the same spot, if you can drain the running tank enough to move it then I would just cycle the dry rock with ammonia or raw shrimp and transfer slowly from there (you may have the original tank running in a new spot for a few more months) or find a different spot for the new one and proceed the same way. Because (JMO) but I'd be very careful with the clam and nem, and add them a few months after starting to transfer to the new tank because it doesn't take much for either of those (especially the clam) to go downhill fast.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:35 AM   #4
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I wouldn't soft cycle a tank with a clam and nems in it. Op the biggest problem I see is the fact that you want the tanks in the same spot, if you can drain the running tank enough to move it then I would just cycle the dry rock with ammonia or raw shrimp and transfer slowly from there (you may have the original tank running in a new spot for a few more months) or find a different spot for the new one and proceed the same way. Because (JMO) but I'd be very careful with the clam and nem, and add them a few months after starting to transfer to the new tank because it doesn't take much for either of those (especially the clam) to go downhill fast.

If I'm reading this correctly, the original display has a sump with Liverock in it. He could leave the 12g running with the clam, nem and acro, and transfer his rock from the sump to the new display. This would require a soft cycle, unless you want to kill all that established bacteria that very few take account for.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:54 AM   #5
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Ok I see what you mean, yes that would work, misunderstood you . Thought you meant like you upgraded.
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:15 AM   #6
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No no no... Why would I want to kill a prize tridacna!
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:34 PM   #7
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Why do you want to "cure" the rock that you payed so much money for? Back when you set up the 12g since your using base rock.
The new rock I have is "dry" and has been sitting outdoors for several months. My 12 gallon has pods, bristle worms, etc galore.

So if I'm understanding right, it sounds like I could relatively safely transfer everything from the 12 gallon into the new tank including moving things from the old sump into the new sump and do the swap. I'd use a decent amount of stability and primer in the new tank to help prevent any kind of mini-cycle. So basically like doing a tank move, which I have helped people do before with great success.

I could start curing the new dry rock in a trashcan and keep that going for a few months. So after time, when PO4 and nitrates look good, I can transfer that over and go for my final aquascape.

Thoughts?
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Old 08-16-2014, 01:00 PM   #8
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That would scare the crap out of me with a clam in the tank....... Jmo though
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Old 08-16-2014, 01:18 PM   #9
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That would scare the crap out of me with a clam in the tank....... Jmo though
Specifically why would it scare you? Do you have alternative thoughts?

I think these animals are a lot more resilient than people think. I had my first acropora in the 12 gallon in about 4 weeks after getting it wet. I started with fantastic live rock that was full of life. It has encrusted and grown like mad over the last year and a half.
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Old 08-16-2014, 01:19 PM   #10
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And note, I'm not trying to seem that I'm careless with the health of my corals/etc. Obviously out of respect for the animals, I don't want to see any losses, which is why i'm posting here
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Old 08-16-2014, 01:29 PM   #11
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Because clams make acros look easy IME, it doesn't take much to have a healthy clam turn into a dead clam. And even though the rock your using to start the tank is established the system is far from mature. I'd go as slow as possible with the clam, jmo though.
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Old 08-16-2014, 02:29 PM   #12
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I think there is an easy solution to this. Cure the rock in another container. I used a big plastic kegerator with a heater and powerhead when I upgraded from my 36 to my 55. This gave me the side time to scrub the rock down well between shifts at work and when I was happy with what was going on, toss everything into the new tank.
Similar concept with when you have to take down the smaller tank, 5 gallon buckets for the existing stock and water from the tank. Make the move quick enough you won't need the heater.
Only thing that will be a pain is sand. I never suggest using old sand...just nitrate traps. To keep things stable you'd want the rock in first and THEN pour sand in... This will be a mess, of course, but using some PVC piping to gently pour the sand into the bottom will help prevent any sand storms.
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Old 08-16-2014, 02:45 PM   #13
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I think there is an easy solution to this. Cure the rock in another container. I used a big plastic kegerator with a heater and powerhead when I upgraded from my 36 to my 55. This gave me the side time to scrub the rock down well between shifts at work and when I was happy with what was going on, toss everything into the new tank.
Similar concept with when you have to take down the smaller tank, 5 gallon buckets for the existing stock and water from the tank. Make the move quick enough you won't need the heater.
Only thing that will be a pain is sand. I never suggest using old sand...just nitrate traps. To keep things stable you'd want the rock in first and THEN pour sand in... This will be a mess, of course, but using some PVC piping to gently pour the sand into the bottom will help prevent any sand storms.
Thanks!

So in your experience when the rock is fully cured and you did the tank move, everything went well?
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Old 08-16-2014, 04:22 PM   #14
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Only issue was murdering coral by letting my Radions at 100%...but that wasn't a cycle issue.
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