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Old 03-08-2015, 05:22 AM   #1
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Lightbulb The proper way to upgrade a larger tank?

I am interested in performing a point-to-point transfer of all items in fully cycled (running for 1+ year) 5.5 gallon tank to a 20 gallon long tank and I have not read anywhere if this is possible.

The plan is to transfer as much old equipment to the new tank as possible to reduce the need to cycle the new tank. As I understand, there is beneficial bacteria in the prefilter sponge on the HOB that I have now, as well as in the filter medium. I'll move over the melon sized portion of Java moss, and all the Marimo balls. I'll move the heater over as well. As for the substrate, I'll probably upgrade from black sand to Eco complete.

Is such a plan possible? I cannot wait to cycle the larger tank because I am transferring the heater and the filter to the larger tank, and then I will retire the small tank.

Lesser Details: I have a 5.5 gallon TopFin kit originally just for a male HMPK betta, but over time I added some red cherries and then some beautiful blue velvet shrimp. Unfortunately the betta developed a taste for shrimp and even started viciously diving into the canteloupe sized java moss portion to get at them. I currently have the betta in one of those mesh breeder traps until I have a more permanent solution.

I have a plan, but I am a relative novice to fish keeping, so I am seeking advice to help me to avoid mistakes.

I want to upgrade to a 20 gallon long and divide the tank into a 5 gallon section for the betta and a 15 gallon section for the shrimp with an aquarium divider. Betta side will have the same HOB filter and I will introduce a new double sponge filter / air pump on the shrimp side to keep both sides well filtered. I'd then lose the 5.5 gallon tank.

Anyways, please advise! Thank you!
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Old 03-10-2015, 12:53 AM   #2
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Old 03-12-2015, 10:58 AM   #3
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You should be fine keeping all the stuff your planning to keep. Once you have everything together just swap them out.

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Old 03-12-2015, 08:49 PM   #4
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The proper way to upgrade a larger tank?

I did similar a couple of weeks ago. Be careful of the type of silicone you use on the divider and your plants. My plants didn't appreciate being uprooted and are struggling. But fish and shrimps are doing fine.
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Old 03-12-2015, 11:54 PM   #5
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Ok great, thank you both for the advice!

I love that cylinder shape block of wood. Is that mopani?

I was thinking to get one of those mesh dividers from Petco rather than using silicone to keep it in place. I've never actually used silicone before.
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Old 03-13-2015, 03:10 AM   #6
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Personally I don't use any silicone. I just cut a piece of plastic from a lid or the bottom of a tote to fit pretty close to tight so fish can't get threw

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Old 03-13-2015, 02:23 PM   #7
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I don't remember but I bought it almost 2 yrs ago off ebay. Haha not much help but if I can find the name I'll let you know. It's full of all sorts of holes that the shrimp like.

How do you keep the panels in place during WC?


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Old 03-13-2015, 02:43 PM   #8
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They fit pretty tight. the bottoms down into the substrate. If it fits a little lose I just use a suction cup on each side

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Old 03-15-2015, 02:24 AM   #9
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@AndrewMcFadden: I'll keep your advice in mind. I noticed you have a real jungle of catappa leaves. I've just been adding a small section of one leaf at a time. Do you find that dumping a whole bunch of them helps a lot? I really do like how it looks, like natural leaf litter.

@xigtc: Whatever wood it is, it may have played a role in inspiring me to buy a mopani piece I found while browsing other supplies. I was wondering how you keep your moss so healthy. My java moss seems to slowly be turning yellow no matter what I'm doing. I've heard it's supposed to be easy to take care of, but here I am with dying moss.

Well in other news, I just received all the parts for the aquarium. Just put the sponge filter into the 5.5 gallon to start to build up some good bacteria. Just need to decide on a proper aquarium stand before I have everything make the tranfer and hopefully not lose too many shrimp. I know the betta will be fine. They're the hardiest of all aquarium pets, aside from maybe planaria :p
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Old 03-15-2015, 01:53 PM   #10
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I kinda like the look plus it helps with my ph and that tank is my Apistogramma breeding tanks

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Old 03-15-2015, 02:09 PM   #11
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I do have a nice led light made by Current USA, but I don't use any fertilizers. So I guess you could say my fish make good fertilizer haha.


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Old 03-15-2015, 04:02 PM   #12
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What you could do to save your shrimp is build shrimp tube castle. Take 3/4 pvc pipe, and cut say 5 pieces to 6 inches. Then you can tie or glue the pieces together to form a pyramid shape, and put moss, java fern, or anubias on the tubes. Weight the tubes down with rocks, and your shrimp have a safe place to escape the betta. Does that make sense?

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Old 03-15-2015, 09:23 PM   #13
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It may still mini cycle changing the substrate. Imo

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Old 04-01-2015, 09:14 PM   #14
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The change to the 20 gallon long is complete, no shrimp deaths whatsoever. Thanks for your advice!
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20 gallon, 5.5 gallon, blue velvet shrimp, cycling, large, new tank, rcs, red cherry shrimp, shrimp with betta, tank, upgrade

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