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Old 03-02-2006, 01:23 AM   #1
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best way to switch to new tank?

today i just noticed a tiny crack in the top of my 10 gal, so before it spreads any more and i have a huge mess (and dead fish), i want to get a new tank. what's the best way to transfer everything over with least stress and biological losses?

figures. just when i start to have plants that are survivng.
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Old 03-02-2006, 02:08 AM   #2
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start running the filter you plan on using in your new tank on the tank you hav now for a few days and let it get setup, put your fish in a bucket full of the water from your broke aquarium, drain it, keep the plants in the water, and move everything over, try to save as much water from your old aquariu mas possible so it saves on the cycling process, check your levels and add your fish if everything is ok
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Old 03-02-2006, 06:52 AM   #3
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If you are moving everything over, then drain 3/4 of the tank water into a pail/bucket, move the fish in. take out any decorations, remove the heater and filter.. Drain the remaining water and substrate into a pail then run water through it (clean it) sticking a hose at the bottom and turning the tap on will do this. Then drain as much water out of the pail as you can and add the gravel to the new tank. Then add some of the pail water in, try to resist the urge to pour, the fish won't like the smacking into the gravel. Once you get the tank up to half then net the fish out into the new tank then add the rest, put your heater and filter on the tank and add the remaining water from the bucket and decorations. Top off with dechlorinated tap water.

You can also use a new substrate if you choose, it would make the move faster.
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Old 03-02-2006, 10:10 AM   #4
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Yep, keep your filter's biomedia moist during the transfer, and when you get it done you still have an established bio filter. Just a warning on moving over the gravel: a lot of nutrients and waste tends to accumulate in the gravel. By moving it over, you will disturb the gravel. What was a slow degredation process might speed up, temporarily causing a spike in the nitrogen cycle. It should be short lived though, probably only a few days.

Good luck! Its a lot of work!
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Old 03-02-2006, 04:12 PM   #5
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Drain the remaining water and substrate into a pail then run water through it (clean it) sticking a hose at the bottom and turning the tap on will do this.
why would you kill the bacteria by washing the gravel under tap water? When i moved tanks, I transfered water to a pail, put the fish in there, took out all the decorations, drained the rest of the water down to the top of the gravel and saved it. moved all the gravel STRAIGHT from the old tank. Most of the mulm from the gravel is then left in the old tank, and put into the new tank. Then i put all the water i took from the old tank and put it in the new tank, netted out the fish put them in, and then topped off the tank with fresh water.

Lots of bateria lives in the gravel, i wouldn't wash it
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Old 03-02-2006, 04:31 PM   #6
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Sorry, I assumed the water was similar to mine (contains no chlorine or chloramine).. however I doubt this would kill the bacteria in the gravel, but by not rinsing or washing it you risk having a lot of anerobic bacteria die off (TomK2 "What was a slow degredation process might speed up, temporarily causing a spike in the nitrogen cycle.")

Bacteria are far more resilient then fish, IMO. besides, the ones you want are everywhere, but we rely on the filter for the "cycle", washing the rocks is no different then changing the substrate.
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Old 03-02-2006, 08:50 PM   #7
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I wasn't really concerned with preserving the bacteria in the gravel, I think your preserved biomedia in the filter can handle the ammonia from the fish, but no doubt significant numbers of bacteria live in and on the gravel. I suppose well rinsed gravel would prevent a nutrient surge from gravel mulm, but I would still keep an eye out for an ammonia or nitrite spike the first week. I think of a gravel transfer as more disruptive than a gravel vac, and with a gravel vac most, if not all, of the mulm goes out the python. Thus, a concern that unwashed gravel transfered from a long term well established tank could churn up the mulm and cause the equivalent of a nutrient surge with ammonia and nitrite spikes. I would also think that these spikes would be short lived and easily dealt with water changes if they got high enough, and perhaps it might not even happen at all.

I would rinse the gravel while transfering it, and think of it as a rare opportunity for the ultimate gravel vac. To each his own, jcarlilesiu?
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Old 03-02-2006, 10:17 PM   #8
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for sure, to each their own. By leaving a small amount of water in the old tank, while removing the gravel, i just swished it around in that water before putting it in the new tank. This helped get all the solid mulm out, leaving the small amount of water in the tank full of the waste.

I guess I rely on my tank more for baterial growth than I do my filter. I keep my filter relativly clean, with the exception of the bio wheel of course, so I don't depend on bacterial build up on the media all that much.

Like you said, to each their own.
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