Am I going to lose my fish? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-01-2007, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
MattD's Avatar
Am I going to lose my fish?

Hi there.

Akin to my other post, this is in regards to obtaining a new, much larger tank within the next few days. I currently have an established 20 gallon with 2 ghost shrimp, 1 vampire shrimp and 4 corys. Shortly, I will be getting a 33 gallon or a 50 gallon, not sure which one, as it depends on what store I go to. However, due to my housing and space situation, I can only have one tank at any time (there's only one empty space for tank placement). This leads me to being forced to transfer my fish directly over to the new tank as soon as it is fully set up.

My question is obvious. If I were to use the same media in my current filter, transfer the same substrate, and the exact same ornaments and plants from my established tank, will this provide sufficient beneficial bacteria colonies to keep my fish alive? Should I expect fish loss? Any tips or advice? Worst case scenario, I expect my cories to pull through (these guys are battle axes, survived every hardship and disaster my tank has thrown at them), but I fear the loss of my ghost shrimp and prized vampire shrimp.

I understand that I need to cycle tanks first, but if I do get this new tank, there's no way I'll be able to let it sit for several weeks while my fish hang out in my current 20 gal, there's just no room for it.

Thanks a lot for any help!

Tanks: 40 gal FW setup, 10 gal Reef tank.

Old BC8 setup:
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-01-2007, 11:40 AM
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If at all possible do as you plan with the substrate and filter media.
Also if possible use as much of the water.
I recently added a 10g for a Nursery tank to my growing collection.
Here's what I did:
I did a 30% water change on my 29g...right into the 10g filling it up.
I held the syphon in mid-water level so I didnt transfer any garbage.
I moved one of my HOB filters over to the smaller tank(with all the same media in it).

In your case you'll end up short if you use all the water from your other tank...but just treat the new water you'll add to top it off with as if you were simply doing a water change on the bigger tank.

I once moved a 200g saltwater setup and used all of the same water by transferring the water in metal garbage cans lined with plastic trash bags(rinsed out) that were filled half full then tied shut.
It's a pain but it can be done

During the transfer and setup of the new tank...keep your fish in a clean/rinsed bucket thats not been used for anything else with an airstone(portable battery operated aerators work great for this)
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-01-2007, 11:47 AM
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Keep a close watch on your water parameters when you're done. Mini-cycles will always follow through after transport but water changes will be able to rectify your problems such detected presence of ammonia and nitrites.:)

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post #4 of 6 Old 06-01-2007, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Indeed. Thanks for the advice. My fish will most likely be kept in a 5g or so bucket, I have an air pump with a hose I'll use to provide them with oxygen while they hang out. I considered keeping some of the water (I was right I suppose), so I'll need to pick up extra buckets I guess. Thanks guys!

Tanks: 40 gal FW setup, 10 gal Reef tank.

Old BC8 setup:
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-01-2007, 02:09 PM
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Great advice so far!,

If you parameters do get out of control you could run some carbon or a carbon mixture type chemical media to temporarily control your levels until your biological filtration catches up...
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-02-2007, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Well, the transition is complete, and my fish are now in the new 38 gallon. I'll post some pics of it later on. I had JUST enough gravel from my 20 gal to form a thin layer in this tank, I'll probably pick up a new bag within the next couple of days.

Checked water parameters, currently everything is at 0. I transferred the older filter media, combined it with new media (including halving one mature sponge and combining it with half a new one), and all the old ornaments and plants are in the new tank. Logically there's enough bacteria to sustain my bio-load, as it did in my 20 gal. I don't expect water parameters to spike too much, if at all. There are only 4 very small fish, and 3 small shrimp in a 38 gallon tank. Plenty of room for dilution. :D :D

Can't wait to take some pics soon!

Edit. Here is the tank!:

I love it!

Tanks: 40 gal FW setup, 10 gal Reef tank.

Old BC8 setup:
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