Moving fish to new tank, 70gal to 100gal
A few months ago my tank cracked and its taken me all this time to save up for a new one and my poor African cichlids have been cramped in a 70gal. My new tank is ready to go now but i have a few questions regarding if I need to cycle the new tank. Ill be using new substrate (sand) but will be putting in all the rocks/ornaments from the other tank and also using the same filter that's been running for about a year. Will that be enough to keep the new tank from having a mini cycle do u think?
I'd like to get them moved ASAP but not if its going to end up bad by rushing it!
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I'd be very interested to hear the ''proper'' answer to this, as to my knowledge sand does not contain the ''good bacteria'' like gravel does due to its compact nature and inability to 'breathe.' As such when you do get bacteria in the sand it will most likely be anaerobic bacteria which can obviously have many negative effects due to the same fact it cant breathe the same and forms in trapped air pockets. Therefore ''seeding'' the sand would be completely pointless, although it can still help add bacteria to ornaments etc though this again would seem somewhat pointless in such an established aquarium where no doubt they are already fully colonized by said bacteria.
Therefore in a sand aquarium proper transfer of your ornaments/wood/filter etc plays a much more important role as these will all be taking the beneficial bacteria across with them, and your filter plays a much bigger role the the de-nitrification of your aquarium and so do your plants.
As per the water, this contains almost no bacteria, as it is not free floating - hence it lives in your gravel and on decorations/filter media, and so once again IMO would be deemed somewhat pointless.
However - water changes gh,ph and kh levels over time in an established aquarium slightly and so transferring water over for the purpose of not ''shocking'' your fish would in my mind make sense.
Feel free to correct me if im wrong.
Putting rock's,ornament's,and moving the filter from the cracked tank to the new tank,will prevent the need from needing to cycle the new tank so long as you don't try and add a bunch more fish other than those currently residing in tank with the crack.
Should move the filter,rock's,ornament's, at same time as moving fish.
A bit of old substrate in nylon stocking could help also, but no need to dig too deep into old substrate for the bacteria we desire is found in first few centimeter's.
As for moving water,there is no benefit from bacteria standpoint,and assuming weekly water changes have been consistent,,the new water from tap should not be too different from the water in the tank unless buffering agent's,substrate are being used.
Would let the new tank settle for a few week's before adding any more fishes.
I agree with what's been said. [I'm only here because someone asked me.;-)]
I will comment on the water, as this is quite important. Generally speaking, you don't want the old water in the new tank, since it contains nothing useful (bacteria, etc) and may contain much that is harmful (more ammonia, urine, pheromones and allomones, total dissolved solids (TDS), etc). What I do is test the pH between new tank water and the water in the tank with the fish, just to ensure there is no significant difference. Then I drain about half a pail of water from the tank with the fish, net some fish into it, and top up the pail with water from the new tank, not quite full as fish will jump. I leave them for maybe 15 minutes, then net the fish in. My caution here is with the stuff you can't really measure, like TDS.
I always have live plants, and esp floating plants, so I never worry about ammonia and nitrite. But in cases where there are no live plants, in addition to the rock/wood/decor carrying bacteria I would use a bacterial supplement as a back-up. Tetra's SafeStart, Seachem's Stability and Dr. Tim's One and Only are three I recommend. These contain live bacteria which independent scientific tests have proven beyond any doubt do aid in establishing the nitrification bacteria. They are not magic instant cycle products but they definitely increase the bacteria faster.
Thanks for all the input everyone!
I actually do use buffering agents (tap ph is 7 and very soft) and substrate (aragonite sand) so I will have to pay attention there, ph will be my main concern as the old tank is sitting at about 8.5 so I will make sure the new tank is buffered up before adding any fish. I will add a handful of substrate from the old tank as they are similar colours so ill just mix it in. Ill actually be adding less fish as I'm using the opportunity to catch the troublemakers and move them on while I've got the tank empty so hopefully that will help too!
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