Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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itchyru 10-11-2008 12:58 AM

Starting a new 75g s/w
we'll here goes i currently have a 55g(about 3 Yrs old) ,with 50ld beautiful LR ,mushroom's, polyp's ,2 perc clowns,biocolor dotty, flame hawk, and my wife's fav the mandrian , lawnmower goby,sally L/F, 8 snails no sand yet,running a emp400 ,P/S,lighting is a 4-96 watt twin tube corallife
i going to set up a 75g with a 55g refug,P/S. i was wondering if i could speed the process up , by just adding sand and using the waste /water from the 55g when cleaning (when starting a fresh water up quick i use the sponges from my other fish tank's to add bacteria so i can add fish )will it work on S/W if not just slowly take the L/R out of my 55g and put into my 75g after it cycle's

Pasfur 10-11-2008 06:15 AM

This should be a very easy conversion for you. The first thing to realize is that the cycling process in a saltwater aquarium with live rock is different than a freshwater aquarium. As you move the live rock from the 55 to the 75, you will be moving the bacteria necessary to process ammonia and nitrites. Additionally, deep in the core of the live rock, are bacteria that process Nitrate, producing Nitrogen Gas. This is one of the many overlooked benefits of live rock, being systems which use live rock as the method of biological filtration generally require considerably smaller water changes.

I would take this opportunity to add a DSB to your 75 gallon. The sand bed should be no less than 4'' deep, and placed directly on the bottom of the aquarium. I would then add some base rock, say 15 - 20 lbs, and fill the aquarim about 30% with new saltwater. Do your best to rinse the sand very very well prior to adding it to the aquarium. This will help to reduce the cloudiness. Also, add your water as slowly as possible.

At this point, i would personally make an immediate and full switch from the 55 to the 75. I would begin by moving water, then live rock, then corals. Your 55 gallon is fully established, and you will not be doing anything that would suggest the 75 gallon needs any break in period. All of the beneficial bacterias necessary for your aquarium will be transfered from the 55 to the 75 gallon.

By the way, if i had your aquarium, I would remove the biowheels from the Emperor. You are receiving no benefit from them on your system. The biowheels are processing organic waste with an end result of Nitrate. Running this type of biological filtration on a marine aquarium reduces the benefits of live rock. The only method of organic removal desired on a marine system is live rock, live sand, and protein skimming. (An additional arguement can be made for the benefit of using activated carbon, but that is another thread.) I am confident you will find that removing the biowheels immediately results in less Nitrate accumulation and more stable alkalinity.

On the subject, you may as well take this opportunity to use the Emperor on a 29 gallon aquarium, and keep it running as a quarantine aquarium. It would be a shame to risk the lives of your existing livestock by adding new fish to the 75 gallon without first isolating them and inspecting for disease.

Good luck!

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