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artgalnj 06-27-2009 11:32 AM

Upgrading to a larger tank questions
Hello Everyone,

I'm new to the forum and I'm hoping someone will be able to help me through with my question.

For 3 years I've had a 20 gallon tank. I purchased a 65 gallon tank and I'm getting rid of the 20 gallon tank. My current tank houses 2 plecos and 3 angelfish which are growing quickly, so I know the 20 gallon has got to go. I would like to transfer the fish as safely and quickly as possible. I was going to put a different substrate (sand) on the bottom of the new tank but I plan on reusing my current filter (an Emperor 280) which I've had for 2 years. Plants will be transfered and reused as well. If I use the old filter do I still need to let the tank establish a bio-filter for 1 month?

Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

jeaninel 06-27-2009 02:59 PM

I did something similar a couple years ago when I upgraded from a 20 gallon to a 55. I also put new gravel in the new tank because the 20 gallon had been set up for about 13 years and the gravel was pretty bad. I did use a couple handfuls of the old gravel. I moved my filter from my 20 gallon over to the new tank plus added a new Penguin 350. The same day I moved my fish that were currently in the 20 gallon over. I tested the water daily for the next couple weeks and never saw an ammonia/nitrite spike. Your 20 gallon filter is already supporting the bacteria colony needed for its current bioload. Just keep an eye on the parameters and don't add any new fish for awhile. I waited about a month before getting any new additions. So get the tank set up and filled (using water conditioner of course), let it come up to proper temp, then you can move your filter and fish over.

Good luck and have fun with the bigger tank.

Oh yeah. And welcome to the forum!

artgalnj 06-27-2009 03:48 PM

Thank you for the warm welcome and advice. A close friend of mine just got rid of his 65 gallon tank and he said as long as I move the filter over I should be fine. In fact, he's giving me the cabinet and canopy for my new tank.

My biggest concern is the fact that I have angelfish and I know they may have a difficulty with the change. I was worried about putting them into an enviroment that's completely new & clean (outside of the filter). I wasn't planning on adding any new fish for a while, I'll let the 3 angels & 2 plecos adjust first. How many angel fish do you think I could have in a 65 gallon tank? Just wondering. The tank is 24 inches high, which should be good for them.

Thank you again! I appreciate you taking time to help.

jeaninel 06-27-2009 04:46 PM

Do you have a Ph test? I would check the Ph of the old tank water against the new tank just to make sure there's no huge difference. You will probably want to acclimate them when you move them from the old tank. In other words, put them in a large baggie with the old tank water and float it in the new tank. Then every 5-10 minutes add a cup of the new tank water. Or you could use a bucket filled with some of the old tank water and drip in the new tank water over an hour or so using some airline tubing tied in a loose knot to slow the flow of water.

I believe a standard 65 is 36"Lx18"Wx24"H. I think 3 would be ok but you may find 2 of them pairing off and the 3rd may get bullied and need to be removed if the other two spawn.

artgalnj 06-28-2009 07:17 AM

Thank you again for the advice.

Yes, I have a Ph test kit, so I'll make sure to stay on top of that. I'll also do what you said and bag them, then slowly add water from the new tank into the bag until they're acclimated.

I have 3 angels now and 2 of them seem to stay together alot, the 3rd is alone. However, out of the 2 that stay together, one of them harrasses the other as well, so I'm not sure if they're pairing up or not. All I know is that the 20 gallon has got to go.

jeaninel 06-28-2009 10:14 PM

Yeah, 20 gallons definitely too small for 3 angels and 2 plecos.

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