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artgalnj 07-03-2009 08:12 AM

Filter Question for Upgrading Tank
I am upgrading my tank from a 20 gallon to a 65 gallon. I will be transferring the filter, gravel and plants from the old tank into the new tank.

About 10 days ago I changed the filter cartridge on my tank (I didn't realize at that time that I was getting a new tank but someone offered me the stand and canopy for free so I bought the 65 gallon tank a few days ago). Is there enough bacteria in my 10 day old filter cartridge for me to safely transfer the fish within 24 hours of setup?

Here was my plan: I was going to setup the new tank with my old gravel and put in the fresh water. Then I was going to bubble it for 24 hours and make sure the water was at the correct temperature. Then I was going to bag my fish (3 angel fish & 2 plecos), put the old filter into the new tank, add the remaining old water in to the new tank, and begin the process of moving the fish. I'm worried that the filter cartridge isn't dirty enough for me to this. Any thoughts? Thank you in advance for your advice.

1077 07-03-2009 08:43 AM

How long has the twenty gal tank been up and running? If it is less than three months, Then transferring everything as you described will still warrant testing water to ensure there is no ammonia spike that may harm your fish. If the 20 gal tank is over three months old or is already (cycled) then I see no problem with moving the fish to the larger tank so long as you allow both filters to run on the tank and also add plenty of the gravel from the 20 gal. I wouldn't add water from the twenty gal as there is little benefit in doing so. Im would add everthing I could from the twenty with the exception of the water however. Keepoa close eye out for ammonia spike and feed the fish sparingly. You could always,let the new tank run fishless until the filter in the 20 gal has chance to produce more bacteria. I know that is difficult ,but if the 20 gal has only recently matured,or (cycled) and you swapped out the filter,, You may have threw away a significant portion of the beneficial bacteria and in that case,, Only you can make the decision.

artgalnj 07-03-2009 09:07 AM

Thank you so much for your response.

I've had my 20 gallon up and running for3 years now. Originally I had black skirt tetras but all of them got neon tetra disease and died. I purchased the angels about 5 months ago (they were small back then) with the thought that I would be upgrading my tank someday...Well, someday is here because the angels have grown and they're starting to fight for territory (I think 2 may even be pairing up). The only thing "new" in my current tank is the filter cartridge.

Also, I won't add the old water if the old water won't make any difference. I was just trying to transfer as much as possible...but I guess the old water was overkill ;-)

jeaninel 07-03-2009 05:41 PM

Wasn't the filter you have currently on the 20 gallon an Emperor 280 (bio-wheel)? If it is you shouldn't worry too much that you changed the cartridge as long as you haven't touched the bio-wheel as that is where most of the bacteria will grow. But you should still keep a close eye on the water parameters once you move over your filter and fish to the new tank. And, as 1077 stated, feed sparingly.

artgalnj 07-03-2009 06:52 PM

Yes, my 20 gallon filter is an Emporer 280. The only thing I changed on the filter was the cartridge, not the bio wheel. I wasn't sure if changing the cartridge would have been a problem. I'm glad I can still go ahead with the transfer.

I have next week off from work, so I'll be busy with my new tank. I bought a 65 gallon tank because I thought hubby would have a heart attack with the dimensions of a 75 gallon tank, but he didn't. He thought it was nice. Now I got a 65 gallon when I could of had a 75 gallon. I'm wondering if I should call the pet store and see if I could exchange the 65 gallon for a 75 gallon. I would also have to purchase a stand for it (I was getting a free custom made stand and canopy for the 65 gallon, stained in cherry and black). Decisions, decisions....would a 75 gallon make a huge difference over a 65 gallon?

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