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jeaninel 08-26-2007 12:54 PM

Question on transferring to 50 gal
New member, first post here. I found this forum awhile ago and found it to be full of information, good advice and nice people!

I currently have a 20 gal tank which I've had for 10+ years. I have a Whisper 30/60 power filter along with a piece of crap Regent Aqua-Tech 10/20 which was my original filter. Right now I have a green severum (about 2-1/2") and a chocolate red eye plec (about 2"). I know they will need a bigger home soon. I also would like to get a gold sev soon. I am planning on getting a 50 gallon tank in hopefully a month or two. I would also like to get an Emperor 400 filter for it.

Here's the deal. My 20g is sitting in the only spot I will have available for the 50g. My house is small and I don't have any other place to move the 20g to so sadly I will probably have to get rid of it. I plan to drain about half the water out of it, leave everything intact in it as far as decorations and filter, move the 20g off it's stand (with my husband's help) and place it onto a cedar chest (which is next to a window on an outside wall so it can't be there permanently). Then I'll tear down the 20g stand and place the 50g in it's place along with the new filter. I do plan to use some of my old gravel (I'll have to add new also), and my existing plastic plants and rocks and maybe some of the old water.

OK, here's my question(s). If I move my current filter over to the 50 gal just before I transfer my fish (I'll leave the Aqua-Tech running on the 20g) would it be cycled enough to be safe for them? What's the best way to remove my gravel and rocks without disturbing the fish? What would be the best way to make this transfer as least stressful as possible for my fish?

Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated!

jsm11482 08-26-2007 01:41 PM

I would:

1) Remove and SAVE as much water as you need to in order to move the 20gal.

2) Pour the saved water into the 50gal and add new water to fill it up, leaving room for the remaining 10gal from the 20gal tank. Run the filter for a couple of hours. Maybe leave your crappy filter on the 20gal during the process, but move the good one to the 50gal.

3) If everything looks right, check the water temp, etc. and move the fish.

4) Add the remaining water from the 20gal to the 50gal.

This assumes you are using all new substrate. I would watch the tank very closely, checking it a couple times a day for ammonia/nitrates. If you see any, do a water change.

Hopefully this makes sense. If I have said anything wrong, someone will correct me! Good luck!

jeaninel 08-26-2007 06:39 PM

Thanks JSM11482. That's sounds good.

One more question. Should I bag up the fish and float them in the 50g when I transfer them or can I net them straight over ensuring that the tank temps are the same?

Andyandsue 08-26-2007 06:41 PM

I had the same question, as I plan on upgrading soon too. What to do with the substrate if you are going to re-use it since it's cycled? It'll be hard to remove without making a mess in either tank. That is my big question. What the heck to do with my fish while I'm making this change over.

I would think you could net the gravel slowly and do sections of the aquarium at a time, letting the filter clean up the water of both tanks as you go. This of course will take all day, but once you are at the halfway point then move a good portion of the plants too (I would clean them so they don't make a mess) and then add the fish.

Or you go about it FAST and rinse the gravel as you get it out to get rid of the floaters and get those fish in there quick.

Either way I suggested adding BioSpira to the new tank, which will naturally eliminate any ammonia spike. Just keep tabs on your water parameters and be prepared for a mini-cycle.

jsm11482 08-26-2007 08:11 PM

Well, I'm not a pro so I'm hoping some more people will chime in here. As far as transfering the fish, I would put them in a bucket with just enough original tank water for them to swim around, and then use the drip method to slowly introduce water from the new tank. Once the ratio is 50/50 or even a little higher, you can net and transfer the fish to the new tank.

If you want to move substrate, too then you should move the fish to a large butcket with the original tank water, try to setup your filter on that bucket during the interim. Then scoop and transfer the water/gravel from the old tank to the new. I would use a small bucket or similar to do this, not a net - that way you get the gunk witch is actually good for the time being.

As some extra info, when we moved into our house about 5 months ago, we had to move our 90gal tank with our new discus. What a pain! We weren't able to get the tank into the house until the following day so we have the fish in buckets, etc all night - we just setup filters on the buckets and airstones to keep the water moving. Everyone made it out find so it seems to be an OK method.

Good luck!

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