20 Gallon Aquarium Questions - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 11-16-2009, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Question 20 Gallon Aquarium Questions

Hi, I have a couple of questions about a new 20 gallon aquarium I just got.

1. I currently have a 10 gallon tank thats been up and running for months and I was curious if I take like 5 gallons of water from that tank and put it in my new 20 if it will help it cycle?

2. Does the less than 1" or more than 4" of sand that applies to saltwater tanks also apply to freshwater tanks?
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post #2 of 3 Old 11-16-2009, 05:08 PM
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Do you want to move all your fish from the 10g to the 20g? Then I suggest to take all from the old tank into the new, meaning all gravel & pants and place the existing filter media in the new filter for the 20. Alternatively completely wash out the old filter media in the new tank (to bring the bacteria needed to the new tank). Will look ugly for 1-2hrs (depending on the filter you use) but this will pretty much cycle the tank instantly.

For the sand, depends what the end result of the new tank should be? If you want a nicely planted tank in there I'd say ~3"+ so for 20g standard tank some 25-30lbs of sand should be fine.

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post #3 of 3 Old 11-17-2009, 05:00 PM
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Angel is correct, you need to move "surfaces" not water; there is no benefit to using water from an existing tank (quite the opposite, in some cases it can be detrimental) as the bacteria live on hard surfaces, so using gravel, rocks, wood, plants and filters from existing tanks will transfer the bacteria on them.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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