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Upgrading 2 Tanks...need Lots Of Advice On Cycling/ Moving Fish

Lisa67

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I just got a great deal on a used 125 gal tank. So, to make a long story short my plan is to move the fish in my 72 gal (mainly frontosas) into the 125 gal.... and then move my mbuna which are in a 55 gal tank into the 72 gal.

My plan was to cycle the filter from the 125 gal tank (a fluval) and then start the move. The guy who I bought the tank from said, "bad idea". He felt I should hook the fluval filter up to the 72 gal tank for a week to get bacteria into it that the fish are already used to, then move the fish AND water to the new tank. Then fill it the rest of the way, little by little, with fresh water. My way seems easier, but I don't want to kill any fish in the move.

Also, this will be my first time using a fluval filter. I've always used "hang on the back types" and have no idea what I need to put into the canister. I don't use anything at all in the hanging filter.

Looking foreward to hearing from those of you who have experience.
 

phocoena

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you can pinch media from your fully cycled tanks for your new tanks to speed up the fishless cycle.
Also if you run the new one in the current tank with the current filter then there would be no guarentee for bacterial growth.
 

eaglesaquarium

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The simplest solution is to move the media from the 72 into the new filter for the 125. Then move all the fish into the 125. The filter is what is cycled, not the water, so moving water over makes zero sense. The filter media from the 72 is fully cycled for the complete bioload you have in it. Just cut it up as needed to make it fit. Then add new media is needed to fill up the space in the canisters.

Then, move all the media from the 55 into the filter for the 72. Again, that media is fully cycled for the fish in that tank, so they can be instantly moved over without fear of spikes. Just cut this media up as needed to make it fit, and place new media into the filter as you can.

Then, wait a week or two for the fish to settle in. Some of the new media you have placed into the other filters will start to be colonized. Now you are ready to cycle the 55 gallon tank with the filter you had been using before. Just add fresh media to it, and steal some from each of the other two filters. You can safely take up to 1/3rd of the media, but to be extra careful just take 1/4 or less. Put these scraps from each of the old media in the new filters and place them into the 55's filter to seed the cycle. Add some ammonia and you will find that it will be completely cycled for 5ppm ammonia daily in a week or less.



Over the course of the next few months you can start to remove the old scraps of media from the filters and let the new media take over the biofiltration. No sense in waiting to do any of this stuff. Move your media with your fish and they can enjoy their new home the same day!!!
 
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Lisa67

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Thank you both for your replies. I didn't think it made much sense to move the water. Problem...both the 72 and 55 gal tanks have "hang on back" filters so I really have no media to move. I figure though that if I move all the decorations, etc it would really speed up a fishless cycle.

So, what do I do with this fluval filter? I have no idea what I'm supposed to put in all of those compartments!
 

eaglesaquarium

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:blink:

How does your HOB not have media to move? I have a HOB, and I have media to move. Whatever you put into the filter take out and cut it up. Move it into the filter of the tank you plan to move the fish into. The bacteria just has to have ammonia-laden and oxygen rich water pass over it. It doesn't have to look pretty. Put in a new cartridge to the HOB and fill up the rest of the space with the cut up media from the other filter.


If you have the cartridges with the plastic stuff and the floss, just remove the flossy parts and move them to the new filter. The plastic won't hold much bacteria. If it contains carbon, move that as well as the pores in the carbon are home to the bacteria as well. You can get more stuff in it, without the plastic. ;)



Post a pic of your media and the filters if this makes no sense to you.
 
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Lisa67

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LOL....nope, there's absolutely nothing in there. Just the plastic filter as it came out of the box. I used to use those carbon cartridges but someone told me I was wasting money so I stopped using them. I have about 20 mbuna in the 55 gal and rarely a trace of ammonia or nitrite...


I did just find that I have an old carbon cartridge in my 16 gal that I never removed. Can I somehow stick it in the fluvial?
 

eaglesaquarium

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:blink:

Please post a pic of your filter.
 
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Lisa67

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OK, I hope I can post these (I have a very hard time with photobucket)...
This is the filter from the 72 gal tank. I know it looks filthy but I think what your seening is the water movement...It's a little dirty but not as bad as it looks. I took one pic of it as it sits in the tank. In the other I lifted the blue thing so you can see it's just plastic.
















I guess it's just the water flowing over the bacteria on the plastic that works. I really don't know. This is the way I do all 3 tanks (72 gal, 55 gal and 16)
 

eaglesaquarium

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So, the blue plastic is your biological filter. I guess you don't have any mechanical filtration. Not a big deal. Just move these plastic things over to your new filters. Move the 72 one into the 125, the 55 into the 72 and so on. You could break a few pieces off to seed your 55 again. Personally I'd have some sort of sponge or floss in there, but that's just me.
 
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