Upgrading To A Larger Tank

Ellphea

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I am going to be moving my pleco and upside down catfish from a 10 gallon to a 55 gallon tank in a few weeks and I am concerned that moving the old filter over to the new tank will not provide enough bacteria to cycle the tank. Should I do any additional cycling? If so what would be the best way to get the 55 gallon tank ready for these 2?
 
Note: the 55 gallon will soon be a beautiful mbuna african cichlid tank :)
 
 
 

Ninjouzata

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It might be a good idea to do a fish-less cycle on the 55g following THIS. How soon after moving them over will you be getting the cichlids?
 

fm1978

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I would have thought that it would be perfectly alright just to move ALL of the existing filter media into your new tank - whether that's moving the media into a new filter or not - as your existing media will have just the right amount of bacteria to deal with the waste from the current number of fish regardless of the volume of the tank. 
 
The problem after that would be if you intend to add a large amount of other fish to the tank as well as the current stock, in which case, you're filter will need time to readjust to the new waste load, perhaps causing a mini cycle which isn't the best. In this case, a full proper cycle as Ninjouzata suggests might be the best option.
 
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Ellphea

Ellphea

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I was hoping to get the cichlids about a week later. Would this cycle be safe on my pleco and catfish or would I have to keep them in their old tank?
I am also going to be adding around a dozen live plants that work well in cichlid tanks (java ferns, Anubias, amazon swords) and I have read they speed up the cycling process.
 

fm1978

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In that case, I would do as Ninj suggested and do a full cycle on your 55G tank/filter. You can fully stock straight away after that. Also you can kick-start the cycle with some media from your old filter, no more than about a third of it, that will help a lot and shouldn't leave your 2 current fish any the worse off.
 
Live plants will help dealing with waste, but, I don't think in any noticeable way so as to speed up a cycle.
 
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Ellphea

Ellphea

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Should I keep my current fish in the 55 gallon during the cycle?
 

fm1978

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Sorry, I may have misunderstood the full situation. Can you break down what you have tank-wise and stock for each tank?
 
Basically, no, you wouldn't cycle a tank if there are already fish in there. I just assumed the 55G was a new tank that you were going to stock with the 2 fish in your existing 10G.
 
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Ellphea

Ellphea

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Yeah. That's what I meant. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Thanks for clarifying though!!
 

Wills

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I have upgraded tanks a few times - I have gone from 33 liter to 125 liter then 125 liter to 240 liter and lastly 240 liter to 512 liter. The way I have always done it is put all the media from your current tank into your new filter then set up the new tank and move the fish across. Allow a two week wait before you add any more fish but then generally stock it as you would normally - ie with a 2-3 week break before adding groups of fish to the tank.
 
A quick question on the plec - are you sure this tank is the best home for it? If its a common plec a 55 gallon is not going to be big enough for it for life... And the hard water environment your going to create for your cichlids is not going to be the best situation for the plec either who would usually live in neutral or soft water - though they are very hardy and could suvive.
 
Wills
 

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