Would a new tank mean trama?

Discussion in 'Tips and Techniques' started by wen tom, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. wen tom

    wen tom Member

    Hi, I have a 75 gal. tank with 20 gal sump. Fish and reef. Up and running very well for about 3 yrs. Fish have out grown my tank. The buisness I bought it from set it up so I didn't question him. Yes, dumb move. Anyway, they are healthy and happy. (largest- blue tang, and dwarf lion) Want to give them more room but wondered which is harder on them. A new tank (tricky) or leave well enough alone. I do weekly changes and all my parameters are good. Thanks whoever gets some time to answer.
     
  2. flower

    flower Well-Known Member

    Hi,

    I have up-graded a few times. In fact a 90g can use the same lighting and rock that is in the 75g (they are both 4' tanks). You may want to get some new sand, and not trouble yourself with trying to rinse the old from the 75g because of toxins that might be trapped under the rocks.

    Before moving the fish, or disturbing anything:
    Especially if you opt to get new sand. Set up some sponges in the 75g to develop good bacteria on them (1 month), that will help prevent any ammonia spikes when you move everything to the new digs. You won't even have to cycle... the good bacteria on the live rock and sponges that was in the 75g will be enough to keep the larger tank stable. Very little good bacteria is in the water and won't be missed.

    IMPORTANT:
    Don't clean anything like the power heads and filters... you want to keep as much good bacteria as you can. Just fill the new tank with saltwater, and swap everything out from the 75g.

    If you opt for a much larger tank, 125g+, you will need more rock and sand... then I would cycle the tank before you move your fish into it.
     
    wen tom likes this.
  3. lmforbis

    lmforbis Administrator Staff Member

    Up grading to a new tank is not difficult but takes some advance planning. It needs to be done slowly with a clear plan in mind.

    What size tank are you considering. With the blue tang you probably want to go 6 feet long.
    When I upgraded from a 55 to a 125 last spring I first had to move the 55 because the new tank was going into the same location.
    Once the 55 was out of the way. I moved the 125 into place and filled it with water to check for leaks and test the sump. Once everything checked out I added salt. Nothing was in the tank so I mixed about 3/4 water in the tank. Let the water equilibrate and come to temperature overnight. I moved about half the rock initially for the base of the aquascape and added a mixture of new and old sand. Everything was rinsed in clean salt water before being added to the tank. The old sand caused me a lot of issues in the next few months I should have used all new. The following day I rinsed and moved the rest of the old rock and the fish and inverts. Over the next couple months I added more reef saver rock but the original had enough bacteria to handle the bio load of my existing fish when I first made the move. I kept prime on hand to deal with any mini cycle, ammonia did go up to barely detectable levels but prime prevented it from hurting anything. I lost nothing in the move.
     
    wen tom likes this.
  4. wen tom

    wen tom Member

     
  5. wen tom

    wen tom Member

    Hello again,
    Thank you so very much! Such good info. It is 125 gal. Yes, 6 ft. long. I understand the sump will suffice. I have a ton of rock and coral in my tank but would need more sand. Would also need to do like Flower- The location will have to be the same. Didn't you have to take a lot of the water out to move it? How will the fish be with that? I wouldn't be able to do 1 month cycle because the fish will still be in the 75 gal. (so all equiptment needed) Right? I also just found out it stands about 5 ft. tall (with canopy) so my weekly water changes are going to be a bit trickier and time consuming. (ladder and all) Beautiful tank and stand! Anyway, thats why I wanted to run this by you guys BEFORE I do anything. Unlike setting up my 75 gal! (unfortunate but I wouldn't have found you had I not had issues) Thanks to you both. Appreciate your time. Nice to hear from you again Flower.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016
  6. wen tom

    wen tom Member

    P.S. Whats your take on Protien Skimmers? Mine was set up with one. Been running for 3 yrs. and I do get some pretty funky smelling stuff every week. I've read conflicting info. on it. (3 days on, 3 off. All off, all on!) Thanks again.
     
  7. jay0705

    jay0705 Administrator Staff Member

    I have extra rock in all 4 of my sw tanks, just for my upgrade. Lol. My 56 is great for stacking rock lol. My fish won't be happy when I take it out but atleast I'll be able to see them again!!. The sponge is a good idea, I hide a sponge filter in my 75 to use in my qt if needed.
     
  8. flower

    flower Well-Known Member

    I have a 37g plastic garbage can (Brute) A utility pump and a hose...water changes are easy, the pump does all the work...old out and into 5g buckets, and new SW (churned 24 hours) held in the Brute can, set the can next to the tank and use the utility pump to churn the water. Then use the same utility pump attached to the hose to move the water to the tank...saves the back.
     
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  9. lmforbis

    lmforbis Administrator Staff Member

    How much water you need to take out really depends on how far you are going to move it if that move will scratch up your floors.
    I removed all the rock and all but a couple inches of water. I moved it quite a distance on wood floors. I put the rock back and most of the water till I moved everybody over a couple days later. Be careful to stir the sand up as little as possible. Add prime when you are done as you will stir stuff up.
    I would strongly advise you buy new sand. I kept mine and it caused me tons of trouble with Cyano. You will probably still have some of the new tank issues, that's just how it goes but if you have patience it will be worth it.
     
  10. flower

    flower Well-Known Member

    Hi,

    For anyone moving their tank:
    Your tank is held together by silicone and plastic around the rims... Never ever move a tank with anything in it. The wet sand alone is super heavy. Just because others have done it, does not mean it was a smart move. It isn't worth it to take a risk, spring a leak and have to replace the tank.

    Wen Tom... you don't need to keep any water, put your fish in tubs in the old water, with an air line, and heater if you need one. Set up the new tank with what you have in the old one. Use the sponges (as instructed earlier) to keep things balanced and don't clean anything off, such as the filters and pumps. Re-acclimate the fish to the new tank like you would a new fish you just purchased...all done! It will take about 2 hours...with new sand, 24 hours to allow it to settle and clear. Have your filters up and running to expedite that. With new sand you will have "new tank" issues. If you keep your old sand, and just add to it, you won't.

    Keep the old tank, or use a tub...set it up someplace where you can cure rock in it... Then move the cured rock to the new tank once it's ready. The fish, and any coral, will be fine with what you already have transferred from the old tank.
     
  11. bang guy

    bang guy Administrator Staff Member

    If your current sand bed if healthy and live (full of critters) it's worth it to keep the top 1/2" of sand. You need to keep it warm and healthy though with waterflow.
     
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  12. jay0705

    jay0705 Administrator Staff Member

    The one exception is if your moving the tank on the stand. If the tank is supported by the stand and u move both together the tank should be fine. Like imforbis said, sliding along a wood floor per say
     
  13. flower

    flower Well-Known Member

    LOL...even pianos have tiny little heavy duty brass wheels... a stand is not designed to slide on a wood floor, they are able to support a tank (store purchased ones anyway) by distributing the weight evenly, start shoving on it trying to slide it...you are asking for trouble.
     
  14. wen tom

    wen tom Member

    Wow. Such great tips. This is how I used to do my changes in the 140 gal. but it's the sand vac that will be tough. Do you stir your sand or vac it? Getting excited here. And transfering my old sand won't stir up too much Cyano? The only parts that have not been cleaned are under and behind rock. I vac 1/4 every week. Better advise? Will the fish be OK with moving the sand, adding some new and put them in in the 2 hrs. you spoke of? Yes all kinds of good critters for sure in the sand. I would say almost 1/2 my tank is rock. Still need more? Heard of the sponges but forgot. Thanks! "cured" rock?
     
  15. flower

    flower Well-Known Member

    In over 14 years, I have NEVER used a vacuum on a SW tank. That gadget was for freshwater tanks. Your critters move the sand and clean it, you don't need anything else. Half full of rock...you don't need more, the poor fish need room to swim ya know.

    For what it's worth, I had live rock and fake décor (ships wheel and anchor). You don't have to load your tank up with rock, you can make it look nice...the good bacteria builds on anything solid it can attach to. The little tiny critters that live in the rock will also make a home in the fake décor. That purple Coraline algae will grow on anything, plastic first...so it will not look FAKE for long.

    Cured rock simply means live rock that has been in the saltwater long enough that no more dead critters are there to create ammonia spikes. It's safe to use. The little critters in the rock (why it's called LIVE rock) help to keep the tank balanced, it, THEY are the natural filters. When the rock is out of the water for any time, the tiny critters die and pollute the water when you put the rock back in... they need time to decay and go away = cured rock
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
    wen tom likes this.
  16. lmforbis

    lmforbis Administrator Staff Member

    I would get new sand. Maybe add a cup or two of the old to the new but once it get stirred up it will release all kinds of things you don't want. The other option is to wash the old sand really really good. I have never had good luck by transferring sand. Always ended up with cyano issues.
     
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  17. wen tom

    wen tom Member

    That is so weird. 15+ yrs. ago- when I had SW fish tanks, I DON'T remember gravel vac-ing the sand. But it wasn't reef also. Think I stirred the sand. Didn't have crabs or critters. Had what they said was live rock but nothing much grew on it like this does. Fish did well. I know, they DO need room to swim, thats why I want this other tank. People tell me it's the best looking fish tank they've seen but it looks crowded to me. I didn't set it up and he did it for a living so. . . (my present tank) Thanks for the definition of "live rock". This new tank has sand but he's had FW fish in it for a year. I'd imagine that will be an issue! Thanks SO much!!!
     
  18. wen tom

    wen tom Member

    Also, do you not notice a greenish dirty look to the top of your sand? It's almost how I know where I left off!
     
  19. flower

    flower Well-Known Member

    LOL...I thought you were a total beginner, you just need info refreshed for you. I opted for fake décor with some live rock...I didn't care for that overcrowded nothing but rock look. I like what Imforbis said... I would ditch the sand too.
     
  20. wen tom

    wen tom Member

    Thank you, and thanks for the refresher. Well sure feel like a total beginner, the more I learn the more I know I don't know! Such differing info. too. Think I'm going to go back to the beginning in educating myself here (SWF forum) before I do anything new. I have tons of corals growing all over my rock so unlike my old tanks it's not alot of rock showing. Did the 2-3 lbs. per gallon. Hate to start over. My Mandarine loves to pick around in the sand!
     

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