Advice on moving fish to 25 gl. tank

Discussion in 'More Freshwater Aquarium Topics' started by Aggie, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. AggieNew MemberMember


    I was wondering if I could get some tips/advice on moving my fish from one tank to another, and the best way to go about it. Right now I have a ten gallon tank that is very overstocked, and I want to move all my fish to the new 25 gallon tank. I know to move as much water from the old tank to the new, put in all the fixtures, same filter, get the temps the same, but I'm unsure on how to get the bacteria cycle correct for the fish, as I know 15 more gallons will significantly dilute the bacteria from the old tank.

    Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    My fish:
    One grown female swordtail
    6 small baby swordtails
    One "sucker" fish
    One small catfish
    And four small tetras
    One small hatchet fish

  2. nippybettaWell Known MemberMember

    When I moved my fish from the 10g to the 30g I used buckets to hold the water. I made a mistake, and only added water from the old tank to the new tank, nothing else. You should hook the filter up to the new tank, and move some of the gravel if it matches the gravel in the new tank. After the temp is stabilized you should move the fish into the new tank, or perhaps some back into the old tank. I put my fish in buckets when I move/ set up new tanks. They don't stay in the buckets long though. I do recommend putting something on top of the bucket to keep the fish from jumping, particularly the hatchetfish. When I was rounding mine up I would get them in the net and they would play dead- it was really scary. They're fine though.

    So basically, stick the fish and water in buckets if you have to move the 10g, then put the filter, some water, and possibly some gravel in the 25g. Let it settle and acclimate the fish.

    I've noticed that your schools are a little on the small size. You should get at least 2 more of the tetras because they prefer to be in larger schools. Get some more hatchets too, because they like to school. Of course, wait for everything to settle down and the new tank to finish cycling first.

    Good luck catching the hatchetfish! I hope this helps.


  3. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Actually, there isn't any beneficial bacteria in the water. If your water parameters are spot on, then you will actually be moving over (for example) ammonia into the new tank. Moving the filter and some of the substrate is definitely a great idea as the bacteria live in those areas (though mostly in the filter media).

    Is it possible to leave the small tank set up, or are you putting the larger tank in the same area? When I set up a larger tank, I just waited until everything was ready (they can hang out in an unfiltered tank for a minute or two), then quickly moved them over.

  4. AggieNew MemberMember

    Thank you both for your helpful replies! I'm kind of nervous about doing this, so help is really appreciated.

    Thank you for the advice on moving the fishies and everything, nippybetta! One question: How long should I wait for the tank to settle and finish cycling? Do I just have to test that all the perimeters are as close as possible to the old tank to know it's safe to move them in? I don't want them to have to hang out in the buckets to long!

    Also just to get this straight: Kinezumi89, you said I DON'T need to move ANY of the water from the old tank? Just the gravel/fixtures/and filter with same carbon filter and that should get the cycle going OK? It seems like I should move some, just so I don't shock the fish with a complete 100% water change...?

    And I am going to be moving all the old gravel into the new tank: it is kind of dirty actually, so would it be OK to syphon it out somewhat before I move it, or should I not so I can get the good bacteria into the new tank faster?

    And to answer your question, yes, I'm putting the 25g where the 10g was, so I'll have to put the fish in buckets.
  5. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I agree, no need to move any water over, unless your source water is very different than your tank water. The filter is where the cycle is, so moving the filter moves the cycle. Putting the old filter on the new tank will instantly cycle the new tank. The other option, which I prefer, is to move the media from the old filter to the new filter.
  6. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Vacuuming is okay. And no, 100% water changes won't shock the fish, as long as the temperature and pH are the same (which if the water is all coming from your tap, the pH should be the same, so just make sure the temperature is the same). If the temperatures aren't exactly the same, you can float the fish in bags like when you brought them home.

    I used to think that 100% water changes were bad too, but if fish are sick or the water parameters are bad, the first thing people will suggest is a hearty water change! The vast majority of the beneficial bacteria live in the filter media, so of you're transferring that, it will do most of the work.
  7. AggieNew MemberMember

    Thank you both so much! *hugs* I feel so much more relaxed/informed about this...! XD

    Just have a couple more questions: I don't have to wait even, say, an hour for the filter to cycle all the water?
    And is there any product I should add to the water that's for the setup of new aquariums?
  8. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Hahaha, only if you have REALLY bad filtration :) If you dose the tank with water conditioner as you are filling it up, it will be mixed and safe for your fish.
  9. AggieNew MemberMember

    OK, my filter is kind of old, but it should work fine then. Hahah. :3

    What do you recommend I get for water conditioner? But then that would just be for heavy metals and other stuff like that in the water, correct? Is it really needed?
  10. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

  11. AggieNew MemberMember

    Thank you all for all the helpful replies! I have yet another question about changing the old filter over.

    OK, now I'm not sure I should do this... So, the problem is in my old tank there has been fungus problem recently, so for the past 6 days or so I've been treating the tank with fungus medicine. I'm pretty sure I've gotten rid of it, but now I'm worried if changing the old filter over to the new tank will just bring the fungus parasites with it/yucky medicine residue...! Also, I had to take out the carbon in the filter while administering the meds, so I'm not sure it that makes it worse or better if I were to put it in the new tank. Any help?

    Also, if I were not to move the filter over, nor the gravel for the same issue, would using (for example, because this is what I have) API Quick Start be enough to not have to wait weeks and weeks for the cycle?
  12. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    A lot of people don't use carbon, so I wouldn't say that would have an impact one way or another.

    I would proceed as planned - doesn't make a difference to me. If you've successfully treated it, then that's that. If not, it could come back, in which case you didn't successfully treat it and will have to again. But that has nothing to do with the filter media.
  13. AggieNew MemberMember

    OK, thanks! I'm just worried about bringing it over to the new tank. So I have the tank all set up in it's new location and filled with water! :3 In addition to adding the old filter, should I add the API quick start (which helps with the cycle as well as removes harmful metals, etc.) some amount of time BEFORE adding the fish? Also, even though my tank will be "instantly cycled" from using the old filter, should I add my fish slowly?
  14. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I would not use the quick start, and would add the fish all at once.

    If you medicated the water, then the media was treated as well.
  15. AggieNew MemberMember

    Thank you so much for all the help, I'm REALLY grateful. And I'm guessing you wouldn't use the quick start because most conditioners for starting the cycle don't really work? I've heard that but I wanted to play it on the safe side. Would it most likely just add harmful chemicals?
  16. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I'm a minimalist. I don't think the bacteria needs assistance :) I don't know anything about the product though.
  17. AggieNew MemberMember

    Here is a page about it:  

    I just want to do everything I can to prevent any fish loss...
  18. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Well, the conditions can only improve by moving everything from the 10 to the 25. If the bacteria colony did the job in the 10, it will do the job in the 25 just the same.
  19. AggieNew MemberMember

    Truuue. OK, thanks so much! :)
  20. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    You bet :)

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice