Convert 20 to 29

  • #1
I have a 20 long. I am considering converting it to a 29. The foot print of the 29 is the same as the 20 so it seems I could transfer everything over and I would only need to replace the tank. Make sense?

I have plenty of filtration (Tidal 55 and sponge). I am thinking I could preserve most of the cycle. I am also planing to restock the tank. I am wondering about the best process for the conversion.

Following is the process I am thinking:

1. Set up stand next to existing 20
2. Drain enough water out of the 20 to be able to move it to the adjacent stand.
3. Put new 29 on the existing stand.
4. Move substrate, plants, hardscape, filter, heater, etc
5. Fill new 29 with water and let run for a few hours
6. Transfer livestock
7. Let run for a few days monitoring parameters to see if the cycle survived. Or how much of the cycle survived.
8. If it took a hit, follow fishin cycle process until stable
9. Move existing fish to new home.
10. Restock

Sound like a doable plan? See any opportunities for newbie blunders?

  • #2
I haven't been doing this very long either, but I don't see any problems with it. As long as you move the filter with its media and don't let it dry out I don't see why you should lose any of the beneficial bacteria.

The more I think about it the more I wonder about the "...and let it run for a few hours" part of #5. If you do that with your old tank sitting beside it with a small amount of water in it I assume the filter will be turned off, which means there won't be any water flow over your media. Why did you plan to let it sit with water in it?

  • #3
Hi Sorg67 ,
This is about the only time I use old tank water. Just because there will be no plastic bag time and less chance of shocking the fish OR shocking the BACTERIA.

Very similar to what you write but no need to let the tank run for hours. The fish can go straight in the new tank using the old water. Sure give them a little temperature matched conditioned water change but that is not what the job is about. Do a water change on another day.

i have read of many people removing fish when they do water changes. They must not have seen a river in flood with very brown water? I have moved tanks around many times with old water. No bacteria are in the water but why put the fish though a major water change for no reason. The temperature of the water is whatever it is as the heater will be off for half an hour and the new glass tank will be cold glass.

A mini cycle is nothing to worry about, just smash out multiple water changes. Sure if you want the test the water and write down all the results go ahead. Personally I think the 5 or 6 minutes it takes to do ONE of the tests is time better spent smashing out a 5 minute water only change. ( temp match conditioned)

In short move the tank and then move the fish as fast as possible with all the old water. And old ornaments gravel heaters and filters.
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  • #4
The filter will be moved to the new tank and running there. I am thinking the fish will be fine in the old tank for a few hours will a little water and no filtration. Give the new tank a chance to settle and match the temperature of the old tank before moving fish over.

I expect to lose some of the BB. People say the cycle is mostly in the filter. I believe that is true, but it is on all surfaces. I will lose all the BB on the tank walls and I will disrupt the BB in the substrate. But I think I will keep enough of the cycle that I will be okay. Maybe just a mini cycle.

I like the idea of using the old water. Maybe syphon out three quarters of the water into two buckets and the new tank. Then hopefully the tank will be light enough to move and the new tank will also be light enough to lift up on the stand.

Then move substrate, plants, rocks, filter, heater.

Then add the other two buckets of water.

Then add some new water - enough to start the filter and heater.

Transfer the fish and top off the tank with the rest of the old water and some new water as needed.

Then let it run for a few days, monitor parameters and do a water change. Maybe more water changes than normal until it runs for a few weeks.

Then remove existing stock and add new stock.

I wonder if I should put the fish in a bucket while I move substrate, plants, etc. to reduce stress. Or maybe the stress of two moves would be greater than the stress of being in the tank as I am removing substrate and stuff.

I wonder if I should do a big water change in the old tank before the move.
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  • #5
Ordered 29 from Petco today. Picking up this afternoon. Online price $29. I guess the $1 per gallon sale is on.

Probably going to do the switch Saturday or Sunday.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Did the switch today. Went easy. Thanks for the tips. Helpful. Now I have to do the rescaping planting. I need a tall rock or piece of drift wood. The 29 is taller than I pictured. I like it but it needs something tall.

20 long will be my quarantine tank for now. But after I am finished getting the 29 set up the way I want, I think I want to transfer one of my 10s to the 20 long then I will have the 10 for the quarantine.

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