Going from a 14 to a 29 need help

Copingwithpods

Hello everyone, I started a 14 biocube a few months ago and although this isn't my first saltwater tank I have been out of the hobby for quite some time. I now wish to upgrade to a 29 as the 14 is getting a little crowded. Question is how? I don't have great pictures of either but here's some so you get the idea

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The 14 has about 15lbs of live rock, 20lbs of sand, aqua duetto ato, aI prime, and growing cheato with a very cheap led,I use an industrial temperature controller to run a Cobalt 100w heater and a small fan to keep Temps at 80 (80.1-80.9) I don't dose anything, has the mj900 for return going through a uv sterilizer and a small 90gph pump as a power head. So far it's been great.

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The 29 currently has 35lbs of sand and a rock.... I did just order a few things. 2 kamoer x1 dosing pumps, a dosing container 3x 2L, an adaptor to run 1/2 loc line and a random flow nozzle. Also upgraded the refugium light with an actual grow light and purchased the media basket and refugium basket along with other odd bits here and there.

Planned purchases; AI Nero 5, bigger ato resevior and BRS CAL MEG ALK pharma packs (oh I already picked up the red sea test kits for all 3,never dose what you don't test for right?)

The 29 will be getting the ATO, light and pump from the 14. I figured with the AI Nero 5 in there the mj900 should be enough as it will not be used for primary flow in the display (or am I wrong?)

Question is how do I start the move? Do I fully cycle the 29 and if so how do I do that when all my rocks are in the 14?

Do I keep everything on life support in buckets while I fully transfer all equipment to the 29 and then transfer in all the corals once the light, pump and heater are in?

I will be honest, it scares me, it will be my first time ever doing this. I may be overthinking it but I just haven't been able to figure it out.

In case it matters current inhabitants are...
Royal gamma
Clown fish
Red stripped damsel
Yellow watchman gobby+pistol shrimp
Pompom crab
Emerald crab
2 bumble bee snails
4 hermits 2red 2 blue
4 snails
Fighting conch


Any advice, tips and tricks, thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.
 

AZL

Hi, I just upgraded from 34 gallon to 92 gallon. I only had my pair of puffers and mushroom corals to move over but they're quite sensitive fish. I also couldn't have both tanks set up at once for long. I used enough live rock in the new tank to avoid the need to cycle, ammonia stayed under 0.1 and nitrate went up to 0.05 - that was only for two days and although considered 'safe' levels I used a little Prime. I did dose the rock in the sump and display well with Microbe-Lift Special Blend, I find that far better than ATM colony. I filled the tank with water I'd pre-heated by putting the barrels in a hot bath - I use natural sea water so that's easier. If you mix I think it's a different procedure, needs to settle a day or so doesn't it? A 100 watt heater should be fine for the new tank, do you have a smaller one that can keep the old tank warm while the new one settles and gets up to temperature? You only need 10 more pounds of rock to upgrade for a total of 25 - if that new rock is also mature live there's no risk of fish in cycle but even if dry rock you've got 65% live so with monitoring and bottled bacteria not too bad. I left my puffers in their old tank until the new one was ready as I worried about them being unduly stressed but also as I have 7 cats! Once the new tank was full and up to temperature I drip acclimated the puffers and the corals - no problem with either. A friend who did the bucket method and didn't drip acclimatise lost a couple of creatures when upgrading in a similar manner. while there are no guarantees at least I can say this worked my my lot. You clearly know what you're doing but I realise it's scary to move delicate creatures. I'm sure you'll do a great job with the upgrade and they'll appreciate the extra room
 

saltwater60

I have moved tanks many times with no issues at all.

Your current tank is set up and running. I’d run that bigger tank for a few weeks then get a fish or two and let it cycle. Then I’d just saw everything from the 14 to the 29. Both tanks are cycled and should have no issues at all.
I wouldn’t worry about moving the cheating and stuff ahead of time. I’d get another circulation pump and one slightly larger since you might need it.

The other option is if the new live rock in the 29 is cured and been at the LFS for a while and there will be no die off from transit I’d just swap everything at once and not add anything new for a while. Whatever bioload you have In your 14 is being handled by your current set up. Transferring to to the 29 won’t change that at all.
Fish and corals are much hardier than we think most times.
I just set up a 75 and it’s funny I added two new fish and I’m stressing about that. Yet I have a turtle tank that has maybe 30-35 gallons in it and I just dropped 50 feeder guppies in it at one time and none will die. Yet I’m sweating the 2 new fish because it was 5 days instead of my established 7 day protocol that I set up for myself.

Just make sure the light intensity for the corals is very similarly matched or tour can irritate them and burn them.
 

Copingwithpods

That sounds simple enough but the 29 won't be getting any new live rock, reusing all my rock from the 14 and maybe adding 1 or 2 lbs more just to scape it
 

saltwater60

That sounds simple enough but the 29 won't be getting any new live rock, reusing all my rock from the 14 and maybe adding 1 or 2 lbs more just to scape it
Then rock on. No pun intended.
 

Copingwithpods

Should I worry about the new sand causing a cycle?
 

saltwater60

No worry at all. New sand should not cause a cycle.
 

Copingwithpods

Awesome news thanks!

So plan is, match parameters in both tanks, place all lifestock in a heated circulated container while equipment is transfered over, might do 2 containers. I have 3 heaters and 2 spare pumps. I guessing taking out all the rock is going to make fish catching way easier. Once new tank has pump, light, uv filter, refugium and heater going I can transfer in the corals, scape it and then add the fish, snails and crabs ect.

From my list of residents any advantages to creating an order of first in last in? Or dump them all in?

I was thinking of doing the gobby and pistol shrimp first so they can find a good spot with no competition. Then the pom pom as he is very skidish. The rest of the crabs and snails I don't think matter. As for the fish, I don't know. The clown and damsel are bffs and do everything and go everywhere together so maybe adding them together will reduce stress. I've noticed the clown stresses easily. The royal gamma is only territorial of his cave so I guess he can go last.

Good plan or bad plan?
 

saltwater60

Sounds perfect. You’re taking every precaution you can. It will go fine.
 

Copingwithpods

I hope I am although there's always that feeling I'm forgetting something.

More stuff came in today bringing stress day one step closer removed
 

saltwater60

My 75 reef I tore down completely and move 4-5 times due to moving from an apartment to a house and house construction projects. Never lost a thing because of it. You’ll be fine and so will your critters.
 

Copingwithpods

What was you're method?

Sad news my red sea test kit came broken so no dosing for now, I'm hoping marine depot can resolve this quickly I was hoping to do the move this weekend.
 

saltwater60

What was you're method?

Sad news my red sea test kit came broken so no dosing for now, I'm hoping marine depot can resolve this quickly I was hoping to do the move this weekend.
Tore it down and moved it all in rotors and buckets. I’d always rinse the sludge out of the bottom of the tank too. Sand was swished in tank water to removes too. All rock was kept wet. At times it took me a full day to move everything and all live stock was fine.
Don’t forget many fish and corals are shipped from over countries and sit longer in less water.
 

Copingwithpods

Well... filled with the confidence you guys gave me I was set to do the change on Saturday until.... I tested both tanks removed

Vials on the left are my current tank (1,3,5), vials on the right are the new tank just water and sand (2,4,6). The 29 has some ammonia which tells me it's cycling? Could it be some live sand die off causing a minI cycle?

I'd hate to put this off even longer but it looks like that's where it's heading.

PS: minI brag! 0 nitrates in my 14! Props to my whopping 9 watt half dead led strip growing my cheato.
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saltwater60

I agree wait and test the water all week. Did you test tour source water for ammonia.
there shouldn’t be that much organic matter in the live sand to cause ammonia but you never know. No company or product is perfect.
 

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