Is it possible to switch a 20 to a 55 Gallon w/o a cycle

JustinF

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Does anyone know if it is possible to switch everything in my 20 gallon over to a 55 gallon without starting a new cycle all over again? I would like to transfer everything including my Fluval 204 that has been running for 5 months along with a new 60 whisper. Will it help if I leave the water level low for a little while, or is this all just wishful thinking?
 

Lucy

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You should be fine moving everything over.
Just don't add any more fish for a couple of weeks.
Test often to make sure you didn't set off a mini cycle.
 

Nitro Junkie

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As long as you do not add a bunch of new fish,so the bio load is the same,you should be fine. When you cycle a tank,what you are really doing is growing bacteria in your filter. So if you move the filter you are using on your 20 to the new 55,and do not drastically increase the bio load,you shouldn't have any problems.
 
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JustinF

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Sounds great to me, should I keep the water level at half for a little while or just fill it to the top. Thanks again for the advice.
 
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JustinF

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Another question does using a power head do anything beneficial for tank with the 2 type of filters I have. Does having the new bio media on the whisper 60 with no beneficial bacteria hurt the transfer in any way? Sorry for all the questions, just making sure I don't missing anything.
 
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JustinF

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How about transfering the fish is there any trick, do I need to bag them or just net them? I don't won't to stress them out.
 

ryanr

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Good tip from jetajockey
Chorline/chloramine will kill off your bacteria in the other filter, and can also lead to 'foaming' at the surface once the filter starts.

Lucy has given you great advice too, I might just add that some of your bacteria from the 20 will be on the gravel/substrate and decorations. Keep an eye on your parameters for a few weeks, and have some Prime on-hand in case of a mini cycle.

Your new whisper will cause no problems, it will cycle up just nicely running in conjuction with your Fluval.

I'd fill your new 55, condition the water and put the whisper into action. I'd also let the new tank get to temperature first before transferring stock.
Also, before transferring stock, check the pH and hardness of the two tanks, and if they differ (particularly if the new tank has lower pH), be sure to acclimate your stock to the new tank rather than just 'dumping them in'.

Then, if all is good, transfer the Fluval over to the new tank.

[edit: by OP ]

I'd personally use the bucket method of acclimation to transfer the fish

Good luck, can't wait to see some photos
 
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jetajockey

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If you use old tankk water in the new tank then transfer them it shouldn't be an issue since its the same water. After they get settled in you can add conditioned water to top it off, it'll be like a water change to them
 

ryanr

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If you use old tankk water in the new tank then transfer them it shouldn't be an issue since its the same water. After they get settled in you can add conditioned water to top it off, it'll be like a water change to them
That's one big water change (35G of fresh water)

Good idea though, just be sure to heat the new water.
 
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JustinF

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Thanks for all the advice will post pics when completed, could be a while since I still have to build the stand from scratch.
 

jetajockey

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Haha yeah I forgot the tank size difference, I'm on my cell so its hard to scroll back. If you are adding that much then be sure to get it to the same temp as the tank water and of course dechlorinator. If you aren't using ph adjusters I don't see the issue
 
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JustinF

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I forgot to ask do you put all the fish in a bag before you do anything or just start moving some of the garvel & water over as they are still in the tank? I would assume bagged, but I'd just like to get your opinions on what's the best way to move the fish.
 

Meenu

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I would think you can just move them over without doing anything to acclimate them, since it's the same water...
 
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JustinF

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Thanks, Meenu I was just afraid I was going to stress them out moving all the gravel around and making it a little messy from tank to tank.
 

Meenu

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I don't think you need to bag them for sure. If you need a holding place for them while you're doing the transfer, just use a bucket.
 
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JustinF

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The switch is over and everyone is still alive, yeah!!
What should I be watching for if anything other than the normal stuff,(Nitrates, Ammonia, Nitrites, & PH) can they get sick over the stress?
 

tototime

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Normal stuff should be fine. Your main issue would be a mini cycle. I'm switching from a 20 to a 30 today.
 
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JustinF

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Good to hear there is nothing else to worry about, how would you know if you have a mini cycle? My wife said it took me way to long but, it only took like 3 hours is that an unusually long amount of time? Thanks for the info tototime.
 
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