Just wondering what i can do in this emergency situation

  • #1
Ok so im ready for the heck everyone is gonna give me but please i need to know what my best options are with the situation im stuck with right now.

I had a 165gal custom tank it would have been considered a long tank more so than a high tank.
I have 3 balas 1 red tail 5 corys 1 sailfin pleco 2 pictus cats 10 penguin tetras and a African butterfly and 3 tiger barbs.

Long story short the tank started leaking and it was bad, losing approx a gallon every 3 min. My only option to immediately save my fish was to move them all onto a 29 gal tank that was cycled and the same temp.
In the 29 was a small Mollie that i found in the tank as a baby and raised him alone in a 1 gal till he was about half inch then into the 29 with some neons and guppies.

So im now sitting on all my fish from the 165 in the 29 with baby Mollie and 2 guppies the neons are gone probably eaten overnight. I put baby Mollie in a birth box to keep him safe.

I have spoken with my tank builder and im looking at 3 weeks till he can have me a 200 long built and then I'll have to cycle it. I am aware i can basically set it up as a cycled tank if i use stuff from my other tanks but i really don't wanna add my fish till the tank is fully set.

My first question is will i be able to keep my fish alive in a 29gal for around 2 months? Im prepared to do daily water changes and whatever else might help. It seems as though the red tail is the only one being aggressive mostly towards the pleco .
I also have 2 5 gal tanks not set up i was thinking about setting one up just for the red tail and the other for the butterfly and maybe the corys.

Sorry for going on but that's what i have and where I'm at.
As far as size. Balas are all around 6-7 inches red trail is 5" sailfin is 9" pictus 1 is 6"the other 4" corys are all full grown so like 1.5" tiger barbs around 2" penguins 1.5" and butterfly is 4.5 long and stays right at the top always.
For me the butterfly and pleco are my personal favorites so they must be saved but id really like to save everyone. Any advice is appreciated. And yes i know there is way too much fish in a 29 but it's all i have
Just to clarify the 165 had a crack in the bottom that is beyond me how it happened but it's not repairable
  • #2
Can your buy a plastic tub often sold for ponds . A large one that is made for holding water not a tool box or kids toy box.

A plastic sheet or anything will lower the changes of a jumper.

You definitely can use a heater that is made for the 75 in a smaller tank . It will not overheat the water but will switch on and off more often than ideal. It will wear out the thermostat faster thats all. Short term no problem.

Another option is to line the glass tank with a plastic sheet like plastic bag quality . Not ideal but cheap. Sold in rolls a around 2 meters wild you buy it by the meter. Like a pond liner if that helps explain the concept?

My local shops do offer tank space for people that go o holiday. No idea of how much it costs.
  • #3
The main thing is to keep the filter media and substrate from your 165 gallon tank wet while you are waiting for construction of the new tank. If the leak is not at the very bottom of the tank (which according to Murphy's law is probably the case) you can add a little water with about 2ppm ammonia to the tank each day to help keep the beneficial bacteria fed.

Once the new tank is ready, move the old substrate over into the new tank. The fill the tank slowly with water. As soon as the level gets high enough, add your heater and filtration system. As long as your filter media and substrate are kept wet, the beneficial bacteria will remain alive. They might go into a dormant state, but they won't all die. That will make it such that cycling the new tank will take a few days days rather than six weeks.

You want to get the fish into the new tank as soon as possible. They are likely to be better off in the larger than than in the 29 gal. If you see ammonia levels spike in the tank, you can use Seachem Prime to detoxify the ammonia. However, with reuse of the old substrate and filter media, you might not see a large enough spike to be of concern. You can also add one of the "bacteria in a bottle" products, but that might not be necessary.
  • #4
Is this just an excuse to size up to a 200g?? :>)

This happened to me, but with a smaller 50g. I bought a cheap plastic tub (30 -40g) that was shaped like a fish tank (long, not tall) I was able to put heater, filter, hardscape etc in with the fish. I think I put the substrate in it's own container. When I set up the tank again (I repaired it) the cycle never skipped a beat. Doing it this way allowed me to keep the filter and hardscape (biological filter) going. Unfortunately, I missed the opportunity to replace the 50 with that 60 breeder I've been wanting.
  • #5
There are a lot of ppl who keep big fish on you tube in kiddie pools in their garage or even kitchen ( catfish etc), if that's a faster option to get set up for you.

The tubs - you should be able to get locally at a feed and supply store. my 15 gallon tub was $45.00, my 40 gallon was 80.00. I got mine on amazon. but in your situation, i think buying locally is better. my 80 gallon tub took a week to show up last month.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Thanks everyone for your help. I ended up getting a plastic food safe container that is 60gal i think it will be big enough i left the mollies and tiger barbs in the 29 and the sub, hard scape and filter media was all kept wet so it's basically a cycled container and will help quickly set up the 200 gal when it arrives

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