looking to upgrade 1st tank

  • #1
I really can't get another tank, sooooo I decided if I can find a tank with suitable dimensions, I can upgrade my 5G to a 10G. If I only knew how addicting this hobby would be. I have researched how to do this but am looking for personal advice and opinions and what has worked best for some of you with experience doing this. I can't imagine it being too difficult, but
then again you are sort of starting over.

My one problem is that my current tank is where my new tank will be. Luckily these are both small tanks so don't require significant strength to move. What should I do in regards to placement while I'm getting the new tank running? Since this is in my kitchen I can't really put both tanks side by side cause it will take a big chunk of counter space and the fiance will be mad. I was thinking of moving the 5G somewhere safe and putting the 10G where it will be. I am fairly strong so I can lift the 5G totally stocked without moving much and causing significant stress.

I originally thought of using the old filter (tetra whisper 10i, which I like) but have now realized maybe I should just buy an extra one (if on sale) and have a backup just in case. Maybe I'll stock the 5G too...but that's thinking ahead. My original plan/purpose for doing this is so I can add otos and RCS to the crew. Obviously that would be a significant overstock in my current tank. Since my betta is amazing and is actually tolerant of pretty much anything I thought I'd try the shrimp, 4-5. I just love otos so I thought I'd try 2-3 of those as well. With the extra room I already have a small rock decoration and am looking to add another live plant, something grassy like a vallisneria or crypt spiralis.
thanks for your thoughts and help.
  • #2
When switching tanks I would suggest, getting a clean bucket. Make sure it hasn't been in contact with soaps or other cleaning products. For just the betta, an ice cream bucket would work fine after it's been rinsed out. Fill it like half full with tank water then put the betta in it. Put the bucket somewhere it won't get stepped on or knocked off a ledge. Keep it covered as the betta will be stressed and likely to jump. May even want to put a little weight on the lid just to be sure.

Empty the rest of the tank water, then pull out decorations and lastly gravel. I don't doubt you're capable of lifting the whole tank... but there's always a decent risk of the tank breaking.. trust me you don't want glass and gravel and whatever else all over your kitchen. Want to see how to make a fiance mad? After placing 5 gallon tank somewhere it won't get stepped on or tripped over, put the new tank in place and put in old gravel. Add new gravel if needed. Fill tank(try to keep temperature close to tank water) and add dechlorinator. Hook up filter(if you get a new filter put the old media cartridge in it.) and heater then add decorations. Double check that temperature is close to tank water. If so add betta to tank.

With the shrimp I recommend only adding one or two at first and see how betta reacts. No point adding a bunch if your betta is just going to eat them. Dont rush in and add oto's right away. without a supply of algae to graze on they may not adjust to the tank and starve to death. They need time to realize that wafers and such are food. Also since most Oto's are wild caught they don't do well to unstable tanks so you should wait at least a month or two before adding them.
  • #3
Moving a full tank is always a bad idea. This is one time your strength could cost you big time. It really don’t take much pressure to crack or break an aquarium when it is full. A belt buckle or snap in the wrong place while holding the tank against your body could easily crack the tank or cause it to completely explode which could cause some really bad cuts. As suggested I would drain some of the water out into a bucket and put your fish into it before attempting to move it.

If you use your current filter in the new tank and don’t add any new fish for a week or two your new tank will be completely cycled for the current bio-load. Use as much of your current tank’s gravel and deco in the new tank as you can to help keep the cycle. Don’t clean the filter or the gravel before putting it into the new tank because you don’t want to remove any of the good bacteria that is growing already.

Leave the new tank set up for at least a week, two is better, before you rush out and get any new fish or shrimp to add. This way the tank will have time to become stable again.
  • #4
Don't be surprized to find your Betta suddenly changes personality and start attacking the ottos and shrimp.

I had a betta that seemed really laid back. So I got a 12 gallon than and put him in with some cories. Suddenly I had a bunch of tailless cories!
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
lol, poor cory cats. Yea, I was definitely Not planning on moving the tank full. I was just wondering what would be best since I literally want to put the new tank in the exact spot of the current one. Luckily the 5G is Not glass, it's acrylic.
I have had otos in my big tank and know about them. I figure they can out swim a betta...if something doesn't work. Plus, I could always put them in my 29G if need be. I've always wanted red cherry shrimp so I figure if there is enough room for a handful of large ones then I'd be willing to at least try it out. I honestly think I'd be more worried about my spastic frogs. Their curiosity will get them into trouble one day.

This is all speculative. I don't even know if I can do this, I just plan on it! I will be upset if I can't. What I'm thinking is: some how put the tanks side be side. I don't want to take too much from the current tank now. What could I take that won't mess up the water parameters, or stress the stock out, in the current tank? Then I will fill the new tank about 3/4 of the way. Take the current tank's filter pad and put it in the new tank's filter (same one). Add a heater, possibly a small airstone, some substrate. What is a good small, quiet, air pump? Then add a few small things from the current tank. I'm assuming I should add some drops of ammonia like I'm starting a cycle again? I have to change my 29G tank's filter pad soon. I can just use that too right?
any other tips or suggestions?
  • #6
I recently replaced my 36 gallon tank with a 46 gallon tank that was going in the exact same spot.

So what I did, was fill a old 12 gallon tank with water from the 36 (and a couple of old 5 gallon tanks) and then took out as much water as possible (to make catching the fish easier). I then put the fish from the 36 gallon into the 12 gallon tank, and finished emptying the 36.

I then slid the empty (except for gravel) 36 tank and stand out of the way, and put the 46 in it's place. I then added 10 pounds of new gravel, then transfered all of the old gravel into the 46. I then put the old 36 gallon tanks water that I had stored in the old 5 gallon tanks into the 46 gallon tank. Then filled the 46 until it needed about 10 more gallons. I then put enough water from the 12 into the 46 to make catching the fish easy.

Then I took the fish out of the 12, put them in the 46 and topped it off. The reason for reusing so much old tank water, was because the tank has been set up for about 4 years, I was worried about the potential for ph shock, so as far as the fish were concerned, it was no different than a 50% water change.

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