New 29 Gallon Tank -- Fish Ready for an Upgrade

Dejen

TL;DR: Hi all, hoping for some guidance and support as I plan to setup a new home for my Danios or Corys (moving from a 20L to a 29).

It's been about one year since I set up my first aquarium: a 20L. Many things have gone well and are still going well -- the fish seem very healthy and active. Of course, I've also made some really stupid and frankly embarrassing mistakes in regards to filtration, algae/moss, and sand (which is now buried under the soil -- sorry corys).

Thankfully, the animals don't seem to have suffered as I've been keeping up with weekly maintenance and 50-60% water changes. But as you can see, the tank's become a bit of an untamed mess:


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(Not sure if it's the moss or algae that's growing all over the place like this, but it's getting harder and harder to get rid of every week and it's a bit of an eyesore)

I'm doing what I can to keep it under control week by week (trying lower light), but I also think my fish are due for an upgrade. I've had a space on the stand underneath this tank that I'd now like to use so, I've gone ahead and purchased a 29-Gallon Tank and am ready to spend the next few weeks/months getting it ready. I sourced the gear for my first tank from multiple different sources. This new one, I just purchased a kit with all the gear included:


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(Normally, I would have avoided the starter kits so that I could get the best gear possible, but money is a tad bit tighter due to some Quarantine expenses)

I'm hoping to setup the hardscape and substrate and get the tank filled in this weekend. Here's the hardscape and substrate I've ordered:

- "Carib Sea Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate" -- 2 Bags (20-lb each)
- "Caribsea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand" -- 1 Bag (20-lb)
- "Pisces 17 lb Seiryu Rock, Varies" -- 2 Boxes (17-lb each)


I might have more rocks than I need but I'm hoping after I move out the fish, I might be able to clean out the old 20G tank and set-it up again as a new one.

At least that's the plan! We'll see what happens.

Few questions about moving fish to a new tank:
- Do you try to use the water from the first tank in the second one to make it easier on the fish?
- Should I try and move the fish 2-3 at a time every few days? Or should I move them all at once (assuming the tank is safe for them to live in it)?


Thanks. Looking forward to your thoughts.
 

mattgirl

If you are planning on just upgrading to the bigger tank you can move the cycle from the 20 over to the 29 by moving everything including fish and most of the water over to the bigger tank. As long as you don't add more fish you shouldn't even see a glitch in your cycle.

Some bacteria will be lost but it shouldn't be enough to cause a problem. Thankfully bacteria grows fast so the little being left behind in the smaller tank should catch up quickly.

If you plan on keeping the 20 up and running leave a bit of the substrate in the 20 and go ahead and start feeding ammonia to the bacteria left behind on the glass and substrate. It should jump start the cycle in the smaller tank.
 

Dejen

If you plan on keeping the 20 up and running leave a bit of the substrate in the 20 and go ahead and start feeding ammonia to the bacteria left behind on the glass and substrate. It should jump start the cycle in the smaller tank.

Great advice, thank you!
 

Dejen

i use this, works like a charm. highly recommended.

Awesome to hear -- I used it on my first tank and it was great. Out of curiosity, did you put anything additional with it underneath or on top? Nutrition or powder or anything?
 

Imcrayfishareawesome

nope. i do have fert and CO2 however.
 

Dejen

If you are planning on just upgrading to the bigger tank you can move the cycle from the 20 over to the 29 by moving everything including fish and most of the water over to the bigger tank. As long as you don't add more fish you shouldn't even see a glitch in your cycle.

When you say move 'everything' do you mean the substrate, too? I was really only planning on moving the animals (fish and snails) and then seeing if I could transfer the water. My new tank already has its own filter. Could I reuse the cartridge in any way? Even just putting it in the new tank?
 

mattgirl

When you say move 'everything' do you mean the substrate, too? I was really only planning on moving the animals (fish and snails) and then seeing if I could transfer the water. My new tank already has its own filter. Could I reuse the cartridge in any way? Even just putting it in the new tank?
You will be leaving some bacteria behind by not moving the substrate but it may not be enough to cause much of a mini-cycle. Bacteria grows on every surface in our tanks. The strongest colony is going to be on your filter media though because the filter is pulling bacteria food through it. Meaning the ammonia your fish are producing. If you don't plan on using the filter you have running on the small tank on the bigger one at least move the media (cartridge, sponge or anything you have in the old filter) over to the new filter. If it won't fit cut it apart to make it fit.

If you have gravel in the smaller tank maybe you could put some of it in a media bag and put that bag in the filter. It is going to have bacteria on it. You may even want to consider running both the original filter and the new filter on the bigger tank for a month or so. After a month you could remove the original filter or may even consider running both of them. You can never have too much filtration. Too much water movement maybe but never too much filtration.

There is little to no bacteria in the water but it is the water your fish are used to. By transferring it over to the bigger tank and filling the rest with temp matched and treated water your bacteria and your little guys will just feel like they have had a nice water change.
 

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