Switching 55g Gravel To 20g Sand

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by Anicks[Onyx], Aug 2, 2017.

  1. Anicks[Onyx]New MemberMember

    So I currently have a 55 gallon tank with your average sized gravel(which is red and I hate it). I planted some small frontground plants that seem to be doing ok, they've been alive and growing for 2-3 months now. Usually my live plants die before a month has gone by so I must be doing something right I used to have 6 glass cats, 6 hatchetfish, 5 blue eyed sparkling gouramis, a honey sunset dwarf gourami, and a small pleco. Now I have 2 glass cats, 5 hatchets, 4 sparkling gouramis, and a pleco. And now I've adopted my little brother's killifish.
    So I'm wanting to move my fish and plants into a 20 gallon tall with some sand this time. I'm thinking because of the filter I use it won't take long to cycle and establish. I use a Sunsun filter with a sponge in the intake. It has room for a carbon ball but I've never needed one. So basically I have a water pump instead of an actual filter but mine has the sponge. I'm thinking the bacteria that keeps my tank levels normal are in the sponge, so hopefully if I don't clean it the new tank will cycle or not even need cycling. I also plan to siphon basically all the water the new one needs from my old tank. I'm wanting some large grain black sand but will settle for something else at my LFS if needed.

    This is what I plan to do, so far. What do you think? Does it sound like it would work without losing fish? Do you have any suggestions?
  2. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    So you're moving all your fish over to the 20g? Are you getting rid of the 55g? Sounds like you'd be overstocked if you are transferring over all the fish you currently have over to the 20g. Those fish in a smaller volume of water will make water parameters hard to control since you are also working with what sounds like very little filtration.

    Also, water doesn't hold any beneficial bacteria so it would be useless to transfer the old tank water over. If you're not getting rid of the 55g, I would just swap out the substrate in the same tank.
  3. Anicks[Onyx]New MemberMember

    I only have 13 fish, that would not max out the capacity of a 20 gallon, they are all 2" or smaller. And I'm getting rid of the 55 because I need the space.
  4. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Inch per gallon rule is outdated and not to be used. Stocking a tank is about activity level, being in proper schools, level of tank the fish occupies, adult size a fish gets, compatibility and filtration, etc.

    If you can only fit a 20g tall, I suggest rehoming some fish.
  5. Anicks[Onyx]New MemberMember

    I don't follow the inch/gallon rule. I follow a flexible standard of fish/gallon as long as they are smaller than 2" and are comfortable. Even then I still don't get as many fish as I can squeeze into a tank(13 fish in a 55). I will likely trade in the killi because he's not done growing and get a couple more glass cats because they're schoolers. My hatchets seem happy as 5. My gouramis, only 4 right now, they are all smaller than 1" and aren't going to get much bigger, they're not your typical gourami. My pleco is for cleaning and he's still only 1" (actually does keep my 55g clean). Once he gets big enough to be unhappy in a 20g I will trade him in at my LFS and get another tiny one.
    I know my fish and they individually occupy different levels and seem to agree on water parameters.
    The purpose of this post is about cycling, going from gravel to sand, and the plants.
  6. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    What kind of pleco? Overstocking could affect your water quality especially when moving to a smaller tank.

    As long as you keep the same media when you make the transfer you should be ok but as mentioned, you may see a spike in levels because of the smaller water volume and filtration. I would keep a close eye on your levels for at least a month.

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