Switching Tanks

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Photobelle, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. PhotobelleValued MemberMember

    I may be switching from a 10g to a 20g long. I am still working on cycling (second round with tss). If I do switch I have a aquaclear 30 filter so that would be fine. I currently have gravel, but I want to get cories and not lose my whole cycle. Should I just transfer the gravel I have a cover it with sand to keep the bacteria and also have a more Cory friendly substrate? Would I just transfer the water from the 10g to the 20g and then add and do a good water change a few days later? I have 3 platies and a Molly right now. If I did this I would want to make sure the new tank was cycled correct and then add fish? Also I should I wait for my 10g to cycle and then switch or just switch and make sure the 20g cycles? I have 2 days left or the 14 day tss cycle. pH -7.8, ammonia 2-4, nitrites - 0, nitrates - 5-10. After the 14days I will do a 50% water change and that is it. (Side note: how does everyone get the waste off the gravel wirhwit stirring it up? I want to do that but not disturb the gravel this early in trying to cycle). I will be getting pygmy cories so how many could I add at a time with a 20g and not mess up my cycle. I have been having trouble cycling so I am nervous about doing this but I am really enjoying the hobby and want to be able to have more fish.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
  2. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    I'll answer what I'm able to. the best way to cycle a new tank is to transfer all your cycled media from the filter of the 10g.

    99% of your bacteria live in your filter media. yes there's some in your gravel & on decorations but it's negligible.

    so you can add new substrate to your new tank. I would transfer ad much of the water as you can just to keep the parameters stable but again, not the end of the world if you don't.

    remember it's not the tank volume that dictates how much bacteria grow. it's the bio load (ammonia food source) & the amount of surface area of your filter media.

    I think you should finish cycling your media in your 10g because you're using TSS & still waiting for bacteria to establish.

    again you might lose a bit of bacteria once you switch but not enough to be too concerned about imo :)
  3. PhotobelleValued MemberMember

    Thank you! I will wait til the 10g cycles and then transfer everything to the new tank and make sure that is cycled before I add anything.
  4. PhotobelleValued MemberMember

    We switched from a 10g to a 20g long last bight. New sand and plants, but all plants and decorations from old tank we're transferred also aquaclear 30 filter was transferred and media was just rinsed in old tank water and stored in old tank water til transfer. I also have our kit aquoen filter that came with the 10g running. I placed a piece of polishing pad from the aquaclear in there. I also got a ecobio stone. We have 3 platies, 1 Molly and 2 snails. Did a water test this am and we have .25-.50 Ammonia, 0 nitrates and 0-5 nitrates. Do I just do daily tests to see if the levels increase? Also do I leave the water and plan to just do a weekly water change and gravel change next week or should I be doing daily water changes til I cycle? I don't think we are starting from scratch so I am hoping to cycle soon as we were having trouble in the 10g so I decided to just switch to the bigger tank now rather than waiting to cycle .Thanks
  5. AquaticJFishlore VIPMember

    So you have both filters running on the 20g?
  6. PhotobelleValued MemberMember

    Yes we know we want to add several more fish. The aqueon was the filter that came with the 10g tank.
  7. Nicole BWell Known MemberMember

    Sounds exactly like what we are going through! Just switched to a 20 last night with the same levels. Lol!
  8. PhotobelleValued MemberMember

    What's your plan of action? I am trying so hard to get this right but I am a newbie a d have made like every mistake possible with cycling. I feel like I can't get it right, either I under clean or over or I over water change get or under water change lol.
  9. Nicole BWell Known MemberMember

    Same as us!! We always read a little bit of ammonia. We accidently started our filter before treating the water with our old media but not very long so we’re hoping the BB is fine! Ugh! Are you’re fish acting weird in new tank? I just plan to keep checking levels and if ammonia and nitrite go above 1ppm together I will do a water change. Other then that I will just dose prime unless we instantly cycle. And do our weekly water change and cleaning. We just clean one section of the tank and mostly just on top and not deep gravel cleaning. We used to clean a ton too and kept wondering why we weren’t cycling. We’ve only had our 10 gal tank for 2 months so we are newbies too! I am loving our 20 gal but our fish aren’t yet. Lol
  10. SmallFishGuyValued MemberMember

    Best way to do it just to add everything from the old tank into the new one, use the filter on it alongside a new one for at least a few weeks and you’ll be good to go, just don’t add any new fish until you’ve waited the few weeks, it will just be like a 50% water change by adding the extra 10g
  11. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    I think both of y'all are going fine at this point. You both made the switch exactly the way I would have done it. By moving everything over from the small tanks to the bigger ones the fish and the bacteria just though they had a big water change

    At this point you both need to just take a deep breath and try to relax. Your tanks have basically finished their cycles. Now they just need time to get strong and established.

    At this point I would be keeping an eye on the numbers. If y'all are registering low amounts of ammonia just add a full dose of prime to render it less harmful but it will still leave it there to feed the bacteria. If the number goes up to 1 do a water change to get it back down and then add a dose of prime.

    Just give the bacteria a chance to grow by leaving it alone. For now I wouldn't be bothering the substrate or the filters. Just let them sit there and grow the necessary bacteria. HTH
  12. BobNJerryValued MemberMember

    I agree with @mattgirl you are well on your way.

    I just did this in December- first what a job! lol

    the best thing to do while things get re-established is test your water and do water changes if you see your numbers change.
  13. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    Consider this a mini-cycle bump... so use the same criterion used if you fish in cycle...
    Test daily.
    If ammonia + nitrite > or = 1.0 do a 50% water change and dose with Prime.
    If ammonia + nitrite < 1.0 dose with Prime & walk away until the next day.
    Repeat until you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and > 5 nitrate for at least a week, then you can slowly consider adding more fish. To the OP - is the plan to keep running both filters long term? If not, the extra step will be taking away the smaller filter and letting the new filter catch up. The good news is that the BB reproduces every 12 hours or so. Starting with a larger quantity of BB it doubles to account for the new ammonia more easily. Good luck - you are certainly on the right track!
  14. PhotobelleValued MemberMember

    Yes we are going to keep running both filters but the aqueon is starting from scratch. We stopped using it on the 10g and upgraded to the aquaclear. Since we weren't using it I thought it would be good to run both with a bigger tank and build the bacteria in both in case we decide to setup the 10g again. But for now the plan is to run both.
  15. Nicole BWell Known MemberMember

    Would you add in more bottled Bacteria or no?
  16. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    I wouldn't because I've never seen the need for it. A tank will cycle without it but it is up to you. With fish lives at stake keeping up with the water changes when necessary will keep them safe and will allow the tank to cycle naturally.
  17. Nicole BWell Known MemberMember

    My nitrate is back at 0. Is this bad?
  18. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    I would retest and remember to bang the heck out of bottle #2. Follow the steps exactly (bottle 1, shake 5 sec, bottle 2, shake 1 min, etc).
  19. Nicole BWell Known MemberMember

    I did that :( idk if it was because our nitrate was always pretty low. (5ppm) and then we added 10 gallons of new water and that made it go down? I think we have to restart our cycle. But then I’m thinking we still have BB cuz our ammonia was higher the day we did the switch and is now back down to .25 which what was in our 10 gallon.
  20. PhotobelleValued MemberMember

    I just retested mine and I had between.25-.50 of Ammonia, no nitrites and 5 nitrates. So all low but at least I think my tank is still trying to cycle! I won't get my prime until tomorrow and my water level went down I think due to water settling in the sand. So I added a little water to fill it back up and dosed for the whole 20g with my aqueon water conditioner. I figure that will be good til I get prime tomorrow.

    If I stay under 1 ammonia and just dose prime every day should I still do a weekly water change next week?

    Mine was always really low as well and still is. It is barely orange but is just a little. Hopefully by tomorrow yours will be back up.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2018