Switching tanks Help

Discussion in 'Cleaning and Maintenance' started by alral1988, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. alral1988New MemberMember

    I currently have a 55gl tank and for christmas im getting a new tank and stand because mine were both purchased used and have seen better days. my question is if im going to reuse the substrate, filter media, about 50% of the water, and all the deco will i be safe without allowing the normal "break in" period? i dont have an extra tank to keep my fish in for an extended amount of time so i need to try to switch the two tanks within just a few hours? will this be safe or will i risk losing my fish? ive got sand for substrate and i was planning on giving it a good cleaning since i have to remove it anyways. any help is appreciated
  2. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    What do you mean, you just want to take it out and rinse the sand in fresh clean dechlorinated water before you add to new tank?
  3. fishingman001Well Known MemberMember

    depending on how big the fish are, 5 gallon buckets can work. if the oscars are giant then you can get a blowup bathtub from either walmart or toys-r-us and fill that up with tank water.

    if you are going to get new substrate then take a big handful of old gravel from the tank and some in a pair of unwashed pantyhose and hang it in the tank when you are done. keep the gravel and filter media wet when changing tanks.
  4. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Congrats on the new tank. If you were going to simply switch everything over, you have nothing to worry about provided you take a couple precautions. First and foremost, make sure the media stays wet and doesn't dry out. Also, test your source water against the tank water. If they are close, you need not worry about saving the water. If your tank parameters are very different from the source water, then you ought to keep a lot of the old water so that your fish aren't shocked by the new water. If your tank and source are the same, then you can safely do 100% waterchanges.

    I don't think it'll take more than a couple hours to make the switch. I don't think you need to worry about washing the sand unless it's pretty dirty. If you do, a quick rinse is all that's needed IMO.

    Preserving the filter media is KEY to a successful switch.

    What will you be keeping the fish in during the switch?
  5. alral1988New MemberMember

    I planned on keeping the in a big plastic storage bin I've got that I've used befoe. The reason I want to wash the sand is because there's bits of the old gravel that I want to strain out of there, and I figured the sand could use it
  6. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Depending on what temp your house is kept at, you may need to put the heater in the holding bin.
  7. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello Al.

    Remember, do not rinse anything in chlorinated water. You'll destroy all of the good bacteria by doing so. The good bacteria needed to cycle your tank is found on all surfaces areas within the tank with the highest concentration of it being in your filter and in your substrate. The good bacteria is not free swimming so there is no need to use the old tank water. By switching everything over your fish should be safe. Note: as mentioned above make sure your pH levels and water temperatures match between old tank and new tank and fish bucket or container. If you have a big difference in pH then you may want to keep some of the old tank water or possibly even all of it. You'll have to decide once you test.

    What size is the new tank? If the new tank is larger than the one you're currently using then the additional gallons will be just like a water change.

    Keep an eye on your water chemistry. Don't forget to remove the chlorine from the new water! :) Add some Nova Aqua (stress reliever and adds body slime) or your chemical of choice for this same purpose to the bucket or container housing the fish while you make the change. An air supply line to the bucket would be a good idea as well.

    I suggest not cleaning the old tanks, ornaments, filters, or substrate before you make the change. Wait for several weeks after your new tank has been set up. This way you won't be losing all of your good bacteria!

    Best of luck and keep us posted!

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