Time for the 'Ole Switcheroo! (Am I missing anything?)

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by JeffK, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. JeffK

    JeffKWell Known MemberMember

    In a couple days I think I'll be ready to swap out my old 29 gal and replace it with a new 33 gal long (in the same spot). I think I know what I'm doing:

    33 gal has been tested for leaks - no problems there, and the background is already on. I'm using the same gravel, but adding another 20 lbs, so the new stuff will be rinsed ahead of time. I'm going to unplug the heater first so it has some time to cool down before I remove it from the tank. Then I'll drain the tank down to the last few inches, remove all (fake) plants and ornaments to make it easier to net the fish (there are 11 that will be switching tanks). They'll hang out in a 5 gal bucket until the other tank is set up (I will not feed them 24-48 hours prior and put a towel mostly over the bucket to keep it dark and hopefully they'll remain a little more calm that way. There were 2 nerites in there - both have been already moved to my 15 gal.

    I'll remove the old gravel, store it in a bucket, and drain the rest of water from the tank. Then I'll move the old tank and old stand, put the new stand in place, be sure it's level, put new tank on top, and add gravel to the new tank. Then I'll start working in the ornaments/fake plants and start filling with water (I always pour the water onto a plate to reduce displacement of the gravel). I'm replacing my Aqueon 55/75 (400 gph) with 2 Aqueon 30s (200 kph each). I have 2x 24 inch hoods rather than 1x 48" hood. The 55/75 has 2 filter cartridges - one will go in each of the new filters, along with little bio bags with ceramic biomax rings in each. I'll try to match the temp to 76F and put the new heater in and just let it sit in there for a bit before I plug it in.

    I'll probably drip acclimate the fish for a bit in the bucket just to be safe, but the pH, hardness, and temp should be the same (temp may drop a little in the bucket). I'll re-introduce the fish and leave them alone for the rest of the day with the lights off.

    I wanted to write this without looking at my list to see if I've got everything set in my head. Did I forget anything? Any suggestions appreciated!
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  2. maggie thecat

    maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    It wasn't entirely clear, but don't forget to put the old filter media in the new filters.

    Otherwise, don't forget to have towels, paper towels, an extra bucket and / or dishpan on hand, and to make sure every thing is laid out before you dive in.

    Also, if you have an airstone handy, its presence in your bucket of fish will make them more comfortable.

    One more also. If you have shrimp in your tank put the decor in a holding bucket with some water in it. You will save lives.
  3. OP

    JeffKWell Known MemberMember

    Thank you! Yes - the filter media from my 55/75 will be split between the 2 new filters. I do have an airstone - thanks for that tip! No shrimp, but I will have plenty of towels, buckets, etc. Getting psyched to do this!
  4. maggie thecat

    maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    Have a snack and then put some mellow music on before you get rolling. Oh, and coming from someone who HATES wet shirt sleeves, dress for the job.

    Most importantly though think about how great your new tank will look when everything is said and done!
  5. OP

    JeffKWell Known MemberMember

    Success! (I hope). I ended up getting a 7 gal styrofoam cooler from Walmart ($2.27) and keeping my fish in there while I switched the tanks. I split all the filter media I had in my Aqueon 55/75 between the 2 new Aqueon 30s that I'm now using on the new tank and I hung the two Aqueon 30s on either side of the cooler while I worked, so the cooler water (with fish) was being filtered and my beneficial bacteria had something to do, too . It was SO EASY to net the fish with all the plants/ornaments out of the tank and the water lowered to about 6 inches (usually I'm terrible at it with obstacles in the tank). I didn't really have to chase any of them around as I was able to just scoop with a big net and release them in the cooler. I also turned off the air conditioning while I worked so the water the fish were in pretty much maintained the same temp. For the rest of the day, I just left them alone, but when i peak in on them, they seem to be doing just fine. Glad it's all over!

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