55 Gallon Tank Upgrading! A million Qs

RayRay

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Sooner than expected, I'm upgrading my 10 gallon. I got real lucky and found quite a deal on craigslist and should be picking up my new 55 gallon tomorrow. So now, of course, I have a million questions.

1. Should I cycle the 55 gallon without fish before I put my current fish in it? The 10 hasn't been running for more than a month and the cycle isn't getting much of anywhere. With the 55 I was thinking of doing the shrimp method and cranking up the heat to try and get it cycled as fast as possible. Or should I just move everything over to use whatever BB I have so far as a kickstart?

2. If I do cycle the 55 without fish should I move some of my decorations out of the 10 into it to begin with? Or would this stress out my fish too much?

3. What is the best way to take my plants out of the 10? I only have two that are any sort of developed (grew them from those mystery bulb packs) and I'm afraid of damaging the roots. Also, I'm planning on using pool filter sand as my substrate in the 55 (yay free!), so how should I go about planting?

4. My boyfriend has this weird little suction cup shelf thing in the tank. My dojo loves hiding out underneath it in its shade. Only thing, it has slats in the bottom. Is there any way I could fill them in so the sand doesn't get through? Or should I just use gravel in it? Or give up on it altogether?

5. I plan on getting more live plants. Any suggestions for something easy to care for that grows okay in sand? Right now we have four green things and one bulb I think is growing a red lily. (Real descriptive, huh?)

6. I was thinking of getting some eco-complete maybe to mix in with the sand and help with the plants, but I've read that they're not good for burrowing fish and I'm worried about my dojo loach. Does anyone have any experience with this?

7. More of a specific question, but I keep reading that dojo loaches should have 3 or more in a group. I really only want one more (a gold to contrast with my regular, if I can find one). Would he be happy with only one more dojo in the tank or should I worry about my fish more than my own tastes and get him a third playmate? Also, what would be the m:f ratio best for dojos if I do have to get two more? If I only get one, would a female be okay?

8. To move over my fish should I acclimate them or just use as much water as possible from the 10 and net them?

I'll probably think of more questions as I go, because I'm annoying like that (sorry!!), but for now I guess I should get cleaning to prepare for this tank, rather than playing around on fl. ;D
 

Jaysee

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Sooner than expected, I'm upgrading my 10 gallon. I got real lucky and found quite a deal on craigslist and should be picking up my new 55 gallon tomorrow. So now, of course, I have a million questions.

1. Should I cycle the 55 gallon without fish before I put my current fish in it? The 10 hasn't been running for more than a month and the cycle isn't getting much of anywhere. With the 55 I was thinking of doing the shrimp method and cranking up the heat to try and get it cycled as fast as possible. Or should I just move everything over to use whatever BB I have so far as a kickstart?

Yes, cycle the 55 first. Don't mess with anything in the 10 unless you want to screw up what progress you've made.

2. If I do cycle the 55 without fish should I move some of my decorations out of the 10 into it to begin with? Or would this stress out my fish too much?

No, leave the 10 be!

3. What is the best way to take my plants out of the 10? I only have two that are any sort of developed (grew them from those mystery bulb packs) and I'm afraid of damaging the roots. Also, I'm planning on using pool filter sand as my substrate in the 55 (yay free!), so how should I go about planting?

I can't help you with plants.

4. My boyfriend has this weird little suction cup shelf thing in the tank. My dojo loves hiding out underneath it in its shade. Only thing, it has slats in the bottom. Is there any way I could fill them in so the sand doesn't get through? Or should I just use gravel in it? Or give up on it altogether?

....I'm not sure what you mean to do with it. If you just want to put substrate in it, I'd go with gravel.

5. I plan on getting more live plants. Any suggestions for something easy to care for that grows okay in sand? Right now we have four green things and one bulb I think is growing a red lily. (Real descriptive, huh?)

Again, I can't help with plants.

6. I was thinking of getting some eco-complete maybe to mix in with the sand and help with the plants, but I've read that they're not good for burrowing fish and I'm worried about my dojo loach. Does anyone have any experience with this?

7. More of a specific question, but I keep reading that dojo loaches should have 3 or more in a group. I really only want one more (a gold to contrast with my regular, if I can find one). Would he be happy with only one more dojo in the tank or should I worry about my fish more than my own tastes and get him a third playmate? Also, what would be the m:f ratio best for dojos if I do have to get two more? If I only get one, would a female be okay?

I think you should put your fish's needs first. I'd get more - I don't know that sex matters and I haven't kept them long enough to tell.

8. To move over my fish should I acclimate them or just use as much water as possible from the 10 and net them?

Leave them in the 10, unless they are not appropriate for the tank.

I'll probably think of more questions as I go, because I'm annoying like that (sorry!!), but for now I guess I should get cleaning to prepare for this tank, rather than playing around on fl. ;D
Hope that helps.
 

ristin

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I had one Dojo loach to start with and heard I should have at least 3. Bought two more, and the lone loach doesn't interact with the other two at all. Brutus just hides in the substrate most of the time, to the point where I often think he has died. When I get overly concerned that he may have passed, I toss peas in the tank and that brings him out.

The other two however, are hilarious and I'm so glad to have them. Crash & Eddie are always out and never hide. Loach jousting is very entertaining. They swim to opposite ends of the tank, turn around and swim at each other full speed. They look like there going to collide head on, but at the last possible moment they slip past each other, turn around and do it again.

I tried catching Loach jousting on video, but they were to fast for my video camera.
 
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RayRay

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Thanks for the advise Jaysee. I forgot to mention that the 10 is being turned into a QT once the 55 is set up, so all the fish are being transferred. But I'll definitely cycle it beforehand so it'll go quicker.

ristin that sounds adorable! Maybe I have to get the two more now just to see it, lol. I'm assuming they're all male? How long did you have Brutus before you added the other two? And was there any size difference between them?
 

MindTravel3r

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8. To move over my fish should I acclimate them or just use as much water as possible from the 10 and net them?
After your new tank is cycled, and you ready to move the fish over, I would definitely acclimate them. You don't really need to move the water, but you don't want to risk shocking the fish, so the safe thing to do is acclimate.
 

ristin

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Thanks for the advise Jaysee. I forgot to mention that the 10 is being turned into a QT once the 55 is set up, so all the fish are being transferred. But I'll definitely cycle it beforehand so it'll go quicker.

ristin that sounds adorable! Maybe I have to get the two more now just to see it, lol. I'm assuming they're all male? How long did you have Brutus before you added the other two? And was there any size difference between them?
I don't know how long Brutus was the lone loach before we got him. Was well over 1 year before we got him some tank mates. Brutus is several inches longer than the kids, and fatter. The little guys try to play with him; they land on him when he's resting on the substrate and try to chase him, but he ignores them.
Pretty certain Brutus is a male. Not sure about Eddie & Crash.
 
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RayRay

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Thank you MindTravel3r!

And thank you too ristin. I've only had my loach for about a month and he had a tank mate in the store I bought him from so I think I still have hope of him playing. Right now he spends his time chasing the danios so at least I know he likes boogeying around. This upgrade is pretty much for him, since after a month I'm already in love and want the best for him. Haha.
 
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