Upgrading Tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by MonkeySee, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. MonkeySee

    MonkeySeeNew MemberMember

    Not sure if this is the correct forum - please move it if there's a more appropriate one.

    I've never "upgraded" to a new tank. Due to the size of my apartment, I'll have to get rid of my old 70G immediately and replace it with the new 100G. The 70G will eventually be too small for my cichlids so the upgrade is necessary and I'd rather do it sooner than later.

    I have some questions as I never migrated before.

    - I intend on continuing to use my 70G filter (the current one I have) in addition to another filter. What size should the second filter be? A friend of mine has a 50G Fluval filter - would this make sense or should I aim for a 30G so it all equals to 100?

    - In my current tank, I have soil under the gravel in only one part of the tank. In my new tank, I intend to use soil all over (with gravel on top) and plan to do some aquascaping. Since my friend is picking up my current tank tomorrow (as I literally have no room for it - I live in a studio apartment), will it be ok to transfer the fish over to the new tank a couple of hours after planting everything? How risky is this?

    - Can African cichlids (the peaceful ones like a yellow lab) mix with 2 quite peaceful red parrots that are about 6 months old? I realize the latter isn't African. I also currently have catfish, 4 serpei tetras (I'll add 2-3 more tomorrow), a swordtail and a gourami.

    - Any products you'd recommend for migrating that I might need?

    - Are there any plant fertilizer options other than the tabs I got that say they contain ammonia (what the heck?)

    Any other suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated. Please keep in mind that I am 100% new to migrating and am asking for advice here so if I asked a stupid question, go easy on me! I'm here to listen and learn!
     
  2. MikeRad89

    MikeRad89Well Known MemberMember

    Unfortunately with a move this quick I would suggest NOT doing a capped soil substrate. Adding fish to new soil could result in an ammonia spike and kill your fish.

    The soil should be soaked for days to weeks before it's ready to be placed in the tank.

    If you can go with something like aquasoil that would be preferable.

    As for filtration, you want as much as possible. Unless the tank looks like a whirlpool, it's not too much.

    Moving your fully cycled filter over to the new tank with the same stock will give you an instant cycle.

    While it's not something I would condone, I suppose you could keep parrots with the Africans. While aggressive the parrots have little to no line of defense with their deformed mouths. I'd be more concerned about their well being than the smaller Africans, although labs are generally peaceful.

    A lot of fertilizer will contain ammonia as that's what aquatic plants consume primarily. The filter is consuming all of the ammonia produced by the fish before the plants can use it, so by adding excess ammonia (albeit a different form of ammonia) you're giving the plants the necessary nutrients they need.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    MonkeySee

    MonkeySeeNew MemberMember

    This is so helpful. THANK YOU. I should've specified - I absolutely did mean aquasoil. That's what I used on my current tank (well, one side of it)

    My main worry was the cycling bit and how hard it will be on the fish. If it goes through a mini cycle, I can manage that but if it means doing this completely from scratch I'd be really worried. I wasn't sure how much of a difference it'll make if the filter and decor have already been used. I do plan on getting more plants tomorrow as well.

    Good to know about the fertilizer too. And the Africans. If I do this, it'd only be the peaceful ones I've already done some research on. My main worry were the water parameters. Currently I keep it at around Ph 7.4, KH 125,
    GH 165, water temp is around 80-82 usually.
     
  4. Racing1113Well Known MemberMember

    As far as the filter, don't worry about getting filters that match the number of gallons your tank holds. Instead focus on how many gallons per hour the filter turns over. You're aiming for 8-10 times your tank size, so 800-1000 gallons per hour. So your second filter will depend on how many gallons per hour your 70g filter does.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    MonkeySee

    MonkeySeeNew MemberMember

    Update. Pic attached of my new tank. So it's a lot less foggy than I thought it would be. I used Tropica substrate for the plants and put about 3cm of gravel on top. The fish immediately seemed pretty happy last night and all day today. I fed them this morning and they were all over it.

    The thing that puzzles me is this...the ammonia reading this morning was 6!!! That's insane. I did my test with the Nutrafin MasterKit. I also have that little sticker thing you put inside your tank called Seachem Ammonia Alert which I know isn't AS accurate as a proper water test but that sticker is showing 0 ammonia. Just to be safe, I did a 50% water change this morning. Ammonia stayed at 6. I did another 50% water change and it's still at 6!

    I moved my old filter (70G) to this one and it has all the old filter media. Before the tank migration, the water parameters in the old tank were perfect. I also moved the wood and plants from the old aquarium into this one as well as the gravel (I added some new gravel too because the tank is bigger). The Tropica substrate, some other plants, a rock and a Fluval filter are all new (I have two filters going now). Does anyone have any idea what I'm doing wrong? The fish seem 100% fine and there's been no casualties.

    The products I'm currently using:

    Seachem Stability
    Prime conditioner
    A bit of aquarium salt

    My current readings are (via the Nutrafin test kit):

    Ammonia: 6
    Ph 7.4
    KH 125
    GH 165
    Temperature: 80

    OK for some reason it won't let me attach a photo so I uploaded it to imgur: [​IMG]
     






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