Upgrading to new tank w/ existing fish

  • #1
i've had my 50 gallon up and running for years, and it's finally time to upgrade to a brand new, never used tank. dumb question (mosty since i've only had this one tank for so long)..

when I get the new tank, I plan to use all the existing stuff, water (as much as possible), substrate, rocks, filter, heater, fish, etc.

how does this work as far as cycling? will my fish be ok to just transfer right over since everything has been in use including the water?

thanks for you help.
  • #2
I upgraded my tank and just transferred over everything (make sure you add all your filter media)and just topped it up with more fresh treated water.Went milky for first day.I drained some water off the next day and add fresh treated water.Waited for 1-2 weeks(cant remember exactly how long)before I added any new fish.Its fun to be able to get new fish in you tank if you have the room.I had no problems with fish in new tank.Only lost one baby tetra as I accidently sucked it up syphon hose when emptying water from smaller tank.Good luck.
  • #3
Hello, if you transfer everything in your tank over to a new tank and keep the same stock without adding anything new, you will more than likely have an instant cycle with no problems. I would recommend you monitor your parameters for a few days to a week to see if anything crashes.

Btw, transferring old water is pointless. It does nearly nothing to help your cycle because minuscule amounts of bacteria live in the water column. Old water is depleted in oxygen, electrolytes, and other nutrients found in fresh water. I would just have the tank filled with freshly dechlorinated water.

Good luck with the move!
  • #4
Good morning,

Congrats on the new tank upgrade! I hope you continue to share your progress with us.

Good point above about not adding the old water to the new tank. However, so that you do not have to acclimate the fish to new water conditions, I would add enough of the old water for the fish to swim in, add the fish and then add new water slowly. Make sure the new water is the same temperature as what the fish are swimming in. In the end, it should be just like a large water change.

Another option, if you are doubling the tank size, it would not hurt to go ahead and use all of the old tank water especially if you have pH issues such as a large difference from the tap to what is currently in the tank. When I upgraded from 155g to 265g, and I have pH issues, I did use ALL of my old tank water:

Be sure to keep your filter media wet!

What size is the new tank?

  • Thread Starter
  • #5
thanks for all the great advice. the new tank is a 75. it's sitting in my main room on the floor. I went EVERYWHERE in town yesterday trying to find a stand and no one has one in stock. i've already got a buyer fror the old tank, but I can't let it go until I find a stand and get everything moved over to the 75.
  • #6
Good advice from everyone.

When I got my 125g everything in my 55 gallon went right in and when I had the 20 gallon at the time, all of that went into the 55g. Ran the well established Aquaclears 110 on the big tank with it's new canister and ran the 50 and 70 on the 55 gallon for about 2 months. I eventually upgraded to a canister on the 55g. I didn't get milky water or anything and had a nitrAte reading in less then a week. I even added 3 new baby Silver Dollars on the same day. I don't recommend adding new fish so soon though.
  • #7
Old water is depleted in oxygen, electrolytes, and other nutrients found in fresh water. I would just have the tank filled with freshly dechlorinated water.

I agree, add new water. The only time you should try and save water is if you alter the chemistry of the tank to be different from the source water. So if your natural pH is 6.5 and you raise it to 8, you would want to keep some of that water so you don't shock the fish.

I disagree that old water is oxygen depleted - the O2/CO2 gas exchange occurs just as readily in old water as it does in new water. With the rest, I guess it depends on how old "old" is

  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Jaysee! my long time best fish friend, haha. you'd be proud of me. i've stuck with one setup for a long time now (finally).

well my stand is here, the tank is here. time to switch everything over in just a little bit. my main issue is that since the 75 is going where the 50 is now, it can't be set up, filled and heated until the 50 is broken down and removed. i'm thinking I'll drain the 50 down to about 15-20 gallons of water, and set it on the floor, move everything aside, put the 75 in place, fill and check the temp before moving over the fish.

don't want to make any mistakes and lose even one fish. I have 7 adult male peacocks/haps in addition to a rainbow shark, a 12" pleco, and 2 snyndontis cats. lot of money invested in these fish and I love them.
  • #9
Jaysee! my long time best fish friend, haha. you'd be proud of me. i've stuck with one setup for a long time now (finally).

Hahaha, I'm glad you FINALLY found something you like!

Good luck with the switch
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
you helped me so much before. really appreciate it.
  • #11
I'm glad to have been able to. Don't forget pics!
  • Thread Starter
  • #12

draining the 50

all set up

water still clearing

water is 78-80 degrees just as it was before. all fish are perfectly fine. they colored right back up and seem happy with all the extra space. my pleco can actually move around in there now. i'm going to need more rocks.

in case you're wondering what's in it:

1x blue ahlI
1x yellow princess
1x red empress
1x otter point
1x red shoulder
1x bi-color
1x german red
3x yellow lab
3x acei
1x rainbow shark
2x syndontis cat (1 lace/1 multi)
1x pleco

hoping it's clear by morning. my water usually is so crystal clear people have commented it looks like there's no water at all and the fish are floating in air.
  • #13
Good morning,

Nice! Very nice! It looks like the move went well.

  • #14
looks great
  • #15
Good job! the blue background with the black stand looks sharp!
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
thanks everyone. here's a quick vid and introdution to each fish.

it was bare last night and in the video but I just went to a quarry nearby and got approx. 30 pieces, 81 pounds of stones, all colors, shapes and sizes for less than $20.

can't wait to get home and get everything arranged in there.
  • #17
beautiful fish, you done good
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
so her'es a vid with the rocks in


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