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Sponge-tastic!!
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284 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the middle of setting up my new tank, and at some point I need to get all the LR from the old tank and transfer it to the new one so I can aquascape. I don't want to move the whole tank the same day, because the aquascaping will stir everything back up and I don't want to rush it and risk a collapse. I also want to make sure that I have enough good bacteria in the system before I risk bringing over the livestock (mostly inverts). I plan on swapping 5g buckets of SW between the tanks this weekend, so there will be some bacteria, but not enough.

I'm also worried about starting another big tank cycle; I have to have the other tank empty by next Friday (30th), so time is an issue.

Please lend me your words of wisdom so I can make this a somewhat seamless transition.

Thanks a ton
Brian
 

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Saltwater Mom
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5,869 Posts
I cant answer about the rock issue cause I dont know. You could get a bacteria starter. I don't remember the name of the stuff I got but it helps boost the bacteria. You can get from LFS.
 

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Sponge-tastic!!
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284 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I'm planning on doing a water change in the old tank with the SW from the new tank tomorrow. I'm then going to take the old water change SW and put it into the new tank. It's going to have some detritus, mini stars, and random inverts, but it should have some beneficial bacteria that will jump-start everything for me.
 

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Super Moderator
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I just recently moved from a 75 to a 125. I did the actual move in about 5 hours. It basically went as follows:

I filled the new tank with close to 70 gallons of new RO/DI as fast as I could make it. About 2 days.
I then got about 15 – 5 gallon buckets and started filling them with the old tank water. I used those buckets to temporarily hold my corals. I set aside a couple for cleaning and holding my live rock. I moved items out as they became close to being exposed to air.
<O:p</O:p
Next, any buckets that didn’t have anything in them but water, were poured into the new tank. There was still a cloudiness in the tank from sand and such. Live rock was put in the tank and placed in a layer on the bottom of the tank (not aquascaped). Corals and fish were put in the tank last.
<O:p</O:p

I let everything settle and adjust for a couple of days and then did all of my aquascaping.

I had a small diatom bloom that lasted about 5 or 6 days. No other issues.
 

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Sponge-tastic!!
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284 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
ScruffyRubicon said:
I just recently moved from a 75 to a 125. I did the actual move in about 5 hours. It basically went as follows:

I filled the new tank with close to 70 gallons of new RO/DI as fast as I could make it. About 2 days.
I then got about 15 – 5 gallon buckets and started filling them with the old tank water. I used those buckets to temporarily hold my corals. I set aside a couple for cleaning and holding my live rock. I moved items out as they became close to being exposed to air.
<O:p</O:p
Next, any buckets that didn’t have anything in them but water, were poured into the new tank. There was still a cloudiness in the tank from sand and such. Live rock was put in the tank and placed in a layer on the bottom of the tank (not aquascaped). Corals and fish were put in the tank last.
<O:p</O:p

I let everything settle and adjust for a couple of days and then did all of my aquascaping.

I had a small diatom bloom that lasted about 5 or 6 days. No other issues.
Thanks Scruffy!

How long did you let your new 125 run before you made the transfer?

Did you leave the lights off for a day or so after the move?
 

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Super Moderator
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I added RO/DI and salt to the tank over two days and used several powerheads to mix it. It was cool outside those two days so i left the windows open and had the ceiling fan going on high. I had two bags of Arag-Alive sand I added as soon as there was enough water to keep it out of the powerheads and about a half a gallon of my old sand (not rinsed). It ran a full day after that before I started the move. I actually complicated the whole process by using the old sand from my 75 gallon. I didn't mention that above. After I got every thing else out of my old tank, I pulled the sandbed out and rinsed it thoroughly (until the water ran clear) and then poured fresh RO/DI through it. I added that to the tank before adding my live rock, coral and fish.

Honestly, my plans were different, but as I started the move I realized that the tank was going to dictate more of how the move was going to happen than I was. It became very obvious what had to come out next and what went in the new tank at what time. I'm sure your move will go somewhat differently. The key is, you have time to make decisions as it goes along. The corals, fish and rock spend time without fitration during shipment to your LFS or your house. They will be OK. Take you time and don't stress. Just make sure you set time aside for the move. I estimated my move would take 10 hours and it only took 5. I was working on my own and knew that once I started the actual move that it had to be completed before I stopped.

As far as my lights, I switched from PC to MH. I had looked at post after post as to how to acclimate my corals to the brighter lighting and then talked to my LFS. They told my to not worry about screeens and just start at four hours a day for one week and and then add one hour a week until I get to were I want to be. Since the water was cloudy from the move, I started my my lights right away knowing that this would slowly bring the light up the first day.

I also ran my Mag 350 with carbon on my old tank for two days before the move to clear up anything and then again for the first two days on the new tank after the move to clear any slime that may have been created by stressed corals. I normally don't run my canister at all.

I have a large Umbrella Leather that slumped over against my Lobophyllia and the Leather got slimed a bit. It had a smalll anout of die off but is recovering nicely now.
 

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Administrator
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it does not take long for bacteria to take over a new tank. a week would be plenty to have a good start.

as long as you do not misorient the LR from the old tank to the new tank you should not have a cycle problem. recycling occurs due to die off. as long as the LR moved stays in the sponge side down, die off would be minimal. it will prolly be only limited to those sponges that did not survive the exposure to the air. this is why most people will have a diatom bloom after a major reaquascaping. when sponges die they release the bound up silicates. diatoms are quick to uptake these. eventually the living sponges will start growing again and the diatom bloom will go away.

G~
 

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Super Moderator
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Good Point Geoff! I forgot to mention that! Definetly orient your rock the way it was in the old tank! I was very careful to do that!

I have already noticed the nitrification process happening in my sand bed and it has only been 9 days since my move was completed.
 
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