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Thread: I Need Some Advice

  1. #1
    Senior Member Hydroid's Avatar

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    I Need Some Advice

    Looking for so advice from everyone. The more I read the more I start second guessing myself.

    I'm in the process of upgrading from my 55 gallon to a 125. While I have been in hobby coming up on two years now this is the first time I have cycled a new tank. I do have the fortune of having both tanks running while I make the change over. Here is were I sit as of today

    New tank I set up on adjacent wall and has been running for a week now. I have 60 pounds of BRS reef saver rock and 80 pounds of carbsea caribian ocean direct sand (not oolight) I hope as this progresses to move the 100+ pounds rock from old tank and its sand as well. I have put a couple of large rocks and sand from old tank for seeding the new rock. New tank perimeters are as follows

    Salt 1.025
    Temp 79.9
    Ammonia .25 (double checked test kit against my current tank which is 0)
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 0 (barley any color change no where close to first mark on kit)
    Phosphate 0
    Ph 8.0-8.1
    Calcium 410 (not worried about that right now but thought I'd test anyway)


    Stuff moving from old tank- a lot of coral lps and soft, 2 fish, various inverts ie brittle star snails crabs cucumber ect I don't think my bio load it high and don't plan on increasing it for a good while.

    Here's some questions I'd like everyones input on

    1 - ammonia it has been steady at .25 all week. I've read so many conflicting opinions on this topic some say it needs to be higher to cycle properly others don't but do say I should be showing more nitrate and nitrite. The "new" tank is used so I figured the die off in the overflows and other places I couldn't clean would provide enough decay for the cycle. Could I be wrong do I need to add anything?

    2 - moving time ... Fish first ? Or rock and coral? or all at once?

    3 - I do have equipment that needs to move over, power heads and skimmer. New tank has a spare powerhead in it but not enough for coral. So need to consider the timing of all this

    4 - old sand, I know disturbing a sand bed will cause a cycle.the DT sand is very clean from goby I had the DSB in sump is more of a consern sound I move sand over a little time or all at once

    Thanx everybody

  2. #2
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    I didn't measure the ammonia when I was transferring tanks, so I can't offer any thoughts on that. The following are my opinions and have worked for me.

    I would move the sand, then rock, then coral, then fish last so they don't stress out from the move, and then from everything else being added. I'd move the fish into a qt tank or bucket with heater and bubbler, and cover it to minimize stress on them while I got the tank arranged the way I wanted it. The stress on the fish is probably more likely to cause a problem than a cycle since you have live rock and sand already going in the new tank. I moved the sand from the display tank from one into another and I always added some Dr. Tim's nitrifying bacteria and never had a problem. Having both tanks running, I would do a little sand at a time. The sump DSB is something I would be more cautious about. If you could move the firs couple of inches, then give it a while and move another inch or two, etc, it might be safer.
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  3. #3
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    When you move your old sand, leave about 4" of water in the bottom of the old tank and use a slotted spoon to stir it up real good and get all the detritus out of it and suspended in the water. Then use a dustpan to catch the sand and move it to the new tank or put it in a bucket and then move it that way.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member OceanView's Avatar

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    +1 to Murfman - I followed his advice! Additionally, I kept one bucket of water from the last water change and after I scooped the sand into a colander, I swooshed it around in the bucket, let it drain a bit, and dropped it into the new tank. That may have been overkill, but I only had a very minor mini-cycle and only lost two corals, so I think it was worth it. I had moved the almost empty tank right next to the new one (using moving slider pads), so it went pretty quick.

  6. #5
    Senior Member OceanView's Avatar

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    oh forgot - with regards to fish/coral
    I took my time to move the tank - I think it took me almost the entire day - because I wanted to aqua scape in peace----so I used my qt 10 gal to house all my fish with an HOB filter and heater - as well as two styrofoam shipping boxes with little heaters for the coral. I put a couple of rocks into the 10 gal for the shy fish to hide and not freak out. I did not loose any fish.
    Also - i used as much of my old water as possible. I moved from a 55 to a 75+40 gal sump, so it probably was a 50%+ water change in the end.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Hydroid's Avatar

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    Thanks everyone for your input

    I'm realy conserned with the ammonia issue though do I just wait it out?

  8. #7
    Senior Member charleshardy5's Avatar

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    You could always attempt to use a product such as ammolock to neutralize the ammonia. At that point I would just add everything all at once. This is how I have transfered between all 3 of my tank moves and upgrades. Your current live rock should have enough bacteria and stuff growing in it to maintain your bio load. I've only ever lost one nem transferring this method
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    Look up vodka dosing. It really helps speed up the production of denitrifying bacteria.

  10. #9
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    Just an FYI if you use an ammonia locker like Amquel or Ammo lock, you will still get ammonia readings in your test kit, even though the ammonia and nitrites are neutralized.
    The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. - Jacques Cousteau


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  11. #10
    Registered User Levi's Avatar

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    Also neutralizes like these drop O2 levels in the tank drastically so make sure to run air stones. Drop in O2 drops ph


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  12. #11
    Senior Member Hydroid's Avatar

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    Thanks for all the info guys

    An update just check ammonia its at zero I then checked it 2 times more and compaired to current tank all zero. Just finished checking all other perameters all match current tank exactly so I gues I'm good to go. Guess it shows patience is the key. Just weird how it held for a week and went to zero in a 24 hour period. now I Just need to find the time to do the transfer.

    Thanx again everyone

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  14. #12
    Registered User scrumpto's Avatar

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    Good video (and test) here for Dr. Tim's bacteria being used to shorten a cycle to next to nothing.
    http://www.mrsaltwatertank.com/bacte...orth-trusting/

  15. #13
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    Ive been wanting try some. Well your up early

  16. #14
    Senior Member wesbeene's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by scrumpto View Post
    Good video (and test) here for Dr. Tim's bacteria being used to shorten a cycle to next to nothing.
    http://www.mrsaltwatertank.com/bacte...orth-trusting/
    Excellent video for someone starting a new tank....Guy has a PH.d in fishology!!? lol

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