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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am moving into an apartment in July and am bringing my two tanks with me. My 45 gallon live planted community tank and my Malawi Mbuna 75 gallon. These are both currently running in my basement and have both been running for years. The Malawi for around 7 years and the planted for about 5 but just added plants about 2 years ago.

But my main focus for this thread is the Malawi tank. The 75 the fish are in now, was a give away because we became friends with the owners of a struggling LFS that went under and so they gave me a bunch of tanks including 2- 75 gallon tanks. The other tank has been in storage and has been unused since it was at the store. I have had great success with this Malawi tank and deaths have only come as a result of high level aggression, little disease if any. I do suspect I lost a livingstoni to Malawi bloat, but no ick, no parasites, etc.

Since I am moving, I am looking for an easy way to move the cichlids and eliminate the possibility of losing any fish in the process. So the idea I have is to buy a new stand, pool filter sand, filter, heater, etc. and start the second tank in the apartment and let it cycle for a few weeks with the water from my current tank. I will re-seal the tank with silicone sealant and make sure there are no leaks. I also will add some of the aragamax (ridiculously over priced) sand in the current tank to the new tank to try and carry the bacteria over since it is now basically "live" sand. I will also move my Emperor filter over once the fish move, since this is a mature filter and can only benefit the new tank.

Do you guys think this is the smart way to go?
 

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I'd think that if you move your current filter(s) and most of your rocks over, there shouldn't be much of a risk of a large spike. Especially if for the first few days you feed very lightly.

If it was me, I think I would set up the other tank, 80% new substrate, maybe a small new filter. Test the water to make sure Ph is close to current tank. Let that run for a couple of days. Then move the rocks over, and then later that same day move the filter and fish over.
 

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I can not add much to your plan. Seems pretty good. Bit worried about the bacteria dieing in your filter as its moved though. Maybe a good rinse with aquarium water and stored in a wet but semi dry condition for the move would be best. Use plastic bags to prevent it drying out but ensure it keeps its bacterial load by keeping it damp but ensure it does not suffer from bacterial die out from oxygen starvation as it might if transported in water.

How long is the move?

If your filters at the new place are fully cycled to the right level then I guess you need not worry too much.
Pack the fish as you would for shipping.

I can offer no good advice on moving fish, **** mine seem to suffer from all sorts of stuff when moved from tank to tank I can not figure. :oops: :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
so fumoffu, you are saying I should move most of my rocks from my current tank to the new tank? I was actually planning on getting a whole new set of rocks and letting the tank cycle for 3 weeks or so. I didn't want to disturb the fish while this is all going on, and taking their rocks could result badly for territory reasons. I think I see your point of using those rocks though.

24tropheus, yeah I planned on keeping the water in the emperor filter during the move, I pretty much have always dumped the water out of that thing for a 10 minute cleaning every month anyway, it gets sloppy. that filter pretty much serves as a sort of protein skimmer in that tank, it takes out a lot of sludge. I have a marineland H.O.T Magnum that does wonders as well.

To answer your question the distance of the move is a 10 minute drive. So not bad at all.

I have java fern in my tank (offshoots from my planted tank) that I tie to some tufa rock. Do you think the plants help in water quality? especially during a cycle?
 

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No need to cycle the new tank. Get everything ready,new stand etc. Fill with water, making sure to match ph and temp. Then just tranfer the fish and filters from the old tank. The new tank will then be cycled. You may see a mini cycle for a day but thats about it. I transfer fish in 5 gallon buckets with lids. I also put any filter material ( pads, biowheels,etc) in a bucket with tank water.
 

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hmmm I think you are on the right track but the new tank will need a sorce of ammonia to cycle, even with the bacteria from the old tank, to keep the bacteria alive it's gonna need ammonia until you bring the fish to make it.

I'm don't have any idea about how to move the filter media or sand to keep the bacteria alive, sorry.

You mentioned using water from the old tank to put in the new one too?
At first I was thinking that shouldn't be necessary but now I'm thinking it might help your fish adjust to the new water you'll be using, if you take your old water and start with that then do partial water changes with your new water to adjust them to it. I could be wrong but it sounds like a good idea to me.
 

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You dont need to get new rocks, just move them over with the fish. You can even move the substrate over, but that can get messy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I appreciate your input Heyguy. That helps me to think about this a little better. I will post some pics in the next few days of the current tank and then the new tank once I move in July. I have some really nice Psuedo Acei that I have been raising.
 

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The fish are the source of ammonia. You have to tranfer the filters at teh same time. The filters are already cycled. No need for the old tank water, as long as ph and temp are matched and of cousr the new water must be declorinated.
 

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lol sorry...when I started posting there wasn't many responces. I was away from the computer for a bit 1/2 way through my post. Now you have lots of help :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey feel free to provide any input. You are saying to move the filters the same time as the fish correct? I wanted to get a new canister filter going anyway, you think it would be alright to let that run on the new tank for a few weeks and then move my emperor with the fish and then discontinue use on my HOT magnum? Or would I be better off continuing use of the Magnum canister?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dewdrop, your first post reflect my thoughts exactly. I want this to be a seamless as possible for them. So I want them to be in the same water for the most part initially. I will move the sand in the tank water. Again, I appreciate everyones help.
 

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I do not believe they are as fragile as many people seem to thing. If you have a canister and stop the water flow through it for 6-12 hrs, I'd be surprise if there was more the a 10-20% mortality rate to these important cridders!

Now on the other hand if the media drys out, that's bad. They'll die!

I also think that these bacteria probably double in 24-48 hrs.

I have squat to back this up with though :thumb:

But it's me feeling and how I have treated bio-media :D
 

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My friend has moved all his mbuna (30+ fish) from a 120G tank to a 240G tank in a city 2 hours away.

He did the following:
Set up 240G tank with one of the two filters he had on the 120G, this was done by emptying the water out of the filter and keeping the same media and everything inside. It was a canister filter, I think a Fluval. The tank was 240G and had new sand and rocks inside, nothing from the old tank. He had the 240G plumbed for a wet-dry system so the point of the canister was to seed the wet-dry system and to provide biological filtration. He also added BioSpira to the tank at the same time.

The next day he transfered the fish in four 5-gallon buckets of tank water. He didn't put any filter or airstone in it as it was only a couple of hours drive. And since it was nice weather, he didn't think a heater was needed. When he got to the new tank all the fish were still alive. He drained about 20 gallons of water out of the 240G and dumped the fish and their water into the pre-heated tank all at once. I thought the stress of this would kill them - but no problems.

He eventually moved his 120G over to his new place as well, but he never lost a fish doing it this way. In fact, he said that in the 240G he noticed they spawned a lot more. Probably less interruption from other fish.

Anyway, this technique worked for him. He never saw an ammonia or nitrite spike on the new tank, either. Though his was significantly understocked I imagine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Great input guys. Thanks. What test kit do you guys recommend? I need to test the water of the apartment building and I want to make sure the tank will be all good to go. The tap water at my parents house must be perfect, because I don't do anything to it and I never have problems with Malawi cichlids or my "sensitive" planted tank fish. I.E. Threadfin Rainbows, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
a 240g is my eventual cichlid dream tank. You have any pics of that dudes tank?
 

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No worries friend. This will go easily and smoothly for you.

Assuming you're staying on Erie county water supply, no need to worry too much about testing the water at the new place. Erie county water is pretty stable, and good for africans. In the next few months, I would do water changes of greater volume a/o frequency to keep nitrate levels as low as possible in preparation for the move and the brand new water, which will be low nitrate levels.

I would go ahead and buy the canister, and put it on your current 75 now. That gives it time to grow a nice filter full of bacteria before the move. Continue using your HOB as well.

Get the other 75 resealed, and a day or two before the move, set it up in your new place. Give it time to come up to temperature and put a powerhead in there to circulate water. I'd probably put new substrate in it. I like pool filter sand, and get it from local pool supply places for $8 for 50 lbs.

When it comes time to move your fish, you're going to have to pull out all the rock in the old tank anyway, so just move the rock at the same time. There is no advantage to buying new rocks, unless you count the 15 minutes that it takes to set up the old rocks in the new tank. The old rocks will have beneficial bacteria on them, and you're going to have to handle them on fish moving day anyway....bring them along!

When it comes time to move, take all the rocks out of the old 75, net the fish, and bring the filters along to the new tank. Put the rock in the new tank, add the filters, and add the fish. If you're bringing along a large amount of filtration capacity and the rocks from the old 75, you don't need to worry about cycling it. Sit back and relax. Fish and beneficial bacteria are tougher than you think. They'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Great advice from a fellow Buffalonian. You guys are all making this seem much easier than I originally thought. I always expect the worst, that is probably why. I like your idea of throwing the new filter on the tank now. I wanted to run a Fluval filter in place of my HOB, that way I can use chemi-pure ( I hate dealing with loose carbon ) and put some crushed coral in a chamber as a ph buffer. But I might just stick with what I am already running.
 

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FloodXL said:
Great advice from a fellow Buffalonian. You guys are all making this seem much easier than I originally thought.
You'll be fine. Just think, at least you don't have to worry about getting stuck in traffic :lol: :lol: :lol:

Carbon? Why bother? I don't run carbon in any of my tanks, and have never had a problem without it. Unless you're changing that out on a frequent basis, it's probably not doing much good anyway. After awhile, it just becomes bio-media.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have been in this hobby for like 15 years. I always used carbon because for some reason I thought I had to. And every time I do water changes and change my filter media, I always added a new filter cartridge to my power filters, hence new carbon every month. But I am hearing a lot lately and reading that it is essentially useless.

So is the mentality now that just having fiber pads are all you really need as far as filtration is concerned? That doesn't seem to do much for water quality.........or am I way off?
 
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