Reef Tank Upgrade 55Gal to 200Gal

BanditMan15

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Guys I need some input here. I have a 55gal tank with 20gal sump that is full of LR and expensive corals. I bought a Reefer XXL750 and getting ready to swap them out. Have any suggestions what the best way would be to do this? If I use my old tank water for new tank and then add all new water that would be like a 120% water change! You think maybe I should do an aggressive water change first in my old tank say 30 or 40 gal and save that water to add in the new tank? That way it would almost be like 100 Gal of old water I'm putting in new tank? Thoughts? Thanks !!!
 

CDubz

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I recently upgraded and went through a very similar thing. 62 to 170. Not sure if my scenario is the same because I setup the new tank in a different location. I put the additional dry rock in the new tank, added new saltwater until it was able to run, then matched temp, salinity, and alk to the old tank. I then moved all fish, live rock, and corals over and everything survived (actually looked better). I guess what I’m getting at is as long as you match temp, salinity, and alk you should be good.
 
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BanditMan15

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So did you use all new water? When did you put your LR in and Bio blocks or biological filtration?
 

CDubz

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So yes all new water. I don’t use bio bricks but I transferred over roughly 60 lbs of live rock and lots of coral over. Plenty of nitrifying bacteria in there to withstand my fish load. Everything was fine no ammonia spikes. Watch your nutrients from bottoming out (I feed heavy so wasn’t a problem). I went from sand bottom to bare bottom. I have transferred sand before without rinsing…wouldn’t do it again.
 

mtraylor

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Would need to know a little more about the setup. But lets say you have live sand in the existing tank that is 2 to 3" deep. You do not want to use all that sand. You only want to use say the top 1/2 to 1" of sand to seed the new tank. Get new live sand for the new aquarium. You could put live sand and circulation pump and heater in the new tank to start doing that water change you are talking about. Then you can add the same amount of water of new salt mix to that and you will have a good start before the move. You can also put a couple sponges in the sump now for a week or so that you can move one to display and sump. Mainly the one for the display until the move. It can be moved to sump on the move day.

Oh you can also rinse the bottom half of the sand in the old tank and reuse as well. This will get the toxins out and save you a bag or so.

Be sure to add your favorite botttle bacteria when you move them over. This will be your saving grace while your live rock and such catch up. The main things you need to do is ensure the chemistry in the new water is same as the existing aquarium. Also a plan on rock layout etc before the move is important. This will cut the time down on the move as you will know where things are going.

Good luck. its really not that bad. I'm not sure if you are adding new live rock or dry rock in your situation.
 
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BanditMan15

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So yes all new water. I don’t use bio bricks but I transferred over roughly 60 lbs of live rock and lots of coral over. Plenty of nitrifying bacteria in there to withstand my fish load. Everything was fine no ammonia spikes. Watch your nutrients from bottoming out (I feed heavy so wasn’t a problem). I went from sand bottom to bare bottom. I have transferred sand before without rinsing…wouldn’t do it again.
Thanks bud for all the info!
 
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BanditMan15

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Would need to know a little more about the setup. But lets say you have live sand in the existing tank that is 2 to 3" deep. You do not want to use all that sand. You only want to use say the top 1/2 to 1" of sand to seed the new tank. Get new live sand for the new aquarium. You could put live sand and circulation pump and heater in the new tank to start doing that water change you are talking about. Then you can add the same amount of water of new salt mix to that and you will have a good start before the move. You can also put a couple sponges in the sump now for a week or so that you can move one to display and sump. Mainly the one for the display until the move. It can be moved to sump on the move day.

Oh you can also rinse the bottom half of the sand in the old tank and reuse as well. This will get the toxins out and save you a bag or so.

Be sure to add your favorite botttle bacteria when you move them over. This will be your saving grace while your live rock and such catch up. The main things you need to do is ensure the chemistry in the new water is same as the existing aquarium. Also a plan on rock layout etc before the move is important. This will cut the time down on the move as you will know where things are going.

Good luck. its really not that bad. I'm not sure if you are adding new live rock or dry rock in your situation.
Wow thanks for the info! I will be transferring about 70# of LR and then get some dry rock I guess down the line haven't even begin to think of a layout lol. Guess I need to start doing that! In the mean time I am building a mixing station to help out with water. When you say sponge just like a regular sponge? Or a sea sponge? Guess doesn't really matter. Thanks
 

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I moved my 125 + 80 to a 300g along with all the old water i could hold and then of course fresh RODI saltwater for the rest. Used a mix of old sand and new sand. 300+ lbs of live rock. Cycle was instant and didn't lose any fish. Corals were not happy tho.
 

mtraylor

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Regular sponge. I keep one of these in my sump at all times. Just in case I have to break out an emergency qt or want to buy some new fish to qt.


The have a heavy base on them to hold down and hook air line too For filtration. With that amount of live rock you should be good but it won't hurt. The main problem is the water volume as we discussed. The challange is that you will need to get at least 50% of the water going over there and water temp and chemistry ready just in the display before the move. This is crutial for the corals you have now. So its pretty easy. Just put one of your new heaters hanging over the side into the display and a pump in there to keep flow going.

Trust me when I say this. I would do it once and be done with it, rather than fiddling with it down the road. Plan out your display and how you want it now. It will be much easier. Espicially if you have rocks with corals attached to them. You will want to pick out a spot to place them in the new aquarium attached. Basically a move and restack immediately.

If you have new rock structure you want to make. I would suggest you make it now. I would also suggest you glue/paste/cement a personalized rock structure you want on say carboard in the floor to make the display rock the way you want it.

then you can just drop it in beside the other stuff and be done if you can. The more times you have to go in there and disturb everything the higher the chances of loosing something goes up.

I redid my main display this way about a year ago. Much easier. I made three rock structures cemented together with e-marco-400 and then just dropped 3 structures in. Its minimalist rock work and 360 look around. I think I have a couple pics in my build thread if you want to see. Just food for thought and something for you to think about.
 
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BanditMan15

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Well here she is. It's here ready for cleaning first.

Should I get the bigger 50Gal sponge I'm guessing the bigger the better? Thanks for all the info I greatly appreciate it!
 

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mtraylor

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Yeah as long as it fits in your current sump. I use like the 30 or 50 can't remember in my sump. Which ever is the biggest at the lfs. Then when I need it, I put usually in a 10 gallon tank for qt. If I need bigger tank say a 26 for more fish then the sponge is still good. I just buy a new one and replace and dispose after use. This is usually due to using copper in qt.
 

mtraylor

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Well looks like you have some work getn that beauty cleaned up. Make any decisions on rock layout?
 
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BanditMan15

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Well looks like you have some work getn that beauty cleaned up. Make any decisions on rock layout?
No not yet. I'm starting cleaning now. I did look at yours and it's real nice. I think I will just keep looking until I make it up outside the tank and then when I'm ready to fill up. Put it in before hand. Thanks!!
 
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BanditMan15

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Yeah as long as it fits in your current sump. I use like the 30 or 50 can't remember in my sump. Which ever is the biggest at the lfs. Then when I need it, I put usually in a 10 gallon tank for qt. If I need bigger tank say a 26 for more fish then the sponge is still good. I just buy a new one and replace and dispose after use. This is usually due to using copper in qt.
I think I may have got the wrong one but I guess this will work. Do I need to pump air while it's in the sump for now or just lay it in there so bacteria can adhere?
 

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mtraylor

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Oh wow. Never seen that before. No you just need to put in existing sump and let bacteria do its thing. No air hook up is needed at this time. That thing looks like it has tiny bio balls in it as pre-filter to sponge.
 
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BanditMan15

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Oh wow. Never seen that before. No you just need to put in existing sump and let bacteria do its thing. No air hook up is needed at this time. That thing looks like it has tiny bio balls in it as pre-filter to sponge.
Ok but when I put in new tank I hook air up to it or no? Yea not sure what I was thinking lol I did like the bio balls! I have a big bio block in my sump as well currently so hopefully transfer to new tank won't be to bad. That's been in there since I opened the tank 8 years ago.
 

mtraylor

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No it will not be needed. You only really need that when using it for a qt tank when u need water movement to aerate the water. It serves as you air and biological filtration for stand alone tank. I highly reccomend to have one ready for moves as you really don't know what's going to happen during the move. You will be all set for any situation .

Oh wow. The bio block will work well too, hopefully it doesn't decentegrate in your hands like the new ones do when you try to move.
 

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Guys I need some input here. I have a 55gal tank with 20gal sump that is full of LR and expensive corals. I bought a Reefer XXL750 and getting ready to swap them out. Have any suggestions what the best way would be to do this? If I use my old tank water for new tank and then add all new water that would be like a 120% water change! You think maybe I should do an aggressive water change first in my old tank say 30 or 40 gal and save that water to add in the new tank? That way it would almost be like 100 Gal of old water I'm putting in new tank? Thoughts? Thanks !!!
Are you planning to move it all at once? Or a setup, cycle then transfer? Is the old tank staying or going?
 

Jedi1199

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Are you increasing the bioload the day you do the transfer? If not, then why bother with any of the above advice for increasing your bio filtration? The same amount of rock you have working now, will work just as well after the transfer. There is absolutely no need to add extra.

When I upgraded from 55 to 135 last year, I had ZERO issues with nutrient levels or toxic spikes or anything. Reuse as much of the clean tank water as you can, saves you wasting money on extra salt. Reuse the sand, I do recommend washing it very well first. Then do your transfer.
 

piranhaman00

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Is that a used Red Sea 750?

use brand new saltwater and transfer the rocks, all done.
 

Seafood exploration: Do you feed any unusual items to your fish or corals?

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