Removing all live rock for tank upgrade

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by Kevinkmk, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. Kevinkmk

    Kevinkmk Active Member

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    hi everyone, I’m planning to upgrade my 20g nano to a 73g reefer 350. I’m planning to remove all my existing live rocks (20lbs) into the new tank to aquascape with some additional new rock, and let it cycle for about a week before I move everything from my existing Nano tank. Will my 20 gallon run okay without the live rocks? I only have about 1inch sandbed in my Nano. What is the best way to do a tank upgrade?
     

  2. Ashish Patel

    Ashish Patel Valuable Member

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    How old is your 20 gallon? If your trying to keep SPS definately try to use your current system waiting 6-12 months for a fresh tank to mature is not fun or practical IMO.

    1. If you have sand keep a cup for seeding and rinse remaining for10+ minutes until it runs 100% clean. Better if you can replace it. otherwise you'll have a nitrate spike and big problems.
    2. Keep the LR and use it to seed your new LR. -I'd keep the LR under water during transfer to prevent any sponge die off, go to the dollar store and pickup some containers.
    3. I would purchase a box of caribsea shapes, this stuff takes the guess work out of aquascaping.
    4. Prior to tank transfer add some additional bio media so to your tank if possible so this will save you sometime when you do the transfer.
     
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  3. Radman73

    Radman73 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    What livestock would still be in the 20? Keep in mind, you're removing the vast majority of denitrifying bacteria from the 20 so even a very light bio load could cause ammonia to spike. More info will allow better advice.
     
  4. Kevinkmk

    Kevinkmk Active Member

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    My Nano has been running for a year. I am also will be using new live sand on the new tank. My question is if I remove all my existing live rock form the old tank to the new one. Will my old tank (without live rock ) be able to handle the bio load for 2 weeks before I move everything into the new tank
     
  5. Radman73

    Radman73 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    What bio load? Need to know the critters you keep.
     
  6. Ashish Patel

    Ashish Patel Valuable Member

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    Not if thats your primary biological filter. Why you need 2 weeks?
     
  7. Kevinkmk

    Kevinkmk Active Member

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    I have about 6 fish in my 20 gallon and lots of coral. I know if I remove all the rock it will have big impact on the bacteria. Just wondering if the sand and a marinepure block will be able to hand it for short period of time. B3305EE3-14DC-4C15-8DDB-B6B0DA025FA2.jpeg

    letgo1504201179545.png
     
  8. Kevinkmk

    Kevinkmk Active Member

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    I was told to let my new tank stable for a while before I transfer everything. Is that correct?
     
  9. Radman73

    Radman73 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    IMO, no, it won't handle it though the marinepure block helps significantly. Take half the rock and move it to the new tank leaving half behind to be moved with the livestock. Get a SeaChem ammonia alert badge and monitor it multiple times per day. Keep Prime on hand in case of an ammonia spike and potentially dose some beneficial bacteria until the new tank is ready. If I never saw an ammonia spike, I wouldn't add bacteria.
     
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  10. Kevinkmk

    Kevinkmk Active Member

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    It seems like a plan! That was what I originally want to do. However i might have to re do the aquascape once I move the remaining rock. Just being lazy
     
  11. Ashish Patel

    Ashish Patel Valuable Member

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    It seems you want to get your new tank cycles prior to adding livestock.
     
  12. Radman73

    Radman73 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Frequently, if everything is moved at once, there will be little to no cycle. Especially with a local, in the house, move. You'll need the new tank's parameters to match almost perfectly for the move. Temp, pH, salinity, cal, alk, and mag. Though mag may not be that important. If you move everything at once, you're bringing the bio filtering ability over. It's like doing a 100% water change. Not always advisable, but generally survivable.
     
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  13. Kevinkmk

    Kevinkmk Active Member

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    Okay. So it’s okay to move if everything matched. My lfs told me the same thing, but just not sure if it’s doable.
     
  14. Kevinkmk

    Kevinkmk Active Member

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    Yes
     
  15. Robsk

    Robsk Member Big Blue Reef Member

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    I did something similar. Moved a mainly sps 45 gallon to a 75 gallon. Did it all at once. Moved sand and rock over. One thing I messed up on was accounting for how much more water I would really need. The new sump was twice the size. So you start to get rushed at the end (and its midnight) of a transfer and don't get water chemistry matched like you should. I lost a couple pieces, but just a few. Having that water chemistry right in the transfer is important. Those alk swings are hard on coral.
     
  16. Ashish Patel

    Ashish Patel Valuable Member

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    If your tanks been setup for a 1 year the cycle should be negligible as added water volume is always a positive addition. However, to be on the safe side and not shock your system just do as other posted that way you can take your time and get it your new tank parameters right... let us know how it goes,, good luck
     
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  17. Kevinkmk

    Kevinkmk Active Member

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    Thank you for all the suggestions! I think I’m planning fill the new tank with match parameter water and new rock and once everything is matched then I will move everything to the new tank.
     
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  18. CurtnStac

    CurtnStac Member

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    Im about to upgrade my 33g to an 80g. I've upgraded a few times and never had a loss. What i do, and plan on doing for this next upgrade, is getting a large rubbermaid container. I transfer most of my tank water, live rock, and all livestock into it. Put a hob filter on it, powerheads, and heater. Basically it's like setting up a temporary tank. I then can concentrate on moving the old tank and setting up the new. I always use new sand and make sure the newly mixed saltwater match current water perfectly. Then just transfer everything from the rubbermaid to the new tank. Takes me about 2 days and I never had any problems adding new rock but I've always used dried and cleaned. This upgrade Im using the caribsea rock Ashish mentioned and it's pretty darn awesome looking.
     
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  19. Ashish Patel

    Ashish Patel Valuable Member

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    Your bio load will be the same in 20 gallons as it will in 70 gallons. Aslong as your ALK and CA are identical it should be fine. What I am saying is your tank will be able to handle you removing some bio filter out ( I just removed 40% of my sand, 10LB of LR in my sump, 5 lb of miracle mud and 80% of my chaeto - nitrates stayed the same and Phosphates went up slighty). Did it because I have a smell coming from somewhere so had to rule each thing out.
    However, its not recommended to do more than 30% water changes per day so if you can get creative and find a way to add 20gallons to your tank in 2 days then make the transfer your golden!
     
  20. Ashish Patel

    Ashish Patel Valuable Member

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    If you need some waterchange bins pehaps get them plumbed into your tank and add water to them for the week and monitor your parameters.

    Once your up to 50Gallons then do the switch!

    Honestly, this is the only way I would ever upgrade. If you don't want to plumb it just get a 30-45 gallon container and added a heater and pump and just circulate it. make a few 30% waterchanges and keep adding to it. Throw in your new Rock in their aswell.

    When you ready for the switch you'll have 50 gallons and then you can just add 20 more gallons
     
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