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DKoKoMan
01-26-2018, 04:05 AM
Canreefers,

Iím looking for advice from people who have transferred their tank in to another system (fish, corals, inverts etc.). Any tips or tricks to reduce the amount of stress on the livestock and keep loss to a minimum. I will be moving my 150g in to a new 305g system once it is finished being built.

I plan on transferring as much of the water from my current tank in to the new one. I will be replacing the sandbed with new live Argonite sand from Carib Sea (donít want to spend time washing the current sand bed). All the LR from the system will be transferred over as well. I have mini colonies on a lot of the LR that I am going to try not to break in the process. New SW will be added to make up the remaining water volume in the new system (hope it will be around no more then 50% WC).

I transferred my 75g in to the 150g once before and it went... well it went not so well. I lost majority of my corals and a bunch of my fish. Iím not sure if it was because the cloudy tank from the sand, the stress, the new rock or whatever else.

Looking for any tips that worked well in your experience. My wife and I are excited for the new system but are also dreading this transfer. Thanks for all the help!

DKoKoMan
01-26-2018, 04:09 AM
Forgot to add... I have done a lot of searching and there is a lot of contradictions. If anyone can offfer a step by step that would be great! I understand it’s a lot of work to write up however it would be greatly appreciated.

spit.fire
01-26-2018, 04:13 AM
run bare bottom for awhile after the transfer and add sand later

AquaAddict
01-26-2018, 05:05 AM
When I transferred my 100 gal to my 150 gallon, I added new sand right a way, then 2/3 pieces of my old rock and then waited for the tank to cycle. I then slowly added the rest of the rock a little at a time; then I added the hardiest corals; then the next hardiest, etc. I didn't have any fish because I had to stuff everything into a 65 gallon ex fresh water tank. I even had to put some of the rock into a rubbermade container with a light propped over top to keep it 'alive'. That's the rock that went first into the new tank.

AquaAddict

DKoKoMan
01-26-2018, 05:46 AM
run bare bottom for awhile after the transfer and add sand later

I thought about doing that however my goby and pistols love the sand!

When I transferred my 100 gal to my 150 gallon, I added new sand right a way, then 2/3 pieces of my old rock and then waited for the tank to cycle. I then slowly added the rest of the rock a little at a time; then I added the hardiest corals; then the next hardiest, etc. I didn't have any fish because I had to stuff everything into a 65 gallon ex fresh water tank. I even had to put some of the rock into a rubbermade container with a light propped over top to keep it 'alive'. That's the rock that went first into the new tank.

AquaAddict

Thanks for your input. Iím really hoping that the transfer will be a large WC and not a cycle. I plan on buying a bunch of Rubbermaidís to separate fish, LR, inverts etc. I will have heaters and a power head in each to try and make it feel less like a box.

spit.fire
01-26-2018, 06:01 AM
I thought about doing that however my goby and pistols love the sand!
put them in the jar with sand

gregzz4
01-26-2018, 06:11 AM
Are you planning on this to be a 1 day event?
If so, I'd stay away from the planned live sand. It in itself will cause a cycle 'spike' that I'd not want to deal with. The 'dead matter' in the so-called 'live' sand will create ammonia that you do not want right now.
If you are able to store enough old Water Change water, I'd suggest you hang onto it all. The less 'new' saltwater you use the better.

If you're looking for some bacterial support during your transfer, put a large amount of filter material in your sump a month ahead of time.
If you don't have time for this, use Seachem Stability or something similar. And use LOTS of it.
Follow the bottle instructions, and make sure you aerate the water very well.
And I'm not kidding, you're going to use LOTS of it, so make sure you buy enough for at least a week.
Also, buy a Seachem Ammo ALERT Badge. This will be very helpful and may save you losing critters.
And finally, be prepared to perform very large water changes if ammonia gets too high. Or at the very least, buy some Am Guard or something similar and keep it close by. Check it every couple/few hours if you can. Ammonia can kill critters faster than I thought and I've lost enough to know better now.
Am Guard used in conjunction with the Ammo Alert is easy. Just don't over-do it. Follow the instructions.
And, as I already stated, be prepared to perform large water changes. 25-50% if needed.
Also, keep an eye on your Nitrites and Nitrates once you see Ammonia. You are going to have a cycle and must keep an eye on it !!!

Good luck !!

DKoKoMan
01-26-2018, 06:26 AM
put them in the jar with sand

Thatís an idea I never thought of :lol:

Are you planning on this to be a 1 day event?
If so, I'd stay away from the planned live sand. It in itself will cause a cycle 'spike' that I'd not want to deal with. The 'dead matter' in the so-called 'live' sand will create ammonia that you do not want right now.
If you are able to store enough old Water Change water, I'd suggest you hang onto it all. The less 'new' saltwater you use the better.

If you're looking for some bacterial support during your transfer, put a large amount of filter material in your sump a month ahead of time.
If you don't have time for this, use Seachem Stability or something similar. And use LOTS of it.
Follow the bottle instructions, and make sure you aerate the water very well.
And I'm not kidding, you're going to use LOTS of it, so make sure you buy enough for at least a week.
Also, buy a Seachem Ammo ALERT Badge. This will be very helpful and may save you losing critters.
And finally, be prepared to perform very large water changes if ammonia gets too high. Or at the very least, buy some Am Guard or something similar and keep it close by. Check it every couple/few hours if you can. Ammonia can kill critters faster than I thought and I've lost enough to know better now.
Am Guard used in conjunction with the Ammo Alert is easy. Just don't over-do it. Follow the instructions.
And, as I already stated, be prepared to perform large water changes. 25-50% if needed.
Also, keep an eye on your Nitrites and Nitrates once you see Ammonia. You are going to have a cycle and must keep an eye on it !!!

Good luck !!

Thanks so much for the information gregzz. I will definitely pickup one of those ammonia badges to make it easy to see if ammonia is present and buy the liquid remover. As far as sand goes could I go with just dry sand considering my LR is well established? I would like to get it all done within the day and will have make up water available (saltwater). My plan is to get as much water as I can in to the new tank from my existing one. I will definitely test the parameters to ensure nothing is going out of whack. Thanks for all the little tips! Every little bit helps to reduce human error.

CHEAPREEF
01-26-2018, 07:27 AM
I did my last tank transfer with running BB for about a month like Spite.Fire said. I just added in the sand over a few days after a month of BB. I never lost anything in the move.

Razor Ramon
01-26-2018, 05:03 PM
Iím over 30 years into this .
The above is all valid. Itís realy up to the loss your willing to have.
All reefing needs to take its time and spend money on certain aspects.
Donít dig into your system unti your tank is 100%

300 plus tank Put your sand of choice, mix your rodi salt water fresh and
100% new
Go and buy some chromies,damsels (evil devil fish)
High grad boacteria (your best friend)or as much as you require to run for a couple months.
The bacteria is all about out compeating bad bacteria in the cycling.
Your tank lights run low at first your sand will go trough all the regular
cycling diotoms, cyco ect . Treat for this as required eg. (chemeclean)
Then a slight algae bloom. Your getting close now. Do your water testing regularly.
When the tank is running all cycling is done your sand bed has been stable
For a at least a month plus.
Net the devil fish out put them in a holding tank and try a couple of your systems fish.
Give the devil fish back to the fish store see if they will give you a instore credit. Shouldnít be a problem with the money we spend at these stores.
Put your rock and corals, and fishin in.I would add a lot of snales many different types, crabs very small blue legs not a lot (never trust a crab),emerald crabs are needed they fight but 300g lots of room.
Now your 150 is left empty with sand add racks for frags and this system is ready for your quarantine tank,put all new fish ,frags in there till all is good before adding to you high $$$ system?
Sorry I think there is no real quick way to do this with out loss.
These wet friends have long lives, I have clowns over 20 years now. Corals can out live us.
All we can do is our best. Learn from our mistakes and do what is proven.
In the end ,all systems are a ticking time bomb so many things that can fail or go sidways.
Take your time and it will be great !

DKoKoMan
01-27-2018, 04:13 AM
Lot of good information from all you folks. It’s much appreciated. Could I get away with using dry sand? Not sure if I can even find it as lost LFS have live sand now a days.

Razor Ramon
01-27-2018, 02:16 PM
My thought on sand dry or live get the grain you want.
Order it from lfs because you going to need a lot .
Dry sand is a good start because the Bactria you add will be
Dominate.
Funny thing with ocean stuff it can dry out for years add water
And it comes to life.
For ease to buy I would just go to Big Als ,Aquarium Illusions
And buy what they have (Carib Sea) itís a good product.

DKoKoMan
01-27-2018, 04:18 PM
Ok well that works. I was planning on going to AI as they carry the Carib sea argonite which I’m currently using. I like this grain as I haven’t had an issue with it blowing around in the high flow areas. I believe they are all sold as live sand though in the plastic bags. Online vendors have some different dry sand options but the shipping would be as much as the bag of sand.

CHEAPREEF
01-27-2018, 05:27 PM
Ok well that works. I was planning on going to AI as they carry the Carib sea argonite which Iím currently using. I like this grain as I havenít had an issue with it blowing around in the high flow areas. I believe they are all sold as live sand though in the plastic bags. Online vendors have some different dry sand options but the shipping would be as much as the bag of sand.

Just remember AI will price match anywhere in Canada so double check the prices before you buy. ;)

DKoKoMan
01-27-2018, 06:36 PM
Awesome! I will look in to that.

albert_dao
01-27-2018, 08:41 PM
Don't start it with sand. You can always add it later, and you'll have a far easier time starting the tank bare bottom.

gregzz4
01-27-2018, 10:10 PM
Starting bare bottom is definately your safest option.

I recommended using as much old water as possible as this will, in my opinion, cause the least amount of stress to your corals.
Whatever new water you need to use, make sure you test and dose it first to get the big 3 matching your old water - Alk, Ca and Mag. And aerate it well to off-gas the CO2, bringing the pH up. I do this overnight as it's part of my routine before a WC.
I use a Maxijet breaking the surface for this.

Dash
01-27-2018, 10:17 PM
Hey youíve been following my tank transfer, right? Now you know what NOT to do :lol:

Anyway, best thing for me was being able to run both tanks side by side for a while so I could move a few things over to start it off. I guess Iím in the minority here in that I wanted to keep my sand. I moved some over to help seed the bit of new sand, and then the rest of the sand on transfer day I swirled around & rinsed in the old tank (after livestock was out) before taking it out by net. It was not a lot of work at all & settled quickly.

Anyway just wanted to wish you well on your transfer!

DKoKoMan
01-28-2018, 12:20 AM
Starting bare bottom is definately your safest option.

I recommended using as much old water as possible as this will, in my opinion, cause the least amount of stress to your corals.
Whatever new water you need to use, make sure you test and dose it first to get the big 3 matching your old water - Alk, Ca and Mag. And aerate it well to off-gas the CO2, bringing the pH up. I do this overnight as it's part of my routine before a WC.
I use a Maxijet breaking the surface for this.

Ok well it seems that the safest is adding sand after the fact. A couple questions regarding this method:


1. How do I pour the sand evenly out of my bad without getting it all over my LR and corals?

2. How do I get the sand in all the tight spaces (caves, overhangs, tunnels etc).

3. How long do I have to wait before I can start adding sand?

4. Can I add my whole 1Ē sand bed at one time?

5. What bacteria additive should I add to the new tank?

ReefMadness
01-28-2018, 12:36 AM
when I moved my stuff from house to house I made sure not to interrupt the rock in the sand until I was had 90% of the water out and discarded the rest. i made sure to add a bottle of start-up bacteria and didn't add coral or fish until the tank was at temp in an effort to keep things less abrupt. in the end I didn't lose anything and it wasn't more than a week before things looked good again.
as for sand, I used all new sand adding just enough for my wrasses and then basically added the rest over a few weeks slowly in a Tupperware so It didn't dust my tank out completely.

gregzz4
01-28-2018, 12:57 AM
You didn't answer a question I posed to you awhile back ... Is this going to be a 1 day transfer? If not, it'll be a piece of pie, or easy as cake ... :razz:

There are others here who I hope chime in as I'm no expert ... :lol:

Ok well it seems that the safest is adding sand after the fact. A couple questions regarding this method:

1. How do I pour the sand evenly out of my bad (hand?) without getting it all over my LR and corals?
I use a small measuring cup with the pumps off. Bucket full of sand wet with some tank water nearby and scoop with said cup. Then slowly dunk the cup in the tank 'till it's submerged. Go near the bottom and tip the cup, pouring as you go. Gravity will do the rest. It will literally 'pour out'. A turkey baster after the fact is good to clean sand off stuff.

2. How do I get the sand in all the tight spaces (caves, overhangs, tunnels etc). As above. Pour it near the space and the volume will fill it in. It will find it's way into spaces. Use your hand to push it around, wave it around. You'll be surprised how easy it is.

3. How long do I have to wait before I can start adding sand?
I'd personally wait a couple weeks. Others may tell you different. After adding sand, the system will be cloudy overnight. Changing socks will help. Don't panick. It will eventually clear the next day.

4. Can I add my whole 1Ē sand bed at one time?
If you're starting out Bare Bottom, I don't see why not. As long as the new sand is clean and 'new'. Rinse the heck out of it in (hopefully) a laundry tub using a small (2g) bucket. Rinse a couple gallons at a time with the tap running to 'overflow' the bucket. Swirl it around in the bucket with your hand, pour it out. Repeat many times. You'll be surprised how 'cloudy' new sand is.
You'll never rinse it 'clear'. I do 5-6 rinses per 'clump'

5. What bacteria additive should I add to the new tank?
My suggestion was Seachem Stability. Follow the bottle directions.
5ml/10g tank water on day one. Then 5ml/20g tank water each day for 1 week. This is to get you over the Ammonia hump. Any use after 1 week is a waste of money, unless you have am Ammonia problem.
And you're only doing this if you're adding livestock. It will not seed the tank.
It's only meant to combat Ammo from livestock.

DKoKoMan
01-28-2018, 01:44 AM
Hey youíve been following my tank transfer, right? Now you know what NOT to do :lol:

Anyway, best thing for me was being able to run both tanks side by side for a while so I could move a few things over to start it off. I guess Iím in the minority here in that I wanted to keep my sand. I moved some over to help seed the bit of new sand, and then the rest of the sand on transfer day I swirled around & rinsed in the old tank (after livestock was out) before taking it out by net. It was not a lot of work at all & settled quickly.

Anyway just wanted to wish you well on your transfer!

I have been following your tank thread and itís coming together nicely :biggrin:. For me I will have to buy more sand for the larger tank and donít really want all the extra work of washing my sand bed. If it was summer I could leave the hose run with water to help rinse off. Iím super stoked to get the new tank setup with some different things (learning the hard way) however my wife really doesnít want to lose or larger fish which some have been with us for around 5 years. The new tank is for the larger fish to allow for more room with the external overflow and extra length / width.

DKoKoMan
01-28-2018, 02:02 AM
You didn't answer a question I posed to you awhile back ... Is this going to be a 1 day transfer? If not, it'll be a piece of pie, or easy as cake ... :razz:

There are others here who I hope chime in as I'm no expert ... :lol:


Sorry I missed answering your question on the previous post. Ideally I would like this to be a one day transfer leaving a 12 hr day open. To convince my wife with multiple tinkering between two tanks would probably be impossible. I figured pouring the sand in the tank would fill in the gaps etc. but wanted to confirm.

I picked up some AmQuel Plus to dose and assist with any ammonia that presents. I will pickup a bottle of the seachem stability to use for the first while as well. Iím also goIng to try my best to transfer LR from on tank in to the another keeping the LR Ďwetí to try and prevent further die off. The last tank transfer I did the LR was out of water for approximately 15 mins.

If majority of the ammonia spikes are caused by live sand die off Iím prepared to go bare bottom for the first bit. I will have to find a jar for the goby and dual pistols if I go this route.

Thanks for chiming in gregzz, itís appreciated!

gregzz4
01-28-2018, 02:30 AM
I didn't mean for that to show up ... "You didn't answer a question I posed to you awhile back ... Is this going to be a 1 day transfer?"
I was in the middle of a post re-write and lost the site connection ...
I saw that you stated a 1 day effort in your first post.

Since then, I read through all the post again and left a post that has since disappeared .... argh

gregzz4
01-28-2018, 02:32 AM
Need to eat dinner/spend time with my wife
Later ...

DKoKoMan
01-28-2018, 06:21 AM
Need to eat dinner/spend time with my wife
Later ...

No sweat! Happy wife equals happy life and more coral :mrgreen: