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Moving fish temporarily into much larger uncycled tank

Joined
4 Sep 2023
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78
Location
London
I plan to move my fish and shrimp into a much larger tank whilst I scape the existing tank. The goal is to keep them there for a few weeks whilst the rescaped tank stabilises its cycle and parameters. The holding tank will be bare with the exception of floating plants and filters brought over from my existing tank. The bioload should be minimal.

Would this be feasible?
 
I plan to move my fish and shrimp into a much larger tank whilst I scape the existing tank. The goal is to keep them there for a few weeks whilst the rescaped tank stabilises its cycle and parameters. The holding tank will be bare with the exception of floating plants and filters brought over from my existing tank. The bioload should be minimal.

Would this be feasible?

Yes. Plenty of people do this.

Many long time discus breeding operations do exactly as you describe.


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Agree with @Le duke - if you are moving the filter then you are moving "the tank".
 
Agree with @Le duke - if you are moving the filter then you are moving "the tank".

Just going to challenge this, not because I disagree but because you’re not moving the tank. Every substance in the previous tank is covered in bacteria that are part of the stable aquarium. The more presence/surface there is in the tank theoretically the less bacteria would be in the filter.

Yes, your filter will probably be enough to look after your fish in a new tank but it’s no sure thing. In a mature, plant growing, stable aquarium, the filter is basically a flow generator/ pump in a bucket.
 
Just going to challenge this, not because I disagree but because you’re not moving the tank. Every substance in the previous tank is covered in bacteria that are part of the stable aquarium. The more presence/surface there is in the tank theoretically the less bacteria would be in the filter.

Yes, your filter will probably be enough to look after your fish in a new tank but it’s no sure thing. In a mature, plant growing, stable aquarium, the filter is basically a flow generator/ pump in a bucket.
I think this is a very fair challenge and something that should be challenged as it's based on my environment bias - which is a "fish tank with loads of over-filtration, moderate fish load and few plants".
 
I plan to move my fish and shrimp into a much larger tank whilst I scape the existing tank. The goal is to keep them there for a few weeks whilst the rescaped tank stabilises its cycle and parameters. The holding tank will be bare with the exception of floating plants and filters brought over from my existing tank. The bioload should be minimal.

Would this be feasible?
Can you provide some details own your environment? @castle is completely correct, so we need to know what you have so we can advise correctly.
 
Can you provide some details own your environment? @castle is completely correct, so we need to know what you have so we can advise correctly.
Sure. It will be a bare 60cm long tank with no substrate. There will be some plants grown in small plastic containers (tropica 1-2 grow containers) which I will move to the tank as well but overall it will be a bare tank to keep the fish whilst I rescape the existing tank.
 
I think everyone is right. You need to account for the fact previously some of the 'filtration' was being done by established plants and bacteria on surfaces other than the filter. A bare tank with the established filter can potentially still work but things like more water changes, light feeding and an airline may be needed to offset the 'filtration' you've lost. Tempory 'hardscape' or plant cuttings would provide cover to reduce stress aswell - anything you have kicking around.
 
I think everyone is right. You need to account for the fact previously some of the 'filtration' was being done by established plants and bacteria on surfaces other than the filter. A bare tank with the established filter can potentially still work but things like more water changes, light feeding and an airline may be needed to offset the 'filtration' you've lost. Tempory 'hardscape' or plant cuttings would provide cover to reduce stress aswell - anything you have kicking around.
Yes, that's my concern as well. I'm wondering whether the low stocking would allow me to safely pull this off.
 
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Hence why I'm asking on this forum whether the low stocking would allow me to safely pull this off.
Minimal feeding
Dose with prime
Imho you will be fine
I have done this many times without incident
Caveat I have not done it removing filter from heavily planted tank, prime is your friend 👍👍
 
Yes, that's my concern as well. I'm wondering whether the low stocking would allow me to safely pull this off.
Yes, you’ll be fine. I once had to house my fish in another tank because my daughter had tipped a whole tub of food into the tank. I put all fish into my water change tub (120L), lots of prime and small filter with filter media from existing tank filter. Kept the fish there for 2 days until I got nitrite and ammonia levels down in main tank.
 
I would test ammonia after a few hrs and then next day
Just to say
I am today setting up a tank for quarantine purposes, to be used tomorrow, I will use some media from running tank, put 20 tetras into 240 ltrs, I will add a few plants floating and hygrophila difformis
It will be fine 🤞🤞😊
 
Agree with @Le duke - if you are moving the filter then you are moving "the tank".

Have to agree with @castle and @tam , if the existing tank is heavily planted, the existing filter is highly unlikely to be able to cope with running the existing fish load on its own. Sure it should be well populated with the right microorganisms, but their population will be no where near high enough to deal with the new elevated levels of ammonia they’ll have to process.

To the OP - @Calamardo Tentaculos - any reason you can’t also move all the existing substrate, hardscape, and plants to the new holding tank? I appreciate it’s larger, but the substrate will help the most in the new tank (granted it may need a rinse during transfer).

Also make sure you add some hardscape or hiding places for the fish. The transfer is going to be stressful on them, and a bare tank with nowhere to hide could exacerbate that.
 
@Wookii because I'm taking down two tanks to merge the hardscape and plants into one. Will be a few days before I can add some remaining plants to the holding tank.

I am worried about the filter capacity as well. Fortunately I have three filters on the holding tank until the rescaped is cycled.

Btw the holding tank is 54L with only three guppies, 2 pygmy cories and 2 amanos in it. Bioload should be minimal, you reckon?

@dw1305 Most certainly. I've learnt from your duckweed index post and moved all my amazon frogbit and red root floaters to the holding tank.
 
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