Getting ready for upgrade to Reefer 425XL ...TRANSFER NIGHTMARES

Discussion in 'DIY' started by anizatoreef, Jul 4, 2016.


Would you keep the old rock or not?

Poll closed Oct 13, 2016.
  1. Descard the old rock

    0 vote(s)
  2. Save the old rock

  1. anizatoreef

    anizatoreef Guest

    Hey reefers. I am somewhat stumped/terrified of my next step in this hobby and am seeking as much help as I can muster before the date arrives.

    I have had a 50 gal reef for 18 months or so. I was never in love with the tank itself and it is finally time to upgrade to a Red Sea Reefer 425XL in November/December [​IMG]

    I need advice on how to transfer the tank since it will be placed in the same spot as the 50. I will be using all new 90ish pounds of CYCLED Rock from my LFS to speed up Cycling. Sand will be all new.

    Current equipment:

    2 Kessil A360WE

    1 Vortech mp10

    1 Vortech mp40

    Octopus Skimmer 150NWB

    Eheim 1260 Return

    GFO Reactor

    Was thinking of adding another Vortech mp40, Carbon Reactor, Dosing Device (advice?), Vectra M1 & Apex

    The best case scenario is that this will be done in one afternoon, in a few hours, after the Reefer is built, leak tested and dry.

    Ideally it goes like this in my head, once the Reefer is ready.

    Unmount Kessils & Vortechs & Skimmer.

    Remove as much water as possible from old system and move it out of the way, with fish and coral inside still.

    Place the Reefer 425XL in place and level it. (I have uneven tile flooring so this will be tricky).

    Aquascape 425XL & sand it. Mount Kessils, Vortechs, Skimmer and rest of equipment.

    Fill 425XL and add BioSpira.

    So far so good? This is where I get lost... I think.

    How long should I wait after the BioSpira to add my fish?

    I currently have:

    2 Clownfish (1Flurry+1Onyx)

    2 Female Bipartitus Wrasse

    1 Blue Hippo Tang

    1 Powder Blue Tang

    2 Cleaner Skunk Shrimp

    4 anemones + several coral pieces.

    The main reason I am stumped is because I want to avoid using the rock in my current system as it is full of some slime/bacteria that continues to grow and infest the tank, making my coral not grow and just survive as frags. Of course my wife dislikes this idea since many coral will be lost if we discard the current rock. I have tried dosing Dr. Tim's Re-Fresh and Waste Away, it has helped a little but I can never know if I am doing anything wrong.

    Will pressure hosing the rock and dipping it in Peroxide remove it 100%? I tried a peroxide dip already on some of the rocks I was able to take out of the tank, but most of the slime grew back onto the dipped rock despite my efforts to baste it away. I would hate to lose the few sps I have encrusting on the rock. Also, how do you remove anemones from the rocks they are attached to?

    Can I use the old system as a quarantine tank and just dose Copper in there for a couple of months keeping all the fish in there? What is the right or proper thing to do? Where should I place all the rock/coral meanwhile?

    I would love to keep my same fish and my anemones.
  2. tankguy

    tankguy BOD

    It's been a long time since I've had to go threw anything like that so I'll let others speak on some of these. My main question is why do you want to use copper? Are the fish sick? I've used Dr Tims myself and loved it. Not a single problem has happened. Added my fish 48 hours later one at a time. As for your anemones you have to try and dislodge them under their foot. Again it's been a long time since I've had them but you do have to be careful not to tear their foot. As for the rock I'd keep it and throw it outside and lean the crap out of it for a later use or it you don't wNt it laying around I'm sure some one would take it
  3. When I transferred to a new IM 120 a few months ago I decided to start fresh. I gave away the old rock to a fellow BAR member and purchased new Real Reef Rock. That way I knew it was 100% clean of pests and I love the look of that rock. I put in new Live Sand and used two large bottles of Dr. Tim's to start the cycle. Using the Dr. Tim's and the Live sand enabled me to complete the cycle in about eight days. Then over the next couple of days I transferred corals. It was at that point I removed the old rock and was easily able to catch the fish and transfer them. All complete and happy within ten days.
  4. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    The fish and anemone shouldn't have any problem being saved. For the anemone, if you can do something to make it uncomfortable so that it tries to move would make I easier. You need to be able to get at its foot where it attaches to the rock. Gently massage it and pry it away from the rock with your fingernail.

    The corals you can chip/cut the rock they're attached to or frag them if you don't want any of the old rock in the new tank. Once the corals are off you can soak them in things like bleach or mercuric acid to kill everything but it's not a one day process and the rock will not be live anymore.

    If the tank is still too heavy to move with the water mostly out you can transfer everything to a brute trashcan. They could all live in there for some time while the new one is being set up.
  5. Flagg37 reminded me -- I also dipped all my corals before moving them and I did refrag or remove old plugs as well. I wanted a clean environment and I couldn't be happier with the decision. The upkeep on the new larger tank is much less than the old smaller tank and I think it's because I started with a pristine environment.
  6. roostertech

    roostertech reef noob

    Redsea reefer tank ! /following
  7. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Is there any way at all to move the old 50 a few feet??
    Like carefully jacking up one side, putting sliders under it, etc.
    If you can put it in the middle of the room, get the new one all cycled and ready, then
    just transfer livestock, it makes it WAY easier.

    Various suggestions:
    Fully cycle the new sand and rock in a brute container BEFORE the move.
    +1 on putting old life in a big Brute container temporarily.
    Many things can go wrong. So "trying" to do it in 1 day is ok, but "mandatory" in one day is too big of a risk.
    For removing anemones : Don't. Break the old rock, chip away around the foot, and glue that piece to new rock.
    Like for corals.

    Replacing all the old slimy rock with new rock may only be a short term fix.
    Starting pristine and clean is a HUGE plus, don't get me wrong. But that is only part of it.
    What you need to really do is figure out WHY the old rock is slimy, then not do that.
    Often due to over-feeding, high phosphates, poor water flow, and more.
    If not, you will simply have new slimy rock in a pretty short time.
  8. travis furia

    travis furia Guest

    I live in Sunnyvale and if u live close I'd be happy to help u transfer. I have a 55 gallon barrel that I can bring over and u can pump all the water from the first tank into the barrel them into the new tank

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  9. Dave B

    Dave B Guest

    I in no way want to hi-jack this thread but I am going through the new cycle process on a new tank and in the same boat with new rock and live sand. I am on day 3-4 I was 7.4 / 0 / 0 / 0 and now im on day 5-6 and pH - 7.6 / Ammonia is around .35 / Nitite .30 / Nitrate 6.0.

    I am not really clear on where I am in the cycle or how I much of the ammonium chloride I should keep adding.

    Not really in a huge rush but also dont want to be chasing my tail trying to get something achieved that is not needed

    Thanks everyone!
  10. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Do not add anymore ammonium. Wait till your nitrites are 0. Then you can test by dosing ammonium to 2ppm and see how long it takes for it to be processed. If within 24hrs then you are basically cycled. But I would wait before adding livestock even after that.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  11. Dave B

    Dave B Guest

    So just so im clear, let it all settle down and hit it again with the ammonium and if the tank handles the ammonium within 24 hours (stays around 0) I can start to move things over slowly?
  12. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    That's right.
  13. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    For fish, sure.
    For corals, especially with zero old rocks or sand, I am not so sure.


    1) You want a substantial population of bacteria.
    They multiply fast, but you can get a second mini-cycle if your first cycle was too small and you add livestock too fast.

    2) You also need the bacteria that convert nitrates.
    Those are deeper in the rocks. Takes a while.
    If not, you could end up having to do quite a few water changes or corals will not be happy.

    3) You have nothing in the water for corals to eat.

    I would keep adding ammonia, then wait until the usual diatom/algae bloom, then add snails, then
    when it looks good, move fish over, then when they are happy, move coral over.
  14. Dave B

    Dave B Guest

    Thanks everyone..

    Checked it tonight as I enjoy learning how things work and following the progression. pH - 7.9 / Ammonia .10 / Nitrite .50 / Nitrate 2.5.

    I have added bio-spira also if it matters

    How does lighting and flow play into this?
  15. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Cycling is a good time to try your various power head flow ideas and see what works.
    Stir up a bit of sand, or add a few flakes of food to watch the water flow.
    Play around with it. Wait a few days and see if sand gets dug up in spots.

    Opinions vary on lighting. Some cycle dark. I tend to think with lights is better.
  16. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    The only reason I chose to cycle dark was to discourage any extra algae growth.
  17. anizatoreef

    anizatoreef Guest

    I bought a gallon of 3% peroxide form amazon for $11. Hopefully this is enough to get this rock ready for the new tank.

    Before I installed the old tank, I glued a sheet of plastic under the base of the cabinet so it could be as level as possible over my turbulent tile floor ...every stupid tile has ridges and crevices, like a stone. I might have to do the same to the 425XL, but we will see. The plastic also helped to make the tank easy to slide with some major back muscle when the tank is full. With the sump removed and all equipment from underneath moved out of the way and into the new system. I am sure it will be easy for me to move that tank on my own. The challenge for me will be finding someone strong enough to help me carry the Reefer around.

    I was thinking, once the new tank is in place, scaped with the new live rock, fish in, old tank aside, I will then hit the old live rock with super-high pressure garden hose then 70% peroxide 30% saltwater dip for like an hour! LOL, hit it with the garden hose again. Then re-cycle them in a separate container, once they are clean, I will re-use them in the new tank. Some of the rocks are pretty cool so I want to keep them.

    Although it is a good idea, my sand is not in good shape to transfer it to the new tank to help the cycle, but I think I should be ok with all cured live rock and livesand + biospira to have a same day tank-to-tank transfer.

    In the meantime I am blowing the rocks every 3 days, heavily stirring like a storm. there is one rock too close to the sand that I haven't been able to peroxide in my previous attempts, because it has a Rock Flower Anemone on it. It being close to the sand makes it hard to turkey-baste without making a nasty sandstorm.

    I have a 35 a 20 and 10 Gallon containers at the moment, plus the water from the old tank. Should I get another 35 or another 20 gallon container?

    I think I have decided on adding a Kessil Refugium LED for the sump and grow chaeto with pods, unless somebody has a better suggestion. Haven't decided on how I am going to do that exactly, but I know I will be using the ATO container for what it is intended, I am thinking I will have a 5 Gallon bucket on the side with a separate ATO to keep that container full. I don't like the idea of carrying a glass box back and forth every 3 days.

    I was also thinking of adding an additional mp40 or a gyre. But I incline towards an mp40 since I already run an mp40 and an mp10. Any opinions? What would you do?
  18. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    I don't have a refugium or even a sump for that matter but I've always thought the kessil grow lights were far over priced since you could get similar results from a much cheaper light.

    I would get another mp40 though. If it proves to be too much flow you can simply turn it down a bit.
  19. anizatoreef

    anizatoreef Guest

    Thanks man! that is very kind of you! I live in SF near Balboa Park BART. I understand if it is too far, needless to say food is included (;

    I have a 35 + 20 + 10 gallon containers, plus the old tank water. I assume I will need much more water.
  20. travis furia

    travis furia Guest

    I'd be happy to help u just let me know when ur wanting to do it and we can schedule a time I can come up and help u. Maybe I'll bring the girlfriend just cuz she likes the city. But I can bring a 55 barrel and what I think is a 30 gallon barrel if u need it. Of a 17 gallon plastic tub that we can put fish and coral in while they wait for there new home. How big is the new tank how many gallons.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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