Starting a larger tank

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Jonathan Chia, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Jonathan Chia

    Jonathan Chia Supporting Member

    I am considering upgrading to a red Sea reefer 250 from my nuvo 20 .

    If I just move everything over and add more dry rock, will I go through another phase of the uglies?

    What's the best way to get the tank up and running without having a cycle / uglies?
  2. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    put small tank into the larger tank
    assume normal maintenace

    you will still deal with some of the "uglies"
    its normal
    Vincerama2 and Coral reefer like this.
  3. Wlachnit

    Wlachnit BOD

    Yeah...agree. But, it's normal and not that big of a deal IMHO.
  4. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

    You could do like brs is recommending and let it cycle for 4 months before adding anything.
  5. rygh

    rygh BOD

    Vacuum your sand bed like crazy before the move.

    And even better, prepare a "rinse bucket" with tank salt water.
    So you can really scrub LR as you move it, removing detritus, without killing good stuff.

    All that accumulated detritus that gets stirred up a big issue.

    But I suggest you pick one method.
    A) Move it all at once.
    B) Set new tank up separately, with rock, let it cycle fully.
    The mixture of the two is problematic, because you get a partial cycle.
  6. jccaclimber

    jccaclimber Supporting Member

    The really big one is rinsing the sand a LOT. Beyond that it's not a huge deal beyond keeping any livestock in buckets warm.
  7. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    I would not reuse the sand. A couple bags of new live sand is not a big expense.
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  8. Jonathan Chia

    Jonathan Chia Supporting Member

    Yea I was thinking of maybe going bare bottom, but I have a yellow corris wrasse so that probably wont work. I'm going to start with new sand, but didn't think to scrub the old rock before putting it in the tank.

    If I were to setup the new tank while the old one was running, introducing the old rocks into the new tank after the cycle wouldn't be a big deal right?
  9. rygh

    rygh BOD

    Yes, that would work well.

    "Scrub" may not be the right term.
    It does help to gently scrub with a brush.
    But going over it with a strong powerhead, blasting detritus out of holes and such, works really well.
  10. Ibn

    Ibn Guest

    Go bare bottom if that's what you want to do. For your coris wrasse, stick some sand into a small container and tuck it away in the back corner somewhere.
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  11. The only issue with that method is there may come a time when the wrasse is startled that it damages it's mouth by diving down into the bare bottom. It will find the sand in a dish to sleep, but it;s those other times when it does a wrasse scramble that there's a slight chance the wrasse will harm itself.
  12. kinetic

    kinetic Supporting Member

    I'd echo @Coral reefer, don't reuse the sand. It's just full of junk.

    I've done the move before, from a 32g tank to a 90g tank. It was totally fine. I went bare bottom in the new tank, and only moved the rocks. I had a few other new pieces of dry rock in the new 90g tank to fill it, and since they were fairly dead and didn't leach any PO4/NO3, things were pretty much good and maybe even more stable after the move.
  13. Rostato

    Rostato Supporting Member

    All good advice so far. I’d just move everything over and then slowly add more rock so that you don’t have a huge mini cycle. The problem with this is it will take a lot more time.
  14. Ibn

    Ibn Guest

    Darwin's law in effect if the wrasse doesn't remember where the sand bed is. :p
  15. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Supporting Member

    The small tank is already populated with enough stuff to deal with itself since it's cycled. A big empty tank (well, filled with water and sand) will have nothing, but it also has nothing to deal with. if you transfer all the small tank stuff into the big tank, it can still deal with the bioload because it already could. Plus there is even more water to dilute things so it'll be awesome.

    If your new rock is completely sterile, you could put that in too. In fact you could probably just stick everything in and the huge volume of water will happily deal with whatever you put in there because your old rocks are already capable of dealing with the bio load.

  16. tankguy

    tankguy Supporting Member

    I never reuse sand. I'll put new sand in every time
    Rostato likes this.
  17. JVU


    I don’t think it will be a problem at all to upgrade, many people have done exactly that type of upgrade, including myself. Since you are transferring the live rock I doubt you’ll have much of a cycle if any. Just don’t let the live rock dry out.

    If you are going to use sand, you could either wash it a lot (A LOT) until it runs clear, or use new sand. Either approach is fine. By the way, even if you use new sand you still have to wash it a lot to remove fines.

    For the new rock, if it’s very clean to start with you can just put it in. If it has some dead organics, just put it in one piece at a time so you never have a spike your biofilter can’t handle. Since the new rock isn’t already covered in algae/coralline, it will go through those stages like any bare rock.
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