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Please Help - advice needed on upgrading my tank :)


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Hey everyone,

I searched the first 3 pages of this forum, sorry if this has been asked before, but I'd appreciate some input please ;)

So I am in the mindset to upgrade my calico fantail to a 20gal because he deserves it...! Current he is only in a 10 gal. I am starting to have issues with water quality changing too quickly. I have a few questions on setup, how to properly transfer things, plants, etc? I am completely new to all of it, so please, any information as detailed as possible would greatly help!

1.) If I were to find a good deal on a secondhand one, say craigslist, what precautions should I look for, such as resealing it and disinfecting it?

2.) New is probably best...? There is a kit at my local PetCo, was wondering if this was considered an ok deal for all of the setup... will the filter be adequate, and if not, what would be better?

photo-1.jpg

3.) What is the proper way to transfer him? Do I do a water change to get my tank specs all up to speed & clean, and then transfer all of his current tank water into the new one? Or do I set it up with entirely new water and do a fishless cycle? (I'd need linkage on how to do that too, lol) How would I transfer the established biosponge media "data" into the new tank? etc.

4.) Would plants, even 1 or two, be a good idea? I heard they help with nitrates. How easy or hard would it be, or effect his living conditions? (For the better I'd hope?) Currently he only has plastic plants. SO, which plants would you recommend?

5.) Anything else? What kind of airstone or aeration other thank my dinky airwant that I have now?

THANKS IN ADVANCE!! :D:wub:

Edited by Sennenko
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Ok, no matter where the tank comes from, all you need to do is put your old filter from the 10g on the new filter to instantly transfer your cycle.

I actually like the kit you posted since it will come with a second filter (I'd recommend to run both the old and new filter, because one alone will not be enough I guess), heater, hood and light. Not a bad deal for being brand new. I'd probably go for that one, since it will also save you the hassle of looking for leaks, cleaning and disinfecting a used tank etc.

You basically just need to rinse the new tank out from dust, fill it with water that matches temperature and pH of your current tank, move all the decor and filter, and fish - Voila! :)

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Only thing I'd have to contribute is that tank would be great for one fish, but should you want another, you would be over stocked. I say this because goldies are just like chips, you can never just stop at one :rofl

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Petco will probably run another $1 per gallon sale in June/July. By then you'll want another fish and you can upgrade again. :rofl

Isn't it funny how those little $5 fish end up costing us hundreds, if not thousands, of $$$$?! :rofl2

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I've bought all my big tanks over the years used on Craigslist. Haven't gotten a lemon yet. You can get some screaming good deals that way, as a lot of folks buy a brand-new high-quality setup and then get out of the hobby within a year.

If buying used, make sure the seller fills the tank with water so you can see that it holds water. Inspect the silicon -- does it look new, or kind of ratty? Look the stand over carefully for signs of water damage.

Last tip: White vinegar works wonders on hard water stains!

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Don't buy new until you have checked what you can get used. It's easy to clean and disinfect a tank, and usually you get a lot with it. As others have said, go bigger. You didn't say how big your fantail is, but they can get very big.

If you are buying used, other than making sure it holds water, the first thing you should do is learn the dimensions of various sized tanks. It's very common for sellers to give incorrect sizes (often out of ignorance).

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Also, this isn't absolutely necessary, but if I were to buy a 20 gallon tank I would personally get the "long" version. More surface area is favorable for goldfish and it give's them a little bit more useable swimming room. Plus, if you want any live plants, shorter tanks are nice since there's less space between the plants and the light which makes the plants a little happier. Just a few things to keep in mind. ;)

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Thanks everyone for the advice! Seems transferring will be easier than I thought.

Unfortunately I am not finding much of anything in my local craigslist... I live in a small community, so the pickings are slim. One listing, a 30 gal & stand fo $50 was already sold (boo!) and everything else is much too big for what I can handle at him in terms of space and of maintenance. I know mr Nemo might be a little lonely, but I'll probably just be sticking with one fishie for now. :)

He's still juvenile, he's 4" from mouth to tip of tail.

I'm gonna wait until my salt dip treatments are finished first before transferring him so he's not too bugged out. :P I think we will be going down to buy today.. the only problem being a stand... hoping to find something suitable at out local Salvation Army thrift store. Stands are so expensive! I'll have to look around... craigslist is slim on those pickings, too. :(

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Ok, no matter where the tank comes from, all you need to do is put your old filter from the 10g on the new filter to instantly transfer your cycle.

How long would I leave the media in there to consider it transferred? you recommended running both filters.... so after how long do I take it out and put it back in the i10 tetra whisper and run the new filter material through its casing? thanks :)

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Ok, no matter where the tank comes from, all you need to do is put your old filter from the 10g on the new filter to instantly transfer your cycle.

How long would I leave the media in there to consider it transferred? you recommended running both filters.... so after how long do I take it out and put it back in the i10 tetra whisper and run the new filter material through its casing? thanks :)

When you move it there you keep it there. The already cycled media is your whole cycle, so it stays.

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Ok guys, I went and purchased the kit in my first post. :D I'm excited!!

I'm still slightly confused about the transference of the cycle, though. Can I just set up my existing filter, the whole thing, on one the side of the tank in addition to the new one and have them both running? Would the cycle eventually transfer to the new filter? Like you said Thunder, I'd probably want to keep two in there for better filtration.

It comes with a much larger filter and the media sponge is larger than what I currently have. My little 10gal tank has a tiny Tetra i10 Whisper in-tank filter. So if I remove the carbon and media sponge from that and put it in the large one it won't fit....? right? It doesn't seem right. Because then I wouldn't be using the proper size filler stuff for the filter.

Edited by Sennenko
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Just transfer the entire filter (media and all) on to the new tank and the new filter with all the new media. Over time the new media will establish its own BBs. Be sure to check for ammonia and nitrites as you may get a cycle bump along the way.

Also, in general you don't need carbon in your filter. If you choose to have carbon in your filter I believe it is recommended to change it out every 2-3 weeks. :D

Congrats on the new tank!

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Just transfer the entire filter (media and all) on to the new tank and the new filter with all the new media. Over time the new media will establish its own BBs. Be sure to check for ammonia and nitrites as you may get a cycle bump along the way.

Also, in general you don't need carbon in your filter. If you choose to have carbon in your filter I believe it is recommended to change it out every 2-3 weeks. :D

Congrats on the new tank!

I may have been be misinformed... I mean, I might have even just said that wrong.I just buy the brand refills for the filter, it says to swish it under water to remove carbon dust... or something like that, so that's what I assumed?

Great, thanks for the advice! That's what I figured may be best, I was totally confused about removing the inner parts of the old small filter and putting it into the new one. didn't make sense durrr lol :oops:

Set the old filter anywhere on the new tank and let it run while the new filter is running. Also, take a few of the bio media and put into the new filter to help jumpstart the colony there. Ya should be fine.

Do you mean just scrape some off and rub it onto the new one? Hahah sorry, with me you gotta assume I have absolutely elementary knowledge at best in all of this. :D:wacko:

Edited by Sennenko
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Just transfer the entire filter (media and all) on to the new tank and the new filter with all the new media. Over time the new media will establish its own BBs. Be sure to check for ammonia and nitrites as you may get a cycle bump along the way.

Also, in general you don't need carbon in your filter. If you choose to have carbon in your filter I believe it is recommended to change it out every 2-3 weeks. :D

Congrats on the new tank!

I may have been be misinformed... I mean, I might have even just said that wrong.I just buy the brand refills for the filter, it says to swish it under water to remove carbon dust... or something like that, so that's what I assumed?

Great, thanks for the advice! That's what I figured may be best, I was totally confused about removing the inner parts of the old small filter and putting it into the new one. didn't make sense durrr lol :oops:

Set the old filter anywhere on the new tank and let it run while the new filter is running. Also, take a few of the bio media and put into the new filter to help jumpstart the colony there. Ya should be fine.

Do you mean just scrape some off and rub it onto the new one? Hahah sorry, with me you gotta assume I have absolutely elementary knowledge at best in all of this. :D:wacko:

What is your media setup in your current filter? Are you using cartridges?

Do you know if your current filter is cycled?

There are several ways to 'seed' a new filter with an old one. It sounds like in your situation, it would be best to literally just run both filters on the tank. Just put your old filter on one side of the tank and the new filter on the other side. This will give you better filtration and an instant cycle :) The only issue you might run into, depending on how the hood is setup on the new tank is you may not be able to use the hood and run two filters (there may not be room).

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I have this filter:

Whisper%20In%20Tank%20Aquarium%20Filters.jpg

So it's just the white bag and the sponge cartridge thing in the front of that, which I am assuming is the biosponge? that's why I said "scrape some off and rub it onto the new one?" LOL d'oh. I guess I'll have to examine the new setup.

As far as I know the tank is cycled... I inherited this tank from owners that had had it for 6 months, and I myself had it running for 6 months after that. I had a spike in ammonia recently but WCs have been taking care of that.... nitries 0ppm and nitrates 20ppm

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That look like a sucky filter. :-(

Get an Emperor! Yes, the Emperor!

Emperor 280 is enough for the 20.

You need a filter that has more options and flexiability. Definitely considering the bio media portion of filtration.

At this point, I'm thinking, well I can't see the entire tank and type of hood, but if its the plastic hood, leave it off the tank. Get an Emp280 and run it on the tank with the old filter.

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