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Best Way To Transfer To New Tank?

Guest Libby

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Guest Libby

Hi all,

I'm a new user and have been trouble finding anything that specifically addresses my concern (or just being too dense to put different posts together for a solution). I have two 4"comets that I want to transfer from the existing 20 gal tank (I had not realized until I read it here that the 10 gal guideline was for fancies, not comets) where they have been for 3 years to a 30 gallon tank, and I am interested in making this as smooth and easy a transition as possible and not stressing them further.

I had already planned on the change, but it has become a much more tense stuation for me because I had 3 in the tank (they started very small, and I was figuring the 10 was the guideline for large fish...so this is my fault, I know) and lost one yesterday due to a spike caused by a power outage (we are having fires here in CA) combined with what seems to have been overfeeding. (We switched to a new food recently, and apparently they had been eating less of it than normal). [i know there is no excuse for not noticing this, but we do have a toddler, and I'm currently working on my dissertation and teaching, so I've been distracted and a bad fish mom.] So now that we have lost Tempura (he came with ammonia burns from the store), the other two fish have had the stress of the spike as well as a disruption of the established social dynamics, and I don't want to stress them more, but I want to move them asap.

So what do I need to do to the new tank? I use Ultimate water conditioner, and Cycle nitrifying bacteria, as well as aquarium salt, and I'm switching to an Eclispse 3 filter for the new tank from a Whisper. I use a bubble wall to aerate the water as well.

Is the best idea to move the fish into a holding tank while I transfer gravel and plants? I'm planning on using the existing water to seed the tank, but is there anything else I can do to avoid stressing them?

I really appreciate any advice, help or links that you folks can offer.


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It sounds like you have a good plan. Make sure you put the media from your existing filter into the new one, that way (hopefully) your cycle will just carry on over.

I'd just put the fish in a bucket with an airstone while you transfer the plants/gravel, it shouldn't take too long. You want them out of there for that part for sure, as you're probably going to kick up quite a lot of waste from the gravel. You could also rinse the gravel in decholrinated water, since you've been overfeeding, to remove most of the 'gunk'.

As long as you have everything ready before you begin, your fish shouldn't experience too much stress. :)

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Guest Libby

Thanks! I had thought about putting them in a bucket with an airstone, but was nervous about whether it would be ok, so I really appreciate the advice. And I hadn't even thought about rinsing the gravel in treated water, shows how distracted I am. I really appreciate the help and support.

We'll be making the attempt next week, once we've finished testing the new tank for any slow leaks.

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