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New Tank Set-Up Or Problem Tank?


lyndsaykr

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We have 3 goldfish (2 8 inches and 1 6 inches) in a 23 gallon tank. I know it's too small, but when we started out we didn't realize it. We've had constant issues with ammonia and nitrite as you can well imagine. Today we bought everything to set up a full 55 gallon properly for them.

My question is whether it is safer for the fish to stay in the 23 gallon for the 10 days we are away and hopefully be okay with just treatments of Amquel+ daily (the person caring for them is unable to do the necessary water changes), or for us to move them into a new tank (set up with all the old mediums... filter, gravel, artificial plants). We also bought Nutrafin Cycle to help start up the cycle in the new tank.

We wouldn't be here to monitor the first couple weeks of the new tank which is why I'm wondering which route is the safer of the two. Old problem system (ammonia hits about 1ppm and nitrite at 5 ppm about 24 hours after the Amquel+) or new untested set-up with only a couple days running before we leave?

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I would put them in the 55 gallon as waste will be diluted more with still daily treatment of amquel. I would not add any gravel, it'll just cause problems for you later, but I would add the filter and maybe place the gravel in a mesh bag in the tank. Then I would take a handful or two and put them in mesh bags in the filter. If you do not have any bags from the aquarium store you can use pantyhose. That can get your cycle started on the 55 gallon.

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I'd definitely move them to the 55. If you're moving cycled media and use the water from the small tank in the big one, your cycle should grab hold pretty quickly. Keep an eye on water levels and do water changes for the few days before you leave :)

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I agree and would put them into the 55. Although I don't agree with the gravel, I have gravel in my tank. As long as you do the proper water changes and cleaning you should not have any problems.

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Thanks for all the replies. We set the new tank up last night and let it run all night with the new filter. Later today we'll siphon down the 23 gallon and transfer over everything from the old tank. We'll have the fish in a 10 gallon with a mix of fresh water and old standing by. We'll be sure to vacuum the gravel thoroughly before the transfer, but should I clean the plastic plants or just transfer them as is? Not sure which would be better. Don't want to remove anything that might help jump start the new tank.

Thanks again for all the replies.

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The 55 will give the fish the better chances.

As said, use all the filter media from the filter of the small tank. In fact, maybe you are able to have both filters running, the big one for the new tank as well as the one from the old tank. That will add some extra filtration.

If you do that, maybe put half of the cycled filter media from the old tank into the filter of the new tank, and add lots of media to both so a lot of beneficial bacteria can establish.

Using nutrafin cycle additionally will boost the BB even more.

For now I would even use the gravel. Gravel also contains some BB which I noticed when I removed 50% of my gravel because I change the look of the tank and suddenly had a nice cycle bump.

Just make sure the gravel as well as the filter media do not dry out or the BB will all die. Keep them in tank water. Add the old filter and the gravel after the new tank is completely filled, so you can turn on the filter immediately after installing it. The longer the filter is turned off, the higher the chances of the BB dying.

Just make sure the pH and temperature matches!

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