Advice on temporary homing fish/inverts

Glenda Steel

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I am planning to re-scape our tank but will need to have temporary accommodation for the fish (5 Endler's Guppy, 1 Danio, 5 Amano shrimp and 5 Nerite snails. I was already thinking of setting up a second tank and thought that this may be a good temporary home. I envisage it will take a couple days for me to re-scape as I want to make sure the tank is completely clean before hand and make drastic changes to the layout!

Our existing tank (which has been running for 4 years) is a 46l Fluval Edge (the tall one) with a hang on the back filter, for the new, 2nd tank I am considering the Scaper's Tank by Dennerle with the Dennerele Scaper's Flow hang on the back filter. My questions are:

1. Would it be best to try and use the old Fluval filter (complete) as a temporary filter in the new tank to ensure it was fully cycled and would it cope with the amount of inhabitants?

2. Would it be ok to lift some of the Anubias covered wood from the old tank into the new tank but without any substrate? I didn't want to scape the new tank beforehand as I wanted it to be as simple to catch the fish/inverts as possible and avoid too much stress. However I wanted them to have a few 'home comforts' whilst they were temporarily housed.

I would appreciate any help and advice please! Particularly if anyone has watched a youtube 'how to' (@George Farmer :shy:)!
 
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kadoxu

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Yes to both.

About no. 2, if you're like me and use 2 ceramic media bags, you can remove 1 to use in the new tank. Or replace the sponge and use the old one in the new filter.

If it's just for 2 days, try not to feed, or feed less for those days (unless there are baby fish).
 

Glenda Steel

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replace the sponge and use the old one in the new filter.
sorry to ask what is probably a silly question but would that be fully 'cycled'? I'm also unsure how do I use (i.e.make fit) the filter media from the edge in a different type of filter? Really worried about the whole process as the Fluval Edge is our first tank and I made so many mistakes (decorative sand for substate and expected to plant into it)!
 
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kadoxu

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sorry to ask what is probably a silly question but would that be fully 'cycled'? I'm also unsure how do I use (i.e.make fit) the filter media from the edge in a different type of filter? Really worried about the whole process as the Fluval Edge is our first tank and I made so many mistakes (decorative sand for substate and expected to plant into it)!
Not a silly question at all. No, it wouldn't be fully cycled, it would just give the new filter a jump start.

I think I confused you more than I helped, so here goes what you should do:
  • Move as much water as you can from the Edge to the new tank.
    • A 100% water change is not good for anyone
  • Use both filters in the new tank
    • This will ensure you have a mature filter, and will also help to jumpstart the new filter with bacteria.
    • If there is too much flow with both filters, use the mature one only.
  • Don't feed as much as you usually would to avoid Ammonia/Nitrite spikes
    • You are loosing bacteria from the soil, plants, etc, so the filter may not be enough on it's own.
This will allow you to take all the time you need to re-scape the Edge.

(I should have said this from the start, shouldn't I?)
 

alto

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Definitely move the wood & Anubias over to the bare Scapers tank - this will provide fish with some comforting familiar & "cover" & friendly "cycle" bacteria as well (not as much as what resides in the filter but still rather more than anything floating about in the old aquarium water)

Also float some plants as the shrimp may prefer these over the wood (though I suspect Amano shrimp will stay lower & more wood oriented) - the Endlers will appreciate the plant shade :)

Equipment List

Scaper kit
Prime - this will bind any ammonia released during tank acrobatics, used in 5-10X dose it will also bind nitrites, some nitrates
Transport container for holding, moving fish
Edge prefilter sponge - this can be useful while disturbing the tank, it will help clear any debris released into the water (inside filter media will remain much "cleaner")
Bins for filter, hardscape, plants, substrate


1) set up the Scapers tank - fill with tap water, add water conditioner & leave heater & filter running overnight (to check equipment)

2) drain half of Scaper's tank & refill with Edge water - leave a good 20% below top so there's "room" for wood addition

3) top up Edge with tap water, adding enough water conditioner for 2x tank volume (ie ~90litres)
3b) leave filter running in Edge if possible, I'm not sure how much room you have to manipulate nets etc with filter in place - if minimal space, remove filter after few minutes (leaving just long enough to recirculate new water etc) & place in bin, no water needed as media will remain damp

4) net anyone that can easily be removed from Edge

5) carefully lift wood (try not to cloud Edge anymore than necessary) & transfer to Scaper
That extra water conditioner will help with anything "extra" released as you move the hardscape - if water clouds heavily, add another double dose Prime (I always dilute this into some tap water before pouring into the aquarium)

6) net any remaining fish, shrimp - use a convenient container that you can place net/fish into & then just pour into the Scaper - I add a bit of plant for shrimp to cling to, fish to hide under

7) after looking online at the Dennerle Flow Filter I suspect you can place a good portion of the Edge media in the lower compartment (not sure if this is downstream from the upper ceramic media - ideally you want the direction of flow to move through your "seed" (cycled) media into the new media)
Any leftover Edge media can be placed damp in a plastic bag - loads of air & little water, closed to maintain humidity - a bin with lid works as well, I just try to open every 1-3 days to allow fresh air in

8) finish dismantling the Edge
I place any wood, plants in a fish safe bin (with a small amount of water) just in case missed livestock "drop out"
 

alto

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Not sure what your present water change schedule is like, I do 50% weekly so there's little difference between my tap & tank - & moving livestock over to the Scaper isn't much different than their usual water change
 

Glenda Steel

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Hi Alto!

Thank you so much for such a detailed, comprehensive answer! I have just started using prime and at the moment I am doing a 40% water change three times a week to help with a bacteria bloom (now gone thankfully)! I will now buy some more buckets for the transporting etc. and good point re the inhabitants hiding! I can leave the Edge filter running but will have to lift some of the wood out (if not all) to gain access to net but a lot of the top wood is just resting on the other (not intentional!) so shouldn't disturb the sand. So you wouldn't use the Edge filter complete in the Scaper's?
 

alto

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If it fits you can certainly just place the Edge filter over

Bacteria colonization is more efficient if you place some of the Edge media inside the new filter, paying attention to direction of water flow

Apparently the Scaper Flow filter rate is not adjustable so take care that flow rate for fish doesn't increase drastically & suddenly - especially if long flowing fins

Any food safe bin should be fine to use
 

alto

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You may want to look at The Green Machine Closing sale - ADA tanks really are the nicest build & glass clarity
 

Petra R

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Thank you so much Alto,
Re: Bacteria colonization is more efficient if you place some of the Edge media inside the new filter

sorry for what may be a silly question but why is that?
Glenda, it's because what "really" filters aquarium water is all the bacteria that live in the filter and "eat" all the nasty stuff in the water. So essentially a new filter starts out "filtering" absolutely nothing other than mechanically trapping debris. The water itself comes out of a new filter pretty much the same as it went in.

The bacteria multiply and "infect" (in a good way ;) ) all the filter media over time and then "eat" all the nasty stuff that is being pumped through the filter.

So when you add filter media from your old tank you are adding lots and lots (but not enough) of hungry bacteria who will eat nasty stuff and because they have food they will multiply and spead through the rest of the (new) filter media and therefor the whole cycle is shortened considerably.

Makes for happier and healthier aquarium inhabitants and a less stressed Glenda ;)
 

Glenda Steel

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Thanks Petra,

Sorry I probably put my query rather badly! What I was meaning to ask was what the theory was behind having only part of the old filter in the new tank filter as opposed to the entire, established media particularly considering I will be introducing a large bio load at once. This tank has been running for 4 years now and I am now going to re-scape entirely (i.e. shutting down) hence the need to temporarily re-home the inhabitants. I'm now erring on the side of caution and considering cycling the new tank beforehand (a less stressed Glenda would be wonderful right now)!

P.s. My husband and I are also huge fans of the Philips Hue range too!
 

Petra R

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Haha, I was wondering, Glenda!
If you are killing the Edge completely you can transfer all the media (provided it fits in the filter housing properly!!) and use it, it will certainly help! What you don't want to do is take all the filter media out of the Edge while the fish are still in there and you're trying to cycle the new tank as you'd end up with (essentially) two cycling tanks and nowhere for the fishies to go (safely)

What I'd be tempted to do is leave fishies in the Edge and cycle the new tank with some of the Edge filter media and some of the Edge "things" (deco) and some of the Edge's water, then transfer fishies over once the new one is fully cycled.

Ha! re the Hue... Once you get into this automated home thing it's hard to stop, even my multicooker and the kettle are app controlled. Now I just need an app to walk the dog!
 

alto

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sorry for what may be a silly question but why is that?
Just proximity - the bacteria of interest are "sticky" bacteria that adhere to surfaces (why they're found in media, on plants, wood etc but very few just floating about in the water column), obviously these bacteria end up everywhere, there tends to be a concentration inside the filter as conditions for better growth (& population increase) are here

As colonies grow outliers are "released" & travel in the water flow to the next "place" - this voyage could be through the entire tank or just into the next media/filter compartment

dw1305 (I've always been curious about that number string o_O ) has posted links to updated aquarium cycle "mediators" though I don't recall details (of who does what & how much of everything)


considering I will be introducing a large bio load at once.
5 Endlers, 1 Danio, 5 shrimp, 5 nerite snails should be a fairly small bioload in a 50 litre tank (unless you've created monsters - I have seen Danos that are 3-4times normal breadth from overfeeding) especially when combined with decreased feeding (alternate days rather than every day) & attentive water changes

Likely you could keep this volume of fish in that tank, with daily water changes & minimal feeding & measure only minimal ammonia (no nitrites or nitrates as tank would lack any bacterial cycle) - too much food is a main contributor to poor water quality, excess food rots, fish digestion is less thorough when food is plentiful ...

Obviously having the established filter media present is far "nicer" for livestock comfort & rather less water work for you

You can easily just run the Edge filter on the temporary tank (or any suitable sized food safe bin) while rescaping the Edge, transfer fish back home, then remove a portion of the Edge media to "inoculate" the new tank whenever it arrives
(though you'll need to "feed" the filter in some manner to accumulate significant populations of the bacteria)
 

Glenda Steel

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provided it fits in the filter housing properly
As of yet I haven't chosen a new filter but it will be bigger than the Edge which i
fairly small bioload in a 50 litre tank
Ahh, well that's the thing, since you mentioned ADA tanks I'm now looking at the 30cm nano which I believe has a capacity of 21litres :)! So perhaps a food safe container to use as a temporary home may be the best idea after all. What are your thoughts? The fish are normal size although the Amanos we've had for 4 years and are on the large size! The Danio Erythromicron was rather a surprise find a few days ago, it was part of the first shoal of fish in the tank (probably one of the fry as they did breed rather well, sadly all but 2 becoming food for the adults) and I had thought they had all died! As I'm sure you know they are shy in the extreme so it was by chance that I'd gone into the room after dark and spotted it! So I think a large holding bucket is a great suggestion as who know how many more may be still there!!!

though you'll need to "feed" the filter in some manner
I was considering the ADA complete soil system for the new tank which I understand does help with cycling. I was planning on doing this after the tank was used as a holding tank. I also used fish food to fishless cycle the Edge, it certainly was pungent but effective!

dw1305 (I've always been curious about that number string o_O ) has posted links
I will look into that!

Thanks again Alto for such in-depth useful information and help!
 

alto

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Note Tropica Aquarium Soil (I suggest Powder in small/nano tanks) is much more forgiving than ADA (which still has problems with "muddling" ie poor quality control at manufacture, you can see this is in a relatively recent journal)

The ADA system with power sand etc, is a substantial investment & not the easiest to manage when rescaping

Jurijs mit JS uses an interesting substrate method with Tropica products
 

Glenda Steel

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Thanks Alto, I shall read up about Tropica powder, I have seen a few videos (I'm binge watching George Farmer's!!) where both he and Jurijs use Tropica powder. I'll also take a look at Jurijs Facebook page re the substrate thank you.
 
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