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Newbie! Question about moving to a bigger tank...

Discussion in 'New Members' Area' started by MurpheyTheGoldfish, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. MurpheyTheGoldfish

    MurpheyTheGoldfish Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Location:
    Washington State
    Hello! We're very new fish owners.
    My mother-in-law showed up unexpectedly with a 3" goldfish and a small bowl back in Nov 2015. Long story short -- we've made lots of rookie mistakes. Murphy (named after Murphys Law) has survived all of our mis-guided attempts to care for him (oxygen deprivation from being in a bowl, ammonia posing from being in too small a tank, etc). We're trying very hard to get this RIGHT and give him a good life and we need some help. :)

    Murphy is currently in 5 gallon tank (I know, too small!!), which at the moment has balanced levels (7.4pH, 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrite, 0ppm nitrate) and we're doing daily 25-50% water changes (with tap water treated with conditioner) to keep him happy.

    We just purchased a 30x12 20 gallon tank, and have it set-up/running with gravel, new decorations, treated water, and a Aqueon filter.

    We *think* Murphy has fin rot (or it could have just been from the high-ammonia levels), but he's lost most of his upper tail. We bought some medication recommended by the pet store.

    My questions are...

    Should I treat for fin rot in his current tank, since it has balanced levels and I have to remove the filter to treat? Or would we be better off treating in the new/larger tank?

    We'd love to move him to his new tank as soon as possible, but want to avoid the ammonia/nitrite spikes that got him sick to begin with. I read that simply placing some of the decorations + cartridge from his current tank in the new tank will quickly establish the good bacteria and cycle the tank. Is that true? If so, do I just "float" the old cartridge in the new tank water (it won't fit in the new pump -- different size cartridge). And for how long? Do I use the old tank water as well (there's only 5 gallons)?

    And advice on how to help him make the move, and live comfortably in the new tank would be most appreciated!

    Thanks in advance for any and all help! :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
  2. Scifisarah

    Scifisarah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Location:
    Michigan
    Could you just cut most of the material section from the old cartridge and place it over the new one in the new filter, so the water first hits the old filter media, and then goes through the new stuff? You could get rid of the old carbon and plastic frame and just move the flossy stuff into the new filter. That is what the beneficial bacteria would be growing on. Just don't rinse it or anything before putting into the new filter. I'd also move some of the old decorations in there temporarily and if you have a mesh bag, put some of the old gravel in it and put it in the bottom, if you have all new gravel in the new tank. You could also purchase a small bottle of Seachem Stability and use that to kick start things. I would do all those things and then switch him over to the bigger tank. Others might have different ideas, but that is what I'd do.
     
    MurpheyTheGoldfish likes this.
  3. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    I recommend not medicating. Fin rot generally comes from poor water quality, which you know you have had. So just try nice clean water.

    Just move him and his old filter into the new tank. The old filter will take care of the ammonia he produces just as it does in his current tank. Over a period of a few weeks, the bacteria from the old filter will seed the new one. You can remove the old filter after 3 weeks, but do test ammonia and nitrite daily for the next week to be sure the new filter has completely cycled.

    This works better than just transferring media from the old filter since the bacteria don't know the difference between assorted types of media and the surface of the filter so they grow on all of them.

    If you feel a real need to medicate, use aquarium salt or other 100% sodium chloride (no additives) at a concentration of 0.1% which is 1 teaspoon per gallon of water.
     
    MurpheyTheGoldfish likes this.
  4. MurpheyTheGoldfish

    MurpheyTheGoldfish Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Location:
    Washington State
    Thank you so much for your help!! Great advice!

    So when I move him and his old filter into the new tank, what exactly am I doing with the old filter (since it won't fit in our new filtration system). Should I just drop it in the main body of water and let it float around for 3 weeks? Just want to make sure I do it right. :)

    And while I have you.... :) if ammonia or nitrites do spike in the new tank, is a 25% water change always the best bet? Or is there something else I should do (filter change, additives, leave it alone because it's triggering the next phase of the cycle)?

    Thank you for all your help!

     
  5. mjfromga

    mjfromga Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2015
    Location:
    At Home
    I put the smaller filter from my 10 gallon tank BEHIND the big one in my 30 gallon when I moved my fish. Helped a ton, my water parameters are great. I tossed it out after a week two, but you can leave it for longer. Hope Murphy gets better. If ammonia levels spike, a large water change needs to be done with an additive such as Seachem Prime.
     

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