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Upgrading Tank - When to move everything?


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So this summer i'll be upgrading from my nc12 to a 40 breeder. Everything is all worked out, except for how to actually transfer the livestock. originally i planned on setting up the 40 with some new sand and rock, and then all at once just putting all of my old sand (rinsed) and rock and livestock straight into the uncycled 40br. I figured the old sand and rock would be enough to prevent a cycle.


but now ive done some reading and it seems that it may have to be more complicated than that. What would you guys recommend? I would really rather not do a full cycle on the new tank before I add anything.


maybe I could set up the 40 breeder and have it going for like a week, and slowly add rock and sand from the nc12 over the week? and then at the end of the week transfer the two fish (ocellaris) and corals?



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Cycle the new tank. Don't move the sand. Throw it out. Swish your old rock in a bucket of salt water to get rid of any detritus build up on it then put it in the new tank. Move the fish over and the corals.

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you dont have to throw out the sand, i took mine out of my 12 gal and washed it in just normal tap water and let it dry out for a few days then used it in my refugium for my 40 breeder, and i also used a cup of it to seed my sand bed (before i washed it)

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i was planning on rinsing the old sand in salt water, and then putting it right in the display of the 40 breeder. i've read this is OK. I don't see any reason to throw it out.


If I add about 8 pounds of live sand and 8 pounds of live rock from the nc12 to the 40 breeder, and wait a week, do you guys think that will be enough of a cycle? I have all the test kits so I can verify as it goes, but for planning purposes, is this feasible? Please let me know why not if its not.

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your eventually going to need way more than 8lbs of rock in the 40b. If I were you, this is what I would do.


Setup 40b with 30lbs of new rock (use some dry rock to save money if you want) and some new sand. Let that chill for 2-3 weeks to cycle and establish. Move some of the rock and come of the corals over to the 40b, wait another week to make sure both tanks are stable. then move over the fragile inverts and fish. rinse and move the remaining sand if you wish. shut down NC12


I'm sure you can make the move in way less than a month, but I wouldn't risk the shock and loosing livestock you care about.

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cruize, thanks. thats what i meant (about having new rock and sand in there in addition to the stuff from my old tank).


so i guess add some rock and sand, wait 2-3 weeks, and then add the two clowns, and then wait a few days or a week, and if everything is good, add the corals (all softies)?


I can do that.

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When I moved from my last apartment over to the house I'm renting now I went straight from an AP24 with ten gallon sump right into my waiting 40br with 20L sump. This is how I did it. Luckily I had a lot of rock in my 24, about 35pounds. I bought another 15 of some guy on craigslist about two weeks befor my move and just sat it in a bucket with a power head to retard anything funky in it I treated it and let it sit in water from recent water changes to get it used to my water parameters and let it sit in the dark till I was ready for it. Next I bought a bag of that livesand with bioclarifying packet and set that in my tank after washing it out with old water once again from my 24. I ran my ro unit till I was able to fill up a 55g drum at my new place about four days before I started to move my stuff to be able to make up the difference which was way more than I thought it would be. I placed all the rock from both my tank and the stuff I had sitting into my new tank and placed my old cylced water right into the tank along with all coral inverts and fish all at once. The 40br had barely filled to about half way so I had to make alot of new water which concerned me. Some sps of mine stayed closed and discolored for about a week and other sps was open and flourishing imeadeatly, everything else seemed ot look like it did in my smaller tank withing half an hour. I only noticed a small dino outbreak about a week later that was gone just as soon as it came. Hope this helps any and my advice to you is to just start preparing for it a few weeks ahead of time and you should be fine. Good luck.

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