55g to 90g Upgrade Process

RobZilla04

Active member
One week out from going from a 55g to 90g.

I've got a few concerns/plans that I'd like to get opinions on. I don't have the ability to keep two tanks running for any length of time so this will take place in one day (a few hours hopefully).

1. Currently stocking up the additional clean RO/DI salt water with a salinity to match the DT.

2. On the way is fresh/dry crushed shells, aragonite substrate, and marine aquarium sand. I plan on pre washing it with RO/DI to reduce cloudiness.

3. Probably where I have the biggest question, new dry base rock. My plan was to add a couple of pieces initially and evaluate adding more later on. I'd really like to remove one large piece of live rock currently in the 55 and replace it with equal in size dry base rock. I don't want to induce a cycle or risk throwing levels out of whack killing livestock. :confused:

4. I plan on removing as much water from the 55 as possible and storing it. I'll leave enough in the 55 for the livestock to remain there with a heater and power head until I'm ready to place them in the new tank. This will lighten the load so I can move the 55 and place the 90.

5. Next I'll move the sump and hook up the plumbing.

6. Add the new dry substrate and transfer the live rock, base rock, and set the aquascape.

7. Top off water by transferring as much as possible without disturbing the old substrate along with moving the livestock. Also add as much new salt water as necessary.

8. Change all the filters and start the plumbing flow.

9. Use a couple of cups of the old substrate to seed the new.:thumbsup:

There it is, let me get your thoughts.

:fish2:
 

RobZilla04

Active member
I was hoping the lack of responses was a good thing.

Quick question, can I add the additional base rock (just a couple of pieces here and there) without needing to do some sort of cure process first?
 

bdare

Salty Dude
Premium Member
I was hoping the lack of responses was a good thing.

Quick question, can I add the additional base rock (just a couple of pieces here and there) without needing to do some sort of cure process first?

I wouldn't add any new rock without curing it first.
 

jayball

New member
I was hoping the lack of responses was a good thing.

Quick question, can I add the additional base rock (just a couple of pieces here and there) without needing to do some sort of cure process first?

If it is clean dry rock or just a couple pounds you should be fine. Otherwise It would be wise to get the organics out to stop it from starting a cycle
 

ComforablyNumb

New member
I am planning the same upgrade! I currently run a standard 4 foot 55gal, but have a 4foot 90gal in storage. I was thinking how much work its going to be...and its a fair amount as I am putting the 90 in the same spot in the wall that the 55 is currently in.

Everything has to come out of the 55 and go into containers, the 55 pulled out, the 90 inserted (after enlarging the wall opening in height). Then the 90 put in place and all livestock and water replaced. I will also need another Brute container for the extra water needed.

My current system has no sump and neither will the larger tank. My current lighting is 2 x Kessil a360we and I feel that will be enough light for the 90gal.

Anyway, here's a couple pics of my sumpless 55gal:






Here's a pic of the 55gal with my "custom" shading rim in place. It eliminates cleaning all the front glass (as it no longer receives direct light from my Kessil's) along with no cleaning 75% of the back or side glass either....as only the lower portions of the glass get any direct light with the rim shade installed:


As the footprint of the two tanks is similar (the 90gal is 4ft long, but 50% wider and a few inches taller), I am not planning on more rock and hoping to keep a similar look as the 55gal and maybe just add more fish with the extra room I will then have. I will also have to build a new stand for the 90, as it is 18" wide and not 12" like the current 55, but as my tank is built into the wall, the stand will not be seen and can be simple in look and construction.

I plan on doing mine in about another month..let us know how you make out.
Thx -Tim
 
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RobZilla04

Active member
^ Exactly what I am doing. Here is my stand & canopy build http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2613836

I've got 40g prepared salt water ready to go for this Saturday. I'll pull enough water and store it in a food safe cooler so I can lighten the weight enough to move the 55 and place the 90. From there it'll be a matter of keeping the remaining water in the 55 warm with the livestock while prepping the 90 with substrate, plumbing and adding the old water back.

I'll update once the process is completed.
 

RobZilla04

Active member
If it is clean dry rock or just a couple pounds you should be fine. Otherwise It would be wise to get the organics out to stop it from starting a cycle

Thanks, Ill add just a few pounds (two or three small pieces) just to redo the aquascape.
 

RobZilla04

Active member
Salt water, the more flow the better. Either periodic water changes or a skimmer to export nutrients

For how long? I've got plans to upgrade in 4 days. I also don't have a second skimmer or additional power head for flow just to cure 5-7 pounds of base rock.
 

jayball

New member
55g to 90g Upgrade Process

For how long? I've got plans to upgrade in 4 days. I also don't have a second skimmer or additional power head for flow just to cure 5-7 pounds of base rock.



Honestly just take tweezers/brush to it if required. A couple pounds will not matter unless is is stuffed with old sponge, dried macro, old crustations...


You can put in a gallon ziplock with straight vinegar to do a quick acid wash as well. Don't bother if it is clean.
 
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ComforablyNumb

New member
^ Exactly what I am doing. Here is my stand & canopy build http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2613836

I've got 40g prepared salt water ready to go for this Saturday. I'll pull enough water and store it in a food safe cooler so I can lighten the weight enough to move the 55 and place the 90. From there it'll be a matter of keeping the remaining water in the 55 warm with the livestock while prepping the 90 with substrate, plumbing and adding the old water back.

I'll update once the process is completed.

Only thing I would suggest is considering emptying the 55 completely rather than try to move it with a foot of water and the livestock still in it. You will be amazed how much it weighs with that still in it.

As far as keeping all the corals in temp storage containers for an hour or two and worrying about a temperature drop... just raise the room thermostat to 80 for that period. Yes, it will be warm working there for that time, but you shouldn't have to worry about a temp drop for your corals too much.

I looked at your stand build thread. Very nice.
 

RobZilla04

Active member
Only thing I would suggest is considering emptying the 55 completely rather than try to move it with a foot of water and the livestock still in it. You will be amazed how much it weighs with that still in it.

As far as keeping all the corals in temp storage containers for an hour or two and worrying about a temperature drop... just raise the room thermostat to 80 for that period. Yes, it will be warm working there for that time, but you shouldn't have to worry about a temp drop for your corals too much.

I looked at your stand build thread. Very nice.

Good tip & thanks!
 

RobZilla04

Active member
Success! Definitely a pain the butt process but everything went smoothly and I didn't lose any livestock. Keeping all the holding tubs and buckets was tricky. The tip on setting the house temp higher proved to be very essential. Didn't feel rushed.
 

RobZilla04

Active member
Great and glad to hear it. Now for pics of the new tank.... ;)

Waiting for the cloudiness to settle but here is a peek...

This was only a couple of hours after we finished, no aquascape yet due to the cloudy water.
G2dzci1l.jpg


One day later post aquascape.

7wFqXjil.jpg
 
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