Moving contents to new tank


New member
Hey fellow reefers,

My sister has a 37 gallon FOWLR tank with an Eclipse hood.

She has marks on the glass of the tank as if it's been etched in and wants to replace the scarred tank with a new one. The tank has been running for about 5 months after experiencing some ammonia and cycling problems.

She's got a 4" DSB and wants to know if there's a suitable procedure that works for transferring the sandbed to the new tank without releasing toxins, etc. Would it be wise to house the fish elsewhere for a while after transferring the contents?

Any recommendations for planning the transfer and successfully completing it would be helpful.




I think most would not recommed moving a sandbed, but it can be done. IMO the best way to do it, is to house the fish elsewhere because you most likely will have to recycle the tank. Take all the sand out and rinse it thoroughly(sp?). Place in new tank and wait to see what happens. May and may not cause a cycle, but probably will.


Lounge Pariah
After only 5 months, I can't see that the sandbed would be loaded with toxins or excess nutrients.

I'd just remove most of the water and all of the rocks. Then, use a suitable trowel/shovel and move 4 inch x 4 inch x 4 inch sections from one tank to the other trying not to distrub the levels. Add the rock and water back and you should be in good shape.


New member
Just Rinse all the sand except for 2quarts in 5 gal buckets and tap water till the water runs clean. Just stick the hose in it and sturr it with your hand.

Reseed the clean sand in the new tank with the 2 quarts you did not rinse.


New member
Thanks for your recommendations.

As the tank has a fairly small bioload, I wouldn't expect there to be a lot of toxins, so we would hope not to need to re-cycle the tank, but keeping the fish elsewhere for a while does make some sense.