Moving nag upgrading ???

SDboatguy

New member
Hey all, thanks for any input. I am moving my set up- 100gal mixed reef/ Aqua C ev120 skimmer,and at present 23"x13"x16" wet/dry. I am going to be upgrading to a 36"x15"x16" sump/fuge .My questions are ...swap out the sumps but keep bio balls in first chamber with skimmer,helping ease the stress on biofilter? Then setup refugium and slowly remove bio balls? Or just do it all at once? As I'm adding volume to the system, not sure if a new skimmer might be good idea? And lastly(for now!) what to place in refugium- substrate,macro,rock from DT? Thanks again!
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
I use that skimmer on a 54 gallon and find it small, but if you have softies, that's not a great problem. If you're going to be moving the corals to a different tank, it's just like putting them in qt---but---here's the catch: that new tank can't run off bioballs. It's going to have to cycle. WHile most hardy coral can survive a cycle, I wouldn't ask it of them. I'd put them in the main tank on pump- and floss filter only until your sump cycles, (about 5 days with old sand) without the bioballs. Make your new fuge just a carbon copy of the main tank. But what I'm worried about is how you're going to orchestrate this and keep the coral out of the cycle. Have you a large enough Qt tank to hold the coral until the tank/sump is through its collective snit, or does it take the whole tank to hold them?
 

SDboatguy

New member
That's what I'm worried about, SAME DT, new sump. While I don't have a lot of coral ,GSP,lots of Xenia,ricordias,misc. mushrooms and zoos, I do have a large Hammer and large frogspawn. Hate to lose those as well as the fish in the system. No QT either, I guess I could have the LFS house the fish and loose corals? As far as the shrooms and Xenia, can't exactly store all the rock they are on:( Or should I move system as is and change out the sump a few weeks/ month down the road ?
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
THe shrooms and xenia will survive a moderate cycle, easy. The problem is you can't move the big tank without totally breaking it down, and any time there's a breakdown, the tank and/or sump has to cycle, which will mostly involve the bacteria re-layering in the sandbed.---it'll be mild. I've had even bubble coral survive a full-blown cycle. But any fish are vulnerable to the ammonia. Corals will just close up.
Here's what you do, in a nutshell: break down everything, use the waste water to wash the sand til it's pretty clean and concentrate on the tank. Let the sump fuge set up gradually once you've got the tank functioning: just start adding a little rock, then a little sand to the new fuge, and you can go ahead and add cheatomorpha algae and light it 24/7.
Start everything in the tank with new salt water, but old sand, old rock. It's going to be about 5 days til there's a mild spike. Stand by with Amquel if it gets too bad, but it shouldn't. And treat it very gently re temperature, re lights. Just view it as starting all over, but it should go quickly. If you can keep your fish in a 32 gallon Brute trashcan with a good pump, and heater, they should be fine: no cycle for them, just a lot of filter changing and salinity testing: test everything. Scary re the corals, but if my bit of bubble and some mushrooms could survive January temperatures, new water, a 4 week cycle, and all, your corals can likely make it. If you're worried about the hammer and frog, put them in the dark bottom of your 32 g trash can. That water will be under-used throughout and should stay pretty good, with just a few fish. And at the end of it, you'll have a spare trashcan you can use for packing and have for emergencies.
Does this make sense? Tank #1 priority, fuge to take life from the tank once you get the tank going strong, corals in tank or in can, fish in can, watch the ammonia like a hawk, in the can!
 

SDboatguy

New member
I did this 3 years ago ,only it was a new DT with all the stuff from the original tank moved over. Big difference as I had the new tank in place with "some" water in it . Also only a 2 mile move... This one will be bit father and more complicated. But your advice helps , thanks again . Time to look for a bigger skimmer .....$$$$
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
Skimmer depends on what you're going to keep: if you stay to softies and lps, without a huge fish load, the old EV120 may do ok. These corals like 'rich' water and don't like hyperefficient skimmers. If, on the other hand, you start seeing problems, you may want to spring for the larger skimmer.
 
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