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4ft to 6ft tank upgrade questions!

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I currently have a 4ft planted tank (230L) with 5 7-8 month old discus, 4 bristle nose, 4 ottos, 10 corys, 2 appistos and 12 purple harlequin rasboras. I am planning on upgrading to a 6ft (680L) tank so my discus can grow out as they are growing larger every week!

The issues I face have to do with the cycling period in the new tank. I am currently running two internal filters one fluval and a uv filter plus a 1200 cannister aquaone filter in my 4 foot.

I was planning on moving all the fish into a 3 ft spare tank with no gravel running the canister filter I currently have and using a new 800L cannister on the 6ft tank with some of the filter material from the 4 footer.

HOw long do you think it would take for the new tank to cycle properly using the fishless cycle with seeded filter material from my 4 ft?

I am also wondering how I can clean the substrate (gravel and aquasoil) from debris before I move it to the new 6fter without killing off and disrupting the good bacteria that is in it? I am planning on using most of the old water in the 4 ft to fill the 3ft so as not to cause too much stress on my fish with the move. So I wont have enough left over water to clean the gravel.

Anyone had a similar experience before upgrading a tank? Any tips you can give me on how to make the cycling faster etc so the fish don't stay squished in the 3fter for a month and a half would be absolutely wonderful! (the time period it took my four foot to cycle).

PS: I was wondering if anyone knows of anyone with a ute that could carry a 195cm tank length and 135 wide. I have a landrover and doubt it'll fit! IF anyone is keen to do a pickup and drop off I am willing to pay for the time/petrol :)

Thankyou! :)

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If it was me, I would setup your 6ft tank with the new canister and transfer some media from your current canister into the new one and let it run for a week, then transfer all the fish and both the internal filters into the 6ft in one go making sure you also transfer the old canister and use all of the 4ft's water to do a 'waterchange' on the 6 foot before adding the fish. By using this method you reduce stress on your fish and will negate a cycle. Your current filtration is obviously capable of handling your current livestock so by transferring everything at once there should be no cycle as your filtration capacity will remain the same whilst the amount of waste the fish produce also remains constant. If your worried about anything don't feed the fish the day before you transfer them or the day after and then they won't produce any waste whilst your bacterial colonies get acclimatised, make sure you match your water parameters (pH, GH, KH) between the two tanks before the transfer and things will go smoothly. After the tank's been running for about a month you could start removing the internals and slowly remove the media out of the old canister and then remove it as well. Anyway Good Luck...:)

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I presume the 4ft tank is going and that's why you're shifting the fish to the 3ft? Or is it just that the 4ft is in the spot you're putting the 6ft?

At any rate, if you've got a 3ft full of your existing water and a fully seeded canister filter then I don't know that you'd have to do much in the way of cycling. If you set up the 6ft and then mix together the water from the 3ft and new water you should be able to just shift everything across more or less straight away. The 3ft water and fresh water is just like you were doing a water change on your tank as normal.

Combined with the already cycled canister, you should be pretty much good to go. I'd put the sponge from the internals in the 3 ft while you're setting up the 6ft too. Then you just pop it back into the internals and use that in the 6ft too once it's ready. That's basically what I did when moving my fish from a 500ltr to a 1000ltr tank - 50% old water + 50% new + cycled canister = no problems.

Only thing that would possibly be an issue is the discus - I know they can be twitchy about water quality but that's about it (they bore the piss out of me personally so I don't keep them). Probably best to check with someone else who keeps them just to be sure.

Can't help with flushing the substrate - I don't really see how you could rinse it and not kill the bacteria without using tank water. I don't do planted tanks though so maybe there's someone else who can think of some cunning plan.

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Thanks so much guys! You really explained everything well, I am planning on re-aquascaping my tank so I am thinking I might start setting up the new hardscape this wkend and than shift all the livestock and plants next week with the water. I may not shift to the 3 ft anymore I was planning on doing that incase of cycling but I don't plan on adding any new fish etc for awhile so I understand now when you said that the filter material is seeded enough to breakdown the waste from the current livestock so hopefully it wont change! I may keep my discus in a separate tank for a week or so just to make sure they don't get to stressed incase their is any fluctuation in the newly set up tank. I am breathing a sigh of relief thankyou!

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