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Emergency Fish Transfer - How to minimize the trauma!


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Background: This morning I discovered that my daughter's 10g plated tank was leaking, and not just a little bit.   We removed all the fish, and then my husband proceeded to dump them into my 20g planted tank.  I tested and changed water (30%) in the 20g tank yesterday.  This morning, before transfer, water parameters were 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, 20 Nitrates.  In addition to the fish, I moved three of the plants from the 10g to the 20g.  The plan is to get a new tank but the setup and cycling won't happen overnight.  All of the filter media and hardscape are currently sitting in a bucket of tank water.  

Here are my concerns:

  1. My 20g planted has only been cycled for a few weeks.  Even a mature tank that small would take a hit from adding so many new fish at once.  I added a dose of Stability and a dose of Prime as a precaution.  Is there anything else I can/should do to minimize the inevitable ammonia/nitrite spike?
  2. I am worried about the otos.  Platies also like to peck at algae so now there are 5 otos and more competition for food.  I add zucchini and green beans a couple times a week but the platies like the veggies too.  The platies also eat all of the Repashy Soilent Green so the otos never get any.  (platies are the golden retrievers of the fish world).  Any advice for getting enough food for the otos without ending up with chubby platies?

Fish transferred: 

  • 4 adult platy  -Rocket, Diamond, Chicken, Sparkles
  • 2 juvenile platy - Cheetah, Dart
  • 2 fry - so small they are still clear
  • 2 otocinclus - Schmendrick and Dr. Marsh

Fish already in 20g tank:  

  • 1 adult platy - Baby Shark
  • 6 juvenile platy - Spot, Glitter, Clementine, The Silver Surfer, Kirk, Spock, Red Shirt
  • 3 otocinclus - Tony, Ray, and John Wick (the clean-up crew)

 

platy tank.jpg

Edited by PaigeIs
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Posted (edited)
On 3/1/2022 at 11:00 AM, jwcarlson said:

Add the filters from the 10 gallon to the 20.  The bacteria is already ready for the bioload.  

Once you have the new tank set up, just move the filter and fish back over and you'll be set.  Instant cycle.

The only fish that I'd be worried about losing would be Red Shirt, honestly.

We aren't that attached to Red Shirt, for obvious reasons.  Thanks for the advice.  My filter media basket is already pretty full.  I could just drop the sponges into the tank. It would be ugly but ... bacteria!

Edited by PaigeIs
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On 3/1/2022 at 1:04 PM, PaigeIs said:

We aren't that attached to Red Shirt, for obvious reasons.  Thanks for the advice.  My filter media basket is already pretty full.  I could just drop the sponges into the tank. It would be ugly but ... bacteria!

I'd hang the filter right on the back.  Assuming your 10 gallon had a HOB.  I did this when moving from 10 gallon to 37 gallon.  Now it's got two HOBs on it.  Also moved sponge filter over.

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