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Last Updated.
May 2007.





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January 2006

Creation of website.

WC 16/01/06 - Preparation of the freshwater tank for relocation, this involved managing to persuade the LFS to take all my guppys (had about 200 of them, breading explosion problem). Annoyed with myself that I missed 5 females. Also I revisited overall reef system design making changes to the lighting. My intention is to move the freshwater tank out the way next weekend. Bought 2' x 2' x 18" tank to temporary house the remaining fish and plants during the move.

WC 23/01/06 - Freshwater Aquarium Relocation. Well it's started! The freshwater tank is on it's way. First of all, removed the plants which were transferred to the temporary tank. Then after a lot of effort caught all the fish. Left the filter media in the tank overnight with pumped running water (via a canister filter) to try to keep the bacteria alive. My plan is to move tank itself early tomorrow morning. At it's new location (my office) it will then be filled with fresh water and left for 24 hours to allow the water temperature to stabilize.

The filter media even though it is due for a change will be kept and installed in the tank when it is relocated. However a couple of the foam blocks will be retained and installed in a canister filter. The canister filter will then be used on the temporary tank and moved to the main tank with the fish.


I stirred up the sand to remove most of the silt (that's why the water so dirty in the picture). The water will then be drained off. This tank used a heater cable under the sand. The heating from the cable promoted a slow movement of water through the sand bed. This movement allowed the sand bed itself to act as a massive filter and is probably why I have never had a problem with nitrates in this tank. My intention is to keep the sand wet at all times. Hopefully this will maintain the bacteria colonies. Most of the sand is removed from the tank and placed in buckets for the move. I have also retained some sand in the temporary tank just in case. This will be moved to the tank with the the fish. FW in the process of being dismantled
Temporary FW Tank


Home for the fish over the next couple of days, water is used from the main tank to minimize stress to the fish.

I allowed the silt to settle over night, then siphoned it out in the morning. Removed most of the sand into 2 buckets ready for the transfer. The heating cable was left in place with some of the sand. A small amount of water was left in the tank (1/8") which I couldn't really drain out..

The tank was then moved to its new location on a cold winter day with below freezing temperatures. It took 4 men to get it up the stairs. The sand from the buckets was put back into the tank and then came the arduous task of filling the aquarium with water using buckets. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But half way through I wished that I had bought a hose. I used half cold and half hot tap water as this would give roughly the right temperature.

When the tank was full, to my surprise out popped one of my clown loaches. I really do not know how it survived. It must have been buried in the sand. I went quickly to my local fish shop (LFS) and bought some dechlrorinater. Luckily this was 5 minutes away from my office. My 4 year daughter who was with me at the time, immediately named him 'Lucky'. Obviously picking up something I said at the time. The clown loach was looking rough, I honestly didn't think that it would survive the night.

The tank was setup with half of the foam filter sponges. I replaced all the tubes and added a bacteria starter culture to the tank. The tank was left overnight for the temperature to settle.

I returned the next day with my plants and was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by 'Lucky'.

I spent most of the day trimming and placing all of my plants in the tank. It's times like this you realize exactly how many plants you can have in a 400 Liter tank. I must have had at least 200-300 foreground plants which needed individually planting.

I left the tank settle for the next couple of days before adding the fish. The fish were added of the course of the next week. On the initially transfer I did loose a few fish. This was down to me putting too many fish in the transfer bag. On the remaining transfers, I reduced the number of fish to a couple per bag. With this method there were no further losses. My casualties for the transfer were 2 Siamese Algae Eaters and 3 Buenos Aires Tetra. A sad loss as I have had these fish 3-4 years. The majority of the casualties other than one, were in the same bag. After a few days in the tank, I lost a Schubert barb.

I monitored the water over the week, I had a slight peak in ammonium and another slight peak in nitrites. Nothing toxic, so my efforts to keep all the filter media wet and alive had worked. The Tap water had about 10ppm nitrates and .5ppm phosphates. I installed a canister filter with Rowa Phos to reduce the phosphates down to zero,. Within a couple of weeks the nitrates were back down to zero. (which is normal for my tank)

The water was cloudy with a whitish tinge. This was due to the filters being disturbed and this disappeared within a week to leave crystal clear water.