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Temporarily saving cycled tank rocks and sand

Pennyworth

Wonderpus
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Dec 13, 2013
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#1
Due to an extremely hostile landlord and escalating legal dispute, it looks like I will temporarily have to drain my tank of water.

I don't want to lose all the time and effort I put in towards cycling the tank. Is there a way to keep the rocks and sand (which I understand is where the needed bacteria reside) outside of the tank, until I can resolve this?

If I keep rocks and sand in a bucket will that be sufficient? Would I have to start adding ammonia periodical to maintain the bacteria?
 

Nancy

Titanites
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#4
This is too bad - you were doing so well. Are.you planning to move now that you've encountered this problem?

Maybe a local aquarium store could help you out.

Nancy
 

DWhatley

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#5
You can store your rocks in a bucket (large trash can) but it will need circulation (your Koralia style water pumps will do and I would use both, one high and one low on opposite sides) and I would suggest doing a monthly water change and possibly adding a small amount of dry fish food weekly. The fish food will encourage nitrates but should help keep the bacteria and some critters alive (unfortunately it will encourage the growth of bristle worms it you have them but it they are in the rock, they will propagate anyway. I hate them but have tons and they do eat the waste). If this is going to be an extended issue (more than a couple of months), I would discard the sand and start with new when you restart the tank. It will grow nitrate (and potentially poisonous sulfur dioxide) than it will preserve any positive bacteria. I would have bare bottom tanks if Neal would not complain :roll:

I would also recommend a good cleaning of the tank and hardware before it is allowed to dry.
 

Pennyworth

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#6
OK, Thanks all.

Looks like this won't be necessary as my lawyer is good at getting obvious lies thrown out :)

Worst case scenario, I should only h ave to move to a different apartment, which I am prepared for.
 

DWhatley

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#7
If you have to move the tank you may have a mini-cycle so be prepared to check for ammonia and nitrates. This won't likely last more than 2 weeks (probably less) but it is always good to check. We have help move tanks without loss of corals or fish but since you don't have live stock, allowing the two weeks before adding anything would keep things on the safe side.
 

Pennyworth

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#8
Is the minicycle guaranteed? I have shrimp, sea stars, starfish and a CUC in there at the moment.

Planning to leave sand with a bit of water in there, and rocks in a bucket with water from the tank, and then make new water.

Moving should not have too much more of an effect than doing a 70% water change or so, I would hope.
 

DWhatley

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#9
No, and because your tank is new it is less likely than with an older tank. The mini-cycle is generally attributed to disrupting the rocks and (primarily) sand that harbor hidden gases and debris. The large water change will be helpful to minimize any impact but be sure it is the same salinity, temperature and PH of your existing water. The PH is most important for the starfish and some shrimp. Other CUC should not be any problem.
 

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