Well i found an offer that i felt was too good to miss on a new Fluval 240 tank, 120cm wide, the largest tank i have had so far!!
I have ordered it and want to get as much info about setting up as possible.
I have a much smaller fluval tank at the moment at only 80cm wide.
when i set up the new tank, what should i bear in mind? Also, will using some of the old water from my existing tank speed up the cycling process?
I want to have some plants in the tank but up to now have had very little success with plants, can anyone talk me through the planting process etc.
Finally, this is probably a stupid question, but this is just out of curiosity, why do people not use the Nutrafin Cycle solution as it says that it makes tap water "immediately" safe...hmm, im sure there is a logical explanation, but i'd love to know what it is...
Ooh, that's a nice big tank! What are you going to put in there?
Are you planning on moving everything over from your old tank? That would make life easy for the cycling. The reason people don't use the Nutrafin cycle stuff is because it doesn't work so that mystery is solved!
Are you planning to go hi-tech with the planting (Co2 and extra lighting) or just have the standard lighting? All my tanks have been low tech because I like to keep things simple the trick then is choosing the right plants that will grow in low lighting levels. There are still quite a few to choose from.
THings to bear in mind setting up the new tank- make sure it doesn't leak before you put in all the substrate and set up the filter and all the usual position rules apply- away from a radiator and direct sunlight and close enough to a socket so you can plug everything in.
Funnily enough, I went from a 90l tank, to the Roma 200 about 3 weeks ago, with very similar concerns to you!
I plopped the new filter in my old tank, and ran it in there for a week.
I saved ALL of the water from my old tank, in 5l water bottles, and 40l storage crates. (One crate held fish whilst the old tank was removed and new one put in situ, another crate held plants.)
I used all of the old gravel, and 5kg of new gravel.
It was actually remarkably straight forward. No fish have died since the transfer, and I've added a few more. The water chemistry has been very stable, pleasingly.
I bought new plants from Plants Alive - 15 potted plants. Some have rotted back, my plec has "gardened" - swooshing through some and knocking them from the gravel... but the larger-leaved plants are doing OK. I took them out of the pots, but kept the fibrous stuff round the roots, burying it all in the gravel with a squished root tablet.
You just need to take all the media out of your old filter and put it in the new one, filling space up with new filter media, and use as much of the old water as you can. If instead you run the old filter in the new tank at the same time as the new one, you should do so for at least 6 weeks or until it gradually clogs, as the new filter usually need that long to build up the bacteria colony (think r_bray was a bit lucky there!)
If it's a brand new fluval you may find that the filter connects up slightly differently than standard as the inlet/outlet valves may be on the bottom of the tank rather than hooked up over the back. This is assuming that it's supplied with a fluval 205 or 305. If so this actually makes it really easy and priming the new filter should be really simple.
Transfer over the filter media (the white ceramics) into one of the baskets, or split into two if there is enough and top up with new which helps the bacteria to multiply. Some ceramics will probably be supplied with the filter. It's OK if the ceramics aren't identical but I would suggest keeping ceramics with ceramics in each basket, even if some are hula hoops and some are ceramic balls or whatever. There will probably be some carbon supplied with the filter too which you can put in one of the bottom baskets if you want. Cram any old sponges from your current filter into the front of the filter and possibly cut the new ones down to fit around them or just shove them in. This doesn't have to be neat but just needs to cover the front area and allow water to flow through to the baskets at the back, assuming it's one of the fluval filters above.
Personally I would transfer over as much gravel and water as possible too, again topping up with new as you'll obviously need more gravel.
Also doing this in one day is definitely a good idea as you don't want to leave any of the media that you are transferring over dry for any period of time or the beneficial bacteria will start dying back.