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Old 09-29-2012, 10:59 PM   #1
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Dirty tank

My 10 gallon tank has a little brown algae but it has a lot of dirty floating around and it looks like finger nails are inside the tank but its not finger nails. I change the water every 4 weeks. My filter is very brown and has a few black spots. I only have 5 fish in the tank but 3 are 1 inch fish.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:17 AM   #2
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What kind of fish?

How old is the tank?

What are your water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, temp)?

What kind of substrate are you using?

What kind of filter is it?
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malinda214
My 10 gallon tank has a little brown algae but it has a lot of dirty floating around and it looks like finger nails are inside the tank but its not finger nails. I change the water every 4 weeks. My filter is very brown and has a few black spots. I only have 5 fish in the tank but 3 are 1 inch fish.
I would start by suggesting every 4 weeks for a water change is too long.

Can you not do a water change every week or at most 2 weeks?
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:58 PM   #4
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I can do a water change anytime. The guy at petco told me to do it every 4 weeks.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:09 PM   #5
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LFS's (including the Pet***** places) make a killing off of selling folks unneeded chemicals and replacement fish. I'm not saying all of them do it on purpose, some may just not be very bright or well trained. A poorly maintained tank is their bread and butter.

Changing 50% of the water weekly, while doing regular gravel cleanings and swishing your filter media, will solve and prevent most issues.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:54 PM   #6
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Changing 50% of the water weekly, while doing regular gravel cleanings and swishing your filter media, will solve and prevent most issues.
I agree, although 25-30% may be sufficient depending on ammonia/nitrite levels?
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by pjb_1986
I agree, although 25-30% may be sufficient depending on ammonia/nitrite levels?
Ammonia and nitrite should always be at zero, if they are not then you need to be following a different schedule.

Small water changes in freshwater are not very helpful. You need to know the amount of nitrate you are putting back into your tank with each PWC. Some folks are lucky to have zero nitrate in their tap water, most are not. For example, lets say your tank tests at 40ppm and your tap water has 10ppm. A 25% PWC lowers the nitrate in your tank to only ~32ppm, not a big change there. Comparatively, with the same nitrate concentrations a 50% PWC would lower the nitrate to 25ppm. There are, of course, other things that are removed with a PWC but, similarly, they are not reduced by much with a small PWC. 50% weekly is pretty much the accepted way to go to keep your water pristine and your fish and plants healthy. If your tank is too large for you to handle a weekly 50% PWC then I would suggest two 30% per week.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:06 PM   #8
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I have to agree on the posts thus far- your water change schedule needs some serious adjustment. However, you never mentioned what type of fish are in this tank?
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