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Old 08-24-2009, 10:20 AM   #1
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I am located near Tampa, FL. As a kid my Dad always had a big tank in our house and I loved watching the fish. Wanted to have my own, but much smaller! Its a lot of work even on a small tank.

I currently have a 20 gal tank with mostly fancy tail guppies,which I am trying to breed, and a few bottom fedder types to help "clean a little". I also have a 2.5 gal tank with fancy tail guppy fry and a "vase" with a male beta that I swear gets excited to see me even when I'm not feeding him! LOL

I love the fancy tail guppies and are easy to breed naturally (not selective breeding yet). I like having the surprise of what the babies will look like as they are growing. Currently there are about 30 fry in the smaller tank, various ages (4 wks to 1 week).

I've had a few problems and lost a bunch of fish already but I am still learning! I can't seem to clean my gravel of debris with out stirring it all up and making the fish sick, or taking too much of the water out and then shocking my poor fish so that I loose a few. More frequent cleanings? A bucket to hold the water (instead of letting it down the drain) and a filter of sorts on the end of the hose to catch the debris... then maybe I can re-use the water back to the tank if I accidently take out too much ??? I'm going to try that next time!

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Old 08-24-2009, 10:23 AM   #2
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:42 AM   #3
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Hello and welcome!

Guppies are alot of fun. I used to breed them myself but finally moved into angelfish and puffers. As for maintaining your tanks....It might be alot easier if you used a gravel vacuum. This way you should be able to siphon out the debris without stirring it in your tank. It should go directly into the tubing and into a drain bucket. You don't need to reuse old water. Fresh water is always best. It will also make water changes much easier. They should only run you around $6-15 to buy one that would be good for the size tank you have (20g). For the smaller fry tank, I would not keep gravel in it. It will make maintaining it much easier.
When I breed guppies, I kept the fry in a tank with no gravel and some floating plants to make them feel more secure. This makes water changes a breeze. I would do daily water changes in the fry tank of around 30%. The frequent water changes keep down the waste that accumulates and stimulate growth.

As for loosing fish....be sure that when you do water changes that you match the temperature of the water as closely as possible. This will prevent shock. Water changes should never result in fish death. Water changes actually benefit the tank by regulating the removal of toxin and replenishing some nutrients that are in the fresh water. Performing weekly water changes are a good routine when keeping any types of fish.

It sounds like you are doing a good job so far. And I am sure a gravel vacuum will make your tank keeping much easier.

Feel free to share some pictures of your guppies. We love pictures here.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:42 AM   #4
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:07 AM   #5
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Welcome to AA!

Go buy a gravel vac or make one yourself.... Make your own gravel vacuum for your Aquarium

You do want to try to get as much of the muck out of there as you can. The uneaten food and fish poop decays into ammonia which will make your fish sick or die.

Get about 1/3-1/2 of the gravel really clean and then next time you vac move over and do another 1/3-1/2.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:38 PM   #6
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:54 PM   #7
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:06 PM   #8
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:21 PM   #9
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Welcome. As stated make sure you put in water that is about the same temp and also treat the water with some kind of declorinator like Prime.
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:49 AM   #10
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Welcome to AA. I had a similar problem with cleaning at first. Then I found that I was trying to clean too much of the bottom at once. I find that smaller more frequent water changes work best for me. I was also dragging my vacuum through the gravel. This always stirred up a lot of sediment that did not get sucked up. I finally caught on that the best way to vacuum was to put the vacuum straight down in the gravel and hold it there till the water was clear in that spot , then pull the vacuum out of the gravel and move to the next spot. Here is a great link on tank cleaning. The Gravel Vacuum - The First Tank Guide - Siphoning Your Aquarium Water and Cleaning Your Aquarium Gravel

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beta, breeding, cleaning, fancy tail guppies, fry

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