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Old 07-28-2009, 12:11 AM   #11
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:50 AM   #12
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if your pH is 8.0 I wouldn't worry about it anymore.

If you have an excess amount of flake food in the tank, it's not soo much the pH you have to worry about, but the decomposing flakes will produce ammonia(poison), which will then turn into nitrite (poison) over time, and then eventually turning into nitrate(semi-toxic).

In a closed freshwater system with no live plants and very little algae, there is no way to leach nitrates out of the water, thus partial water changes (PWC) are necessary on a regular basis (usually weekly or bi-weekly) to keep nitrates low.

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Old 07-28-2009, 10:14 AM   #13
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I would suggest investing in a small battery-powered gravel vacuum. This will allow you to suck up any extra food or other items that end up in the tank
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:54 PM   #14
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Speakerman I did the first water change today...

Mystery...I think you are right....many things endup in my tank thanks to the kids...they really want fish and I had just gotten it established and ready to cycle and here comes the food! No problem...we will clean it up.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:33 AM   #15
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Good luck to you plynwithfire and props to you for doing this for your kids, its honorable. Is there any way that you can keep the little buggers away from putting things in the tank?

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Old 07-30-2009, 10:36 AM   #16
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Welcome to AA

Regarding your kids and teaching them petkeeping and aquariums... I used to volunteer at my local aquarium and I believe aquariums are a great way to teach kids lots of important/valuable things. It will keep them involved and have them begin to understand and have a new found respect for their hobby. You can teach them a bit of math: doing water changes...addition and subtraction of water and how much equals 55 gallons. You can even get into percentages if they are old enough. You can have them do the math before you get started to get them engaged. A bit of chemistry with the pH measurements. Take a few samples of water of liquids and have them test the pH...from orange juice to soda to tap water...and let them know what the tanks pH should be at. You can use the same strategy to get them started on understanding the basics of good and stressful nitrite and nitrate levels. They will begin to understand what is good and bad and when to worry about their fish friends. They will also begin to understand why you may need to do water changes.

Keeping an aquarium is also a great way to teach a bit of biology and ethics to kids in a fun way. They can actually see life thriving before their eyes and learn to care for it in a respectful and responsible way. Feeding fish is alway fun and very tempting. But I believe they can be very good fish keepers and have seen kids go from wanting to dump the entire fish food container into a tank to measuring pH and helping with water changes.

Kids also love babies....puppies or fish fry. You might consider staying in freshwater and getting some live bearing fish such as guppies or mollies. Afterall, freshwater tanks are a little more forgiving with mistakes. Salt water is less so, but might be something you could try once they get the hang of things in a freshwater tank. Seeing fish give birth and having the intuitive knowledge that babies are more delicate might be a good start for your kids to get involved and actually help you out in maintaining the tank in the process.
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Old 07-30-2009, 01:52 PM   #17
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When I was younger my Dad keot the aquarium so I could see into it but it was too high for me to reach the top
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:32 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by plynwithfire View Post
I am Rachel from Tennessee and I have three children...I want to get my tank fish ready but my kids are making it hard.lol. Two days ago my son decided to feed our phantom fish and now I have way to much fish flacks in my tank. I was already struggling with pH and now I know my chemicals are all out of wack. Anyway, I have a 55 gallon cornor tank. I am not sure what scheme I want to put in it and what fish will survive my children as well. My son really likes Nemo but I am not brave enough to takle a saltwater tank yet.

When I an not cleaning up my tank I like to read, watch movies and be outside.

Yeah get the gravel vacumm, for the fish flakes. This guy made one out of a coke bottle. Make your own gravel vacuum for your Aquarium

I keep on wanting to go salt water but am having too much with fresh water right now... themed tanks

The API test kits (liquid not test strips) are really good and simple to use. But keep the test kit out of the reach of kids! Someone posted the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) on the testing chemicals... they contain some nasty stuff if you have kids around!

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