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Old 11-03-2005, 08:01 PM   #1
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low maintaince tank for grandmother -- help?

I'm helping my grandmother keep a 10 gallon fish tank and I need to make it as as possible.

My grandmother is 97 so she can't do much except for replacing evaporated water. She has arthritis in her shoulders so doing a pwc isn't possible. She lives 2 hours away from me so I come every 6 weeks or so to visit and do a pwc and gravel vac.

Specs:
10 gallons
HOB penguin filter
airstone
one platty (one died)
2 brigs apple snails.
(I don't know the water parameters because I'm in a different city.)



So this is the plan I put in place for her.
1. Low bioload. I figured a low bioload would be best, though I will buy her another platty (both female).
2. Minimize over feeding. I carefully instructed her to put in only a flake or two per fish.
3. Replace evaporated water.

Would adding something to the water weekly help her tank like Prime or AmQuel? Any suggestions or changes? I change the filter for her when I visit. She can't quite reach the filter.

She loves her fish and snails. She says it gives her someone to eat breakfast with.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:12 PM   #2
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I think they would need more than one flake per fish.

Good thing you are getting her both female platys. You dont want a male and female, if she has arthritis it'll be a huge hassle to get the babies out and all that.

All I can suggest is some platys or something like that and kuhli loaches or some bottem dweller or something.
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:14 PM   #3
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I would think if you keep it to 2 or 3 small fish with limited feeding. You could make it work. A low bioload would not over tax the filter.
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:47 PM   #4
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how aobut a lovely male betta good personality and low bio load
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:57 PM   #5
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I was thinking about a betta as well.
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by flamingonhot
I think they would need more than one flake per fish.
I was trying to get her away from putting in a "pinch" of flakes which would be way too many. I'll be sure to tell her a few flakes per fish would be better. Thanks.
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Old 11-03-2005, 09:00 PM   #7
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Or, you can tell her a few flakes once every other day
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Old 11-03-2005, 09:17 PM   #8
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Does she already have a 10 gallon? Cause a bigger tank would actually fair better going longer between water changes then a 10 gallon. As far as feeding, how are her hands? When you have arthritis in your hands it can be very hard to get a few flakes out of the can vs a pinch. But you said it's mainly her shoulder so I guess she will be fine though you could set up the feedings in advance for her. 6 weeks is a long time but they have those weekly pill boxes that are made quite easy to open and deal with. You could buy six of them and prearrange the food so it's easy for her to feed the right amounts each day. Also you could put different types of food in on different days so the fish get variety.

In any case as long as you keep a low bioload it should work out fine.
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Old 11-03-2005, 09:18 PM   #9
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Oh and I forgot to add a small school of corys might be nice and they are great for cleaning up scraps from the bottem.
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Old 11-03-2005, 10:08 PM   #10
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Remember that replacing evaporated water rather than doing a change builds up the wastes and bad stuff. If you are over every 6 weeks or so I think it would be fine as long as you do a pwc. Don't get fish that are going to build up the wastes.
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Old 11-03-2005, 11:43 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the suggestions! She likes just the platy, so I don't think I'll suggest a betta, though bettas are a great suggestion. Should have thought of the betta before I got her a platty.

Tallou: Yes she already has the 10 gallon set up and running, so a bigger tank isn't in the offing for now.

I like the idea of loading up fish food in pill boxes. I'll see if she'd like that.

Cories are such cool fish, great idea! 8) I wonder if I could add two and not tax the bioload. (2 platys, 2 apple snails & 2 corys?) Have to think about that.
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Old 11-03-2005, 11:52 PM   #12
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Remember that replacing evaporated water rather than doing a change builds up the wastes and bad stuff.
Right. I'm aware of this problem. When I visit her this weekend I will deep clean the gravel and change the water twice. Even so, I'm worried about the build up of nitrates in the tank because pwc's will be infrequent.

What about using Prime or AmQuel? Both claim that they neutralize nitrates. I know that a pwc and gravel vac are the best ways to keep nitrates down. But in the absence of pwc's, would prime or amquel once a week help any? I could teach grandma to put half a capful in the tank once a week for example.

Thanks again everyone. Great suggestions!
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Old 11-04-2005, 12:28 PM   #13
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When you refer to low pwc do you mean once a week or month or none?
the best way to avoid a great deal of maintaice would be to severly understock the tank.. it being a 10 gallon makes that tough.. Ive seen some killies that seem to fit the bill maybe moose or torius would be able to help with that.. she doesnt need to feed the fish every day, every other day would help..
I wouldnt trust additives to help the situation to be honest with you.. being able track the NO3 would be best to see when a pwc is needed..
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Old 11-04-2005, 02:57 PM   #14
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How about tossing some java moss (or any other hardy plant) in the tank to help export nitrates?
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Old 11-04-2005, 03:01 PM   #15
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yeah, throwing some fast growing plants in there will help with the nitrates a lot, maybe some anarchis or the java moss already suggested. they are cheap, hardy, and suck up nitrates
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Old 11-04-2005, 04:36 PM   #16
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Corys prefer to be in groups of 3 or more....does she already have 2 snails? If not, just get 1 snail, 3 cories and the 2 platys. That should be fine on the bio-load. Adding hardy plants will help. I wouldn't add anything to altar the chemistry too much....but others may know more about that.
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Old 11-04-2005, 05:40 PM   #17
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With the small bioload I guess she could do well without anything to neutralize the nitrates. I've been told prime is good but I personally don't use anything for nitrates since I change water often. I think they'll be ok though.
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Old 11-04-2005, 07:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmaji
When you refer to low pwc do you mean once a week or month or none?
The pwc would only be when I visit which will be about every 6 weeks or so. Among us family members we visit grandma about every 2 weeks or so. When my brother visits her I've asked him to remove some water but he can't do a gravel vac. My mother won't be able to do a pwc or vac. She can only replace evaporated water.

Plants! Yes plants are a great idea! I never thought of that. I'll get some for sure.
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Old 11-04-2005, 07:10 PM   #19
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It won't be a perfect situation for the fish tank for sure, but I'm hoping it will be good enough. The fish tank is in her kitchen and she watches them whenever she sits down to eat. She's even named everyone.
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Old 11-04-2005, 07:39 PM   #20
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How bout a beta they are really easy to take care of.
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