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Old 06-17-2013, 11:28 PM   #1
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Tank cleaning

Since I am new to this, I am also new to tank cleaning. I have gravel which I now regret, but it is just so nasty with the poop. The algae Eater does a great job with everything else. My boyfriend has a vacuum he can vacuum the gravel with, but I'm wondering if there's Any specifics I need to know? Also are there any bottom feeders that would help my problem? I'm guessing not since its poop but just any suggestions would be appreciated
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:11 AM   #2
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If you want less poop, clean your gravel more often. Use that vacuum regularly and you should be fine. Is your tank overstocked?
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:26 AM   #3
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Gravel vacs are the way to go. Just make sure not to vac the whole tank each water change as you will disrupt the beneficial bacteria. Try feed your fish in the same spot(s), this way you know where most the mess is, don’t feed too much. Not sure what sought of set up you have, if it’s a fresh water aquarium – try a few plants such as java fern or water wisteria. They are quick to eat up nutrients from decomposing fish waste and uneaten foods. Most bottom dwellers are algae and or meat eaters that won’t eat fish waste. The only two I can think of are snails and shrimps – however, don’t rely on live stock to clean your tank. Make sure your filter is sufficient for your tank and well maintained for efficient running. The filter outlet (the part that takes water in to your filter) should be placed in a way that maximum debris can get into it. In other words don’t place massive ornaments or lots of plants right in front of it.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:58 AM   #4
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Ok thanks. No, my tank is not overstocked. But, it is at its limit because of the kinds of fish I have. I didn't realize at first and got heavy bioload fish. I had a swordtail and platys. I have 4 platys total (three are babies right now) the swordtail. 3 neons. An algae eater (pleco) rehoming him when he gets too large and I can pick up snails and a dwarf gourami. I have a 20 gallon tank. I have the correct filtration and do not over feed. My filter is in a good place. Almost the middle of the tank. I just assumed it would suck up more waste than it does? But maybe it just needs a good vacuuming.. Dumb question but do I have I remove the fish for the vacuum?
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:40 AM   #5
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No need to remove the fish mine now see it as a something to play around makes cleaning fun
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:10 AM   #6
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Ok great that's what I was afraid of. So excited to get this cleaned up.
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:53 AM   #7
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Frequent water changes/gravel cleaning should help. I do mine every 4 or 5 days (15 - 20%) and still maintain a healthy good bacteria level.

This will also drastically reduce the amount of ammonia you have in your aquarium. Good luck!
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:09 AM   #8
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Yes my ammonia is still good surprisingly. I just had no idea they would get dirty so fast. I haven't had my tank but about 5 months now and it looks like its not been cleaned in a year! Also while I'm here, I'm looking into real plants that some of y'all have recommended. Right now I have fake plants. I would like to keep one of them because it is attached to my wood stump ornament that my algae eater eats off of and stays under. It looks terrible. Idk if its algae the eater can't get off of it or what. I've tried rinsing it off and that doesn't do any good either. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shope.hannah View Post
Yes my ammonia is still good surprisingly. I just had no idea they would get dirty so fast. I haven't had my tank but about 5 months now and it looks like its not been cleaned in a year! Also while I'm here, I'm looking into real plants that some of y'all have recommended. Right now I have fake plants. I would like to keep one of them because it is attached to my wood stump ornament that my algae eater eats off of and stays under. It looks terrible. Idk if its algae the eater can't get off of it or what. I've tried rinsing it off and that doesn't do any good either. Any suggestions?
I have 11 plants in my aquarium, my favorite is water wysteria. It grows pretty fast and straight up, I've noticed my fish look a lot healthier since I've added more. Also recommend getting at least a few moss balls, it has done wonders in keeping my ammonia levels in check. You should have 1 moss ball for every 10 gallons, you can normally get them for $6 or $7 at petco/petsmart.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:06 PM   #10
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Wait so what is wrong with the ornament?
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:31 PM   #11
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One large 50% WC weekly in which you can do a gravel vac will keep your tanks water quality good. What are your nitrate readings? You can add live plants but what type lighting do you have? Your lighting determines the type of plants you can successfully grow. Also what is the size of the gravel in your tank? Fine, medium, or large? The reason I'm asking is if the gravel size is large many stem plants have a harder time growing in it.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:43 PM   #12
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Ok. My nitrate levels are at 0-20. My nitrite is perfect at 0. All my other levels are good. I just did the vacuum and changed the water after. The fish are a little stressed out but they have never been through a vaccuning before. All my platys are clotted at the top. I know it can't be oxygen or any crazy readings cause I just did the water change. I turned the light off so maybe they will relax. I am looking into gettin some of those less needy live plants. I just have a regular light for a 20 gallon.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:44 PM   #13
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And the gravel is medium I guess. Not tiny and fine and not huge and bulky. Just a regular bag from the pet store or Walmart.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:19 PM   #14
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Just chipping in here as you said you are new to this... Not sure if you know this but don't ever throw your filter sponge away even though it will say on the packet to change them once a month. You can rinse it in some of the old tank water you are throwing away when you do water changes. Don't rinse it in tap water obviously!
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:50 PM   #15
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Oh yes. I have been doing that already! Thanks For the info!
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:27 PM   #16
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If the fish aren't used to the vacuuming then yeah they can stress but you did the right thing turning the light off.

You can get a piece of DW and attach plants like Anubia, Java Fern Regular and Wendilov, Bolbitus, or mosses. All are pretty low light tolerant and should do okay with your stock lighting. Then get a couple Crypt Wendtii's Red, Bronze, or Green to plant in the substrate and you'll be good. The one thing you will want to do is get root tabs to use with the Crypts as they are heavy root feeders.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:45 PM   #17
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Okay that sounds good I will definitely look into that
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:39 AM   #18
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Okay so what do I attach the plant with? I know the root tabs for the ones that will grow from the bottom correct? But not sure what you meant about attaching the others. Aren't there some that actually float on top of the tank? I know someone recommend those for my gourami..
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:49 AM   #19
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And from reading plant posts I'm thinking I need to go java ferns? Anything with low light. All I know is I have a long bulb that stretches out over my tank lol.... And I keep it on for about 10 hours. I have natural light from a window about 6 feet away...
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:58 AM   #20
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To attach the plant there are different ways...but the easiest would be to just use some fishing line or some sewing thread and just wrap it around the drift wood
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