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Communal Care Home Fishtank Problems

Discussion in 'Algae Removal' started by KentCareWorker, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. KentCareWorker

    KentCareWorker New Member

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    Hi all, I'm new here and really need some advice. Algae is only one problem I am currently working on so I'll go over all of the other problems in this post and if that's wrong I'll seek out the correct place to post about the other problems separately.

    So here's some background info, I'm a guy working in a care home and looking after the fish tank. I have been trying to take care of the tank for 5 years and battling several problems including algae. The tank itself is a jewel rio 180 with a large external filter (I don't remember the name) and air pump with bubble wall and two air bricks attached. The light is on a timer (on at 0900 and off at 1700) and the fish are on a feeding rota, managed by staff, to be fed once a day. The occupants are 1 large plecko (not sure about the spelling) a large collection of male and female sword-tails, a snail eating fish (not sure which and there were two to begin with) and a moderate population of snails.

    There has been a problem with algae for quite some time and people at work have suggested lots of different things but nothing, so far, has been the right thing.

    Some have said they're fed too much but others say not enough. Some have said the light is on too long. Some say the filter needs cleaning more often (due to the nature of my job I am only afforded time to clean it and do a partial water change one every two weeks). There is a guy from the local aquatics shop who comes in every three months to give it an overhaul. And somebody suggested dip testing the water (I couldn't get authorisation to buy the testing strips so that's out).

    I don't know what to do and would be grateful for any suggestions.

    Thanks

    KCW

     
  2. betta fish

    betta fish Member

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    Hi, it sounds like the tank is overstocked, the pleco is most likely a common and they get huge, the snail eating fish may be clown loach but we need a pic to be sure, they also get very large. I am thinking the algae is due to a range of things, overfeeding, are other occupants possibly feeding too? as a large snail population is also a sign of this, lack of water changes, they should be at least 25% every week especially for an overstocked tank as their is too many nutrients in the water which is also fuelling the algae, the light may also come into it but I keep my light on sometimes longer and have no algae, could you post of pic of the tank and perhaps we can id the fish for you too? 
     
  3. Akasha72

    Akasha72 Warning - Mad Cory Woman

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    Hello and [​IMG]
     
    Firstly can you get photo's of the pleco and the snail eating fish as we'd need to ID them for you. Can you also let us know how many swordtails are in this tank. I'm not gonna jump to any conclusions regarding stocking until we know those answers.
     
    With regard to food ... well, you should only feed enough to be consumed in less than a minute. If there is food lying around on the tank floor you are over feeding. Many of our members feed twice a day (myself included) and so once a day feeding is not too much.
     
    Lighting - a period of around 8 hours of lighting time is fine. You don't mention if there are any live plants in this tank but if there are they will need that lighting time to grow and flourish. If you are getting lots of algae this could be down to the light tubes being old and in need of replacing or it could be down to too much natural light on the tank. Algae can be unsightly but it doesn't cause problems and I'm sure the pleco will enjoy grazing on it.
     
    With regard to water changes and testing of the water. You only need to test the water if there are fish dying all over the place. If the occupants are happy and healthy then I wouldn't worry too much about that. If the owners of the tank won't allow you to buy a test kit then it's not your responsibility to do that. Should they change their minds I would avoid the dip strips as they are really inaccurate. Look for the liquid drop test kits such as the API masterkit.
     
    Water changes - once a fortnight is okay, it's not ideal but I get you will be pushed for time and so I'd recommend that when you do change some water you aim to change at least 50%. This will stop a chemical known as Nitrate from building up and getting too high. If this gets too high it can cause health problems in the fish. Fish also produced hormones and by changing the water you reduce these hormones.
     
    With regard to the filter - only give it a clean if the flow has dropped off. If it's running fine I'd leave it be. When you do clean it just give the filter media (sponges, ceramic bio-rings/balls etc) a swish in the old tank water you've removed during the water change and pop them back into the filter. They need nothing more than this. Filter media only needs to be changed if it's falling to pieces.
     
    It sounds to me, all in all, that you are doing a good job. Keep up the good work :)
     
  4. rodders666

    rodders666 Member

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    Is the tank located where is would be in direct sunlight for periods of time?
     

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