Help me with my unintentional negligence

VioletThePurple

Fish Crazy
Joined
Jul 8, 2022
Messages
246
Reaction score
29
Location
US
I realized that I haven't been cleaning the tank properly, but was only concerned when my corydoras started dying off. I was doing water changes with cups (but I did add water conditioner). I would set a reminder to do it every two weeks. I want to get a siphon but I'm afraid I could accidentally suck up a small fish or snail without noticing. I guessed on the change 25% of water rule. I've never cleaned my filter until today. I've kept fish since childhood, my fish would die every few months with time in between just having an empty tank. I wondered why, but I asked my parents and had faith in them that they could solve the problem for now.

Now I learned that fish keeping isn't as simple as general media makes it out to be. Because I don't have a siphon, I've never cleaned the gravel. I'm only learning all this now and was able to pick up a test kit. Results are Nitrite 20, nitrate 0, and ph 6.5. Doesn't test for ammonia. Right now I have the basics: water conditioner, heater, filter, gravel, and a few test strips. I'm considering getting a siphon next time I go to the store, is there/what other products should I get?
 

Oblio

Fish Herder
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Messages
1,296
Reaction score
1,139
Location
Macon GA, USA
I realized that I haven't been cleaning the tank properly, but was only concerned when my corydoras started dying off. I was doing water changes with cups (but I did add water conditioner). I would set a reminder to do it every two weeks. I want to get a siphon but I'm afraid I could accidentally suck up a small fish or snail without noticing. I guessed on the change 25% of water rule. I've never cleaned my filter until today. I've kept fish since childhood, my fish would die every few months with time in between just having an empty tank. I wondered why, but I asked my parents and had faith in them that they could solve the problem for now.

Now I learned that fish keeping isn't as simple as general media makes it out to be. Because I don't have a siphon, I've never cleaned the gravel. I'm only learning all this now and was able to pick up a test kit. Results are Nitrite 20, nitrate 0, and ph 6.5. Doesn't test for ammonia. Right now I have the basics: water conditioner, heater, filter, gravel, and a few test strips. I'm considering getting a siphon next time I go to the store, is there/what other products should I get?
What make/model filter do you have? I would get a pre-filter, and if your filter uses cartridges look into getting some reusable foam in lieu of cartridges. If you have room, get some ceramic bio-rings to add to the filter. I like to use poly-batting from a craft store to polish the water further. Order a Python online for WCs and gravel cleaning, worth the investment.
 

CaptainBarnicles

Resident Pleco Hater
Pet of the Month!
Joined
Apr 2, 2021
Messages
1,664
Reaction score
1,818
Location
Lincs
Don't be scared of the siphon, you'll get the hang of it pretty quick! And unless you have some really stupid fish (we've all got at least one) they won't go near the end anyway. Practise crimping the hose which will pause the flow, so if you do suck up a fish you can still rescue it
 

Lynnzer

Fish Addict
Joined
Sep 3, 2020
Messages
869
Reaction score
543
Location
sr8
I place the end of the hose in a net that is used to catch the fish. It's saved many a small shrimp from an early demise.
 

Oblio

Fish Herder
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Messages
1,296
Reaction score
1,139
Location
Macon GA, USA
Don't be scared of the siphon, you'll get the hang of it pretty quick! And unless you have some really stupid fish (we've all got at least one) they won't go near the end anyway. Practise crimping the hose which will pause the flow, so if you do suck up a fish you can still rescue it
If you have small stock, siphon into a bucket, that way they are easy to rescue.
 

CaptainBarnicles

Resident Pleco Hater
Pet of the Month!
Joined
Apr 2, 2021
Messages
1,664
Reaction score
1,818
Location
Lincs
Good tips above...once I've sucked up the muck I put a sponge on the end of the hose that's in the tank so nothing can go down it...so now you've got suggestions to protect both ends!
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
36,203
Reaction score
20,669
Location
Perth, WA
You can make a gravel cleaner out of a 1, 1.5 or 2 litre plastic drink bottle (like a Coca Cola bottle) and a length of garden hose or clear hose from a hardware store.

Cut the bottom off a drink bottle and throw the bottom bit in the recycling bin.
Remove the cap and plastic ring from the top of the bottle and throw those 2 bits in the recycling bin.
That is the gravel cleaner.

Put a garden hose in the top of the bottle and run the hose out the door or into a bucket. If you don't want to use a garden hose, take the bottle to a hardware store and buy 2 meters of clear plastic hose that fits snuggly into the top of the bottle.

------
Have the gravel cleaner (bottle) in the water and start syphoning water out. Check YouTube for how to use a gravel cleaner. Push the bottle into the gravel and lift it up. The gravel will circulate in the bottle and drop down. The dirty water will be drained out of the tank.

Lift the gravel cleaner (bottle) and move it around the tank pushing it into the gravel and lifting it up to clean the substrate. When you have drained half the tank water, stop gravel cleaning, and remove the gravel cleaner from the aquarium. Then fill the tank up with dechlorinated water.

If you don't have any buckets used specifically for the fish tank, go buy a couple and use a permanent marker to write "FISH ONLY" on them. Use those buckets purely for the fish and nothing else.

--------------------
Filters should be cleaned once a month. Filter media/ materials can be squeezed out in a bucket of aquarium water and the media re-used. The bucket of dirty water can be poured on the lawn.
 

Most reactions

trending

Staff online

Top