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Keeping a Tank Clean

JPMcQueen

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Okay, so this may sound like an obvious question I need suggestions on keeping my tank clean. I have a 550L tank with just three fancies in at the moment and my tank is a dumping ground after a couple of months (tank was cycled before fish).

I kinda get the green algae thing is an ongoing issue but the brown 'stuff' just looks like dirt. The filter is an eheim 2080 / Professional 3 1200XL and I've got about 500gm of Purigen and 200gm Phosguard in the filter along with the usual mechanical and foam filters, 20% weekly water changes and change the fine foam filter monthly but its still got to the point of where I'm stripping it all down this weekend, bleaching the rocks and starting again.

Anyone got any ideas? It looks like I could do with another filter stage before the water is sprayed back in to the tank
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JPMcQueen

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Mon-Fri they're limited to four hours
Sat-Sun are 12 hours.
 

CryptFan

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Mon-Fri they're limited to four hours
Sat-Sun are 12 hours.
i thought that looked like algae or diatoms on the rocks, but 4 hours of light for the majority of the week old not do that, maybe try turning of the light for a couple hours over the weekend. That being said I’m not a algae expert but someone who might no more will be along soon.
 

Colin_T

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I like the rock with the green :)
The brown stuff is algae too and nothing to worry about.

Put some true aquatic plants in the tank to use the light.
Have some floating plants to prevent excess light getting to the rocks.

Do a 75% water change each week and gravel clean the substrate.

Don't replace the filter sponge each month.

If worse comes to worse, add an algae eating snail or fish to help remove it from the rocks. If you use algae eating fish, make sure you have some driftwood in the tank too, and avoid the common Chinese Algae Eater. They aren't good fish.
 

Retired Viking

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Some good floating plants would be hornwort, water sprite and anacharis. nerites snails are good for algae I have 7 in my 55 gallon tank and they do a good job.
 

seangee

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As others have said add more plants - especially fast growing ones. The anubias don't really help in this regard. Also pt your lights on a timer so they are on for the same period every day, probably 7 or 8 hours to start. This will be better for both fish and plants. Additional filtration won't make any difference but regular water changes and gravel cleans will help.

I also think the rocks look good as they are - but you don't want any more. Cleaning the anubias is a pain - but they are a usefl indicator - if they are nice and green without any more algae growing you should have a good balance. You may need to clean the leaves every couple of months - but no more than that.
 

essjay

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Mon-Fri they're limited to four hours
Sat-Sun are 12 hours.
As seangee said, the lights should be on for the same number of hours every day at the same time of day every day. Our fish are programmed by their DNA to expect this.
 
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JPMcQueen

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Thank you for the input everyone. Sorry its taken me so long to get back to this but - day job!

I kept the lighting to a minimum to try and prevent the algae growth but can easily up the hours, they're on a programmable timer so that isnt an issue.

The variety of plants is a problem though. My goldies just destroy pretty much everything I've tried putting in, except anubias. I'll try some different floating plants but I've tried java moss, java fern etc and they just get eaten.

I do have a couple of snails in there too but given the size of the tank I think a few more wouldnt hurt.

I've cleaned all the rocks this weekend and rebuilt the tank and added a few more anubias to basically fit in as many cracks as I could. Rock count has decreased slightly but still gives the same impression of scale.

Fish will be going back in later after the water gets up to temperature.

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JPMcQueen

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The thinking with the anubias being that given they can survive without being eaten (always a bonus) that whilst individually they dont take much from the water and are slow growing, collectively they can influence it.

I forgot to mention about the disposal of the sponge, the first foam filter in the canister is a very soft foam that acts more like floss when it gets wet. Thats the one that I've started to replace each month, not the more robust blue foam.
 
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