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Results 1 to 10 of 51
  1. Default Newbie - Taking care of current fish, appreciate any guidance here

    0 Not allowed!
    A co-worker can no longer take care of the fish they have and came into our office and asked if anyone wanted. I've always wanted a aquarium but never got around to it, so this was my opportunity to take it on. I got a 5.5 gallon fish tank with about 4-5 different types of fish, some fish food, cleaning solutions, and some other things which I'll list out.

    Anyways, I've been guilty the first few weeks not taking care of the tank as much as I should have. The previous owner did not take care of them as well either and I want to change that. I've bought a 20 gallon tank and sat it right next to it. I've been reading as much as possible with starting a new tank, but a little stumped where to go from here on end.

    The old tank is currently filled with algae everywhere, theres calcium forming outside everywhere, the ornaments and decorations that are inside are all literally green and the gravel is mostly green / darkish. As far as the type of fish I have that I know one is a clown loach, there's a plecko, and the other ones I have very little idea.

    So today, I spent the last 4 hours trying to clean up as much as possible:

    1) Took out pretty much everything from the tank except left a rock there where the plecko pretty much hides all the time. The gravel is still there since I know the fish need that for the beneficial bacteria.

    2) I took out half the water with a syphon vacuum tube and tried taking out as much of the waste that's accumulated in the gravel as possible. I also took out a good portion of the gravel.

    3) I scrubbed as much as possible to get rid about half the algae. Then went off to the sink to get fresh water, added one cap of start right water dechlorinator and about 5 drops of bettasafe water conditioner. I then came back to the tank and filled most of it up.

    4) Went back to the sink and spent a good majority of the time doing as much cleaning off with the calcium formations almost everywhere on the hood, filter, and such. Then came back and basically watched in awe as it's still hazy in there and I'm not sure if the fish are pretty much stressed from not having the filter running for about half an hour or so and all the hazyness with the fish poop that's going all over the place.

    I don't know what to do at this point. I'm not sure if the fish are happy and how long they will be able to deal with this. I want to clean out the whole thing and start from scratch because its got so much fish poop and crap everywhere, that I see white powder like stuff all over the gravel when I move them. At the same time, the 20 gallon fish tank is sitting next to it going through it's nitrate cycle process ( I haven't tested the water yet)

    Questions -

    1) Since almost all the gravel is green from the algae but there is just so much fish poop accumulation, is it possible to clean out as much as possible to make it a more better condition place for the fish? What's the best method in handling this?? Should I come back tomorrow and go through another water cycle process to clean up as much as possible to maintain the current environment until the new environment is ready? I have been so so so busy reading up on aquariums the past 2 weeks that I'm really starting to feel sorry for the condition that I've kept them in for so long and the previous owners, so I want to try and change that as quick but safely as I can.

    2) On a side note - I've been extremely obsessed with Betta fish and would really like one, but also I know they are extremely territorial and agressive, depending on which one you get.

    3) Is there a cost effective and safe way to get rid of all the calcium formation on the hood and outside of filter? Also, is there a safe way to clean off all the algae formation on all the ornaments or am I better off getting new ones? - See pics below.

    4) Is it safe and OK to scrub inside the glass with all the fish there for more than a certain period of time? To clarify, all the noise and vibrations they are sensing and going back and forth in the tank is probably scaring them and too much for them - Should I take them all out first then scrub off the algae then put them back in? What's a good method to handle this part or is my current method ok?

    Here are all the items I currently have from the previous owner:
    African Cichlid Sinking Pellet Food (Small)
    Jungle Start Right Natural Aloe Vera Water Solution - Conditions tap water, removes chlorine, adds slime coat
    TetraMin - Tropical Flakes
    Wardley Watercare Ick Away - Coldwater and Tropical Aquarium use only
    BettaSafe Water Conditioner
    Also, a bunch of cleaning utensils

    Here is a video and pictures of the fish - Please let me know if you guys can figure out what each type is and tell if they are healthy, happy or anything so I know how they are doing.
    Pics: Attached to my post 20130509_171133.jpg20130509_171138.jpg20130509_171142.jpg20130509_171145.jpg20130509_171146.jpg
    Video: Link coming soon

    Here is the new tank and specs, also what I've ordered that's on its way:
    Video: Link coming soon
    Top Fin Size 20 Glass Aquarium
    Top Fin Power Filter 20 with Cartridge
    24" Fluorescent Hood with bulb
    Adjustable 100 Watt Heater
    Strip Thermometer
    Fish Net
    Fish Food Sample
    Water Conditioner Sample

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    The first thing I would suggest is to get a good quality test kit for: pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrates. The API master test kit is the most commonly used one in the hobby.

    I would suggest getting that soon and test all of your levels carefully following the test kit instructions

    The bets way to clean your substrate is to use a gravel vac when you complete a weekly water change. Below is one example of what I am talking about. There are some better ones out there, but I can't seam to find any of them right now

    If you remove your hood and/or decorations, you can clean off hard water deposits and algae with vinegar. Just make sure you rinse / wipe them off very well with dechlorinated water before putting them back in/on the tank.

    What dechlorinater are you using right now :
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL=""]

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    It sounds like you are doing a better job than most, in that you actually care if the fish live or die. I know that sounds sad an pessimistic but it's true. You should be proud that you're actually going out of your way to do a good job taking care of them.

    Your questions:

    1. It's very likely the green gravel is a form of cyanobacteria (do a google search if you'd like additional information), which is generally a result of overfeeding. If you are feeding multiple times per day I would suggest reducing to once a day, 4 or 5 days per week. Don't worry fish will be fine eating that often. If food isn't being eaten then you are feeding too much. Feeding too much will give you lots of extra to clean.

    2. Bettas are decent community fish as long as you aren't pairing them with something that either looks a lot like a betta (like a dwarf gourami), or something that would pick on a betta (like a tiger barb). A fish such as a glowlight tetra, bloodfin tetra, harlequin rasbora, etc. generally does fine with them.

    3. I've had good luck removing that white calcium with a spray bottle that is 25-50% white vinegar and the rest water. Let it soak for a few minutes then scrub. Vinegar is generally not an issue for fish unless it's a whole lot of it.

    4. It's going to be more stressful for the fish to take them out and clean the tank then it is for you to leave them in it while you clean it.

    Stores like Petsmart or Petco will test your water for free. So if you are unsure of your cycle that is a good place to go. Pay attention to the most important 3 pieces, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. The other 3-4 items are not nearly as important. If your PH is a little low or a little high, messing with it is not something beginners should do. If it's anywhere between 6 and 8 you shouldn't be worried. Your fish will adapt. The last piece of advice I can give you is: when in doubt do a water change. 20-30% is recommended. Don't do above 50% unless it's an emergency.
    Last edited by Zander; 06-23-2013 at 03:09 AM.

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    At the same time, the 20 gallon fish tank is sitting next to it going through it's nitrate cycle process ( I haven't tested the water yet)

    How are you cycling the 20gal - adding pure ammonia? If you are only running the 20gal with the filter going, that won't cycle the tank - it's just wasting electricity (if you don't already know that). In the beginner section there is a red lettered "sticky" that explains how to cycle without fish.

    +1 with all the advice provided by Cliff - the fish in your current tank are not appropriate for it (as you might have already guessed).

    I'm sure you know that everytime you change the water in the little tank you need to add water conditioner.

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Update to the existing thread since I can no longer edit it (With video links and the items I ordered):

    Video of the current fish tank I spent about 4 hours today trying to clean as much of it as possible:
    It's still hazy and I took as clear shot as I could, will probably take it again tomorrow when it will settle down by then (I would like to know if anyone can tell what type of fish there are, if they look unhappy or sick, or somehow happy and lively, thanks)

    New Aquarium -

    Also, other things I ordered recently that I have or on its way:
    API master test kit (Currently have this but haven't used it)
    Seachem Prime 500ml (On its way)
    MARINELAND® Red Ludwigia (Fake plant decor for new aquarium)
    Aqueon Betta Food (On its way)
    Tetra Bloodworms, 0.28-Ounce, 100-Ml (On its way)

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    though i'm not sure i think you have
    some platy
    and neon tetra's.
    and i'm not sure what the white fish is.
    do you know what type of pelco. most get very large
    this is a highly overstocked tank.
    also the schools are inadequate.
    what i would do is return these fish( just give it to a pet store for free or take store credit if they offer) . clean the 5.5 gallon tank. make it spotless with vinegar, rinse and rinse and rinse. dry it.
    and setup a betta tank you wanted with a single betta.
    then with the 20 set-up another tank.
    also you need more filtration. if the filter is rated for a 20, use it for a 10. for a 20 gallon get a filter rated for at least 40 gallons.
    and as stated above how do you plan to cycle your tank?
    you are doing a good job so far
    Last edited by vafa; 06-23-2013 at 04:22 AM.
    i hear some people say, "i kept a goldfish in a bowl and it lived for a year."
    they don't know how lucky they were and all goldfish live at least 15 years in proper conditions.
    that is equal to saying my human lived in his closet for 5 years!

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I'm not 100% sure if I'm starting out right as far as cycling my tank. I haven't even tested the waters yet; I plan on doing that today. But basically, I took the filter media from the old tank when I was cleaning it yesterday and placed it alongside the filter in the new tank for a few minutes, then placed it back in the old tank. I also sprinkled some tetra flake food in the new tank. I've used the water conditioner in it as well.

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Great video. I have a gravel vac which is what I used yesterday, problem is its a pain in the ass trying it to actually flow water out like its supposed to. Chances are I might be doing it wrong too. I watched your video and going to try the approach she recommended.

    Conditioner I currently have are the following, I've got PrimeM on its way as I heard thats better:
    Jungle Start Right Natural Aloe Vera Water Solution - Conditions tap water, removes chlorine, adds slime coat
    BettaSafe Water Conditioner

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    prime is better,
    for right what you should be doing to cycle is to keep adding flakes until you get 2ppm of ammonia.
    then wait a week, then test for nitrite. if you see nitrite then keep testing ammonia. if it is at about .50 then add flakes.
    keep doing that until you get nitrate and your nitrite and ammonia is at 0.
    then slowly stock the tank.
    also if you plan on moving the current fish you have to the 20, it won't work.
    pelco and clown loachs get huge, like 1-2 feet long. you can keep your platy (red one) in the 20 and the neon tetras.
    but you will need to add more neon tetra as they like to shool in a group of 6+.
    again not sure about the white one
    i hear some people say, "i kept a goldfish in a bowl and it lived for a year."
    they don't know how lucky they were and all goldfish live at least 15 years in proper conditions.
    that is equal to saying my human lived in his closet for 5 years!

  10. #10

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    0 Not allowed!
    Put the old filter on the new tank along with the new filter and put the fish in the new tank and be done with it.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

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