I Hate My Tank!
I posted in a post Lady Hobbs did a while back when she said she was hating her tank and I am seriously getting sick and tired of mine too!! I'm getting sick and tired of the incredible amount of money I'm spending and the time to make this tank better and it's feeling like a huge time and money-pit.
I already went through a huge problem with my water quality. My water is horrible. Has off the charts Ph and ammonia in it. So cycling was fun...not! So, even now, I use 1/2 RO and 1/2 tap water for my water changes which I do every other day (5 gallons in my 30 gallon tank) to try to keep my nitrAtes down but also keep my Ph stable. Because I mix my waters it's easier for me to manage my Ph swing with smaller water changes. A huge pain to buy and do, BTW!
I then wanted to make the tank better for my fish, and prettier, by adding some plants. Oh my....wish I hadn't even started with all that. So, then I need all kinds of fertilizers, a new substrate, a new lighting system and the end result of all this??? ALGAE! Everywhere! WHich of course now means I'm getting suggestions for Excel or a C02 system. I am dosing daily with Excel now and have the lights on for about 6 hours per day trying to kill it back but geez!
AND...the new plants which I bought from a recommended plant store (professional not Petco) brought snails with it! So, now I get to go look at snails and green cr*p everywhere!! SO FRUSTRATED!
I love the tank and looking at the fish but seriously....I have a very busy and stressful full-time job, two small kids, after schoold sports, etc. If this tank doesn't stabilize itself in the next few months I swear I may just quit it all together! I don't mind spending the time/money to make things better but things getting worse at every turn is almost too much!
Sorry, I really had to vent that! My husband sees my frustration and has been telling me to 'dump it' for a while now but I don't want to! I want it to be successful and I've already invested a ton in time, money and emotions!
Please tell me other folks have made it through this successfully! I need some encouragement to keep going.
I don't know that the snail are so bad, they will keep the glass clean. I don't know what filtration you use, Can or HOB, but you may want to use something like Kents Nitrogen sponge, its a substrate type (cat litter) looking material that absorbs Nitrates. I run two cans both with only this in them, and my Nitrates stay very low allowing less WC's, every 2 weeks for me. If you filter has some type of material to trap particles, thats an instant Nitrate Factory. Cleaning that more often will cut your Nitrates as well. The Ammonia in your tap water can be delt with by doubling the Prime, I have roughly .25 in mine as well and have never had a problem. Don't give up! I know it can be frustrating, I am sure other will toss in they're 2¢ and will come up with an easy fix for you.
Life is tough, it's even tougher if your stupid.
If your not angry, your not paying attention...
150G Cube FWLR (Morays) 75G Fresh (Bichers/Gourami) 24G Cube (Reef/Goby/Seahorse's/Garden Eels)
10G Fresh (Beta) 2 x 29G Breeders (cycling) to be ready for January 15
You did not say what your PH level is out of the tap or how? I have Mbuna African Cichlids, Which like a higher PH level and NO Plants, Very Colorful and Active fish and i do not have to mess with all the other issues, Sand bottom and Rocks, I have a couple of Fake plants in my 75 Gallon tank just for a little Contrast. You might want to research these Great Fish! Hang in there it is a Great Hobby, You just have a full Plate going and it can get You at times, Stand back take a breath and if your Family is Healthy and Well, You have the Biggest Problem in Life solved Allready Hope this might Brighten Your Day a little
Last edited by Old Marine; 04-29-2012 at 03:51 PM.
I think we have all been there before. I know I was frustrated with my first tank that I set up and even considered selling everything. But I got throught it and so can you.
You could just keep it really simple and stick to a tank with only fish and low lighting levels.
At least that approach worked for me back then
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
Cliff - I wish I had stayed with the plastic plan tank, Aqueon lighting, etc. but I've gone and changed it all now. I guess I could rip out my plants and put my old light back on and then sell my new HT50 light setup.
I'll leave that as a backup plan in case my tank won't settle down a bit in the next few months.
Boy, do a lot of use know your pain! Hang in there and I hope it gets better. Old Marine has a good point - since our main job (as you know only too well) is simply to maintain the water, then getting fish that match both the water and what you prefer, may be the possible solution.
If my water wasn't already discus ready, I'd never keep the fish. Surf dog makes an excellent point on the nitrates and filter cleaning (darn, that one hurts - I too don't do that enough!!!)
Best of luck and as someone who has fought and lost against algae far too often, hang in there and we do understand.
My Ph out of the tap or after sitting is off the chart high. Using the 'high range' tester it's at the highest range...I admit that right now I'm too lazy to go upstairs to get the kit. My Ph with 50/50 RO/tap water is about 7.2/7.4.
Originally Posted by Old Marine
The snails absolutely disgust me...I can't stand looking at my tank and seeing snails absolutely everywhere. I have a 29 gallon and run an AquaClear 50. I'll keep that sponge in mind for the future, but I have to admit I'm not thrilled about buying anything new at this point. The last few months have done me in.
Originally Posted by Surfdog
The ammonia in my tap made me start using RO during my cycling. I tried to slowly move off the RO water and get back to 100% tap but I started losing fish as my Ph swung too much which is why I went back to 50/50%. My goal is to try to get back to tap but I'm not sure how to do it yet and don't want to mess with many new things at this point. It seems I have enough trouble. :)
I absolutely feel your pain. Here is the problem, your fighting your own water. As cermet alluded too this always causes massive frustration. My water is liquid rock like yours, I don't have ammonia problems but I can top a high range PH test all right.
Here's the deal, your PH is high, which means your plants wont grow, and chances are you water is chock full of phosphates, so algae is gonna explode. I've been dealing with the sames problems for awhile now. Finally I gave up and switched over to fish only tanks with fish that actually like my water.
You have a 30g tank, perfect size for a small Tanganyika Cichlid community, your water is perfect PH wise for them out of the tap. Pull out all the plants, sell your light and use the money to buy lots of rocks and escargot shells. You would also do well to get a canister with lots of bio media like an eheim, does a much better job of knocking out things like ammonia.
My two African tanks are almost maintenance free, 20% water change every two weeks, and algae scrape about as often, that's it. Quit fighting your water and life will improve, trust me lol.
Seachem's Prime will help keep ammonia neutralized. Adding Seachem's Stability to your filter will help boost your beneficial bacteria colony, as would increasing your filtration to an AC70. You have a 30-gallon tank with an AC50 on it right now, and it's recommended that the filtration be rated at least twice your tank's gallonage to be most effective. I know that would mean purchasing another filter, but the ACs really aren't that expensive, and you could get a used one online for less money.
Also, if you will remove the carbon from your AC and replace it with an extra pack of biomax, you will greatly increase your BB colony. That could go a long way toward improving your water quality and keeping it good.
You might also consider an additive called pH-down. Foster and Smith sell it, though I forget the brand name. You would ONLY use that IF your pH rises to excessive levels again. As you are now, with the 50-50, your readings in the 7.4 range are fine. Fish can handle that well. The pH-down would be a standby product in case you have trouble.
You might not like the snails, but they will keep your glass clean, and if you think about it, in a natural aquatic environment, snails are an integral part. I have them hitchhike in on my new plants and they breed in my tank. I really don't mind snails -- they're part of the natural environment. And unless they're predatory snails, like assassins, they are really quite harmless.
How are you doing your water changes from a labor intensive angle? Are you doing the manual siphon and bucket bit, or using a hose attached to your spigot with a valve that siphons water out and refills the tank? Do you have a sink and a drain nearby? That would make the job quicker and easier.
You are using a dechlorinator for new water, right? One that neutralizes both chlorine and chloramines? If you're using a hose to refill the tank, you'll need to add the dechlor to the tank BEFORE refilling it. Prime is a great product for that, and the only water conditioner you'll ever need.
You have a busy schedule. Is there anyone else in your family who can assist you in tank maintenance? Can you teach your hubby or your kids to do it?
Believe me, it's worth having a healthy aquarium, and it's worth the effort to keep one up. After awhile, we learn little shortcuts that make it less time-consuming. I would suggest getting more hands on board, and making it a family affair.
Best of success to you ...
Last edited by mermaidwannabe; 04-30-2012 at 07:52 PM.
20 gal. high: planted; 8 white cloud minnows, 10 RCS, 2 blue shrimp, several snails; AC50, Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 7 rosy barbs, 6 glofish,, 2 zebra danios, 6 rosy red (fathead) minnows, 3 dojo loaches, several snails; AC110 x 2.