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Cleaning Fish Tank

This is a discussion on Cleaning Fish Tank within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Maybe I'm a complete idiot (but I doubt it). But you should NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER use soap to clean your tank. You will ...

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Old 02-26-2007, 09:20 PM   #11
 
Maybe I'm a complete idiot (but I doubt it). But you should NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER use soap to clean your tank. You will never remove all of the soap from the tank and/or gravel.

If you are to the point where you need to physically clean your tank, you will need to remove all water, gravel, and decor and wash the tank glass with vinegar. You need to rinse the tank very well after this. The vinegar doesn't "cling" to the tank, but is acidic enough to break down the bacteria.

Vinegar should be used on your decor as well. I've never cleaned gravel, but you're probably best off rinsing very well with water, and then soaking in vinegar for a few minutes, and rinsing again.

But like I said in my last post, you should not need to do this unless you have a dramatic problem with your tank... like a drunk roomate vomiting in the tank
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:24 PM   #12
 
Heh, has that happened to you in the past?

I was just thinking, soap is just as harmful as vinegar, even to the bacteria. I've learned though many chemistry labs that bases can be just as harmful as acids (and they both itch). And both acids and bases can be equally harmful to the fish. So soap would work just as effective as vinegar, and either one is probably somehow going to raise or lower the pH of the new water.
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:46 PM   #13
 
Do yourself a favor and go to your kitchen. Read the ingredients on your dish soap and your vinegar. Odds are very good that the dish soap won't list the ingredients as theres probably too many. The vinegar will have Vinegar, and water. It will also say that your vinegar is diluted to x% acidity (5% on both bottles of vinegar I have). From there I'll let you decide which will be better for your fish.

Odds are good that if you use soap to clean your tank, pH will be the least of your worries.

Just want to stress again though that you should not have a need to clean your tank using either.
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:58 PM   #14
 
I agree, there should be no point to clean the entire fish tank in the first place. :)
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:29 PM   #15
 
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Well here are my two cents--do unplug the heater and filter, I don't see how you can take water out of a tank w/out doing that, but don't take any of the fish out of the tank. I do a 30% water change once a week, and that seems to work well. I agree with Musho--tank was not cycled when you added fish and that was what caused the die-off. Don't soap anything or even rinse off your rocks or decorations--there is no need to and you will go through a mini-cycle. Hope this helps and feel free to ask more questions. :D
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Old 02-27-2007, 01:42 AM   #16
 
Weekly partial water changes are good for your aquarium and the fish living in it. Many good suggestions have been made here. Just use your common sense and take the advice that makes the most sense to you.

-never use soap
-leave the fish in the tank
-check your water parameters, if you don't know how, take a sample of your aquarium water to your LFS and ask them to test it, they usually will.

Your fish died because the tank had not completely cycled and there was too much of a bio-load on the tank. It's a common mistake to put plecos in a new tank. You can't, trust me, I found out the hard way years ago. Plecos will die in an uncycled tank every time. Good luck.
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Old 02-27-2007, 04:39 PM   #17
 
i am worried about all the people here that are saying that the weekly water changes should be 10-15%. It was back in the old days of freshwater keeping where the water chages were that low per month. That was before we learned that high levels of nitrate were toxic. Now the most reccomended is 25% weekly or 15% TWICE weekly.
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Old 03-01-2007, 05:53 PM   #18
 
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hmm, This is all way too much, a lot of different points of views and ideas- The only thing wrong with my water is hardness and I don't know what that means- my guess would be density- I don't know why the neon would need more oxygen and the other fish didn't, I won't clean out my tank with vinegar or soap- I had never used soap on any of my fish tanks in my life! :D I will just do the taking 40% water out twice a week and putting new in!
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:13 PM   #19
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzz
hmm, This is all way too much, a lot of different points of views and ideas- The only thing wrong with my water is hardness and I don't know what that means- my guess would be density- I don't know why the neon would need more oxygen and the other fish didn't, I won't clean out my tank with vinegar or soap- I had never used soap on any of my fish tanks in my life! :D I will just do the taking 40% water out twice a week and putting new in!
its not that the neons need more oxygen, its that they arent getting enough

When there is ammonia poisoning, the fishes body naturally creates slime that protects the body from the ammonia, but when the ammonia gets higher they need to create more slime. Pretty soom it reaches the point where the slime gets into there gills and suffocates them. thats when they need more oxygen since the slime is preventing the gills to take it in, and thats why the take it from the top of the tank where there is the most oxygen.

Nitrite enters the fishes blood stream. If you know what human carbon monoxide poisoning is, you should know how nitrite poisoning is. It prevents the red blood cells from carrying oxygen around the fishes body which in the end kills it, it will also go to the top of the tank to get as much oxygen as possible.
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:01 AM   #20
 
Hm, I always thought that the fish died of suffocation because there wasn't enough oxygen entering their bloodstream, not because this slime covered their gills. Naturally, the nitrogens in ammonia, nitrates and nitrites would rather bond with the oxygen than the hydrogens thus limiting the amount of oxygen in the blood and in the end, suffocating the fish.
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