Fish Tank EMERGENCY - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 40 Old 01-15-2009, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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A few years ago, I moved to Greece from the UK, I left my 4ft tank in the hands of my father.

Now, I have returned.

What do I see? A COMPLETE wreck... Algae everywhere, water level is HALF. 2 fish left alive. The lid has started rotting, and there is some strange dark green grass growing on the gravel.

The filter (external Penn Plax Cascade 700L (or 1000L I don't remember), had never been cleaned ONCE.

It is tragic.

It needs a complete overhaul. Any advice?
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post #2 of 40 Old 01-15-2009, 02:15 PM
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Ouch... I'm sorry to hear that. Have you performed any partial water changes yet and what are the fish you have left?

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post #3 of 40 Old 01-15-2009, 04:23 PM
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welcome to the forum, sorry to hear the news

well to start, remove the dead fish if any are still in there. as mentioned i would then perform partial water changes. try removing 5-10 gallons and adding 20-25 gallons as you said the tank is half full (make sure to use dechlorinator first) your going to want to gravel vac small parts of the substrate every week, scrape the algae from the glass and clean one basket of the filter every 2 weeks by swishing it in old tank water that you removed from a water change. this is so you dont endure another cycle by killing off too much beneficial bacteria. just take your time and before you know it your tank will be back to its glory.
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post #4 of 40 Old 01-15-2009, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice so far, here are some photos of the mess and the fish (as I don't remember the names, I have been away from fishkeeping for some time).

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post #5 of 40 Old 01-15-2009, 07:58 PM
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the big one on the bottom is a pleco
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post #6 of 40 Old 01-15-2009, 08:11 PM
Top is a zebra daino.

If you have access to another tank that has a canister filter, I would suggest completely cleaning out the tank, then cloning the filter with mature media. To do this you would need to get used filter media from a different tank, I would ask a LPS for some. This will contain bacteria to reboot your tank. I would take the fish out, put them in a bucket. Then completely clean and drain the tank and filter. Don't throw your old filter media way, just clean it best you can and add the new stuff. Then refill the tank and slowly reintroduce the fish. Keep an eye on water quality after you do this!

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post #7 of 40 Old 01-15-2009, 08:26 PM
This is probably already been mentioned but the "grass" stuff growing in the tank is beard algae. I dont know to much about it so im sorry i cant really help

Hit me up Baby
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post #8 of 40 Old 01-16-2009, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Blaxicanlatino View Post
This is probably already been mentioned but the "grass" stuff growing in the tank is beard algae. I dont know to much about it so im sorry i cant really help
Thanks for the algae identification , I appreciate the help!
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post #9 of 40 Old 01-16-2009, 10:32 AM
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Actually, the tank does not look that bad to me. As mentioned, you don't want to try and clean everything at once or beneficial bacteria will be destroyed and tank will have to go through nitrogen cycle all over. Cleaning the glass one week and maybe vaccuming a small area of the tank. Vaccum a small area of the gravel as has been mentioned ,once a week. Swish the filter material around in old aquarium water you take out with WEEKLY water changes and stick it back in. Plenty of time to clean things gradually and then you can replace filters one at a time when you are through. I would not use any soaps to clean anything. I have seen MANY tanks in much worse shape.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #10 of 40 Old 01-16-2009, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, so tomorrow I will begin the revival process. I have been readind this forum for hours and hours . Old memories are coming to life!

I understand I need to be very careful with the filter media, however, I do wish to completely replace the substrate with a different type (and alot less than the thick layer I have at the moment). This means cycling the tank again. I also wish to have a planted tank.

I will set up a quarantine tank for the veteran pleco and daino using a small amount of gravel from the current tank and the same water. How long after the overhaul is a good idea to reintroduce the two survivors?

I understand that it will be a good idea to keep alot of the current water from the tank and use it after overhaul, am I correct in thinking this?

Thanks alot for all your help.
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