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How often do I/ When do I clean my 10 Gallon Tank?

This is a discussion on How often do I/ When do I clean my 10 Gallon Tank? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by moghedan On the other side of the coin, new fishkeepers that come to a forum to find people telling them they ...

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How often do I/ When do I clean my 10 Gallon Tank?
Old 08-23-2013, 12:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by moghedan View Post
On the other side of the coin, new fishkeepers that come to a forum to find people telling them they are doing everything wrong also seems rude; even when you are just trying to help, it doesn't translate well into text.


You have to ease into the conversation in text. PETA Death Commandos shouting, "How could you, you monster?!?!?" need not apply. If your comment puts the subject on the defensive, you have already lost. No one likes to hear they bought poorly and needs to return something to the store. That comment, more than any other, turns people off... turns them off from listening to you, turns them off from visiting the forum, and turns them off from the hobby.


Especially important is to answer their question, as completely as possible. Ignoring the question to just criticize is almost as big a turn off as telling them to return stuff to the store.

Now, let's examine the exact issues at hand:

Tetra's like larger schools. This is true, but remember... that is a defensive tactic. These tetras are either the largest, or very nearly the largest, things in the tank. Nothing is a threat to them, and they will not take long to notice it. These are not tiny Neons... these are Columbians. They are not going to suffer from any lasting harm in the current situation.

The betta is vulnerable. The Columbians are going to have a hard time passing up a chance to nip those flowing fins. The betta is far to slow to get away, and the tank offers no hiding locations. The Columbians could be contained if there was a larger group, but they will not fit in the current tank.

The frogs are fine in that regard, but are also too slow and will have a hard time competing with the Columbians for food.



Now, it may or may not be a cycled tank. Information has not yet been provided. His or her question was about water changes and tank cleaning. That's good, as it helps resolve the primary concern. If you do not agree with fish in cycling, turn away... it's not your tank and not your place to impose your will on others. If the tank is already cycled, so much the better.

The second issue becomes the betta and it being bullied. The third is the frogs starving. Neither of these is immediately life threatening, but could become so in a very short while. Mention them as areas of concern.

The final issue is the Columbian's size and desire for a larger group. This is not an immediate issue; nor is it resolvable from our list of resources. It is worth mentioning.

Finally, include links to some followup research. There is a vast resource of fish files out there that many have no idea exist. Google might be your friend, but it takes only moments to provide a few links to move them in the right direction. Someone may or may not make use of them, but that is beyond our scope.




iSaliena, I hope I have neither embarrassed you by breaking down your posting, nor angered you for hijacking it for a pet peeve of mine.
My intent was not to be rude and I apologize to iSaliena if it came across that way. At the risk of further hijacking this thread I'd like to reply to moghedan as I do think it is relevant to the total discussion.

This is a well thought out post, but I do have some comments on it (even ignoring the implication that I would have anything to do with PETA). The question of how and when to clean the tank was answered, so I felt not need to reply to that, but only to say other things could be done.

Links to Seriously Fish are not allowed technically. It's something I actually have a problem with. I don't run the forum though, so am left playing by the rules, whether or not I agree with them.

I do think we have a difference in opinion of what immediate concerns are. I don't know if the store iSaliena got her fish from allows returns or what their exact return policy might be. I would imagine though that the sooner the better. As in they might not accept a return months down the line (assuming they do at all).

Shoaling and schooling are defensive mechanisms. In aquariums they will also allow aggressive to be spread out to protect subdominant fish. I don't think that is the case with Colombians though. Not being in a proper sized shoal will stress them though and lead them to either be withdrawn or aggressive. This is the same for even the tiny neons. It's in their nature to feel safe in groups.

Absolutely nothing wrong with fish in cycling when done correctly, the same as there is nothing wrong with silent cycling or fishless cycling when done correctly. Nothing wrong with plastic plants either for that matter. I've done them all successfully with no harm to my fish. You may find most of the forum in disagreement though as silent cycling is preferred. Even fishless cycling is the devil.

I was going to write a bunch more, but the PETA comment just has me slightly annoyed. OK more than slightly. Regardless, welcome to the forum iSaliena and moghedan! Please don't take offense with anyone on here. Lots of passionate people that don't always think about how their words come across via text based writing.
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:03 PM   #12
 
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For small volume of water such as ten gallon's,, I would aim for 40 to 50% water change each week .Smaller volume of water is much more easily influenced by fish waste,fish food accumulation than larger tanks without question.
Columbian tetra's while maybe thumbnail size when purchased,will grow to close to three inches and will without fail ,out compete the betta or frog's for food now,,and later.This quite often result's in you or I offering more food,and water quality in smaller tank becomes an issue.
The Frog's have relatively poor eyesight and sometimes target feeding is needed in busy community tank's where other fishes are quicker to find the food but could do well with slower top feeder such as the betta.
I shall not comment on cycling for as mentioned,,it is not known whether this is concern.
Were it me,,and it ain't I would keep with the betta (congrat;s for heat,filter) and frog's and maybe look to smaller tetra species such as glowlight whic do well in fairly wide parameter's and would not be too much for the ten gal assuming six to eight in number's.
just my two cent's.
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:41 PM   #13
 
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My sincerest apologies...

The PETA comment was meant totally in jest. Combined with later comments about fish in cycling, however, I can see where it reads offensively.

I can only ask forgiveness.
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:33 PM   #14
 
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There's no reason they should be in trouble I'm doing everything I am suppose to.
Have you cycled your tank? It usually takes 6-8 weeks. If your answer is no, your pets may be in trouble.
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Old 08-24-2013, 05:35 PM   #15
 
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Hey guys my one comment wasn't meant to be rude! I'm sorry, please no 'nipping my fins'! ;) I am just reading through everything now
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Old 08-24-2013, 05:41 PM   #16
 
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Okay, I hope you all get notifications when I post so I dont have to make a million reply comments. Anyways, my tetras. My pet store I got them from, you can't return fish. So what do I do there? They said they would all be okay and happy together, clearly reading many of your comments, the pet store doesn't know much and they just want my money I guess.

Cycling my tank... what's that? Again, I just followed what the fish guy at the pet store said to do.

So FAR all the fish seem to be fine, frogs are getting food. (I watch them get it :)) Tetras seem to keep to themselves, betta is just swimming freely everywhere. But like most of you are saying, the tetras realize they are the boss? Helllllllllllp
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:07 PM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by iSaliena View Post
Okay, I hope you all get notifications when I post so I dont have to make a million reply comments. Anyways, my tetras. My pet store I got them from, you can't return fish. So what do I do there? They said they would all be okay and happy together, clearly reading many of your comments, the pet store doesn't know much and they just want my money I guess.

Cycling my tank... what's that? Again, I just followed what the fish guy at the pet store said to do.

So FAR all the fish seem to be fine, frogs are getting food. (I watch them get it :)) Tetras seem to keep to themselves, betta is just swimming freely everywhere. But like most of you are saying, the tetras realize they are the boss? Helllllllllllp
Yes, everyone has learned the lesson of trusting advice from a chain pet store, it's all about money. Now, about cycling. I'm not good at explaining but I'll try. Fish exhale and excrete pure ammonia into their tank. The big joke on them is that ammonia will kill them.So in a new tank they are doomed unless you keep ammonia out. IMO that means change 50% water everyday until the tank cycles. Cycle means that over time, usually weeks, a bacteria grows in the tank that consumes and converts ammonia into nitrites, which can kill fish. Over time another bacteria grows that consumes and converts nitrites into nitrates which ,in low amounts, a fish can handle. At this point your tank has cycled and you keep nitrates low with weekly 25% water changes. This process can take 8-10 weeks or 2 weeks depending on variables I don't know. This may be oversimplified , so everyone cut me some slack. That's all I can say unless you have specific questions. If you know someone with a tank that's been cycled for months, you can take old filter material and put it in your filter for a shortcut as bacteria grows on all surfaces, especially filter material. Fast growing live plants can help get rid of ammonia also.

Last edited by marshallsea; 08-24-2013 at 09:23 PM..
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:34 PM   #18
 
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P.S. If you go the used filter media route, keep the material wet in tank water. It dies when dry.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:30 AM   #19
 
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Yes, everyone has learned the lesson of trusting advice from a chain pet store, it's all about money. Now, about cycling. I'm not good at explaining but I'll try. Fish exhale and excrete pure ammonia into their tank. The big joke on them is that ammonia will kill them.So in a new tank they are doomed unless you keep ammonia out. IMO that means change 50% water everyday until the tank cycles. Cycle means that over time, usually weeks, a bacteria grows in the tank that consumes and converts ammonia into nitrites, which can kill fish. Over time another bacteria grows that consumes and converts nitrites into nitrates which ,in low amounts, a fish can handle. At this point your tank has cycled and you keep nitrates low with weekly 25% water changes. This process can take 8-10 weeks or 2 weeks depending on variables I don't know. This may be oversimplified , so everyone cut me some slack. That's all I can say unless you have specific questions. If you know someone with a tank that's been cycled for months, you can take old filter material and put it in your filter for a shortcut as bacteria grows on all surfaces, especially filter material. Fast growing live plants can help get rid of ammonia also.
Yeppers.

You got the aerobic bacteria cycle down pat.

Just like I was taught when I first started a tank.

What it doesn't take into account is the action of plant life.

By starting the tank with fast growing aquatic plants, the plants prefer to consume the ammonia directly and therefore there is no ammonia spiike. With some organics like in the substrate you will get an initial nitrate spike which is basically safe. Not to mention the plants are also consuming co2 and returning oxygen as well.

Then just as you stated the aerobic bacteria expands over a couple of weeks and start reducing the ammonia. So the plants at that point reluctantly start using the nitrates for nitrogen. So the nitrates drop down to low or unmeasureable levels.

Which happens with no water changes.

Then say something later happens. The resultant ammonia spike is again consumed by the plants preventing dangerous tank crashes. So the tank is much more forgiving of operator errors.

Additionally, there is anaerobic bacteria that consumes nitrates but that is not something a tank should rely on.



Here's an example of starting a 20g long planted:


Which like everything else it just my .02
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:58 AM   #20
 
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Silent cycyling with plant's is excellent way to start a new tank, but it present's it's own problem's,consideration's.
Plant's purchased may, or may not,, be true aquatic plant's,,,Folk's don't begin with enough plant's for particular bio-load(number's of fish),,,, And many of the plant's we purchase undergo transformation from emmersed state such as many of them are grown in before offered for sale,to plant's being completely submerged in our aquariums.During the transformation,,the plant's are struggling to adapt and often shed leaves to develop new ones more suited for the condition's.(not very effective at this time in organic uptake,ammonia.)
Best to cram as many fast growing plant's in the tank from the outset to help compensate for those that may be lost .
Can alway's remove the fast grower's after a few month's and replace them with more desireable plant's.
If you are lucky enough to receive plant's from a friend,or already existing planted tank ,,then the plant transformation is not as hard on the plant's, and assuming lighting,and nutrient's are available in right proportion's,,the plant's will immediately begin to take up ammonia,nitrites,nitrAtes, but until then,,they release all kind's of protein's,enzymes,that additonal ammonia from fish,,,might easily cause more trouble should too many fish,,too much food, be the scenario from the outset.
As I said in first sentence,,plant's make the maturing process much easier than other method's so long as the plant's get a good start ,,and we don't try to use too few plant's,,and too many fish,too large of fish,or over feed the tank.
Many consideration's for differing method's for most.Some just buy fish and replace them until finally,through attrition,,,the tank matures.

Last edited by 1077; 08-26-2013 at 06:01 AM..
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