new to the site but not new to fish keeping..
I'm posting this here so that people new to the hobby( and those that are on the fence about maintence) realize how important tank maintenance is...and also that anyone.. no matter how experienced can and do make mistakes.. it's part of the learning process..
I've been keeping aquriums of some sort since the late 60's , when I started, books and the local aqurium supply stores were the only sorce of info... I learned about water changes,the effects PH. Amonia and the nitrogen cycle has on aquatic life ( I also have a ornamental goldfish pond)..
flash foreward to last summer... While remodeling my Family room in May, I moved my 16 gallon comunity tank ( UGF and Penguine 150 filters).. . from its home in that room to the foyer "temporarily".. .. the project and life itself got in the way... maintenence was put on hold.. weekly water changes ..on hold... gravel vacuming..on hold.. monthly water tests ..on hold.. ... because the situation was "temporary" I figured an extra week or two wouldnt hurt.... my original plan was to relocate and restablish the maintenence program as soon as the room was finished... along came October the now scuzzy looking tank was still in the foyer.. there was barely enough water to keep the filter primed.. I relocated the tank... cleaned the filters.. my wife ( not a fish person) scrubbed everything clean... including the biological filter( disregarding my instructions to only rinse it in old tank water).... a check of the water found unusualy high PH... this I linked to a degrading coral ornament( and of coarse severe neglect).. surprisingly Amonia was 0... Nitrates were ..Im embarrased to say @ 160PPM... I removed and rinsed the gravel and UG filter ( Nitrate trap!) and changed 50% of the water with distilled water and treated it with slime coat and a bacteria booster.. long story short, there were a few issues with an amonia spike( I blamed on the bio filter cleaning) and the shock of the whole water changed killed two glow tettras and a all 4 neon tettras...everything else survived..the whole event is embarrasing to me.. I have always taken pride in the appearance of my aqurium ( and fish pond)...I've vowed to NEVER let this happen again.. three weeks latter all inhabitants are healthy..happy and the water is crystal clear...PH is 6.8.. Amonia is 0 and Nitrate is maintaining 25 PPM..
Moral of the story.. DONT FORGO MAINTENCE.. Routine water changes... gravel vacuming and filter replacement is vital to the health and well being of your fish... also you are never to old to learn.. or in my case re-learn lessons learned close to 50 years ago..
On a side note... I joined this site to learn about the care and construction of a salt water tank.. it's been a life long dream.... I feel the time has come to take the leap ..once i "snoop" around and gain the knowledge to properly care for a larger more complicated system..