Weekly Maintenance Cleaning...first time question - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-05-2013, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Weekly Maintenance Cleaning...first time question

So, yesterday I did my first tank cleaning/water change. I scrubbed the tank with an algae pad, suctioned the gravel with my hose, & did a 15% water change.

I noticed when I was done the water was cloudy and there was gunk floating around in my tank. The fish swam around gobbling up some bits afterward. Today, it looks normal so I assume it's all settled back on the gravel.

Is it normal to kick up so much gunk while cleaning the gravel or did I not do a good job suctioning the gravel?
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-05-2013, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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New Aquarist. Love my fish.

I admittedly had qualms about starting up a new tank. After reading about it then spending lots of money on everything I needed...I waited impatiently for my fishless cycle to make my tank a happy home.

Now, I have 6 fish that I love. Here is my Silver Sailfin Molly. His name is Moondoggie:

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post #3 of 12 Old 08-05-2013, 03:10 PM
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Pretty Molly :)

It's normal for the water to be a bit cloudy after a water change but you shouldn't see that much gunk floating around. You can change out more of the water next time - maybe shoot for 1/3 or so and that should give you a chance to do a better job on the gravel.

You might have too much gravel in the tank? You really only need a thin layer unless you're live planting the tank.

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-05-2013, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Pretty Molly :)

It's normal for the water to be a bit cloudy after a water change but you shouldn't see that much gunk floating around. You can change out more of the water next time - maybe shoot for 1/3 or so and that should give you a chance to do a better job on the gravel.

You might have too much gravel in the tank? You really only need a thin layer unless you're live planting the tank.
I probably have too much gravel. My husband put in 25 lbs (20 gal tank) so we have a thick layer of the stuff. Is there a good technique for sucking up gunk off the gravel?
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-05-2013, 03:46 PM
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A medium sized siphon should work well in that size tank. I'd remove at least half of that gravel and save it for your next fish tank. We're all enablers here so will encourage you to get another tank at some point :)

Just work fairly quickly back to front and by the time you suction the whole gravel bed , you should have removed enough water for a good sized weekly water change.

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-05-2013, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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A medium sized siphon should work well in that size tank. I'd remove at least half of that gravel and save it for your next fish tank. We're all enablers here so will encourage you to get another tank at some point :)

Just work fairly quickly back to front and by the time you suction the whole gravel bed , you should have removed enough water for a good sized weekly water change.
Thanks. I'll thin out the gravel next cleaning. There's no way I'm getting another fish tank any time soon...at least not until the kids are a bit older and I have more room and time to accommodate one.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-05-2013, 07:30 PM
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That's what you say now ;) It starts with one, I swear!

Haha just kidding. Kind of. But a bit of gunk is normal, I agree with others and up the size of the water change, especially if you don't have live plants. Even in my planted tank I change out about 50% of the water.

Are you using buckets? Water changes can be a lot smoother and quicker if you just drain the water outside/into a sink/shower with a long siphon, and then fill the tank by attaching the siphon to a faucet. I made my own attachments, but you can buy something like that premade. Just google Automatic Water Changer, it should pop up :)

Takes me about 20 minutes to drain my 35 gallon halfway and fill it. It would be quicker but I fill slowly. :)
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-06-2013, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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That's what you say now ;) It starts with one, I swear!

Haha just kidding. Kind of. But a bit of gunk is normal, I agree with others and up the size of the water change, especially if you don't have live plants. Even in my planted tank I change out about 50% of the water.

Are you using buckets? Water changes can be a lot smoother and quicker if you just drain the water outside/into a sink/shower with a long siphon, and then fill the tank by attaching the siphon to a faucet. I made my own attachments, but you can buy something like that premade. Just google Automatic Water Changer, it should pop up :)

Takes me about 20 minutes to drain my 35 gallon halfway and fill it. It would be quicker but I fill slowly. :)
I have a 3 gallon bucket. I only have a 20 gallon tank so a 15% water change only takes 1 bucket full. My tank is not planted.
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-06-2013, 11:10 AM
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If you don't regularly siphon the gravel it's probably normal. That is a small water change. I'd do 2-3 buckets.

"He situates himself in relation to time. He takes his place in it. He admits that he stands at a certain point on a curve that he acknowledges having to travel to its end. He belongs to time, and by the horror that seizes him, he recognizes his worst enemy. Tomorrow, he was longing for tomorrow, whereas everything in him ought to reject it."
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-06-2013, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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If you don't regularly siphon the gravel it's probably normal. That is a small water change. I'd do 2-3 buckets.
How often should I be siphoning the gravel?
I was told 10-20% water change is good for a weekly change and then once a month I should do a 35-50% change when I replace the filter. Does that sound right?
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