Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Kiwifish 09-01-2012 01:32 AM

First Tank terribly dirty!
 
I got my first tank a few months ago. All my info on fish is from the tanks previous owner and books at the library. I have a four bettas and three kory cats and live plants. I don't know how many gallons it is but its 43cm by 43 cm by 45 cm.

Right now my main priority for my fish is cleaning the tank which I don't think I'm very good at because to be honest I think it looks terrible :( And I don't want to imagine how healthy it is for the fish. The algae is so bad that some of the live plants are covered in it and one of the ornaments ended up with a dark coloured one growing from the top of it.
My current plan is to feed less, water change more and leave the light off for longer. I also use Stress Zhyme, Stress Coat and Water Conditioner.

The gravel is covered in sludge as I've only just discovered what a gravel cleaner is. Whether or not I've even seen one that actually works is another story entirely. I had to find youtube videos to see what it even does and so far mine does nothing so I think I should shop for a new one and maybe a longer hose.

Is there anything I've missed? Does anyone have tips and ideas for cleaning a tank in disgusting condition and keeping it clean? Anything else I need to know?

I'm sure there is a lot of stuff I'm missing.

nawilson89 09-01-2012 02:39 AM

Welcome to the forum!

I'm not an expert, but I can give you my knowledge and hope that it helps you.
Just a few questions:

Is the tank in direct sunlight? Exposure to sunlight is a food source to algae.

How many live plants do you have in the tank? Live plants compete with algae for nutrients. The more live plants you have the less algae can grow since the plants take over.

How much artificial light do you use? 8-10 hours a day is a good start?

From your measurements it looks like you have a 15 - 20 gallon tank. Do you do a weekly water change in the tank? I think 20% should suffice for it.

I hope any of this helps!:-)

Kiwifish 09-01-2012 04:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nawilson89 (Post 1222538)
Welcome to the forum!

I'm not an expert, but I can give you my knowledge and hope that it helps you.
Just a few questions:

Is the tank in direct sunlight? Exposure to sunlight is a food source to algae.

How many live plants do you have in the tank? Live plants compete with algae for nutrients. The more live plants you have the less algae can grow since the plants take over.

How much artificial light do you use? 8-10 hours a day is a good start?

From your measurements it looks like you have a 15 - 20 gallon tank. Do you do a weekly water change in the tank? I think 20% should suffice for it.

I hope any of this helps!:-)

There's a window near it it but it isn't directly beside the tank. It does have a built in light though. I was using roughly 8-10 hours a day. Could I get away with cutting that down a bit?
My tank is full of live plants. It actually got to the point where I had too many. I haven't tried counting them since I can't make out individual plants. For all I know its all just one plant. I really have no idea where each plant ends or begins.
I was told that once every two weeks was fine for a water change, but I sometimes change a bit more than 20%. Sometimes 30%. I've put it on a weekly schedule now that its too dirty. Maybe I'll change it to every few days if that isn't enough.

bohmert 09-01-2012 07:05 AM

mine did the same thing and it happenedwhen i moved it closer to window not direct. Water changes and left light off and cleared up. Mine wasnt as bad as yours sounds and took a couple of weeks to clear

AbbeysDad 09-01-2012 08:57 AM

You may have a nitrate and/or phosphate problem. Combined with not doing regular weekly water changes and not using a gravel siphon, algae can gain a huge foothold.
You may be able to remedy with water changes and less light or you may be forced into a tear down, cleanup and restart. Personally, if it is as bad as you decribe, I'd bite the bullet and tear it down. If you do, just keep your filter media and substrate wet and be sure to dechlorinate the water to ensure beneficial bacteria survives.

good luck.

AD

Kiwifish 09-01-2012 07:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AbbeysDad (Post 1222687)
You may have a nitrate and/or phosphate problem. Combined with not doing regular weekly water changes and not using a gravel siphon, algae can gain a huge foothold.
You may be able to remedy with water changes and less light or you may be forced into a tear down, cleanup and restart. Personally, if it is as bad as you decribe, I'd bite the bullet and tear it down. If you do, just keep your filter media and substrate wet and be sure to dechlorinate the water to ensure beneficial bacteria survives.

good luck.

AD

I was just thinking I may have to restart and clean out the whole thing. Do you think I could get away with having less plants? I see tanks on youtube that seem pretty much empty! Just gravel, a rock, one plant and the fish and the water seems unnaturally clear! Some are so clear that I'm certain they've used dark magics to get it like that. My tank is so ugly :(

AbbeysDad 09-01-2012 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kiwifish (Post 1223438)
I was just thinking I may have to restart and clean out the whole thing. Do you think I could get away with having less plants? I see tanks on youtube that seem pretty much empty! Just gravel, a rock, one plant and the fish and the water seems unnaturally clear! Some are so clear that I'm certain they've used dark magics to get it like that. My tank is so ugly :(

Once a tank is established and in balance, the water should remain crustal clear - just stay on top of weekly water changes of 25% - 50%, using the gravel vac as required. Keep the light to 6-8 hours daily (timer is best) and don't over feed or over stock and you should be good!


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