Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   cleaning decor in the dishwasher? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/cleaning-decor-dishwasher-75876/)

PaperclipGirl 07-23-2011 02:59 PM

cleaning decor in the dishwasher?
 
Okay - so in preporation for my WWCs - I was watching You Tube regarding cleaning fish tanks last night (alright - I have NO LIFE)

This one guy put his real rocks and plastic plants in the dishwasher with a little bleach.... he does this ever water change... but my questions would be this....

Don't you need some bacteria on your decor to help with the biological process?

Should you even take your decor out when doing a change?

AbbeysDad 07-23-2011 03:08 PM

If you noticed, he has a canister filter (in addition to two HOB cartridge filters) dedicated to bio-filtration. He does not need bio-filtration in the substrate and/or decor since it's concentrated and focused in the filter.

I also run my plastic plants and rocks through the dishwasher. I do it about monthly now, but I use about 2 cups of white vinegar, not bleach. When I do this, with all of the decor removed, I'm able to do a very good gravel siphoning. In addition to the glass cleaning and (careful) filter service, this is darn close to a total clean-up.
Note: other weekly water changes, I just remove water...about 25% - 50%.

Also note that even a somewhat aggressive gravel siphon will not remove all beneficial bacteria (beneficial bacteria can remain in a filter with flow rates many times faster than the gravel siphon).

PaperclipGirl 07-23-2011 03:52 PM

I like the vinegar idea!!! I think I will try it... only I have sand and not gravel... so I don't have all the bacteria(I think that I read somewhere that bacteria doesn't do well with sand as it does with gravel)

I also have a canister and HOB filters.... but I service my canister every few months... change the pads and rotate the media with new... he said he never touched his... I wonder about that... but his tank was beautiful....

I want more fake plants for my cichlids now...

Byron 07-23-2011 07:15 PM

From what you've both mentioned of that fellow, he is on the road to a disaster. I didn't see the video, so this is just a comment. But with no live plants both of his practices are highly dangerous. Not cleaning the filter means the beneficial nitrifying bacteria will be slowly suffocated by the increasing de-nitrifying/anaerobic bacteria. You can read more on this here: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

Keeping the filter clean is essential. However, if the tank is heavily planted, the filter is meaningless in a sense, so this becomes a moot point. Provided the tank is not overstocked, but the fish are in balance with the plants, biological filtration is un-necessary beyond what will naturally occur to "take up the slack" from the plants.

By the way, on the dishwasher--this is dangerous too, as soap residue may attach to the porous rock and pollute the tank in time. Unless the dishwasher nevers sees soap or any chemicals, just hot water.

PaperclipGirl 07-23-2011 08:42 PM

I didn't think about the soap residue.... which could be an issue with my dishwasher...

So I'll settle for soak and scrub, since my plants are looking a little funky, as I have hair algae in the one tank. I'm sure it's a light issue, so I'm reprogramming my light timers.

This guys tank looks overstocked to me (but for a long time I've been looking at 4 fish in a 55g tank and thinking it was overstocked), but his tank was sparkly clean. He didn't have any live plants - but had maybe 6 times more fake plants than I have all together. It actually was a rather pretty set up. imho.

Both my 55g cichlid tanks are not planted as I read somewhere that it was useless to plant them... even with the fake decor, I'm constantly putting them back (one tank I just left out fake plants all together). My goldies tank is bare bottom without plants... which leaves my 10g tank that I have planted - which is what I'm starting with to learn the plant process - I'm already hooked.

I plan to redo my tanks in about a year or so and go to one cichlid tank and one tropical that is heavily planted. I figure it's going to take a year to decide on the plant and fish stock and what is all compatible.

AbbeysDad 07-23-2011 10:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 747955)
From what you've both mentioned of that fellow, he is on the road to a disaster. I didn't see the video, so this is just a comment. But with no live plants both of his practices are highly dangerous. Not cleaning the filter means the beneficial nitrifying bacteria will be slowly suffocated by the increasing de-nitrifying/anaerobic bacteria. You can read more on this here: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

Keeping the filter clean is essential. However, if the tank is heavily planted, the filter is meaningless in a sense, so this becomes a moot point. Provided the tank is not overstocked, but the fish are in balance with the plants, biological filtration is un-necessary beyond what will naturally occur to "take up the slack" from the plants.

By the way, on the dishwasher--this is dangerous too, as soap residue may attach to the porous rock and pollute the tank in time. Unless the dishwasher nevers sees soap or any chemicals, just hot water.

Byron - On youtube, search on "aquarium cleaning" and look for a 4 part series by Txdave01.

You will see that he has two high capacity Marineland HOBs on his tank for mechanical filtration. The canister is dedicated to bio-filtration and I believe is pre-filtered to prevent detritus from entering and fouling the media. He does suggest that he leaves it alone which does seem very odd.

Now I dunno about yours, but my dishwasher rinses clean with no evidence of residual soap left behind on dishes or the machine. As I stated, I've used it many times now with white vinegar to clean rocks and plastic plants. My rocks aren't especially porous, but it would be a stretch to think that any slight residual soap, even it existed, would survive the subsequent wash and rinse cycles. Plastic does not absorb soap and the volume of hot water rinses it clean - otherwise, you would have soapy dishes.
I'm sorry, but this is about like the myth that boiling rocks causes explosions!
I do go an extra step of rinsing under the tap (non chlorinated well water) but this is more to cool the rocks before they go back in the tank.

I'll grant you that his tank seems quite overstocked and from the algae growth, I'd say he lets it go too long. However, his water is crystal clear and according to him, his method is proven over several years - to coin Ripley "Believe it or not!"

1077 07-24-2011 12:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PaperclipGirl (Post 747729)
I like the vinegar idea!!! I think I will try it... only I have sand and not gravel... so I don't have all the bacteria(I think that I read somewhere that bacteria doesn't do well with sand as it does with gravel)

I also have a canister and HOB filters.... but I service my canister every few months... change the pads and rotate the media with new... he said he never touched his... I wonder about that... but his tank was beautiful....

I want more fake plants for my cichlids now...

Gave all my fake plant's (trash bag full) to my sister, but when I had them in my tanks , I cleaned them once every couple months by soaking them overnight in five gallon bucket of water with one cup of bleach.Next day, I simply rinsed them off and let them dry for an hour or two.No scrubbing, and the algae and scum were gone.
Would not use bleach however with real wood or rocks/media that was /are pourus.

P.S. Also recommend cleaning canister filter monthly. (cleaner tank).IMHO

Mikaila31 07-24-2011 12:42 AM

Just flip the rock over if they get growth on them, this solves the problem. Dish washing anything for the aquarium is silly and unnecessary IMO. I have crystal clean water in my tanks and I never gravel vac.

I'm with 1077, I got rid of my fake plants and never looked back. All my decor is rocks and wood, it doesn't get thrown in the dishwasher in nature so why should I do that?

AbbeysDad 07-24-2011 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikaila31 (Post 748259)
Just flip the rock over if they get growth on them, this solves the problem. Dish washing anything for the aquarium is silly and unnecessary IMO. I have crystal clean water in my tanks and I never gravel vac.

I'm with 1077, I got rid of my fake plants and never looked back. All my decor is rocks and wood, it doesn't get thrown in the dishwasher in nature so why should I do that?

I still remember the pictures of your filter 'cleaning'!

AbbeysDad 07-24-2011 10:50 AM

Each to his own. Much like for the dishes we eat off of, the dishwasher is just a tool to clean decor as needed. I like the idea of using white vinegar over bleach because it's more natural and does the job every bit as good. As to never using a gravel siphon, well in a heavily planted tank you can't, but I think in the unplanted tank it just makes sense....just like servicing the filter to remove the crud.
Now to a point, I like the look that algae and bio-slime gives the decor, especially rocks - a more natural look. But eventually it tends to diminish the aesthetics and it just looks grungy. For smaller tanks, that's often about the time for a tear down...not as practical with larger tanks. Like cleaning the glass....pay me a little now or PAY me a lot later.


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