How to properly care for equipment?
Now that I own fish, I've found that I also own a boatload of stuff that goes with them, and am wondering if some more experienced fish keepers out there can give me some advice on how to care for it all! More specifically, I'm wondering about how to properly keep things like nets, algae scrapers, buckets, testing tubes, vacuums & tubing - and whatever else I'm forgetting about right now, properly cleaned after use, stored in-between uses, and if there's any additional steps that I should be doing before putting these things back into the tank for the next time.
It might be a very obvious question, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway, as I've been unable to find any info on proper maintenance anywhere. At the moment, I'm working on having a dedicated set of these things for each tank I have. I don't have any sick babies right now, but it seems a good idea to keep things separate should a situation arise in which cross-contamination is a problem. . . regardless of illness, these simple tools are a very important part of the fish's lives, and I want to be sure that I don't accidentally hurt them in my inexperience!
Thanks for any advice you can offer! :-)
Such as the net, I always keep it in the bucket I do water changes with that way it doesn't get dirty. Everything that touches the water I keep in that bucket. I rise it after every use. I used to hang the nets off a hook to dry but it kept falling off. I have a 5 gallon lidded bucket from Home Depot ($3 for bucket and lid) to keep this all in (which i put next to/under my tank). I also keep the cyphon vacuum in that bucket to keep it from contamination.
I use the same cyphon and nets for both of my tanks. I have been rinsing before using it on the other. If you are truly concerned with any of this, I would purchase separate cyphoning equipment and nets for each tank to not have any chances (I see no point in doing that though).
Everything else such as food and test kits i just keep it neatly under the shelf where the tank is. I found the bucket to be the best way to keep things contained and clean. Some people find hooks and drawers to work well.
That's my 2 cents :)
Thanks! I've been doing pretty much as you, probably in the same garish orange buckets!
Since I started without knowing anything about fish or cycling when I got started, I've pretty much been doing daily water changes um until this point. As conditions in the tank settled, I've extended my changes to every other, then every third day. Now I'm FINALLY up to once-weekly (yay!) and I've been thinking about that tubing sitting around for a full week without use. I rinse it and the bucket in tap-water after each use, and dry the inside of the bucket, but the tubing doesn't ever dry up completely, and this can't be good . . . but I can't really think of any way to GET it dry in there - or to clean it. As for nets and algae scrubbers - I don't use these nearly as much as the other stuff, so they're in a drawer, but I think hanging them seems a better option - IF I can keep them from falling.
I still need another vacuum, but otherwise do have separate stuff for each tank (I'm already up to three, lol) I like to keep them separate - juuuuuuuuuuust in case! Seems better safe than sorry to me, but what do I know!
How about the test kit vials? Just a rinse with tap-water and they're good to go for next time?
Yea my vacuum never dries fully either. I am scared of it getting moldy or something...and I can't really reach up in the tube to dry it...it doesn't air dry very well.
Yeah, I do know not to use soap, though I did a vinegar soak on everything last night and rinsed till my face turned blue. . . I guess I'll do that once a month or so, just so I know that everything is getting some sort of good cleaning. I hung my hose outside this afternoon to dry in the sun, and it's fully dry inside now (for the first time since I've gotten it) I can see water spots, but. . . whatever. I'll rinse it again in tap water before using it. Guess that's good enough!
I'm sure I'm over-thinking this, but. . . I worry about mold and such, too!
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