Tropical Fish Keeping banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
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:

 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,804 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
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?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,804 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,265 Posts
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. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,480 Posts
If you don't regularly siphon the gravel it's probably normal. That is a small water change. I'd do 2-3 buckets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,480 Posts
I would do it weekly or every other week. That's just me. All the poop and uneaten food just settles down there, no reason not to just suck it all out if you have no live plants. You could do half one week and half the next.

How much water you should change depends on what species of fish you have and how much waste they produce. I like aqadvisor.com if you enter the tank size and fish it'll tell you how much to change weekly. I personally feel like 15% is not adequate especially if the other fish are mollies. I would do 30-40% each week. I do 50% right now. No reason to only do one 35-50% change each month. I'd just do the same each week and find a balance. Test the nitrates and see how much you need to change to keep them down at a good level.

Also on the note of filter pad changing, what kind of filter do you have? You may know this already, but If it has a "bio-wheel" or permanent sponge or substrate thing to house the good bacteria you may (not 100% sure I don't replace mine) be okay replacing it. But if the filter pad you are replacing is the only medium in the filter, replacing it could really cause issues. The filter pads house a lot of good bacteria and replacing sound cause ammonia spikes, which, if you've done it in the past and the fish lived, it still isn't good for them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I would do it weekly or every other week. That's just me. All the poop and uneaten food just settles down there, no reason not to just suck it all out if you have no live plants. You could do half one week and half the next.

How much water you should change depends on what species of fish you have and how much waste they produce. I like aqadvisor.com if you enter the tank size and fish it'll tell you how much to change weekly. I personally feel like 15% is not adequate especially if the other fish are mollies. I would do 30-40% each week. I do 50% right now. No reason to only do one 35-50% change each month. I'd just do the same each week and find a balance. Test the nitrates and see how much you need to change to keep them down at a good level.

Also on the note of filter pad changing, what kind of filter do you have? You may know this already, but If it has a "bio-wheel" or permanent sponge or substrate thing to house the good bacteria you may (not 100% sure I don't replace mine) be okay replacing it. But if the filter pad you are replacing is the only medium in the filter, replacing it could really cause issues. The filter pads house a lot of good bacteria and replacing sound cause ammonia spikes, which, if you've done it in the past and the fish lived, it still isn't good for them.
I've never had a problem with my nitrate levels. After my 15% water change Sunday night, I checked the water on Monday and my alkalinity was high (pH is normal). No clue how to fix that. I have 2 mollies, 3 platys, & 1 guppy.

My filter is a Top Fin Power Filter 20. It came with the tank.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top