dirty tank

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22 Jan 2008 14:35 #1 by maxy jazz (Martin McGroarty)
I have a 120 litre tank with about 30 odd tropical fish. The fish are give food once a day, but I find the bottom of the tank gets very dirty on cleaning it.
I was told I am feeding too much food, but there is very little waste after the fish have eaten.
Could this be the cause?

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22 Jan 2008 20:14 #2 by goldy (goldy .)
Replied by goldy (goldy .) on topic Re:dirty tank
Hi maxy jazz. Overfeeding could be one reason and dont forget what goes in must come back out so for 30 or so fish there will be waste. have you got a filter in your tank and what kind its it. do you do regular water changes and gravel clean.

when you do clean the tank you will disturb what is on the bottom but the filter will pick most of this up and it needs it to feed the bacteria in the filter that break down the waste products from teh fish. The rest of it will settle down again in about an hour or so.

maybe try to do more regular gravel cleaning while changing less water but do it little and often. l et us know how you get on. I am sure there you will get much better advice from some of the more experienced members. good luck

Nessa

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22 Jan 2008 21:50 #3 by Acara (Dave Walters)
Replied by Acara (Dave Walters) on topic Re:dirty tank
Welcome Maxy Jazz.

To add to what Nessa has already said,if you give a few more details,it will be a lot easier to answer.A couple of questions,

1.Do you test the water with a kit,if so,what are the results?
2.How long has the tank been setup,and how long are the fish in it?
3.What is the filter?Do you clean it?How often?
4.Have any fish died?
5.How often,and how do you do water changes?(eg,do you use a gravel vacuum?)
6.What fish do you have in there?Are they fully grown?
7.Are there any plants that are dying,or have decaying leaves?

Sorry,don't mean to sound like teacher,but this will help us figure it all out.eg,if you have 30 neons,they will produce a lot less waste than 30 'shark' types.

Dave

always on the lookout for interesting corys.pm me if you know off any!

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23 Jan 2008 00:59 #4 by Deeco (Deeco)
Replied by Deeco (Deeco) on topic Re:dirty tank
by any chance do you have a pleco or corys they can be very messy especially plecos

You know yourself

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23 Jan 2008 01:42 #5 by mickeywallace (Michael Wallace Cath Woods)
Hi maxy jazz

I would have to agree with Nessa on this one. do i would look at my pump as well is it working as well as when You got it. Did the pump come with the tank? if not is a suitable size for the tank? is your syphon sufficient for the job. i had this problem at on stage because i didn't clean under ornaments properly( my loaches soon pointed this out to me)

could i suggest a fast day once a week if you notice a decrease then it is food.

I am sure others will have more ideas but these have been my personal mistakes

Mickey Wallace & Cath Woods

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23 Jan 2008 09:11 #6 by maxy jazz (Martin McGroarty)
Hi

Thanks for the feedback.

I've had the tank up and running for about 6 month and change a percentage of the water every six weeks.

I have a mixture of fish,
3 Dwarf Gourami
3 Mollies
10 Barbs
2 Spotted Sail Fin Pleco.
3 Pangasius Catfish
3 White Tip Shark Cat,
1 Angel Fish

The tank is a standard Jewel, with its integrated filter.
I use a suction pump for cleaning the gravel.
I never remove the gravel as I don't want to frighten the fish much.

Every 2-3 weeks I have lost a smaller fish, but I think this could be due to the Angel fish (which seems to have a thing for guppies), or else they are not getting enough food.

Should I remove the gravel when cleaning the tank.

I have not tested the water, but I expect the acidity level to be low.
Most of the fish I've had since starting the tank have survived.

Thanks.

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23 Jan 2008 13:46 #7 by KenS (Ken Simpson)
Replied by KenS (Ken Simpson) on topic Re:dirty tank
You need to change at least 20% of the water every week and vac the gravel. This is the cause of your problem. There is no need to remove the gravel.

You also need to get a test kit to measure readings for ammonia, nitrITE, nitrATE and pH. It's likely that your nitrATE reading is off the scale. The purpose of changing 20% every week is to keep the nitrATE levels down and keep the water clear. Fish waste will not help your readings either.

Regards,

Ken.

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23 Jan 2008 16:25 #8 by Didihno (Didihno)
Replied by Didihno (Didihno) on topic Re:dirty tank
You don't need to remove gravel.
Instead get yourself a 'gravel vacuum'.
Its a plastic tube that you use to siphon out the dirt in the gravel.
Invaluable tool.
Don't try to vac the whole tank in one go, instead do one half then the other at the next water change.
You will see the difference in water quality.

Also, that frequency of water changes should be much higer.
Up them to once a week or every second week (like me, but I'm lazy).
20litres of water would be plenty to change once a fortnight.

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23 Jan 2008 16:41 #9 by Peter OB (Peter O'Brien)
3 Pangasius Catfish!!!! I sincerely hope you are wrong or misidentified the fish, they are serious tankbusters and shouldn't be in the shops IMO. You should get rid of them ASAP unless you are planning on building a 12-15 foot tank somewhere.

Changing the water every 6 weeks isn't really enough, you should be aiming for every 2 weeks at least. Clean the gravel with a gravel cleaner, essentially a syphon.

I'd imagine the catfish is fiesting on your smaller fish and it's not the Angelfish, but I can't be sure. Also Plecos are very messy, so i'd imagine your tank is manky dirty.

The reason why most of your original fish are alive is that they have become accustomed to the high Ammonia, Nitrate & Nitrite levels, but it is damaging them in the long run. Any new fish will probably die as you introduce them.

Hope this helps.

Smoke me a Kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast.

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23 Jan 2008 17:12 #10 by maxy jazz (Martin McGroarty)
Thanks - I will start changing water more frequently and get a test kit.

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25 Jan 2008 14:39 #11 by goldy (goldy .)
Replied by goldy (goldy .) on topic Re:dirty tank
good luck maxi jazz hope this sorts out your problems

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28 Jan 2008 11:16 #12 by maxy jazz (Martin McGroarty)
Hi
I don't think its 'Pangasius Catfish', these are 3 small fish, like bottom feeders. I didn't think the Plecos are that dirty. Since I've changed the water its much better, I have also cleaned out the filters.
By changing the water more regularly this should lower the Ammonia, Nitrate & Nitrite levels..
Thanks Again.

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28 Jan 2008 11:55 #13 by LimerickBandit (Donal Doran)
When you clean your filter DO NOT clean it under a tap,
wash the pads ect in water that you have taken from the tank this helps to keep the good bacteria alive ;)

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28 Jan 2008 11:56 #14 by goldy (goldy .)
Replied by goldy (goldy .) on topic Re:dirty tank
hi maxi jazz glad to see things are a bit better. just make sure that when you are cleaning the filter pads you clean them in the dirty water you just took out and not under the tap as this will kill the bacteria in the sponges

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