Board index Fish Talk Other Fish Info on tank keeping

Info on tank keeping

Stop in here for talk on fish not listed above.

Moderator: Moderators

Post Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:59 pm
chefb_5 Level 5 Member
Level 5 Member

Posts: 382
Location: Princeton
I'm kinda new to fresh water I do own fresh water and I do know the basics, but I really need help on what I should do as far as makeing tank cleaning easyer? I would like to know how I can keep the gravel from stinking and water cleaner without having to really take all the gravel out and 50gallons of water out every mounth. Pleas help me that would me whole lot happer and less stressed out. I hate trying to figure out whts the best way to clean and what i need on the web because its hard to really know what is right or wrong and keeping my tank less complacated.

Post Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:36 pm
Vashjir User avatar
Level 9 Member
Level 9 Member

Posts: 1802
Location: Richfield MN
Vacuuming the gravel with each partial water change should be all it needs. I do weekly 20-25% changes and try to vacuum 1/3 of the gravel bed each weekly change so that the whole thing gets done more than once a month. Do you use an undergravel filter? With the ug filter you should have about 2 inches of gravel, without an ug filter you should have no more than 1 inch of substrate (unless VERY heavily planted).
The other thing that will keep algae down is to put some plants in the tank, even lowlight plants soak up nitrates fairly quickly and extend the time you can go between water changes.

You should never have to remove gravel from the tank.
Phil

MAS Promotions Chair
Bowl Show Chair
Board Member
phil.s.marlow@gmail.com

Post Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:48 pm
chefb_5 Level 5 Member
Level 5 Member

Posts: 382
Location: Princeton
I have and Oscar fish so I cant have any plants. How well does the undergravel fitler work? Is it even going to help that much? I don't have any alge it's just that the water stinks like a skunk. Do I need a canister filter system? i have a Empire 400 biowhell filter system. I did shipon every inch of it, but still smells.

Post Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:37 am
HangStout Level 4 Member
Level 4 Member

Posts: 212
Location: Menomonie, WI
I agree that a Siphon and gravel vaccuum works well, and if you vac your gravel regularly, it will not stink as often. as for your water stinking, you are most likely overfeeding. fish can often go a few days between feedings, and this will add less debris to your tank. water changes will help with this too. If you vacuum your gravel and do a quick water change at least once every 2 weeks, you should see some drastic improvement.

As for the under gravel filter, I have no experience. This may help with keeping your gravel cleaner, but It will be moving the waste to the surface of the water, so this may not help your smell... Just my thought

Post Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:30 pm
nkambae User avatar
Level 7 Member
Level 7 Member

Posts: 943
Location: Brooklyn Park
It helps to have your tank specs, number of fish, and current maintenance schedule before we start giving suggestions. I have some tanks which get a small water change every six months or so and others that get more than 50% per week. Depending on species I have done as much as 50% per day for fry tanks. It depends on species, bio load, and filtration among other things.

There are plants that can be kept with oscars and other ciichlids. Anubias and Java ferns are tough and can be tied to rocks and driftwood. Some of the crinums will do nicely as long as they are well rooted (think small flower pots hidden behind rocks and or driftwood). Hope that helps a bit. Don't forget to give us your tank specs. Good luck.

stu
Who is John Galt?

Post Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:14 pm
chefb_5 Level 5 Member
Level 5 Member

Posts: 382
Location: Princeton
I have 1 oscar and 2 catfish and 1 pleco

Post Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:24 pm
nkambae User avatar
Level 7 Member
Level 7 Member

Posts: 943
Location: Brooklyn Park
Please list all your specifications: tank size, what kind of filtration, temp, frequency and size of water changes, substrate type or bare bottom, water hardness, lighting type and duration, and whatever information you can think of to help illuminate the situation. When asking for advice, it helps those being asked to have as much information as possible. Good luck.

stu
Who is John Galt?

Post Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:36 pm
chefb_5 Level 5 Member
Level 5 Member

Posts: 382
Location: Princeton
i have 2" gravel, temp at 78 Empire 400 with 2 bio-wheels, normal light a small powerhead larger size rocks for fish to hide under.

Post Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:54 pm
nkambae User avatar
Level 7 Member
Level 7 Member

Posts: 943
Location: Brooklyn Park
Now we are getting somewhere. Just one more question, what size is the tank?
Who is John Galt?

Post Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:56 pm
nkambae User avatar
Level 7 Member
Level 7 Member

Posts: 943
Location: Brooklyn Park
Oscars are pretty messy eaters and can put a significant load on a bio filters. Catfish can do the same depending on the type. Also, a common pleco will get quite large and excrete a copious amount of waste. Oscars can be susceptible to HITH when forced to live in a tank with high dissolved organics. I would recommend a weekly thorough vacuuming of the gravel (most of your biofiltration will be done in your Emperor bio wheels) concurrent with a 50% weekly water change.

Get a Python type water changing hose. You should be able to do a water change and maintenance on a 55-75 gallon in 30 minutes or so. Hope this helps and good luck.

stu
Who is John Galt?

Post Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:55 pm
mattman User avatar
Level 4 Member
Level 4 Member

Posts: 109
Location: Mounds View, MN
Just my two cents, I strongly suggest a python hose system, cuts water change time in half.

If you like gravel keep it, but I find white play sand sold at menards is less work. The debris of the tank just sits on top of the sand.

Hope you don't get too overwhelmed with all the options out there.

Post Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:51 am
vllx User avatar
Level 4 Member
Level 4 Member

Posts: 113
Location: Brooklyn Center
imo: if the gravel smells that bad an undergravel filter won't help, it just pulls the waste down so bigger debris doesn't flow around the tank but its still sitting at the bottom and smelling up the gravel and tank. plus i remember when i used to use it, after id take down a tank and lift up the UG plates, theres ton of fish poop that got pulled down under the plate which i wasn't able to suction out with water changes.
the suggestion with sand may not be a bad idea because with bigger fish such as yours, the waste particles are much bigger so they won't go into the sand, instead will all get push to one side or another in the tank base which your water circulation which makes it easy to suction out with water changes, but you'd have to be careful not to suck out your sand, or at least too much of it.

if the routine water changes doesn't help with the smell, and you are already doing regular water changes, id suggest sucking out 25-40% of your tank water (get the water near the surface of tank, which would be the cleanest) and place it aside and empty the tank, wash the gravel and start over. then reuse the old water you took out and fill the rest of tank with new water. bacteria from your filter + the 30% old water will be enough.
may also want to check your filter cartridge and see if they need to be replace, and or consider new carbon as well.

Post Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:05 pm
Vashjir User avatar
Level 9 Member
Level 9 Member

Posts: 1802
Location: Richfield MN
The reason why you can have a deeper gravel bed with an undergravel filter is that the gravel has oxygen exchange all the way through. Gravel that doesn't get enough oxygen can host sulfur and methane producing anaerobic bacteria. Needless to say, these gasses stink, and stink bad.
Phil

MAS Promotions Chair
Bowl Show Chair
Board Member
phil.s.marlow@gmail.com

Post Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:28 pm
nkambae User avatar
Level 7 Member
Level 7 Member

Posts: 943
Location: Brooklyn Park
Vashjir wrote:
The reason why you can have a deeper gravel bed with an undergravel filter is that the gravel has oxygen exchange all the way through. Gravel that doesn't get enough oxygen can host sulfur and methane producing anaerobic bacteria. Needless to say, these gasses stink, and stink bad.


+1 what he said. Even in a tank with an undergravel filter the substrate will start smelling foul if it is not vacuumed thoroughly and or frequently enough. Anaerobic pockets can also develop under rocks and other decorations where water flow is cut off. Water changes and proper filter maintenance are key components to healthy aquariums. Good luck.

stu
Who is John Galt?

Post Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:57 am
Petah19 User avatar
Level 4 Member
Level 4 Member

Posts: 190
Location: Little canada
Buy a filter that's double the tank and build a sump and add sponge filter:]
Redder better:]


Return to Other Fish