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I Don't Think I Can Do This Anymore...


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Oh, and another thing that's worth mentioning? Get yourself a water changer/Python! I assure you, it is the one piece of equipment that will totally change your life. I don't know how I ever lived without mine. This is what I have:

http://www.amazon.com/Aqueon-Aquarium-Water-Changer-Feet/dp/B000YAJKL6/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1403432361&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=water+changer

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Any substrate can develop anaerobic pockets , I'd actually say that deep sand has more chance of doing this than deep gravel because it can get compacted and not allow a lot of water flow through it whereas gravel has more spaces between it to allow some flow.

But, a thin layer of sand is a great idea. The key with substrate, unless you have a heavily planted tank and depth is needed for the root system , is to keep it thin. You don't want several inches of sand or gravel. You want just enough to cover the tank bottom, so 1/4-1/2 an inch is typically plenty.

Sand can get 'dirty' too, the fish sift through it and in the process can bury debris, but in general because it compacts better than gravel, most debris will sit on top where you can skim the surface and vacuum it up.

The amount of debris you found when cleaning is exactly what I was worried about and why I suggested moving Rubio ;) if you decide to remove the gravel, I would definitely remove Rubio. You'll also want to keep an eye on your cycle since removing substrate can cause a small bump sometimes

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Any substrate can develop anaerobic pockets , I'd actually say that deep sand has more chance of doing this than deep gravel because it can get compacted and not allow a lot of water flow through it whereas gravel has more spaces between it to allow some flow.

But, a thin layer of sand is a great idea. The key with substrate, unless you have a heavily planted tank and depth is needed for the root system , is to keep it thin. You don't want several inches of sand or gravel. You want just enough to cover the tank bottom, so 1/4-1/2 an inch is typically plenty.

Sand can get 'dirty' too, the fish sift through it and in the process can bury debris, but in general because it compacts better than gravel, most debris will sit on top where you can skim the surface and vacuum it up.

The amount of debris you found when cleaning is exactly what I was worried about and why I suggested moving Rubio ;) if you decide to remove the gravel, I would definitely remove Rubio. You'll also want to keep an eye on your cycle since removing substrate can cause a small bump sometimes

Wise words.

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Oh, and another thing that's worth mentioning? Get yourself a water changer/Python! I assure you, it is the one piece of equipment that will totally change your life. I don't know how I ever lived without mine. This is what I have:

http://www.amazon.com/Aqueon-Aquarium-Water-Changer-Feet/dp/B000YAJKL6/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1403432361&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=water+changer

^this

best thing I ever bought :)

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Yup, as Tammy mentioned, I just used play sand. It was 50 lbs for I believe $4.99?

I sifted out the larger pebbles with a metal strainer and it took work to rinse but that was my choice to use the play sand as I liked the colour and particles. It took hours and I was pretty grumpy by the end of it, so I wouldn't suggest play sand if you don't want to worry with sifting and larger pebbles in it.

They also sell more uniform pool filter sand, also cheap, just rinse and add! :D

Petco/Petsmart carries CaribSea sands...they're beautiful.

I used Jolly Gardener Golden Play Sand. :)

sGGVeLg.jpg

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Everyone here has said all I wanted to say. I would just like to add one more thing:

Ventilate the area when you remove the gravel. It's going to really stink. A portion of that gunk is likely to have been rotting in there for a long time, and I swear that it is one of the worst aquarium-related smells you will ever smell. :thumbdown

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As promised, I took a little video of me siphoning the sand. I did use a larger siphon in the past and it cleaned just as well but I like that I can fit the little one in between my plants. :)

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Everyone here has said all I wanted to say. I would just like to add one more thing:

Ventilate the area when you remove the gravel. It's going to really stink. A portion of that gunk is likely to have been rotting in there for a long time, and I swear that it is one of the worst aquarium-related smells you will ever smell. :thumbdown

Oh ChelseaM is right about that! I thought I was doing a good job cleaning my gravel. When I upgraded tanks I took all the gravel out of my old tank and was disgusted at how nasty it was. No way was that junk going in my new tank. Here is a suggestion for you... and I will post a pic of my tank in just a bit... get yourself some glass pie pans and some glass dessert cups and fill them with sand and put your plants in those. They are very nice looking. It keeps most of the sand contained. That is what I did. The rest of my tank is bare bottom. I have three Aqueon 55/75 filters on my 125 gallon tank. They flow 400 gph so they have good suction. With the power of their suction and the fish swimming around the bottom which kicks up any poop or whatever into the filters, I no longer have to vacuum the bottom of my tank at all. Water in, water out. Done. So easy. I know you said you dont really like bare bottom but imagine never having to clean the bottom again!!!

IMAG0054.jpg

IMAG1750.jpg

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Also just out of curiosity where are you located? I do have a 75 gallon tank and stand I would be willing to trade you if we are nearby. I think it would be less tall than your current set up, which could make cleaning easier for you?

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Wow -- thank you ALL so much for your replies, input and effort in helping me through this...I am tied up with personal stuff at the moment so can't get back with specific answers right now, but I will take the time to read through your comments again in length at some point today...just a couple for now:

1. Tithra -- Yes, you were the one who advised me in the other thread to remove Rubio; my apologies for not remembering who it was exactly in the midst of my frustration after the gravel cleaning...but I think Rubio is okay for now since the change, as I got the clean, fresh water in as fast as possible and it has cleared up already. I just fed him breakfast and he ate fine...

2. Diesel -- Thank you for the offer; unfortunately I'm not anwhere near Michigan but I appreciate the kind gesture!

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I don't like sand. Only used it once for a shrimp tank and it just looked to messy all the time. I like the thin layer of gravel or river rocks. I have river rocks at the moment in the goldfish tank and a thin layer of gravel in my oscar tank. Both are easy to care for and look great. IMO

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As for Ornaments... I find them a big PITA... and I think that could have caused your problem :(

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/page/index.html/_/water-quality-articles/hollow-ornaments-r309

Koko,

These are the EXACT kinds of decorations I have had in the tank, and still do....the bridge piece that's in there now plus the Asian gazebo and other pieces in the past such as ships, etc...

Perhaps this was the problem after all...

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I would like to comment that I dont agree with the opening comment of the article that "the only ornaments that should be in a tank are solid ones. I have a couple of large ornaments that are hollow, but are not closed up. Water can easily pass through them. My fish can pass through them as well, which does present another problem, if they get stuck. If you scroll up a few posts to my pictures, you will see on the far right, a chunk of fake wood. It is hollow. Water can easily pass through on the bottom, sides, and the top. Ill post another one below, where even large fish can swim through the pot and the fake log.

IMAG0861.jpg

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I would like to comment that I dont agree with the opening comment of the article that "the only ornaments that should be in a tank are solid ones. I have a couple of large ornaments that are hollow, but are not closed up. Water can easily pass through them. My fish can pass through them as well, which does present another problem, if they get stuck. If you scroll up a few posts to my pictures, you will see on the far right, a chunk of fake wood. It is hollow. Water can easily pass through on the bottom, sides, and the top. Ill post another one below, where even large fish can swim through the pot and the fake log.

IMAG0861.jpg

Thanks D...

So are you saying hollow ornaments are OKAY?

I think what koko was getting at more were these hollow ornaments such as bridges, coral reefs, ships, etc. that are a bit unlike the tree stump pieces and such that you have...

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I do believe that there is a differentiation between regular "hollow" ornaments, and "open hollow" ornaments, such as your big pot. I try to avoid having too many ornaments in the tank just because waste will still gather around them. These are messy creatures, and the more stuff you have in there, the more work it will be to clean.

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'Natural' is a wonderful, easy theme. ;)

You know something, Chelsea....contrary to what my wife keeps saying regarding how she HATES a natural theme, I think this would be the best way to go...I love all the bridges, ships, caves, chests, etc. but they are creating pockets of toxic hazards, I think, being that I'm not cleaning 'em out correctly...

The problem with starting over and doing a "natural" theme is that I have NO idea where to start with this tank...it's so tall and requires very tall plants (some of which I have already in red and green) to look "filled up" and I just don't know how to aquascape it...

Then, if I end up getting fake tree logs or something like that as a centerpiece, wouldn't THESE also trap the bacterial pockets, leading me right back to where I started? :madrant:mad::no::ill

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'Natural' is a wonderful, easy theme. ;)

You know something, Chelsea....contrary to what my wife keeps saying regarding how she HATES a natural theme, I think this would be the best way to go...I love all the bridges, ships, caves, chests, etc. but they are creating pockets of toxic hazards, I think, being that I'm not cleaning 'em out correctly...

The problem with starting over and doing a "natural" theme is that I have NO idea where to start with this tank...it's so tall and requires very tall plants (some of which I have already in red and green) to look "filled up" and I just don't know how to aquascape it...

Then, if I end up getting fake tree logs or something like that as a centerpiece, wouldn't THESE also trap the bacterial pockets, leading me right back to where I started? :madrant:mad::no::ill

You could look into driftwood. Many people here have driftwood in their tanks (myself included), often with anubias or java fern attached. Since it's a natural product a wide variety of shapes and sizes are available.

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Here's another thought I had, and someone please let me know if this sounds completely crazy or not...

What if I were to take the decorations I have now such as the Petsmart/Top Fin "stone arch bridge" and the Asian gazebo from Petco, which have holes in the bottom, and somehow sealed these up so the ornament wouldn't really be "hollow" anymore? Would this work in keeping infections from building in there?

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'Natural' is a wonderful, easy theme. ;)

You know something, Chelsea....contrary to what my wife keeps saying regarding how she HATES a natural theme, I think this would be the best way to go...I love all the bridges, ships, caves, chests, etc. but they are creating pockets of toxic hazards, I think, being that I'm not cleaning 'em out correctly...

The problem with starting over and doing a "natural" theme is that I have NO idea where to start with this tank...it's so tall and requires very tall plants (some of which I have already in red and green) to look "filled up" and I just don't know how to aquascape it...

Then, if I end up getting fake tree logs or something like that as a centerpiece, wouldn't THESE also trap the bacterial pockets, leading me right back to where I started? :madrant:mad::no::ill

You could look into driftwood. Many people here have driftwood in their tanks (myself included), often with anubias or java fern attached. Since it's a natural product a wide variety of shapes and sizes are available.

Thanks Bron...

I would do driftwood, but I really wanted to keep the tank with "artificial" décor (even those pieces that are made to LOOK real like the logs, stumps, etc.) and with fake plants...

My wife REALLY wants to do the Roman/Greek ruins theme -- you know with the statues, broken pieces of the ruins and columns, etc...these pieces are SO heavy and expensive though...

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