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Advice On Tank Cleaning?


Guest danxxx

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Guest danxxx

Hello, I'm really new to fishkeeping; having to learn a lot real fast. My tank is new (running just 6 days now with 1 fish). I know that once my tank has cycled, I'll need to clean my tank once a week: 'vacuum' the gravel (with syphon), rinse filter sponge in tank H20, change 25/30% of water, etc tec. But what do I do during the cycling period itsef? I've been changing a small amount of H20 daily to keep ammonia & nitrites down, but when the new tank is cycling should I clean the gravel and rinse the filter sponge? Cause I know the good bacteria grow in the sponge and gravel. Would cleaning them not slow the growth of good bacteria? I don't want to bother the fish either if I can avoid it, cause she's new, a bit stressed and having mild swim bladder trouble/constipation due to this. Having said that, I would clean the gravel if not cleaning it meant dangerously too much waste would build up. I know what to do once the tank's cycled, but what to do while it's cycling? Does anyone have any advice? Thanks! :newfish

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  • Regular Member

For now I would just gently take the visible waste out from the top layers of the gravel, with your python. That should do it for now. Or only small parts of the gravel, say 25 % of the gravel once a week. That way you don't disturb the building bacteria not too much, but at the same time make sure that there isn't any foul bacteria lingering in the gravel.

If you do it the right way, no waste will escape while syphoning. Stick the syphon straight down into the gravel, and once the suction starts, just gently go up and down with the python, not side ways, and not out of the gravel, just an inch or so up and down. That way the waste left and right of the python doesn't escape from the gravel, and you won't have cloudy water afterwards from free floating waste.

Once the python bell is clear of debris (takes only a few seconds), take it straight out again and start the whole process next to the spot that you just cleaned. Thats the most effective and clean way of gravel cleaning... :)

And just as Golden Ryu said, no major cleaning of the filter sponges, and if you see a big amount of uneaten food on it that clogs the sponge and therefore the filter, just wash the sponge gently in a bucket full of tank water, not tap water. Tap water and the chlorine thats in it will kill all the bacteria that you are trying so hard to grow. A sponge filter is supposed to look a little iffy - a too clean sponge filter isn't good.

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I agree, while it's cycling, don't rinse your sponge out and only do the gravel lightly if you see alot of waste. While mine was cycling, I only changed some water out as I agree with you that too much cleaning would probably slow your cycle down. Best of luck with everything. It sounds like you've got it down! :D

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Guest danxxx

Hi y'all; thanks for the help. I'll do just what you all said. I do seem to be learning a whole lot real fast, but I am already having a bit of a problem. Does anyone have any ideas about mild swim bladder trouble/constipation? I've posted about this on the diseases discussion, but why not ask here too I guess. From what I've been told I'm pretty sure that's what's wrong (sitting nose down at bottom/resting nose up at top most of the time; swimming pretty well when she does so, but a wee bit wonky; long stringly poo-some dark & healthy-coloured, but some pale; and she maybe a bit bloated, but I don't know-she's new and I reckoned she was fat). I've been keeping the water quality really good, fasting her for 3 days then going to feed peas, and have added salt 1 teaspoon per gallon. Does anyone have any other advice or info? Thanks! This messageboard is great, huh?

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