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Tank and Filter maintenance


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  • Regular Member

Hi All,

I'm slowly figuring out a maintenance schedule for my tank and filters.

Tank: 53 gallons

Filters: external Cannister Eheim 2215 with outlet wand and Internal Eheim 2012 with air diffuser

Fish: 2 - 1 Shubunkin 5 cm and 1 Sarasa Comet 4 cm (without tail)

Decoration: Artificial plants - combo of plastic and silk (will exchange plastic with all silk as soon as I can) and one piece of Driftwood and larger river rocks

Gravel: black gravel with small pebbles

Parameters: Ammonia 0 - Nitrite 0 - Nitrate 0 - Ph 7.8 / 8.0

The new tank was set up on 29 October and ran without fish for about 4 weeks, used Seachem Stability and cycle kicked in within a week. Patches went in the week after and was joined by Misty 3 weeks later.

Re Cycle I have had Ammonia 0 readings now for over 5 weeks so I'm thinking the tank is cycled. BUT I have never had Nitrite or Nitrate readings - always been 0. Can that be right or is it an indication that the tank is still going through cycling?

Currently once a week I take out the driftwood and bigger pieces of river rock and plants. I rinse these thoroughly under the tap (as hot as I can stand). Vacuum the gravel thoroughly, scrub glass (I have brown algae growing) and change approx 50% of the water.

I haven't yet touched the filters because I'm not sure how stable my cycle is. When should I start including the filters in my maintenance schedule? And I'm assuming I alternate cleaning the internal and external filter?

The whole process takes me about 1.5 hours. I'm really hoping to cut down on this - I'm putting an Aqueon water changer on my birthday list :-)

Is there anything I can do to improve on above?

Sorry for the long post,

Isabella.

Edited by Isabella
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  • Regular Member

Hi. I have no experience with Seachem cycle product. I'm sure someone else will have and will comment. It seems unusual to have never seen any smidges of any nitrites or nitrates. i think the appearance of nitrates in an unplanted tank is the most reliable test of a cycled tank :hummm

Sounds like your fish are fine though! :D Which is the main thing!

I would keep checking all params for some time to know what is what.

I think you have two spray bars with those filters (I have used both). Are they placed on either opposite tank ends? That gives max circulation of filtration :) Good filters. Over time you will need to bleach out the green hose as they can get filled with gunk and quite stubborn 'algae' growth IME. Yes always alternate filter cleaning and never over clean the biomedia...always with old tank water temperature matched too as bbs are esp sensitive to sudden cold temps.....what kind of bio media do you have in there :)?

You said you are washing the driftwood with hot water? That will kill any beneficial bacteria on those. That is fine if you have a strong cycle, but again..not sure on that yet.

You say you have brown oxides? That suggests a tentative cycle start to me...confusing really. I would wipe those off as soon as they appear and make sure the tank gets some bright light for a short time every day to encourage a small area of green algae. That can be controlled too...with a little skill....to a small area where you want to have it. It can be invaluable as a food source, redox balancer and general fish health aid.

How does your pH hold? Same from tap? Have you tried testing a few days apart without water change to see how it holds?

:) Just a few thoughts.

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Thanks for response Trinket! Your comment re Nitrate confirms my suspicion that I'm in the very early stages of cycling, possibly only held up by Stability at this point (seeing that I have 0 Ammonia for weeks now). I use Stability with every water change.

I'm checking Ammonia daily, Ph 3-4 times a week and once a week Nitrites and Nitrates.

PH is fairly constant 7.8 mostly, sometimes it goes up to 8.0. I've only checked the tap's ph twice since we got the small tank (July 2011) - 7.8 and 8.0. I'll re-check a couple of days apart as per your suggestion.

I'm cleaning gravel, wood, rocks and plants the way I do, because I'm a bit paranoid about growing bad bacteria, and with an empty tank I can deep clean the gravel. I can change the rinsing of decorations and deep clean of gravel to once every two weeks??

The filters are placed on opposite sides of the tank. The canister's wand is placed above the water surface and creates a fair amount of bubbles. The diffuser of the internal filter is directed to the surface. A small amount of bubbles, but good agitation of the water surface. I'll check if the internal filter came with a wand.

The tank is approx 1.5 meter away from a window looking out on the patio. It doesn't get direct sunlight. I switch on the lights at approx. 6pm (I go to bed late). I'll take some close ups of the set up and the relation to the window.

I've got sponge, filter pads, carbon filter and ceramic noodles in the canister and only a sponge in the internal filter. Been meaning to get more noodles, but haven't had a chance to go to the LFS yet - hopefully this weekend. I just read the Eheim instruction booklet and it says to take the carbon filter out after two weeks - yikes. I'll have to do that straight away because it's been 5-6 weeks that the filters have been running. I hope nothing bad is leaking back into the tank :-(

Again thanks for taking the time to respond - much appreciate it.

Cheers,

Isabella.

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Hi,

I took some close ups of -

canister filter spray bar

canister filter intake with brown algae

internal filter with diffuser and also an

overview photo of tank.

I tested the tap ph and got a bit of a shock - 8.4 that is the highest it is ever been. Tested the tank water and that was still 7.8. is a .6 fluctuation in Ph acceptable? Although with a 50% water change it would fluctuate .3. Is that okay for goldfish?

Here are the photos:

IMG_3825.jpg

IMG_3822.jpg

_MG_3878.jpg

IMG_3587-1.jpg

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