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Old 05-28-2012, 12:23 PM   #1 
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MorningGlory's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Minneesohta
Exclamation Semi-Emergency!!! Need Filter Setup Guide for Fish-Sitting

Hey everyone,

So I am going home for the summer (college) and a friend has kindly agreed to watch over my fish so he doesn't have to deal with the stress of travel. He is also watching over another tank. However, it has a filter, and the fish (1 betta and 4 tetras) are currently in a plastic tub from the move to my friend's room. I have zero experience with filters, and neither does my friend. I vaguely remember reading that tetras need filters, so we don't want them to go too long without being in a filtered tank, but I also recommended waiting to know how to set it up because, well, filters sound complicated and scary and what if something goes wrong and there could be CONSEQUENCES and blah blah blah. Sadly, the owner of the fish did not explain the tank care very well.

We would do the research on our own, but I have two hours to finish packing before I hit the road, and he has class, so I wanted to set up a forum post for him to read when I am gone. So if you guys could help, that would be wonderful!

Tank description and photos:

Looks like a five gallon. The plants are fake. It has a light (couldn't find a brand or model name on it) and a TetraO PF 10 filter.


Picture of the filter, in case I did not provide enough info and it is recognizable.

Basic tank setup. I would say about 5 or 5.5 gallons, since it looks nearly identical to mine in size.

So... can you wonderful people help a caring fish-sitter out? What does he need to do to prepare the tank to transfer the fish back in? Is it as simple as conditioning the water, plugging in the filter, and doing the whole slowly-adjusting-the-fish-to-the-new-water thing? Or is there more?

Thanks in advance! And again, apologies if this is lacking in information, or if this is a repetitive post, or if this is an easily answered question. I just truly do not have the time to do the reading and this is me in the face of what needs to be packed and gone by 2 pm central time.

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Old 05-28-2012, 12:55 PM   #2 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Let's see... I'm guessing this is a power filter, canister filter, or hang on the back filter ( I'm no filter expert but these are [i think] similar or the same). Not a wet/dry filter. If it is, fill the tank up a few inches from the top, fill the filter with water until it overflows. Then fill the tank up the rest of the way and plug in the filter. If it makes a grinding noise there isnt enough water in the filter. If you can't fill the filter with water then fill the tank up and turn the filter on. If the
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:56 PM   #3 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Just saw the pics. Sorry bout that. It's a power filter. And sorry for the random "if the" just ignore that.
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:13 PM   #4 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Shangdong, China
I would think the only thing that he needs to worry about is the filter is going to cycle the tank and that means he needs to keep an eye on ammonia, nitrIte and nitrAte levels. You can buy liquid test kits - not the strip tests - to monitor the levels. Somewhere on nhere there is a sticky about the nitrogen cycle.

I would suggest a small gravel vaccume - it makes water changes easy and cleans the gravel as well
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