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Old 08-19-2012, 12:23 PM   #1 
NeptunesMom
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Cleaning A Tank

I'm wondering what the best way to clean a tank is. I have a 1 gallon that I clean once a week. I take Neptune (my betta), and Charlie (my snail) out and put them in plastic cups with a pint of their old water. I take out the decorations and wash them in warm water. I take out the live plants and wash them, and those that Charlie has destroyed I throw away. I have a gravel vacuum that I use and I take out between 1-3 gallons. I also have a scrubbing brush that I use to clean that sides of the aquarium. About once a month I take out the rocks and wash them.

But no matter what I do the tank is still dirty. There is still tons of poop floating in the water, and it's murky. Last night I did an almost full water change (I know I'm not supposed to, but I did a 50% change and the tank still smelled awful and was still dirty so I just took it all out). I reused about 5% of the water that was still in there, and then the two pints of water that were in with Charlie and Neptune. The water still looked dirty (lots of things floating in it), but didn't smell so I let it be. Today, the water is extremely cloudy. I don't see things floating in it, but its cloudy.

What am I doing wrong?
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:43 PM   #2 
shellieca
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When I had my Bettas in 1g containers I would remove the Betta, remove the deco's & few plants. Use cool water rinse the deco's & plants. I would dump the gravel into a small strainer & run cool water over them until I didn't see solids coming through the strainer any more. I'd rinse the container with warm water & then dry with paper towels. Water ONLY no soaps. Put it all back together & put the Betta back in. Having a snail & a Betta is too much for a 1g IMO. I don't know what kind of snail you have but if it's an Apple (mystery) snail they say they need 2.5g per snail. You should be doing a 100% water change weekly with that small of a volume of water.

Last edited by shellieca; 08-19-2012 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:43 PM   #3 
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Actually, you should be doing a 100% water change. However, all that poop is probably from the snail! I think they're pretty messy guys, although I've never kept one.

Otherwise, it seems like your cleaning routine is fine. You wash and scrub everything, so i'm going to guess the culprit is the snail.
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:09 PM   #4 
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Do you have a filter and what kind of live plants.....can you post a pic....

The smell- can you describe that.....how deep is the gravel, what kind of additive used, how much do you feed and do you have a lot of leftover food and what/how do you feed the snail...
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:17 PM   #5 
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Did you mean 10 gallon, not 1? You said you take out 1-3 gallons, so I'm assuming "1 gallon" was a typo.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:50 PM   #6 
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Yes, sorry it's 10 gallons.

I have 2 Mondo grass at all times (although I try to keep 3), a moss ball, and I added an Anacharis today.

The gravel is about 1/2"-1" deep depending on the spot.

I don't have a filter. I work at PetSmart and have heard some filter horror stories and I'm just a little chicken. I do need to get over it and add the filter though.

Charlie the Snail I don't feed. He eats the live plants anyway (I just keep replacing them), so I gave up trying to feed him. Neptune I feed 2-3 pellets in the morning and 2-3 pellets at night. He normally eats most of what I put feed him.

I use Top Fin Betta Water Conditioner. I follow the directions for the amount to add to each gallon.

It doesn't smell any different than fish usually smell. It just smells strong. It's like a lake is in my room. You can smell it from outside the door.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:10 PM   #7 
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Snails are reallly messy, and they create a lot of ammonia. Personally I would clean everything, and experiment with what your water params look like with and without the snail to see how much of an impact he is having on your little ecosystem!
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:49 PM   #8 
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Mondo grass non aquatic? That could be causing some problems too.

A filter will definitely help, because a 10 gallon is much easier to cycle than to completely clean.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:44 PM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jupiter View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Mondo grass non aquatic? That could be causing some problems too.
You are in fact correct. I had never even checked if it was aquatic or not. I just assumed it was since we well it as an aquatic plant. After you posted that I did some research. I will let my snail finish off the grass in there, and then I guess I will try something different.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:52 PM   #10 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeptunesMom View Post
Yes, sorry it's 10 gallons.

I have 2 Mondo grass at all times (although I try to keep 3), a moss ball, and I added an Anacharis today.

The gravel is about 1/2"-1" deep depending on the spot.

I don't have a filter. I work at PetSmart and have heard some filter horror stories and I'm just a little chicken. I do need to get over it and add the filter though.

Charlie the Snail I don't feed. He eats the live plants anyway (I just keep replacing them), so I gave up trying to feed him. Neptune I feed 2-3 pellets in the morning and 2-3 pellets at night. He normally eats most of what I put feed him.

I use Top Fin Betta Water Conditioner. I follow the directions for the amount to add to each gallon.

It doesn't smell any different than fish usually smell. It just smells strong. It's like a lake is in my room. You can smell it from outside the door.
Ahhh, 10g makes more sense. I have 2 10g tanks with 1 Betta & 1 Mystery snail in each. Both tanks are in the same room & the only time I smell anything is during a water change & that's not very strong. I use a syphon vac once a week on each & I change 50% of the water without removing anyone. Both are filtered & the only thing I've done to the filters is a DIY outflow baffle. With the gravel you have to really push the vac down into the gravel where it actually gets the crud underneath. I didn't realize this the 1st couple of months & then my water got cloudy, did some research & found I wasn't vacuuming well enough. The water I remove from the tank looks black because of all the crud. I might also add both tanks are the Top Fin starter kits & I just bought a 3rd currently being used for QT for the 2 new females I also bought at Petsmart. None of my snails destroy my plants but I drop algae wafers some days & feed them veggies on others. Replacing plants all the time would be too expensive for me.

Last edited by shellieca; 08-19-2012 at 08:55 PM.
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