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Old 02-19-2013, 12:09 PM   #1 
osromatra
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Did something stupid!

I was going to rinse my old filter (have two in, the old one, plus the new one) and in the process from moving it to rinse, I dropped it in my tank! It immediately made all sorts of stinky gunk disperse from it, plus old debris. I immediately did a WC, as much as I could do, about 60%. We are still trying to get a working siphon, our python one came broke, and we've been arguing with the company to replace it. Anyway, doing the bucket method, I removed about 60% of the water, replaced with same temp conditioned water, then I spot siphoned with a turkey baster any obvious debris. It still smells bad though, like... veggies that are kind of rotting. I added an extra bit of prime, in addition to the Stress Coat I used to condition the water, plus a little extra of the API QuickStart, thinking maybe the extra bacteria might help offset the changes, at least a little. Of course, that stuff may be a placebo for all I know.

I am letting the tank settle for 30 minutes, then checking the water. I fed the mollies a crumbled algae wafer, as they seemed most stressed, but didn't feed my betta, as he has plenty of molly fry to eat. He didn't looked stressed at all and went back to his exercise routine of swimming between plants. Then I turned off the lights.

What else?
---
Housing
What size is your tank?20G high
What temperature is your tank? 79*
Does your tank have a filter? -yes, Marineland Penguin 150 with 2 filter cartridges currently, the old, and the new.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?- Yes, a bubble wand. Should I turn it up or off? Right now, it's lowest setting.
Is your tank heated?-Yes, stable at 79*
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?- Tank residents are 1 male betta, 3 mollies (1 male, 2 female), 1 platy, and 1 or 2 kuhli loaches.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?---NLS 2-3 pellets once a day, plus he has nematodes and plentiful molly/platy fry that he eats. I give him an eyeball sized chunk of frozen blood worms on Friday (didn't this week as he'd eaten so many fry), then fast on Saturday. The mollies and platy I alternate: 2 days they get 1 pinch of Aqueon Tropical flakes, the next they get a crumbled algae wafer.
How often do you feed your betta fish?---see above

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?-weekly, a 25-30% every Sunday.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?---usually 25-30%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?-I alternate with Stress Coat and Seachem Prime.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

---I test them every 1-2 days and since early January, it's always been 0 across the board except nitrates which never get above 10. pH is usually 7.4-7.6

I am about to test it again here in a few minutes.
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?---The betta doesn't look stressed at all, I just want to keep it that way. The others were jittery, but tehy get that way during water changes
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?---see above
When did you start noticing the symptoms?---no symptoms yet, just want to do what I can to fix my mistake
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?---see above. I did a 60% WC and spot-siphon with a baster of debris, with temp-correct, Stress Coat conditioned water, plus an extra drop of Prime and a dose of API Quick Start, then turned off the lights.
Does your fish have any history of being ill?--He does currently have some healing nips. There is one molly who has pestered him. I removed them last week, then returned them and since then, it's been diminished, but she does still occasionally peck his tail. They all heal up within 24 hours though.
How old is your fish (approximately)? ---average age for a fish-store betta, he wasnt a baby when we got him, but he has grown some since December, when we got him.

Thanks! I feel like such a moron!!!
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:12 PM   #2 
Jexx
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I think they will be ok. just let it settle, maybe test the water in a bit? I did that once before and everyone was fine. as long as you got the gunk with the turkey baster, they'll be ok!
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:18 PM   #3 
sarahspins
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This really isn't a problem... you will have gunk on the bottom of your tank but it's really not harmful to your fish. Most of it is simply aesthetic.
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:26 PM   #4 
AyalaCookiejar
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If you have any extra tubing, you can probably try to use that as a siphon. At least you dropped it in the tank water and not unconditioned tap water, ha. If there is a lot of debris its hard to siphon it all out. My brother never siphons his tank even though he has one and his tank gets very gross when I change the water and I can never siphon all the debris out, plus he has loaches that burrow into the gravel so I can't press the siphon into the gravel because I could possibly cut his fish in half. They've lived five years in that crud.

The debris will settle. If you get a smaller siphon, it will siphon slower making it easier to get all the gravel siphoned. I have two mini siphons from earl may that were like $6 and they're great for getting out debris because they don't suck the water out too fast. You will likely need to get a siphon and do a series of changes, but it won't likely hurt them. As long as you don't kill off the BB in the filter media, you shouldn't have ammonia spikes if your tank is cycled. It will just look dirty when you do water changes but it does settle.

I've also used a net after stirring up the gravel in my brothers tank to get the large debris out. It's still dirty, but it looks better. IMO you shouldn't break down the tank to clean it up because you might hurt the cycle. (Although I am trying to convince my brother to change his substrate completely, but the debris in his tank have built up over the course of five years and some of it was caused by dead and decaying fish.)
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:31 PM   #5 
osromatra
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I was just concerned because it stinks.
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:37 PM   #6 
osromatra
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update: Everything is 0, across the board, and no one appears stressed. It still smells though. I will keep my eyes peeled for spikes though.

So, should I keep the old filter in there a bit longer? I was preparing to get another tank and using it to help cycle it?
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:46 PM   #7 
AyalaCookiejar
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Have you had the two filters together for at least a month?

The smell is probably from decaying debris, but as long as the tank is cycled and you have 0 ammonia, it shouldn't be a problem. Getting a siphon should help as well as a series of water changes. Fish tanks aren't necessarily supposed to smell great, anyways :p
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:52 PM   #8 
osromatra
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Well, it actually is looking clearer than ever for some reason! Maybe I did a better job with the baster than I thought!

Yes, the filters, I piggy-backed them, the old one was from last month, the new one is about 3 weeks old.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:52 PM   #9 
AyalaCookiejar
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I would leave the new one in with the old one for another week. You can use the old filter media to seed a new tank, but leave it in the current tank in the filter until you have the new tank set up with the filter and heater running and the water conditioned so you don't kill the BB.
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