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Old 07-11-2013, 07:24 PM   #1 
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loveDelphine21's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Harrison, OH
How do you guys clean your tank?

I'm just curious what everyone thinks is the best way to clean a non-planted tank. I have a 16 gallon divided, and two 5 gallons, and I feel like I'm not cleaning it right. I have a siphon and two five gallon buckets that I use to take most of the water out with, but I feel like I cant get to stuff stuck in the stones.
Also, for people who have ghost shrimp or cory cats, do you take them out when you clean or leave them in?

Also, do you guys take your bettas out to do a water change or leave them in? And do you turn off your heaters while doing this?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:02 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: MD
Why don't you just move the stones around so you can get to the debris? And then just move them back to the original place once you're done with the cleaning. (: I have shrimp and cory cats, they all stay in the tank. I sucked up a cory cat once. >.> But he's still healthy. Just try not to suck them up. lol

I always leave the fish and inverts in, healthy ones are usually hardy enough to withstand a temperature change of +/- 2F and new, clean water. I turn my filter and heater off, just so they can take a little break.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:19 PM   #3 
Join Date: Jul 2010
For my 5 gallons and up I use a siphon vacuum, my smaller tanks have bare bottoms so I use a turkey baster or do 100% water changes. I leave the fish in the 5 gallon and larger tanks but I take out the fish in smaller tanks because I kind of have to when doing 100% water changes

also you should turn off heaters anytime they are out of water or if the water level drops below the top of the heater. Turn the filter off too, since part of cleaning the tank involves removing and cleaning the filter media.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:31 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Australia
My 3 boys are in 30L (7-8 gallon) tanks each and I clean them with a gravel vac,draining the water into a bucket.I find the gravel vac works very well with the cleaning of the gravel,make sure you have good suction going & you just push it into the gravel & it gets right to the bottom taking debris out & then the gravel just falls back down.I turn the heater & filter off & put them both back on as soon as the fresh conditioned water is added and back up to the right level.I leave my little boys in the tank during cleaning & just move slowly around them.They always find wc day to be interesting.
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:54 PM   #5 
Join Date: Jun 2013
If you don't want to buy new heaters everytime you clean, turn them off. The heaters should have a line on them for minimum water depth. If the water level goes below that and the heater turns on the glass enclosure may break because of the lack of water which is a heat sink as well as life giving environment for fish.

The cleanup of the tank for shattered glass is not fun as well as the possibility of electrocuting inhabitants and owner if the power is not cut off.

The MFRs all caution about this in the instructions that come with the heater.

Also, a Aqueon (or equivalent) water cleaner attached to the nearest faucet is EXTREMELY helpful, it does away w/ the bucket. My early attempts were disasters, but when I learned how to use it, it is a BIG help/

Last edited by FirstBetta; 07-12-2013 at 01:59 PM. Reason: addition
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cleaning, cory cat, ghost shrimp

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