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Old 03-25-2014, 05:26 PM   #1 
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Black spots on things in tank

I need some help with this. Today I went in to suction out some old food and waste from the gravel and noticed that everything had black spots on them. It looks like someone sprinkled black charcoal on everything. I took all of the ornaments out of the tank, rinsed them off. Took half of the water out and cleaned off the sides of the tank. I also noticed that the charcoal filter was in desperate need of being changed. I think I missed the last change. Could that have caused these black spots?

Even though I cleaned all of the ornaments in the tank, changed the filter, and added new water, I still see that black on the gravel itself. Should I empty the entire tank and replace the gravel?

The tank is 10 gallons. I have a heater in it and a filter. I run the light from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. I've been reading that others change a certain percentage of water each week. I did not realize that I needed to do that.

Please advise. I think I'm taking care of this aquarium all wrong.

Thank you!
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:36 PM   #2 
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Location: East Tennessee
Do you have any snails in there?

My snails leave their little gifts behind that sound very similar to what you've described. :P

The cartridge could be leaking carbon out into the water. You can either change out the cartridge or just take it out altogether and put sponges in there. :) Personally, I prefer the sponges because it's easier to cycle the tank with them and they're so much cheaper. No need for expensive cartridges. :)

In terms of water changes, the easiest thing to do is just to cycle it. You may already be partially there. Cycling sounds complicated and difficult at first, but it really is a very easy process and will often happen whether you monitor it or not. :) It's a basic biological process that occurs because of how aquariums work. :)
It will reduce your water changes immensely and make your life so much easier. :)

There are some stickies on here about cycling, but if you need some basic questions answered feel free to PM me. :) I'm NOT an expert, but I can get you through the basic stuff. :)
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:06 AM   #3 
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What do you mean by "desperate need of being changed"? Changing the filter is exactly a good thing. How often are you changing it?

Ditto on the snails...
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:29 AM   #4 
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No, I have no snails in there. Are those helpful to have? Will the betta be okay with them in the same tank? I know the male bettas like to be alone but maybe that's just with other male bettas.
The water has seemed to clear up a lot so I think changing the filter worked. I think it was leaking carbon back into the tank.
I will read up on "cycling" the tank because I have no idea what that is.
Thanks so much for your help.
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