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Old 06-28-2010, 08:59 PM   #1 
fishfin
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Question How's my tank cleaning process??

How do you rate my tank cleaning?

I have a 20 litre/5 gallon tank.
Itís heated.
Itís filtered.
Small gravel base with live plants and an ornament.
I currently clean it twice a week, even though I have read that once a week is ok. Am I doing any harm by cleaning twice a week?

I remove about 40% off water at each change.
I remove most of the gravel and run it through clean water as it gathers a lot of waste, especially from the plants. Am I removing too much of the good bacteria by doing this?

I clean the glass with a proper cleaning tool made for tanks.

Iím not sure how to go about cleaning the filter though. It has the Ďbio ballsí ( i think thats what they are called)at one end, those black plastic balls at the other end, and a bag with charcoal wrapped with the white fluffy stuff. Iím so bad at remembering the correct names for these parts! Am I meant to take the filter apart at each clean and rinse it in the aquarium water or not? How often do I replace the carbon in the bag?
Iíd love to have some feedback on how Iím doing.
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:24 PM   #2 
fishfin
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Oh and one more question please!

I use rain water, not town water. I have been advised to use the water conditioner which I do. It has also been discussed that you are meant to leave the water overnight to condition in a bucket, but at the same time make sure you the water you add back to the tank is the same temperature as the water already in your tank.

How do you do that when you leave the fresh water out overnight? It won't be the same warm temp.
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:43 PM   #3 
squilky
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Have you cycled your tank? Have you checked the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph of the water? I would guess by cleaning the gravel so frequently, you are slowing the cycling process by killing the beneficial bacteria.

Cleanliness of a tank can be misleading. I've seen cloudy water in tanks, but the fish were happy and crystal clear water where fish ended up sick. What's really important is that there is no ammonia or nitrite in the water, which could harm the fish. Once a tank is cycled, the natural biological filter helps to maintain the water and the tank. I generally only do a 1 gallon change in my 5 gallon. Not out of necessity but more just to freshen things up a bit.

Sorry no experience with rain water. As far as water temp, leave the water out atleast a few hoers to get close to room temperature. If you keep your tank at 78 and room temp is 75, that's fine. Since you are only replacing a portion of the water, the temp will even out.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:08 PM   #4 
fishfin
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Yes, my tank had been cycled.

I test for PH and ammonias. I don't have the testing kits for nitrates and nitrites though. That's the next thing on the list of things to buy. I find they are very expensive here in Australia. $30 per kit!

My ammonia and PH readings have been good. Nothing to worry about there. I check them a couple of times at week at present.

I will slow down on the gravel cleaning then. I also have a vacuum so I will just stick to using that and try to get out as much waste as possible.

Thanks for tips.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:16 PM   #5 
squilky
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I'm far from an expert, but I've heard before that by rinsing gravel with tap water, it kills the beneficial bacteria. So yeah, you should probably use the gravel vac.

What kind of fish do you have in your tank? If your gravel is getting that dirty that you feel the need to clean it so frequently, maybe you are overfeeding the fish? I have a mystery snail that does a pretty good job of munching up the extras on the bottom of my tank.

There are lots of great threads and articles on here, I've learned a ton over the past few weeks myself.
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:41 PM   #6 
Tomsk
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I may be wrong in my method,but with my 6G (filtered/heated/planted) I do one 50% waterchange a week.I use a gravel vac to clean as/to drain the water on my Betta tank.I replace the water with conditioned tap water (using my hand to guess the temp compared to the tank water temp,which on the odd test with a thermometer is quite close).

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Old 06-30-2010, 08:33 PM   #7 
Lion Mom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomsk View Post
I may be wrong in my method,but with my 6G (filtered/heated/planted) I do one 50% waterchange a week.I use a gravel vac to clean as/to drain the water on my Betta tank.I replace the water with conditioned tap water (using my hand to guess the temp compared to the tank water temp,which on the odd test with a thermometer is quite close).

Tomsk
That is exactly how I do it also.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:54 AM   #8 
Welsh
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I find leaving the water out overnight pointless, what I and most other people do is just put some de-chlorinator in to the water and then straight back to the tank , aslong as the water isn't freezing cold its fine. If your worried about the water being too cold then you can just add some warm water to the bucket but as its summer here my cold water is warm so its all good lol.
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