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Small Fry
Posts: 1
Kudos: 1
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Registered: 28-Sep-2016
female uk uk-england
Please can anyone help me. Due to unforeseen circumstances I have ended up with a tank of tropical fish. It's a 50 litre tank with possibly 4 Buenos Aires Tetra, 1 Honey Gourami (it was originally 3 but 2 have died), 3 x Rosy barb and 4 x Neon Tetra. This is what I think they are but only from my own research. The tank is absolutely filthy, the gravel at the bottom is black and there is a layer of 'stuff' across the top of the gravel. All the plants and ornaments are covered in the same stuff. (Sorry I don't know the technical term for it). I was told when they arrived in my care not to clean anything too much or I would kill the fish. It's driving me mad, the fish are swimming around in a filthy environment. I have taken the filter out and cleaned it (in water removed from the tank), I have done a 20% water change twice (I've had them 3 weeks), using the stuff to neutralize the chlorine. What else can I do? Can I clean the gravel? Please don't slate me, I would never normally take on any animal without doing full research first, they ended up with me in an urgent situation and I am just trying to get it right.
Post InfoPosted 28-Sep-2016 11:03Profile PM Edit Report 
The Hobnob-lin
Posts: 2676
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Registered: 30-Sep-2002
male usa
When you do a water change, are you just pouring water out? If you don't stir up the gravel and use a proper gravel vac to get under it, then lots of bad things congregate under there (as you have seen so far). If you don't already have a gravel vac, get one and use it to clean up the gravel for your next water change.

"That's the trouble with political jokes in this country... they get elected!" -- Dave Lippman
Post InfoPosted 28-Sep-2016 14:10Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Posts: 5108
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Registered: 28-Dec-2002
male usa us-colorado
Hi and Welcome to Fish Profiles

There is a product called "The Python" that is used to syphon
the water out of the tank and at the same time clean the gravel. It hooks to your kitchen, or bathroom or cellar sink, you turn the water on and sucks the water out at the same time. I would suggest you purchase one and read the instructions or watch a U Tube video about it.

That layer is actually not algae but rather is form of bacteria. Take everything out of the tank and scrub it with a brush to get rid of it. As you pass the mouth of the python over the surface of the gravel, it will pull the mat up and down the sink. Once you have all of the slime gone then turn the lights off and wrap the tank in a blanket so that NO light gets into the tank. On the third day, remove the blanket and do at least a 75% water change and this time press the mouth of the python into the gravel straight down through the gravel to the glass bottom do the entire tank this way, leaving no part of the gravel untouched. Refill the tank and replace any ornaments that you had removed for cleaning. While the tank is dark, increase the circulation and include an air stone if there is not one already.

The "Bluegreen algae" is a bacteria that forms in areas where there is poor circulation, an over abundance of nutrients (rotting food, dirty gravel) and poor light.

Once the tank is clean, the ornaments replaced, the filter has been cleaned and the stuff in the filter replaced, do partial water changes (using the python) once a week changing out about 25-50% of the water.

When feeding the fish, remember that a fish's stomach is no bigger than it's eye. Do not over feed! Left over food will settle to the bottom and begin to rot there.

This should get you on the right path.

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 06-Oct-2016 05:34Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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