Chapter 6 Cleaning the Tank

The tank needs to be cleaned once a week. This takes me from 15 minutes to half an hour depending on what needs to be done. Essentially, you are looking to change out 25% of the water once a week, preferrably on the same day every week. I’m going to try to make this as simple for you as possible.

  1. Prepare water to go into the tank to set aside and dechlorinate. This gives time for some of the bad tap water stuff to evaporate. Put water that is close to the temperature of the tank into a big clean bowl and put 2 drops of Prime into it. Maybe put a drop of stress coat into it. Chances are you’ll need more than one bowl, but even if half of what you need got properly aerated, its better than none of it. If you end up needing a second bowl be sure to use prime and stress coat in it the same way.

  2. Do not take the fish out. They freak out, they hate the net, just leave them be and try to work around them. Corys get a bit too excited about dredged up food but try your best.

  3. Use the gravel vacuum. It works with physics. Have one end in the tank and one end in a bucket of some sort. Pinch the hose when you move it around so you dont suck up more water than you want. Dig the big end into the gravel a bit to get a good clean. Work your way around the tank and around the plants. The plants are weighted / rooted enough to not move around too much, but sometimes the middle one needs to be repoked into the gravel.

Useful Videos of How to Start Gravel Vacuum:

  1. Check the water surface and bottom for rotting / loose leaves. Obviously, remove those with your fingers or a net. Take out plants that have rotted / clear bits on them and trim them off. The water wysteria can be propgated by cutting parts of it off if it is getting too long and bending in the tank. Just make sure there are root bits on each half you cut, and that they are each 4-ish inches in length.

  2. Once a month take the filter mediums out and squeeze them out in DIRTY TANK WATER. Then put them back in the same way in the basket.

  3. When putting the water back in pour it over Neptune’s house so that it doesn’t disturb the gravel or plants.

  4. Dip in a test strip and wiggle it twice. Compare it to the colours on the side of the bottle. The top two squares need to be white. Ph should be close to neutral.

  5. Make sure the filter hasn’t stopped from sucking up air. If it has, just add water to it to kickstart it again.

  6. Wipe down sides of tank if necessary.

  7. Turn on the lights, step back and admire your work.

  8. Maybe feed Neptune a bit if he is too angry. Do a cory headcount.