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Keeping fish clean

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
We have a 30 gallon fish tank. We started with only 2 guppies (tetras I think) and were planning to add more fish later, but the two "males" had about 14 baby fish. (They told us they were both males at the pet store, but I should have known because only one has a big colorful tail.)

Well my question is how can we keep the tank clean besides what we are already doing? It has a filter and we clean it out completely every 2 weeks, but it gets extremely dirty after only a few days. I'm not overfeeding them...I just don't get it. Thanks for any suggestions!
post #2 of 20
You can buy some bottom feeders. I prefer snails just because I can't seem to keep plecos alive. I had a small tank (2-3 gal) with 3 fancy goldfish and 2 snails and I seldom had to clean it.
post #3 of 20
Bottom feeders and double filtration
post #4 of 20
Live plants (think of them as eating fish poop), along with bottom feeders like cories and/or algae eaters like plecos. Make sure you get one of the smaller species like the rubberlip or bristlenose plecos, not the common as it will outgrow your tank and make more of a mess. Of course, since your tank sounds like it's already overcrowded adding more fish isn't a good idea until you get the population down. While plecos clean up algae, they poop a LOT!

Do water changes weekly. Two weeks is a long time for an overcrowded tank.

Also, you could take some fish back to the pet store. Many will buy them back, especially since they're causing a problem and it wasn't your fault. If possible, keep only males. Even if you take all the males away, the females store sperm for several months and will continue to make more babies. And more. And more. And... this is why I don't get female guppies any more.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ooh okay, thanks everyone. We do have 1 snail but I think it's too much work for him to do alone. We'll look into getting another filter and another snail or bottom feeders. All of the baby fish are still really small, so I didn't think the tank was overcrowded, but if more babies come it definitely will be. I can't tell if any of the babies are female, but I guess we should take the mom back to the store in the meantime.
post #6 of 20
Originally Posted by twstychik View Post
You can buy some bottom feeders. I prefer snails just because I can't seem to keep plecos alive. I had a small tank (2-3 gal) with 3 fancy goldfish and 2 snails and I seldom had to clean it.
Thats funny cuz I sure can't keep those snails alive! I bought like 4 once because I have a huge tank. They all died within a week. I have a little Pleco or whatever they are called and I have him with about 8 goldfish, which I later found out they are considered tropical and shouldn't be mixed with goldfish, but he is alive and well!
post #7 of 20
I can't keep a snail alive either I have a whip tail pleco and he seems to be staying pretty small. I also did double filtration when I had my Oscars. Worked really well. Now I just have a canister filter-just a few small tetras, 1 long finned albino cory cat, 1 reg. albino cory cat, one speckled cory cat of some kind , and the whip tail. I really want to try goldfish again, but I can't seem to do right by them either .
post #8 of 20
I put up a 5 gallon tank at work with a beautiful blue/reddish blue Betta. I have one of those submersible filters, a submersible heater and some plastic plants and some blue plastic cubes on the bottom with blue gravel.

It stays pretty clean and I do overfeed.
post #9 of 20
My dad and I had about 10 aquariums (we raised guppies). BTW guppies and tetras are NOT the same fish

Guppies are like mice - they breed quick and often

As far as keeping the tank clean:

1. Keep the tank away from windows/sunlight. This encourages algae growth.

2. Get a catfish or some of the algae eaters (we liked them better as they kept the tank cleaner then catfish).

3. Sand on the bottom, while it looks pretty, is harder to keep clean - we used a layer of marbles - the fish can push them around and you can clean the bottom better.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
[quote=GoldenKitty45;1446649]BTW guppies and tetras are NOT the same fish QUOTE]

Thank you! I wasn't sure which one they had told us at the pet store. You can tell I am a beginner with fish! This weekend we got a 2nd filter, some live plants, a couple more snails, and a product that is supposed to destroy algae. So hopefully all of that will help.
post #11 of 20
We had snails - I don't like them - go with the catfish or algae eaters!

Also I believe tetras are egg layers - not live bearers like the guppies
post #12 of 20
We had one snail once. Before long we had a hundred. I don't do snails anymore.
post #13 of 20
Originally Posted by maddensmom View Post
We had one snail once. Before long we had a hundred. I don't do snails anymore.

I was gonna say that! I think Apple snails are the ones that don't reproduce as much. We had two, and they got pretty big, but they eventually died. Maybe due to the climate, as we have a 225gal outdoor pond in chicagoland.

Anyway, careful with the snails, cause you may end up with the same problem. Be sure to ask before you buy them. I have one fantail, three koi, one butterfly koi and one placo. I'm not sure what kind the placo is, but he grew about four inches in three months!

My biggest koi is about 8" or 9", maybe more. Here's a pic of them outdoors:

Koi and goldies are a part of the carp family and are extremely messy/dirty (not sure where guppies and tetras fall in). We have a UV filter hooked up to the pond that we bring inside during the winter. Never have to clean the pond or the storage container we keep them in, just add water every so often... (Yup, we keep them in a clear storage container inside over the winter.) I wouldn't suggest the UV filter we have for indoors though, 'cause its noisy and big and ugly Maybe there's something a little smaller out there?

Theres TONS of resourses online too. We've also learned through trial and error. We've had this pond for five years... These fish are only two years old, so we've lost a few.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
I love your pond!
post #15 of 20
Originally Posted by Jenny82 View Post
I love your pond!
Thank you Jenny! It looks even better in spring and summer when the flowers grow. This year we tried gladiolas, but they didn't take. Last year we had a mix of sunflowers and "chinese sunflowers", which look like echinacia, but bright orange with a brown cone. We loved them because they attract tons of monarch butterflies. Its a lot of work starting out, but very rewarding. I could sit in front of that pond for hours and just stare
post #16 of 20
Wow I wish I had a yard for something like that.

I guess I lucked out w/ my snails. I had 2 of them and they never bred but I think part of keeping them alive was having live plants in the tank.
post #17 of 20
in my 10-gallon i have 2 cory catfish. they help keep the tank clean. we also have snails. i don't know what kind they are, they are small and come out at night. they were in the tank when i got it (my 10-gallon was a rehomed tank of fish). i've since read they are good for the tank, they help aerate the gravel. for years i tried to get rid of them, now i don't worry about them so much.
post #18 of 20
What do you mean by clean? Is it detritus in the gravel or algae growing on the glass?
Excess detritus means you are feeding too much. Make sure that whatever food goes in the water is eatten and does not end up on the bottom. Feed small amounts on regular intervals. Remember to do your water changes with a hydrocleaner (vacuum) to pick up waste. Water change at least once weekly.
If you are talking about algae, there are many things you can do. Lowering phosphates, getting snails, getting algae eatters are all possibilities. Personally, I just got myself a scraper and give my tanks a good scrubbing every few weeks.
I have clownfish and they demand that their water and tank is spotless or know

Hope this helps.
post #19 of 20
you also don't want to do complete water changes. Like someone said, weekly 10-20% water changes is more than enough.

Double filtration is awesome, I love the biowheels and you don't have to change out the filter pads very often either. After you change the water, if the pad is nasty, you can rinse it a little bit in the water you just pumped out..not the tap water.

You want to make sure that you keep the beneficial bacteria alive and well and not mess up that ecosystem.

I love the pythons you can buy. It's a big tube you can hook up to the sink and it will start pumping the water out and then you can put it back in and you can clean the gravel etc. I love it!
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by haitwun View Post
What do you mean by clean? Is it detritus in the gravel or algae growing on the glass?
Both! I think we have it worked out with double filters, more snails, and cleaning more often. Thanks.
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