I don’t have time for a fish tank! (yes you do)

21 Jan

A fish tank takes very little time to maintain.  I’ve been sick this past week and haven’t done anything to my tanks except to turn the lights on and off and feed my fish. All of the tanks look great! The glass is clean.  The water is clear.

Daily chores are simple. Turn on the lights, feed the fish 2 or 3 times. Shut off the lights. Of course, you want to have some general awareness about the water temperature and overall health of the fish, but you will be watching your fish so that is easy to do.

Let’s do some monthly maintenance on one of my fish tanks:

This tank is about 35 gallons. It’s full of very active healthy fish. It also has a big clump of Java Moss and a large population of small snails.

It will take me longer to write this post than to spiff up this tank.

This tank has an outside filter.  I change the filter pad or just take out and wash the old one. One filter pad can last several months.

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The water level is already down a little bit so I can reach in and scrub the glass. I think this is an old piece of indoor/outdoor carpeting!

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Here’s one of the biggest snails in my tanks.  The SECRET to my tanks is two things. LIVE PLANTS and SNAILS!

I don;t have any Mystery Snails or Aplle Snails. I like the little Pond Snails. When they start to overpopulate I squish them and the fish eat them.

I don’t have any Mystery Snails or Apple Snails. I like the little Pond Snails. When they start to overpopulate I squish them and the fish eat them.

I keep a bucket or two of de-chlorinated water ready to go.

I siphon out about 20 percent of the tank’s water. I do this right after I scrub the glass.

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I keep my thumb ready to stop the water flow in case a fish gets too close to the other end.

I keep my thumb ready to stop the water flow in case a fish gets too close to the other end.

If your heater clips the the side of the tank don't drain the water down too far.

If your heater clips to the side of the tank don’t drain the water down too far.

I lightly scrubbed the heater tube.

I lightly scrubbed the heater tube.

DSCF5387You can see I do things the old-fashioned way. I have heard about a better way to change water without lugging buckets around. It’s a product called a Python.

So I went to the Petstore and bought a Python. I hate to say it but it didn’t help at all.

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I refilled the tank. After a few hours the water cleared up.

Cleaning the tank took half an hour.

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4 Responses to “I don’t have time for a fish tank! (yes you do)”

  1. Rach January 21, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    I had snails in my planted tank not long ago.. they ate EVERYTHING! Absolutely everything. Destroyed plants I was waiting to sell, put holes in everything. I will never let snails sneak into my tank again, it’s not worth the devastation they caused!

    I do agree with you that it doesn’t take much to maintain a tank. The issues most people run into is that they haven’t got it set up properly and have issues with ammonia spikes, excess algae etc.

    • fishtanx2011 January 21, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

      The species I like is simply called a common Pond Snail. They clean algae scum off of the plant leaves. I wonder what kind was in your tank? I also have the Malaysian Trumpet Snails and they don’t hurt plants either.

      • Rach January 21, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

        I had ramshorn snails and then some that looked like regular garden snails but much smaller – I don’t know what they were. It was the regular looking ones that did the most damage.

  2. becomingcliche January 22, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    That python should have sped things up considerably. I think you were doing it wrong. 😉

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