Aquarium Nifty tips, tricks and shortcuts

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Everythingzen, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. EverythingzenWell Known MemberMember

    I thought it might be a good idea to gather our greatest handy little tips and share them all.

    I discovered a good way to give the outside a great clean this morning. I couldn't locate the windex and rather than search, I tried a lazy alternative that worked so well. I got a wet wad if paper kitchen towel and poured a small drop of dishwasher rinse aid onto it. Gave my small tanks a good rub down and then a buff with dry paper towl afterwards and they are SO clear! figures, in hindsight, given what it does for dishes, lol.

    Please share any you might have! :)
  2. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I use a pump to drain my tanks for water changes - cuts the time in half, and I don't waste any water.

    Fish are easy to catch when you remove the water.
    Fish are easy to catch with big nets.

    If you run carbon in your canister, consider moving the carbon into an HOB filter so that it's easy to change it out.
  3. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    -Don't trust the advice of most fish or pet store employees,
    -A nice fresh razor blade does wonders for removing hard-water deposits.
    -Check your water bucket for sucked-up fish before dumping it.
  4. Mrs.PriceValued MemberMember

  5. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

  6. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    I watched that vid after adding sand to my tank a while back -_- wish i had known of it sooner lol!
  7. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

  8. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    A Turkey Baster can come in very handy for sucking up fry and detritus from the tank.

    Putting your tank lights on timers will save you a few steps. Too, it may help tanks with algae issues.

    In place of purchasing Name Brand filter floss and pads, using 100% Poly Quilting Batting material can you some $$$$. It can be found in most craft stores and craft departments such as WalMart. It comes in large rolls.

    Happy Holidays! candycane2.gif

  9. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Hmm, hard to think of tips/tricks - so much of it is now just routine.... let's see

    - go to the drug store and buy syringes for dosing fertilisers/medications [or Chemist as it is known in Aus]
    - use a 2" x 4" and drill holes in it about 0.5" deep to hold those API test tubes
    - use a 10mL syringe to fill two API test tubes quickly (no dunking the tube in the tank ;) )
    - mark your buckets (if you use them) so that you can match new water/old water combinations, and always have the right amount
    - KEEP SPARES! at least as much as you can. Doesn't have to be the same quality, but things always fail when stores are closed; I recommend a cheap heater of adequate wattage (it may not be perfect, but gets you out of a jam), air pumps (for hot spells in weather particularly), filters if you can
    - do not pull apart a filter if you don't have a spare impeller shaft and impeller on hand, or when shops are closed; you're bound to break it when you can't fix it.
    - if testing hard water (always 7 degrees), add 5 drops then shake, and add 1 at a time. Don't 1 drop/shake the whole way. It saves lots of time testing.
    - be share to shake that #2 bottle of the API Nitrate test.

    Can't believe someone hasn't said it yet......... can you guess...... I'll give you a clue........ starts with Q.......still not sure....... That's right Quarantine new arrivals!
    (I know I didn't do it, but wish I did)

    Probably more tips/tricks I've learnt along the way too, but can't think of them.
  10. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    Two, do not purchase a fish without the proper research.
    Three, take care not to buy a Chinese Algae Eater instead of the intended Otocinclus, which looks similar and may be confused with each other.
  11. anzValued MemberMember

    Put a plastic shower curtain liner on the floor in front of the tank when doing water changes and filter maintenance. Makes easy clean up of water that gets on the floor.
  12. Mrs.PriceValued MemberMember

    That's why I said it should be rinsed before this method is used, this method just gets rid of that last little bit that may cloud your tank :) Worked GREAT in my tank, no cloudiness at all! (I put the sand in a pillow case and gave it a good rinse before I did this.)
  13. Mrs.PriceValued MemberMember

    Haha! Not getting the performance you want out of your cheapo $3 bubble wand? Punch holes in it with a needle/safety pin!! Works like a charm!! Did this today... flippin' cheapo bubble wands >.>

    Looks great now though :)
  14. AlanGreeneWell Known MemberMember

    Leave the top on your tank if you have cats xD
  15. AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    Others have stated on how to get hard-to-remove algae off the tanks. I've heard razor blades, but that can scratch easily. I have found a method that doesn't scratch as easily.

    Get an old credit card, an old medical card, debit card, etc - It has worked fabulously for me! :)

    Another tip, if you want to change your sand color or kind - A very quick way is to pull off the tubing on an old tank vacuum and use it to suck out the sand into the bucket. While doing that, you can do a water change at the same time, too! :)
  16. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    Let me think,

    Bettas are much easier to grab by hand then net, also far less fin damage this way.

    Again, catching spinned fish(like cory, plecos and other cats) is safer/easier by hand, use a biker glove(no fingers) for added protection

    Save your egg shells, rinse them off in hot water, put them in a mesh bag or stockings and put it in your filter, quick way to add calcium to the system.

    Surface disturbance(IE bubbles or current) + Duckweed = no more duckweed

    Jungle Val + Duckweed= no more duck weed

    Electric toothbrush makes scrubbing hard algae spots a lot easier(need to either water proof it or find one that already is)

    Save all your fish bags and betta cups, never know when you will need one.
  17. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

  18. ZiggiWell Known MemberMember

    - I have a few small, clear plastic cups ("fruit cup" cups or pill cups) for each tank, I fill that about half way with water and set at my desk to do my water testing with my syringe :) It's better than going back and forth or holding 6 test tubes with one hand (I'm too lazy to fill and put down... broke one doing that too)
    - And I used to put a beach towel under my bucket/infront of the tanks for maintenance, then I got the water changer, less mess :D
    - Knowing how your filter works is helpful. my old Topfin filters were simple enough to fix if it got clogged/stopped working. :/ cant figure out why my new one has stopped (so I agree with keeping spares also!)
    - If you have a planted tank, invest in planting tongs of some sort! My kit has come in handy even for non-planted related things, including removing annoying stinkbugs!
    - keep a breeder box (bought or DIY) on hand for keeping an injured fish separated.
    and try to plan your tanks in advance... it'll save you time, money and heartache (assuming you stick to the plans and they're planned out right/researched!)
  19. kb9plcWell Known MemberMember

    Good stuff in here! This should be stickied :)

    If your tank lid has an open section in the back where aquarium filters/heaters are suppsoed to go.... you can use two pieces of clear packing tape (one on each side, stuck together) to cheaply 'close' it off. Handy if you have escape nerite snails, egg laying female mystery snails, or really smart CATS.


    You can use an empty film canister with pond-snail sized holes in it as a bait trap with fish food in it..... to catch and dispose of pond snails..... without worrying about your fish eating theirselves into a bloody stooper. :) (try this if lettuce hasnt worked for you)

    A kritter keeper or a tuff tote can be used as a QT tank if you are in a jam or low on funds.

    The center section of a water bottle, cut with a slit length wise, can be used to baffle a HOB filter for a betta tank (they don't like a lot of flow).

    A piece of nylon or knee high tied onto the end of your water changer or syphon can prevent fish owner heart attacks from accidentially sucking up those curious little endlers. :)

    Have a large piece of decor (like a castle)? Want more BB colonizing material? Jam sponge into the small inside tower sections (for example). Keeps curious little growing snail babies from getting stuck up there too (I've had it happen).

    You can make a cheap cave out of a terra cotta pot or a coconut. (soak the coconut like you would driftwood, first)
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  20. Mrs.PriceValued MemberMember

    Totally Agree!