55 Gallon Tank Dear overstockers, what is your cleaning schedule like?


Fishlore Legend
I admit it, I'm guilty of over stocking my planted tank. I clean the tank by vacuuming the sand, scrubing the glass, and changing 50% water weekly.
I try to clean the filter every other month. Got to wondering if I should clean the filter either weekly or every other week. I missed last week's cleaning and today, 12 days later, I have .25 ammonia and 5 nitrate.
What's your routine if overstocked?

Most of my tanks were overstocked. I did a ton of rescues and although they had plenty of swimspace, it was hair pulling on the poo area LOL. I rarely cleaned out my filters (unless it was absolutely necessary) and just upped my gravel vacs and water changes more frequently. IMO, the filter area shouldnt be messed with if the filter is running properlyl. I'm sure others do it differently, but I can only speak for myself

  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I clean out the filter, but keep all media. I usually clean the filter when the water looks dirty. I'd rather have a regular schedule. My goal was the first week of every month.
Are you talking about the water being dirty in the filter? Or the tank? I kept a ton of extra media in all my filters for the instant MTS issues I had. So when I had media falling apart, Id grab some established media from another filter, and exchange them . I only did a full filter cleaning once every few months. But again, I was doing some water changes every other day ( for my oscars).
Dear Overstockers Anonymous - Yes, I have overstocked and I admit it. But I pay for it. I test all my tanks everyday to make sure they are not spiking. I do a 50% water change on my tanks every other day (and I have 7) whether the nitrate reading says they need it or not. I "clean" the filter by rinsing it in syphened tank water once a week and the media too. I vaccuumm on the days I don't do a 50% water change and replace the syphoned water. But then, I have to say I am an obsesive compulsive type person. I try to leave my tanks alone, but my husband says one day at a time honey.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
I think I may start cleaning out the filters more often. I think every 2 weeks should be good. My tank stays at 0 ammonia and 0-5 nitrate with weekly water changes of 50%. Not bad for the stock I have.

Over cleaning can sometimes be as harmful as never cleaning. But that's just my opinion
I do atleast one water change and gravel vac every week for my 10 gallon, but then I didn't want to overstock the tank, the endlers did it themselves! I clean the filter about once a month because sometimes I forget to...
Then there's other things, trim the lacefern if it's growing too tall and removing dead stems, getting out some of the duckweed, wiping the glass.
I never clean my filter...I only clean the intake tube. I gravel vac weekly and when I do I do a 75% water change. I also scrub my decorations if they have the brown sludge (diatoms?) on them, if they don't then I just give them a rinse to dislodge any trapped food or fish poo. I wiped down the glass every 2 weeks.
I think that's about it.
Until I got use to my tanks I was using my test kit to determine how much water to change. Now that I know my tanks I have a routine.
  • #10
My 55 gallon planted I say is over stocked. I do 50% weekly water change. I actually dose Nitrates 3x a week. 50% water change and dosing Nitrates keeps it at 10ppm.

Use a Magfloat every few weeks or so depending to get minimal Green Spot Algae off the front glass.

I find the canister needs to be rinsed at least once a month.

I find this tank cleaner and simplier to upkeep then my non-planted tank for being overstocked.

Real plants do wonders.
Last edited by a moderator:

  • #12
Good morning,

I would only recommend cleaning your filter and filter media if you see a reduced flow from the output area. I've gone as long as 5 months without doing filter maintenance as far as rinsing my media. Note: I do use filter floss (batting material 100% Poly and Micron Filter Pads) that I change every 3 to 5 days for fresh. I do not bother the bio max or sponges until I see a reduced flow.

I do water changes every 5 days. I have large elderly fish that are large waste producers but I do not consider myself overstocked.

Personally I would increase the water changes and leave it at that. Leave the filters alone unless you see a reduced flow. As mentioned above, over cleaning can be as harmful as not cleaning all because you may be removing too much beneficial bacteria needed to sustain the tanks cycle.

I do not vacuum my planted tank, 33g long. The detritus is used as fertilizer for my plants. My tank is heavily planted. If you only have 1 or 2 or 3 plants, then I would vacuum around the plants making sure not to disturb the plants roots.

  • #13
I agree ken, I leave my filters alone, the most they ever get is a quick dip in the siphoned water.

If I notice the parameters getting a bit out of line I just add more plants lol. I actually have a few java moss that got moved to a breeders box to help them in another tank after they got a little scorched by a light, well they have never left that breeders box since, They just jump from tank to tank when parameters get a little funky. I wish I could see in there to tell you how many there were now but the algae is a bit thick lol
  • #14
I don't really "clean". I do large frequent water changes but I have fish that eat algae for me, so no scrubbing, and I don't mess with filters unless the flow slows down or the nitrates are higher than normal. In my planted tank I don't vacuum anymore. In the goldie tank (which us overstocked with 12 fish in100 gallons) I will with every other water change but there isn't ever much gunk in the gravel thanks to lots if filtration and greedy fish who pick in the gravel constantly. . I get more gunk when I vacuum my 10 gallon betta tank.

using Tapatalk
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Sounds like I'll stick to 1x a month filter cleaning. All I do is dump out diry water and squeeze media is old tank water. I've only brushed out the tubing once. I don't replace old media, just rinse. I like 50% pwc weekly w/ a brush to the front and side glass only. The back I let the snails and otos have for lunch.
Agree, planted tanks are much easier to maintain.

Similar Aquarium Threads


Random Great Page!


Top Bottom