(Embarrassing) somewhat neglected tank help

WagglePets

So I have a 5.5 gallon that has 1 betta 1 ghost shrimp and 1 small rl pleco (temporary someone told me to put him in there under circumstances) a small sponge filter which I literally just upgraded to a large And it’s around 76 degrees in there sometimes 78 anyways It always looks so clean so I never think I have to clean it (stupid mistake) Ive also been very busy and just kept having that state of mind “oh it looks clean why should I change water” well I just took my turkey basted and sucked up under the gravel DISGUSTING I’m so embarrassed no hate please how do I fix it cause I feel like the gravel vacuum is just going to suck out the water before I can clean it good enough if that makes sense. Ugh this is shameful
 

airfix2

The gravel vacuum will not vacuum out water too fast. your issues arent embarrasing at all. everyone makes mistakes.
 

TClare

If the fish are OK I would not try to clean too much at once. Do it little by little, siphoning out what you can from the gravel and changing small amounts of water at a time. As it has not been cleaned for some time doing it too thoroughly all at once might shock the fish.
 

cdwag29

Over the summer I had a serious decline in my mental health and the same thing happened to me. My 20 gallon was disgusting. Everytime my kuhlis moved dirt and debris from my plants was flying into the water. After a while the sight of the tank was making me feel worse, so I decided to address it.

I took it slow as not to shock the fish like the post above mine said. First, I moved most of the sand onto one side of the tank. Then, every day, I moved a little section of sand around and sucked up the dirt/debris that was trapped in the sand. Then I did a 30% change to help with the cloudiness. The “clean sand” I moved back to the other side of the tank. I repeated this everyday for almost two weeks. This is just an idea for you if you wanted to do something similar.

Nothing to be embarrassed about, everyone has been in a similar situation.
 

Noroomforshoe

You should think about getting a 20 gallon tank asap. then you can move the fish with some or all the water, the filter, decoration ect, but not the substrate.
to clean this tank, I would gravel vacuum and change 25% of the water, fill it up, change 25 percent more either right then and there, or 1-3 days later depending on how high the nitrates are.
I just had to clean a pretty grotty tank of my own, it happens.
 

WagglePets

Your guys responses Are all amazing I will do everything you guys are saying!!
 

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