First Tank Cleaning for Gizmo


Yesterday I did the first cleaning and partial water change for Gizmo. I picked up the small gravel cleaner at PetSmart on Saturday and you guys were right, it worked great. I did get some dirt out in the bucket but noticed what I stirred up and floated in the tank was like small sheets of something. Remined me of flake food but I feed the pellets. Just wondered what it could have been. When I finished I noticed Gizmo just swimming side to side along the back of the tank. He didn't just swim and glide like normal. As I watched, I realized that I was so worried about getting the temp of the water I was putting into the tank to 80 degrees that I forgot to put the drop of water condiner in it. So I sweated it out for a few minutes. His tank is five gallons and I took out and replaced one gallon. Thankfully in a few minutes he was back to behaving normally, geez I was scared I might have killed him on the first cleaning. Do you think a water change of one gallon a week is sufficent?



I'm glad Gizmo is okay, and you are on top of your tank maintenance! 1 gallon per week is only a 20% water change. I have good luck with 50% water changes every week. If you have a nitrate test, you can try doing your water changes when the nitrate level goes over 20. Experiment with how much water you remove and determine by the nitrate level how much water needs to be changed on a weekly basis to keep the nitrates below 20.


It's amazing how easy it is to forget the water conditioner when you get busy - my wife has saved our fish on several occasions by asking me "Did you treat that water yet?" and getting an answer of "no" .

You might want to buy a master freshwater testing kit too, if you haven't got one yet. Ours is made by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Inc and we picked it up at Petco but there are a number of them by different companies, depends on what you want to test for. The kit we have tests ph, high ph, ammonia, nitrites & nitrates but doesn't test water hardness or some other things (like telling the difference between ammonia & ammonium) I've seen more expensive master kits have. Ask some of the more experienced members what kit they use - I will be when it's time to buy a new kit. Ours is decent & usable for now, but when it runs out I'd really like to fully test our water with a better kit.


Good going, it sounds like you are on top of your game.

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