Friend Overfed Fish

Aegnis

Hey guys,

I left for vacation and left my friend in charge of looking after my fish, and she accidentally put too much food into the tank. I told her to only use two pellets for my betta each day, but she put close to 40 pellets in. He hasn't eaten them all (thank goodness), but they've all sunk the bottom and because of the live plants, are very difficult to clean up. They crumble in my hands, and I don't have a siphon to suck them up with (and I think they'd be too big anyway).

How should I handle this? I've tried to scoop out as many as I can, but there's still a number of pellets in there that I can't reach. I can't afford a siphon at the moment, so I'm looking for options that don't involve one if possible.

My tank is 8.5 gallons, houses one betta, and is fully cycled with a 3-step HOB filter with live plants. Thanks!
 

FishFish221

Use a turkey bastor, or some airline tubing to create a siphon (but you don't want to use a siphon...).
 

75g Discus Tank

Maybe you can add a shrimp species or snail to help for future overfeeding accidents. For the pellets, you can take the betta out and put it in a cup temporarily. Then drain out all of the water and then try to take lit as many rotting pellets as possible.
 

Fanatic

Try using a turkey baster as a minI siphon, that might help.
 

Adriifu

I would temporarily remove the betta until your tank's clean. When I had a smaller tank, I would move the gravel around with my hands to lift debris and then I would collect and remove the water. You may want to keep doing this until all of the food is gone. Once you refill the tank you need to test the water and make sure that the parameters are safe enough for the betta fish to live in again. Good luck!
 

KKM

I wouldn't risk keeping shrimp with a betta, but a nerite snail may help. Ditto on the turkey baster; mine works wonders for my betta tank (I feed gel food and my boy is a very messy eater).
 

Aegnis

Maybe you can add a shrimp species or snail to help for future overfeeding accidents. For the pellets, you can take the betta out and put it in a cup temporarily. Then drain out all of the water and then try to take lit as many rotting pellets as possible.

Ironically my three amano shrimp died today because my betta harassed them into hiding and starving to death. I might try a snail.

Try using a turkey baster as a minI siphon, that might help.

I'm a university student presently and don't have one unfortunately as I don't have a kitchen. But that's a good bit of advice for the future, so thank you!
 

Aegnis

I have a more pointed question: if I leave the food there, will it pose a danger to my fish? He doesn't seem to recognize it as food, so I'm not concerned with him over-eating, but I know that leaving food in there can cause ammonia buildup. If I monitor it daily (I have an API master kit), and do water changes as needed, would that be ok? I cleaned as much of the food out as I could reach, but there's probably ten pellets or so left in a spot I can't reach.

I may look into a snail as well for the future -- my betta seems to have calmed down (he didn't like the plants in his tank and took his anger out on the shrimp which caused their death).
 

Racing1113

I have a more pointed question: if I leave the food there, will it pose a danger to my fish? He doesn't seem to recognize it as food, so I'm not concerned with him over-eating, but I know that leaving food in there can cause ammonia buildup. If I monitor it daily (I have an API master kit), and do water changes as needed, would that be ok? I cleaned as much of the food out as I could reach, but there's probably ten pellets or so left in a spot I can't reach.

I may look into a snail as well for the future -- my betta seems to have calmed down (he didn't like the plants in his tank and took his anger out on the shrimp which caused their death).

Yes, it will cause water quality issues. Imagine having rotting food in your bathtub or kitchen sink - even if you changed out some water every day, would you still consider that water to be clean? If you can't get a turkey baster (they're only like $1) then you'll need to take out the plants so you can clean out the food pellets, then replant.
 

IndigoTJo

Do you have a straw? Not ideal but you could suck small areas. Go grab one from a fast food place or the college commons.
 

Aegnis

Yes, it will cause water quality issues. Imagine having rotting food in your bathtub or kitchen sink - even if you changed out some water every day, would you still consider that water to be clean? If you can't get a turkey baster (they're only like $1) then you'll need to take out the plants so you can clean out the food pellets, then replant.

I'll try doing this if I can find a cheap turkey baster somewhere, I just wanted to know my options if I can't find one since there isn't much food left.

Do you have a straw? Not ideal but you could suck small areas. Go grab one from a fast food place or the college commons.

I might do this actually -- I can picture this working since there isn't much left.
 

Ed1957

If you use a straw be prepared to drink aquarium water.
 

Aegnis

If you use a straw be prepared to drink aquarium water.

The pellets are large enough that I think I can just plug the other end of the straw with my finger and pick them up that way. If it comes to actually having to suck them out, I'll just drop the couple dollars on a turkey baster. I'd prefer not to drink aquarium water :yuck:
 

tokiodreamy

I use a turkey baster for my shrimp tank and it works great! But for future vacations, get a cheap pill organizer. Then simply put however many pellets into each day's slot. No more overfeeding! I did this on my vacation and it worked wonders! Also, fish can go over 7 days without eating, so I always slightly underfeed when on vacation
 

IndigoTJo

If you plug the straw and then place it in the tank, remove your finger quickly and place it back on the top quickly you can siphon little bits at a time. It takes skill but I have done it in my breeder boxes.
 

IndigoTJo

I would maybe try the dollar store for a baster if straw method doesn't work for you.
 

Aegnis

I managed to pick up a cheap turkey baster and have been slowly siphoning out bits of the gunk. It's been slow going, but at least something is being done! Anyone got tips for how to use this effectively with sand? I feel like I get mostly sand and not enough mold (there's this weird web-like stuff that's everywhere now from the dissolved food, I believe it's some sort of mold).

I also picked up a nerite snail.

Thanks all for the help so far.
 

IndigoTJo

Try putting unwashed, or thoroughly rinsed with water, hose stockings over it.
 

Aegnis

Try putting unwashed, or thoroughly rinsed with water, hose stockings over it.

Oh that's a great idea! I've got a few lying around from covering my filter intake -- I'll try that. Thank you!
 

Natalya

Ironically my three amano shrimp died today because my betta harassed them into hiding and starving to death. I might try a snail.



I'm a university student presently and don't have one unfortunately as I don't have a kitchen. But that's a good bit of advice for the future, so thank you!
You can find one for literally $1. Or use your airline tubing
Edit: sorry just read the posts through
 

Aegnis

You can find one for literally $1. Or use your airline tubing

I did actually get one and have been using it as I mentioned above. I wasn't familiar with what it was and assumed it was more expensive, but thankfully the local dollarama had one. Thanks!
 

IndigoTJo

I did actually get one and have been using it as I mentioned above. I wasn't familiar with what it was and assumed it was more expensive, but thankfully the local dollarama had one. Thanks!

Hahaha you will start cooking eventually.
 

Aegnis

Hahaha you will start cooking eventually.

Haha, eventually... in the meantime I'm the sheltered unI kid who has no idea what 99% of the things in the kitchen are besides the egg ring and the whisk...
 

IndigoTJo

Just make sure to rinse the hose really super well before you use. Detergent and soap can stick around.
 

Aegnis

Just make sure to rinse the hose really super well before you use. Detergent and soap can stick around.

Will do! Thankfully they're just out of the package, so they should be relatively clean, but I like giving everything a good rinse just to be safe.
 

IndigoTJo

Great! I hope this works haha, it is the smallest screen type cheap item I could think of.
 

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