Full tank clean

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divakeeks

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Hello all!

I need to clean my dear Raspy's tank because I think that it is getting a film on the inside of it. I am starting to see brown spots on the inside of the tank.

I do not have a vacuum for him just yet.

What would be the best way to give him a clean without taking him out? Or should I take him out and scrub it?

I want to cause him the least bit of trauma that I can when I do this because when I tried to clean the tank before when Jesse had it he HATED it. Of course, I was changing the 5 gallon tank once a week (full water change -- even with the filter) before I found this forum and learned I didn't have to.


THanks!
 

chickadee

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Brown spots are indications of brown algae. Is Raspy's tank filtered or not? If it is cycled then the very easiest way to handle this situation is to get a couple of Otos and let them nosh on it. They will clear your problem in a few days and have full bellies to boot. Of course, for now I would do a 50% change and while you have the water level down take a clean pad and wipe the walls all the way down to the gravel. That is what I do. I change pads frequently and have even used good quality paper towels folded in quarters. (Now I suppose that there are some die hard aquarium keepers who are standing up in horror at this but my fish are alive and well) they are disposable and clean very well. I also have some of the filter material that you cut to fit (looks kind of like quilt batting) and it makes a really good soft scrubber pad for stubborn stuff like green algae on the inside of the glass. Raspy will not need to be moved and he will not know hardly that you have done anything then just fill the tank back up. Sometimes I use a product called Water Clarifier to take the last of the really tiny particles out of the water and up the intake tube.

I hope this helps. But if you have the tank cycled, I really would look into the otos. Also the Brown Algae is usually caused by not enough light, the green algae is caused by too much light.

Rose
 
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divakeeks

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Could I use a sponge for the rubbing the inside of the tank? I don't have good paper towels or extra filter material. I suppose I should have thought of this before I had his tank half empty ..... ahh well, I'll figure something out I'm sure! Thanks!!
 
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divakeeks

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Ok, well he is all clean! He is much happier now. I am just waiting for the stray algae bits to get sucked in by the filter. Maybe with my birthday money though I'll see about some otos.
 

chickadee

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Well, Otos cost about $2 apiece so let's hope you get more birthday money than that ;D I am sure Raspy does like his clean house. I had the pleasure of doing this to 3 of mine today too. They play under the water when I pour it into the tank. It has been a good day, I got to play with my babies.

Rose
 
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divakeeks

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I certainly do hope I get more money than that!! I had no idea they were that cheap. I still wonder how Raspy will with them going into his tank. Hopefully he won't mind too much.


Quality time with the babies is so much fun!!!!!
 

chickadee

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There will be chasing, oh yeah. But it will end and it will be nice for all concerned. Eventually they will all decide they can live together.

Rose
 
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divakeeks

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And the 3 of them in a 5 gallon is ok?
 

chickadee

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divakeeks said:
And the 3 of them in a 5 gallon is ok?
one Betta and 2 Otos should be not problem. I have 3 Otos in my 5 gallon with Noel but it means more water changes. I have 2 in with Marty and it is the perfect tank as far as I can tell. They are pretty touchy about the water parameters though so be sure the tank is good and cycled before adding them. In case you haven't read about these darling little fish and the rough start they have in life, they have their own website. it is all about how they are caught in the wild by putting cyanide into the water to slow them down so they can be caught. The death rate among Otos is high during the first 30 days. Please do not let that discourage you from owning these sweet little fish though. The signs of a healthy Oto are a pudgy little tummy and the tummy side from nose to tail should be white - no bright pink that is a sign of infection. If they are skinny or look like they need a good meal they are probably starved and once they reach that point there is no way of bringing them back. Gunnie has said and I truly believe that there is a bacteria in their stomachs that they need to digest food and when they get to looking starved it is usually because the bacteria has died and they cannot digest the food they can get so they will die. They should not look all bloated though. The website I am sending has a picture of a very healthy little chap.

www.otocinclus.com - Home of the Dwarf Suckermouth Catfishes

I love my Otos and am grateful to Butterfly for introducing me to them. They are the darlings of my tanks.

Rose
 
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divakeeks

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Wouldn't my tank already be cycled since Raspy has been in there a few months? I guess I get confused on what 'cycled' means.

I've read in another post what sort of testing kit to get but how often do I test the water?


I have skimmed that page I think but now that I am serious about getting some I think I'll read more closely. Thanks!
 

ecnaj143

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Sometimes I get confused too. I dunno, but what I do is everytime I clean my tank(usually once to everyother week) I use my nutrafin cycle. I have never lost a fish to my water being out of wack. I have even takin the whole 10 gallon down before, then I used that with some conditioner and my fish are happy again. I also usually feed them like an hour or 2 after I change their water to make sure they adjusted ok. They have always ate.
 

chickadee

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I thought you had one filtered tank and one not filtered, maybe I have you confused with someone else. What I am asking for is no tank without a filter is cycled. In order to be cycled you have to have a colony of bacteria growing on filter media of some type to take care of any ammonia that builds up in your tank. Otos are extremely sensitive to ammonia and nitrites in the water so they need a fully cycled tank complete with heat and filter. If I have you mixed up with someone else I am sorry. Believe me, there are enough posts that I get a little "cuckoo" once in a while.

I hope you are able to have a few little Oto friends they are such sweeties.

Rose
 
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divakeeks

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Yes, that is me. Raspy's tank is filtered and Lilex's is not. Neither of them have a heater though but their water is always at optimum temperature (even when the AC is on).

Should I not get Otos unless I have a heater? My worry about the heater is that the water is already as warm as it should be ... will the heater make it LESS warm when it is designed to warm it up?

I would not put Otos in with Lilex since he is without a filter. I do hope to get that 10 gallon soon though and then they will both have 5 gallons and be filtered. Oh happy day!!
 

chickadee

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Oh, dear, correct me if I am wrong! you are not planning to put them in the same tank are you? I am so sorry to tell you that will not work! They will fight to the death. If you use a tank divider it may work but it will have to be OPAQUE so they cannot see each other on a constant basis or they will lock in a flare and overstress and can have heart failure over it. They should never be allowed to flare for more than 10 minutes for any reason as it can permanently damage them. It is roughly equivalent to having an intruder outside your home and not being able to get any help or do anything about it and not being able to help yourself. It is terrifying to them eventually.

I know it seems like i always get to be the wet blanket and be the one who throws cold water over everyone's plans but this is something you need to think about if you don't have another plan around it. I am so sorry that I have to bring this to your attention, but better sooner than later.

No the lack of a heater should not bother the Otos as long as the testing for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are within normal levels. they are very non-tolerant of any of these substances and will not handle ANY ammonia or nitrite and are unforgiving of nitrates of much more that 10. Mine are anomolies having lived of several months at 20 nitrates but that is very unusual. They are truly more forgiving of temperature range than the bettas are. bettas are only really happy between 78 to 80 full time and they like 80 much better than 78 but Otos will be okay anywhere from 76 to 80. Just don't plan on them in an unfiltered tank and they should be fine. When you go to buy them check out the fins. Torn or eroded fins can mean the start of fin rot - Omorrokh can tell you how prone they are to that.

Rose
 
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divakeeks

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Yes my plan was the same tank but I would not do it if I could not get a divider that they could not see through. I haven't investigated the divider fully because I am not ready to buy but I thank you for your information. I fully understand their need for space and not being able to see each other constantly. I wouldn't do that to my boys!!


I did have a lady at the pet store that I bought them say she has 3 male bettas in a 10 gallon tank and they all get along fine. She said "Sure, they tore each other's fins off at first but now they are growing back and they get along fine." My thought was, how could someone sit and watch their fish tear each other up like that? I just couldn't!!

Don't worry about being the wet blanket. I know for me at least I would rather have my plans go to bupkis than hurt my little guys! So, I guess I'm trying to say that I appreciate you being the wet blanket if it means my boys will be safe. ;D ;D ;D ;D
 
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