Housesitting for someone's tank

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infantfish

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Hi!

I am housesitting for someone for six months. They left me with their tank and very little advice other than to feed the fish once a day. The tank is stable/set on a 24 hour cyrcle but I would like a little help.

1. Can anyone tell me exactly what the two switches on the hood do? The tank is a coralife.

2. Also interested for help IDing the fish! Know the cherry barbs and that's it.

Thanks!
 

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saltwater60

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Looks like a cherry barn and some black skirt tetras. Can’t make out the other fish in the middle maybe swordtails.
the switches likely control the light on and off and possibly the fans?
did they give you advice on how much to feed, water changes, anything like that?
 

Feohw

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I don't have that tank, so I won't answer the first question. I would think they turn on the lights?

In the tank I can see harlequin rasboras and gold barbs I believe as well as the cherries. I think I make out what may be a siamese algae eater too. Can't make out anything else in the pic.

Did they tell you how much to feed, and how to do water changes? I'd ask them how large their water changes are and how often they do them to get an idea on how the tank had been maintained. If you are keeping them for 6 months, make sure not to overfeed. Ideally water changes would be done once a week, with temperature matched water and a dechlorinator.
 
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infantfish

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Here's a slightly better photo of the fish. Thanks so much!

Here's exact feeding advice: "Feed the fish one small spoon of crushed flake food once a day, after first turning off the filter (it is on a small lighted switch facing down under the tank). Give the fish a few minutes to eat and then turn the filter back on."

I am such a novice that I am not sure I have the correct filter switch! Only two switches I see are these ones on the hood, which I wouldn't say are "facing down under the tank."

Re: water changes, they advised to replace 5 gallons just once, in April. Do you think that will be a problem?
 

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Feohw

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The fish do appear to be what I said in my first comment. Harlequin rasboras. Cherry barb. Gold barbs. Siamese algae eater.

One small water change in 6 months isn't great. They should ideally have one every week, at least every second. Do you know if they have they always run the tank without many water changes?

Edit* forgot to say, welcome to Fishlore.
 
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infantfish

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Here's another guy who wasn't in the other photos.

I have no idea if this is their standard or if they're only having me do one water change so it would be less work for me? But I'm happy to do more if that's better for the fish! But all they left me with is 5 gallons of clean filtered water in a closet and I'm a little overwhelmed about going beyond what they instructed

Still stuck at absolute square one of figuring out whether or not I've got the correct filter switch!
 

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Dewclaw83

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Contrary to everyone else worrying about water changes, I would say trust and follow the instructions they left you. I’m assuming they know their stuff at least a little, and know what’s best for their fish.

When I leave my fish in my mother’s care, I don’t want her to do what people on the internet might tell her is right, I want her to follow the instructions I left.

I would say if you’re really that worried about water changes and which switch is which, just text or email the person. I’m assuming they can get you better answers from them than from random people on the internet (That’s us Lol)
 

Feohw

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infantfish said:
Here's another guy who wasn't in the other photos.

I have no idea if this is their standard or if they're only having me do one water change so it would be less work for me? But I'm happy to do more if that's better for the fish! But all they left me with is 5 gallons of clean filtered water in a closet and I'm a little overwhelmed about going beyond what they instructed

Still stuck at absolute square one of figuring out whether or not I've got the correct filter switch!
That's a Chinese algae eater. They have a pretty bad reputation once they start to get a bit bigger.

If they have been doing the appropriate amount of water changes, then leaving the tank with only one water change in 6 months will be a sure to end in dead fish. If they only do a water change every three months then that is quite impressive that the tank and fish look so good. And upping the water changes too quickly could potentially cause some problems. It would be great to know how exactly they have been maintaining the tank so that you can be sure that they have been maintaining it without water changes or not. Best to avoid the risk of not knowing imo. I have a feeling they have been doing more frequent water changes, though obviously that's a guess.

Have you pressed each switch to see what they do?
 
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infantfish

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Thank you all for the advice and fish ID!

I will check in with them about how often they've been doing water changes.

The switch on the right turns on a bright LED-looking light.

The switch on the left seems to turn off the filter and the main tank light? Would that make sense? I'm just thrown by the fact that the instructions say the switch is "facing down under the tank" and also that it's lighted when this switch is not... I have looked all over the tank though and don't think there's another switch I'm missing??

I know I should probably just text the person but they've just left for Europe (lucky them). I'm trying not to bother them too much and have them lose their faith in me as their housesitter already lol. But I've never had a tank before so I am an absolute beginner.
 

Feohw

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infantfish said:
Thank you all for the advice and fish ID!

I will check in with them about how often they've been doing water changes.

The switch on the right turns on a bright LED-looking light.

The switch on the left seems to turn off the filter and the main tank light? Would that make sense? I'm just thrown by the fact that the instructions say the switch is "facing down under the tank" and also that it's lighted when this switch is not... I have looked all over the tank though and don't think there's another switch I'm missing??

I know I should probably just text the person but they've just left for Europe (lucky them). I'm trying not to bother them too much and have them lose their faith in me as their housesitter already lol. But I've never had a tank before so I am an absolute beginner.
The instructions are definitely confusing. And strange the switch turns off the lights and the filter together. It looks like the tank may have a canister filter (an external filter under the tank and in the stand). Is that the case? Is there a switch down under there? I think that may be what they are talking about, a lighted switch on the canister filter under the tank (in the tanks stand) and the switch is facing down.

And I totally understand not wanting to get in the way of their holiday. I would be a bit annoyed at the lack of instruction though. Especially as the lives of their pets are would be in my hands.
 
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infantfish

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Oh wow you've solved the switch question. It was in fact hiding under the canister filter. THANK YOU.

I'm just not gonna mess with this other switch that I am still confused about.

Think I will check in with them about the water change. Hoping not to kill their pets! They've also left me with their dog who I have better instructions for but he is definitely not as well behaved as the fish.

Thank you all.
 

Feohw

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infantfish said:
Oh wow you've solved the switch question. It was in fact hiding under the canister filter. THANK YOU.

I'm just not gonna mess with this other switch that I am still confused about.

Think I will check in with them about the water change. Hoping not to kill their pets! They've also left me with their dog who I have better instructions for but he is definitely not as well behaved as the fish.

Thank you all.
Glad to see its sorted. And no problem at all. Great to see you're doing your best by them.
 
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infantfish

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One more (shy) fish to ID!
 

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Feohw

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infantfish said:
One more (shy) fish to ID!
Green tiger barb. They can be a bit nippy at times. Though the fish are all looking pretty good from what I can see. Likely pretty shy as it seems to be the only one of its kind.
 
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infantfish

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Awesome, thank you!
 

Wardonianfungus

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I’m pretty sure that the hood switches are for uv lights and regular lights.
 

J. MacGregor

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My question is weather or not the tank has live plants or fake ones. from what I can see through the pics you have posted the plants appear to be real which would allow for longer times between water changes due to the fact that real plants eat up ammonia nitrite and nitrates (the bad chemicals that are given off from uneaten food and fish waste) I defiantly recommend you read the thread on the nitrate cycle so that you are aware of what is going on in the tank "behind the scenes" (and in the gravel and on the plants...). Did they leave you with a test kit to test the water parameters?
 

jake37

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Did they tell you how to treat the water when you add the 5 gallons? You can't just pour in tap water as it might harm the fishes. What kind of spoon did they say to use to feed the fish. One teaspoon seems like an awful lot of food for those fishes. If they are not consuming all the food in a minute or less you are likely feeding them too much. It is better to underfeed a little than overfeed as that will pollute the water.
 
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