How do you clean your Shell-dweller tank?

Leeman75

Member
When you do tank cleaning/maintenance of your Shell dweller tank, do you gravel vac your sand?

I worry about whether I will be messing with their set up and scape that they've made and will cause them a lot of stress. My Shelly tank is lightly stocked for it's size (Aqua Advisor says I'm at 50% and WAY overfiltered), so the biolode is not too bad, but I've only done very limited vaccuming due to not wanting to upset their home that they've set up.
 

MacZ

Member
It's not necessary. Never did that in a shelly tank.
It could actually be that they attack the vac.

Just keep up the filtration and maybe some detritus collects in a corner you can siphon out. Otherwise just leave them do their thing.
 

Flyfisha

Member
When I had shellies I had that many I felt like I had to do something. Having the maximum number in a 80 litre/ 22 gallon that breed continuously regardless of taking dozens to auctions my solution that kept me happy was.
Approximately every 18 months I reset the tank completely.
I was happy and the shellies kept breeding.

Each week I only vacuumed water and cleaned one of the 5 sponge filters.
Once every 18 months pull everything out remove all the sand . Put the sand in a bucket and rinse until clear . Cleaning the glass panels at the same time.

When COVID hit and all auctions were canceled I had 80 adults in the 22 gallon before they slowed breeding down . At that stocking I felt I needed to do 2 water changes each week but still did not deep vacuum the sand.
 
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Leeman75

Member
Flyfisha said:
When I had shellies I had that many I felt like I had to do something. Having the maximum number in a 80 litre/ 22 gallon that breed continuously regardless of taking dozens to auctions my solution that kept me happy was.
Approximately every 18 months I reset the tank completely.
I was happy and the shellies kept breeding.

Each week I only vacuumed water and cleaned one of the 5 sponge filters.
Once every 18 months pull everything out remove all the sand . Put the sand in a bucket and rinse until clear . Cleaning the glass panels at the same time.

When COVID hit and all auctions were canceled I had 80 adults in the 22 gallon before they slowed breeding down . At that stocking I felt I needed to do 2 water changes each week but still did not deep vacuum the sand.
Thanks, this puts my mind at ease. I can handle the 18 month scheduled reset!

Wow! 80 adults!!
Sadly, I seem to be the only Shelly keeper in history who doesn't have breeding happening.
 

kirklandnguyen

Member
Flyfisha said:
When I had shellies I had that many I felt like I had to do something. Having the maximum number in a 80 litre/ 22 gallon that breed continuously regardless of taking dozens to auctions my solution that kept me happy was.
Approximately every 18 months I reset the tank completely.
I was happy and the shellies kept breeding.

Each week I only vacuumed water and cleaned one of the 5 sponge filters.
Once every 18 months pull everything out remove all the sand . Put the sand in a bucket and rinse until clear . Cleaning the glass panels at the same time.

When COVID hit and all auctions were canceled I had 80 adults in the 22 gallon before they slowed breeding down . At that stocking I felt I needed to do 2 water changes each week but still did not deep vacuum the sand.

I'm curious, when you were doing your complete reset after 18 months, where did you put the shellies?
Did they stay in the tank? I assume the tank was very cloudy when removing all the sand!

Thank you
 

Flyfisha

Member
Each time you remove a shell there’s a good chance a little fish has gone into hiding inside it. So the shells go into a few inches of tank water in a bucket. All the rest of the fish stay in the tank .

As a recreational fishing person I have seen rivers in flood many times, the water is dark brown there are rocks the size of small cars moving around and giant tree branches ploughing up the riverbed.

I have recently seen my local shop use bleach to clean my old shells of the inevitable green algae.
A shop may have to make the shells look nice and clean for the public? There is no need to do this for a home aquarium but I thought I would mention it kirklandnguyen , good luck.
 

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