Ideas To Cut Down Maintenance? Question

Discussion in 'Cleaning and Maintenance' started by CraiginWales, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. CraiginWales

    CraiginWalesValued MemberMember

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    Hi all. Due to disability I’m starting to struggle maintaining my 5ft, 130g Severum & Acara tank.
    I’ve sold a few Severums to reduce the biomass & will probably sell a few more. 6 Severums, 5 Acaras.
    I can do weekly water changes no problem but when it comes to cleaning I’m struggling.
    I can’t stand for too long to keep the glass free of algae. Weekly vacuuming is getting difficult. I don’t trust my balance on step ladders.
    I’m thinking of getting an electric vacuum & would appreciate any recommendations on that.
    Are there any ideas to keep maintenance to a minimum please? I’m determined not to give up my tank. Thanks
     
  2. Carmen79

    Carmen79New MemberMember

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    Hi Craig in Wales,

    I'm not experienced in Severums nor Acaras but, is your tank planted? Specially floating plants, they can absorb nitrates. I'd think this would be helping with your vacuum..?
     
  3. Donthemon

    DonthemonWell Known MemberMember

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    UV filter would help for the algae. Not sure what other type of filter you have but canisters don’t need to be cleaned very often. Also sand substrate seems easier to keep clean than gravel. Good luck and hope you will be able to continue. Fish keeping is relaxing and therapeutic.....
     
  4. OP
    OP
    CraiginWales

    CraiginWalesValued MemberMember

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    Thanks Carmen but plants are out of the equation. Lol. They’d be eaten or uprooted in no time
     
  5. jinjerJOSH22

    jinjerJOSH22Valued MemberMember

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    I've read Tetra Easy Balance is good, I can't vouch for it myself but a friend said it worked wonders.
     
  6. Fishstery

    FishsteryValued MemberMember

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    I don't have much experience with tanks that large or electric vacuums, but here are some quick ideas that may help even just a little bit.

    It's my understanding tanks of that volume dont need weekly water changes unless it's easier for you to do more frequent, smaller water changes instead of just a larger 20 pr 30% once a month. You could rehome a few more fish and get a large school of algae eaters / bottom feeders to help you cut down on algae, and also to help clean up any uneaten food on the substrate and reduce the need to vaccuum so much (I'm unsure if your fish are compatible, but just a thought). You can also go to lowes and buy a paint scraper with a long arm, one you attach a razor blade to. I'm not sure of your exact situation but maybe then it would be enough reach for you to pull up a chair and sit and scrape the glass? If you have any HOB filters you can get some potho or other large plants that people commonly use in their filters to help cut down on nitrates. These plants add beautiful aesthetics to your tank and having them rooted in your HOB will really help with water quality.

    Oh and edit I just had another thought, if you arent already using it, get some seachem purigen and add it to your filter. It will really help keep that water quality under control between water changes if you need to try and space them out as much as possible. I hope this helps!
     
  7. mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    Is there any way you can switch out your gravel substrate for sand? The good thing about sand is the ease of taking care of it since there are no gaps for waste to accumulate.

    If you could do that and them get a shoal of strictly algae eating fish maybe they would do a good job of keeping the inside of the glass cleaned for you.

    I know the day is coming when taking care of my tanks will get difficult for me so I am trying to think ahead of what I can do to make the job easier for me. I already have sand and my Bristle nose Plecos do a pretty good job of keeping my glass clean. Fortunately I have very little algae though so that helps.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    CraiginWales

    CraiginWalesValued MemberMember

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    Two Fluval 406 & a Fluval U6. I’ll have to look into UV, thanks
     
  9. Joshuaharestad

    JoshuaharestadValued MemberMember

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    Have you got a water python? I prefer that to electric as it seems easier and lighter. Its also a good vacuum.
     
  10. OP
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    CraiginWales

    CraiginWalesValued MemberMember

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    I’ll have to do a change to sand I think. Thanks
    How many Plecos would you recommend. I have one Calico atm

    Would only bristle nose Pleco’s be suitable with the Cichlids . I really like gold nuggets, zebra etc
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2019
  11. DecoyCat

    DecoyCatWell Known MemberMember

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    Hi Craig,
    Good on you for sticking with it, fish are so wonderful.
    I know smaller fish are really out of the equation because I know how big Severums can get, the other fish you mention im not familiar with...
    A canister filter with a UV light as mentioned already would help, you can find them on ebay, big turn over ones for cheap..
    Gravel is very hard to keep clean, my best thought would be for you to go bare bottom, problem solved and cleaning is such a breeze!
    A bag of Seachem Purigen in your filter as suggested already is also a very good addition and will help in cutting down water changes as it absorbs toxins.
    As for cleaning the glass, that's a hard one, I would ask a friend I trust to help with that once a month, or when needed.
    I would think on removing your gravel and going bare bottom, so no substrate at all, this would make things 10 times easier for you, and it looks stunning crisp and clean :)
     
  12. oldsalt777

    oldsalt777Well Known MemberMember

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    **** Craig...

    All you need to do is change the water weekly. You don't need to do anything else as far as maintenance. If you can manage half the tank water every week or even a day or two longer, the fish will be fine. The large, regular water change will remove most of the toxins and keep the water livable for your fish.

    Old
     
  13. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

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    I'd recommend a Python water changer. It makes water changes a breeze. Also, I use one of those magfloat algae scrapers. You. An use that while sitting down
     
  14. Mongo75

    Mongo75Valued MemberMember

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    I can only speak for the Eheim Quick Vac Pro. I use it because the syphon vacs empty too fast for my 20g tank. It runs off of 4 AA batteries and will pick up a 1" mystery snail, lol. The biggest complaint most people (from reviews) have, and I can confirm, is the impeller has a tendency to bind, requiring disassembly to clear it out. Overall, I like it, but for a tank as large as yours, it may not be the optimal solution.

    As for a step stool, I don't know what you have, but something like this may be an option.
     
  15. mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    I know I would never go back to gravel now that I have sand. All I have to do is kinda swirl the end on the gravel vac over the top of the sand to stir up the waste sitting on top of it to keep the sand clean.
    I don't think a BN Pleco would be the best option for you. From what I have read they can get pretty lazy as they age. In my case I have 2 and it works because I have very little algae to begin with. Mine spend a lot of time eating the bio-film off the glass though. I know there are other fish and some snails that are very good at keeping algae in check.

    Your best option may be @jdhef 's suggestion about getting a magfloat algae scraper. I've never had one but if I understand how they work correctly you just have to move the magnet around on the outside of the tank and the inside scraper does the inside work.
    I've never had any kind of cichlids so don't know what kind of fish they will accept. I am sorry I can't be of much help when it comes to stocking.
     
  16. Joshuaharestad

    JoshuaharestadValued MemberMember

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    One thing to be wary of with bn pleco is slime sucking. I had one who would actually kill other fish. With severum I'd just be worried about the bn sucking slime and then the wound getting infected. One reason I don't keep bn any more. Had one kill a couple fish. Not all do it but just something to keep in mind.
     
  17. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

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    See I would never use sand, it just doesn't look natural like my multicolored gravel does.:D:D:D
     
  18. RSababady

    RSababadyWell Known MemberMember

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    This would be a good option. I also use ceramic tiles on the bottom of one of my tanks - gives a nice look and very easy to keep clean. Ceramic tiles are just baked clay, so they are neutral chemically and can be bought in different colors and patterns to meet your needs and taste. Not easy to cut, so it is better to have them cut to the required size of your tank.
     
  19. Fishstery

    FishsteryValued MemberMember

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    I cant believe I forgot about those magfloat scrapers!! Just an important note about those if you decide to switch to sand....you might want to pull the magnet to the surface and un-stick it and swish it around before every use. Getting a grain of sand stuck in between those and then cleaning your glass = one scratched up tank
     
  20. Debbie1986

    Debbie1986Valued MemberMember

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    I use it. But, it doesn't stop algae on the glass. You still need to use a cleaning brush to remove it. It does help with bioload and any nitrate spike. Overnight after treatment, nitrate drop dramatically.

    I dose my 38 gallon rectangle & 36 gallon bow front with it weekly. My gravel is not that bad looking as a result. Right now I clean manually & also use a turkey baster, lol.

    I purchased a Python, but the length isn't long enough ( 25 feet) . I need to buy a longer plastic hose.

    The Python is very easy to set up ( great video at amazon on how to use) . The nozzle doesn't fit my sink nozzle, but does fit my outside water hose; hence why I need a longer plastic tubing. I need an extra 10 or so feet.
     
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