My grandads tank.

  • #1
So my grandad can not look after his tank, at all. Inspired by recent posts of people stepping up and looking after other peoples tanks I feel I should try to do the same.

He tried to clean out his filter today and ended up almost killing himself, he is on oxygen in hospital and he said he's going to have to get rid of it. As much as I would love that beast of a tank I have no room (my mom said I could have it but now it's changed to a no....).

I'm going to ask him if he wants me to clean the filter then tell him cleaning the thing will probably kill his fish, I may be a noob but I know that much haha. He has never tested the water or even done a partial water change. It's got a common pleco in, a loach, a load of mollys, two angel fish, a few little orange things, a big school of tetras, maybe more. I will try and take some photos. The fish seem fine mostly, one bites the dust every now and again but he hasn't said any have died for a few weeks, but I think he lies because he knows we talk about it... I feel bad for him, he does love the hobby but he doesn't like to admit he's getting on.

Now without the ability to test the water, do I just start off with 10% water changes daily? Then after a week or so increase it to 20% less often?

I'm also scared of gravel vacuuming it, removing too much while cleaning out the grimiest gravel the world has ever seen. The plants are also covered in white moldy stuff, I don't know how to clean plants, I didn't know this could even happen.

Any help would be great.
Claire Bear
  • #2
That is very nice of you to help your grandfather as long as he wants the help!
I would suggest using your tests to check the water and to try and vacuum a little at a time once or twice a week-taking it slowly. Since this is an established tank and the fish have acclimated to their water conditions, you want to take it easy. I would maybe do a couple of water changes a week of maybe 10% or even 15 but not much more-these fish are truly used to living in this water.
You can wash the artificial plants in a solution of bleach water, rinse and then use prime or whatever water conditioner you use to finish them in before you put them back, at least that is what I would do!
Good luck with this and hope it works out!
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I really hope he accepts my help, I can already hear him now telling me not to bother myself with the trouble. I don't know anyone that would have it off him even if he did want to get rid of it.

I would be scared cleaning the plants with blench, is there not another way to do it? Would the mold not die off as the water got cleaner?

Thanks for commenting so quickly!
Claire Bear
  • #4
If they are real plants then yes, they would clean up eventually-thought you meant artificial plants!
  • #5
It's probably safest to just do a little water change for the fishes. Stick with the basics, fresh water is always a good cure all. Condition it, rinse the filter in the tank water, swap the water 10-15% and call it a day. No reason to upset family or the balance of a tank if fish aren't dying too often. Your grand dads mental well being is probably more important in this instance than the fish. Not trying to be harsh but you only get a few grand parents and there are many fish out there.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Of course, I'm just trying to make life a little easier for him, hopefully he won't have to give up his tank. Trust me, no one is going to be upset, if things go the way I'm hoping they will I will just have a slightly happier grandad.

Yeah they are real plants sorry, he has a few fake plants but I think they are beyond saving, they are black with algae.

  • #7
Pull out the fake plants fill a bucket with water treated with prime and get a aquarium scrubber. The black stuff should come off with a little bit of work they will look brand new. Small water changes and vac small amounts at a time. The tank will come back.around and your grandfather will be able to enjoy it when he gets better.
  • #8
Just to say that you seem the sort of Granddaughter that I would hope (but not just yet) for, and enough of that, you are doing very well for your Grandad.
I agree with Claire completely in making positive changes slowly, as the fish are quite used to their water, even in the condition it is in.
Frampy I believe is quite right; you can to most anything to clean plastic or silk plants, and don't be at all shy of using bleach-just use the unscented type, as it is just concentrated chlorine, so a very good wash and scrub, followed by an even better rinse, and a dip in water conditioner perhaps (although soaking them for a day or so in a bucket of water will likely make them suitable), and the fake plants will look as new. I do this with my nightly bath, btw, but sadly it seems to work only on aquarium stuff
I might think of larger water changes in a week of so.
Best to you and your Grandad both-------------rick
Btw, a silly question, but is Walsal quite near Birmingham?
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Great advice here, thank you everyone! Haha I try my best ^^

My mum is at the hospital now so I am baby sitting the little one. Looks like my grandad is going to be in for another day or two :/

I think I know what I'm doing then, thanks all!

And yeah, if you mean Walsall it is quite near, I got a coach once to Walsall Illuminations a few years ago and we didn't travel for too long.
  • Thread Starter
  • #10

Well I went to my Grandad's house yesterday. This is the fun that followed!

My uncle loves tanks, he used to keep them until he had a bunch of kids. Well he jumped at the chance to clean the filter while I took care of the small water change. It is a canister filter and I have never seen one before so would have had no idea.

Vacuuming it was amazing, the amount of poo at the bottom was an eye opener, the water was almost black coming up the tube, I also found a dead fish hidden in the plants. Looked like the other fish had been eating it.

I filled a small bucket of water and had a game filling the tank back up since it's so tall and I am so short, but it got done.

My uncle had appeared to have broken the filter or so he thought, while I poured the old water outside I heard a scream, I went back to see what happened and there was brown stuff on the ceiling, on my grandad's new settee and all over my uncle. He claimed a ball of old poo had shot out the filter. Well at least we know it's cleaner then it was and most likely working better.

I'll be going back next in a few days to do another water change, without my uncle.
Fishy Friends
  • #11
LOL....guess the build-up of trapped gases once released caused a volcanic type eruption.......I am sure you are glad your uncle cleaned the canister☺

BTW - it really is a wonderful gift you are giving your Grandad - your time spent giving him something he can enjoy☺
Roxie Brookshire
  • #12
I wish my Grandpa was still around to share my fish tanks with. He always claimed to not like animals but I flat out busted him constructing weird toys and talking baby talk when my cat had to stay at Memaw's house for a month.

He also loved any excuse to go to the hardware store, use glue, play with electrical/plumbing/mechanical stuff. So I think he'd have enjoyed it.

Good luck, and next time you go to clean the tank you may want to wear a rain poncho.

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