Old tank syndrome

Discussion in 'More Freshwater Aquarium Topics' started by James95, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. James95

    James95Well Known MemberMember


    So, has it happened to anyone here? Have you ever become really busy or just plain lazy and let your tanks go for a while? How long did they go without maintenance?

    Tell your story and it's outcome. No judgement will be passed, everything's a learning experience :)
  2. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    :;fruI went to visit my ailing mother for a month. I gave my husband EXPLICIT instructions on how to take care of my fish. I even had him watch while I did the maintenance on my tanks.

    So I come back after 30 days and the first thing I see is that the water level is 1/4 of the way down the waterline. The next thing I notice is that some of my fish are just plain GONE. All my beautiful Blue Rams, GONE. And you know what gone without a trace means.

    There was algae all over, the water was mirky, and not only had the water not been changed, the substrate had not been vaccuumed. I was horrified. Some of the fish pulled through, I think it was a miracle that they lived.

    He is still in the DOG HOUSE for that one, and will be for years to come.:;fru
  3. can haz catfishies?

    can haz catfishies?Valued MemberMember

    i havent got too bad, i've had the odd two or three week period where i have had to put off water changes as i have been off on photo shoots or covering events and not had time to maintain my tanks but as a rule i normally keep on top of it, but i have become more relaxed these days, i did get a bit lax at one point as i was having problems with algae and cyno and got plain fed up but after finding a couple tips i am back on top now

  4. OP

    James95Well Known MemberMember

    Interesting to hear from others. About this time last year I started doing regular maintenance again.

    My tanks went for a year and a half without water changes. Only filter cleanings, top offs and glass maintenance. Looking bad on it, my plants probably kept my fish alive.

  5. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    :animal0068:I have moved your thread from General Discussion to More Freshwater Aquarium Topics section of the forum.

    Knowing that sometimes life gets in the way for many folks, I've been fortunate for the past 14 years and have never neglected nor had to neglect my fish :) Taking care of my fish is what I do, period.

    There is no excuse for laziness! If one is getting lazy with their fish then perhaps it's time to give up the hobby and try again another day. Please do not make fish suffer because of laziness.


  6. OP

    James95Well Known MemberMember

    Couldn't agree more ken. Likewise, I never rationalized my actions or excused them ;)
  7. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    A couple years ago, I had to give up all my tanks but 1...my daughter offered to take it for me and it had my baby betta that I had bred myself and a few platies....Although I set it up and taught her how to maintain it, she had called me a couple months ago....she said "mom all the fish have passed away so we shut off the filter and heater" ....I was sad but I went and picked up the tank a couple weeks ago....I was in my own place and finally able to have it back!!!!! As I started to drain it , up from no where, came my betta baby and 1 platy!~ these poor fish babies ....took me a good week to acclimate them to a clean tank as I was afraid the "old tank" was something they were use too....
  8. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hi James,

    I didn't mean for my post to sound like it was directed to you but for everyone in general. :)

  9. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    hides under the couch!!!!!!!! kens rippin today :;bb:;nw
  10. LyndaB

    LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    Keeping fish should be like keeping any other type of pet. Ken's absolutely right. If you're so lazy or your time management skills are such that you can't find the time to do proper maintenance, you shouldn't have tanks. If you wouldn't give your fish the same amount of care that you'd give your cat or dog, it's time to put those tanks on freecycle.
  11. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Shawnie LOL

  12. MD Angels

    MD AngelsWell Known MemberMember

    Shawnie - OMG! Poor little babies! How are they doing now?
  13. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Over the winter, i let the water changes slip to once a month. It took several months for me to start seeing the effects. Not that things came crashing down or anything, but I was noticing little things. Not wanting to notice bigger things, I increased the frequency again.
  14. OP

    James95Well Known MemberMember

    Interesting Jasyee. Speaking from personal experience, I wouldn't let a tank go for more than a month without a water change, and that's only under dire circumstances.

    There's also a point of no return. When a tank becomes so neglected and filthy (I'm talking years of neglect) the best thing to do is tear the tank down and start over.

    Shawnie, what a story!!
  15. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    My ex had a huge goldfish in a 10 gallon tank, for who knows how long, and she had never done any maintenance on the tank. I had to do 4 or 5 complete water changes in succession to clean the tank. I couldn't believe the fish was alive, let alone that it attained the size that it did.
  16. OP

    James95Well Known MemberMember

    That our story reminds me of this environmental education center near my house. It's run by the dep of fish and wildlife and is located inside of a wildlife preserve.

    Anyway, they have a science classroom with 4 aquariums. 2 saltwater and 2 freshwater. These tanks are well established and have been running for 10+ years without any regular maintenance.

    Only the front pane of glass is clean and the water is clear. They run the tanks with under gravel and power filters. The marine tanks have no fish left in them and the freshwater has snails and eastern mudminnows.

    I was toying with the idea of volunteering my time and efforts to redo their tanks. Problem is, I have no marine tank experience. What to do what to do...
  17. psalm18.2

    psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    I went to a house once where the water was completely green. The water was so murky I couldnt see the fish!
  18. OP

    James95Well Known MemberMember

    That's the worst! I think clear water gives the illusion of a well maintained tank, especially to lay fish keepers. You know?
  19. LupinusValued MemberMember


    I was watching a youtube video yesterday while perusing reviews. Guy's tank was overstocked, and felt the need to throw in basically "keep your opinions to yourself, my waters fine look HOW CLEAR IT IS!!!"

    Now maybe it had massive amounts of filtration and was perfectly fine. If that's the best reasoning he can come up with though I'm getting not. Clear water does not a healthy tank make.

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