Tank cleaning help

Discussion in 'Cleaning and Maintenance' started by Tropicalfishlover18, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. Tropicalfishlover18New MemberMember

    Good evening fishlovers.!
    I am going to clean my 36 gallon bowfront aquarium in the soon but I don't know how to clean it ( don't know which tools to use ect) I might go to petsmart soon so that I can get the cleaning equipment.

    Thanks in advance

  2. blusshedWell Known MemberMember


    Cleaning, as in the tank is up and running and you are going a gravel vacuuming/water change, or cleaning as in it's empty and you want to clean it?

    Peroxide, or rubbing alcohol, or diluted bleach water are all good to use if the tank is empty. :)

    (Someone correct me if I'm wrong here... I've read it multiple times here, and a few people I know have done this, I've used rubbing alcohol and peroxide on my glass lids to remove the foggy look.)

  3. Adam55Well Known MemberMember

    Hello and welcome to FL.

    Yeah, I'm also wondering if you mean you're cleaning a full tank or an empty one. If it's empty, @blushed is correct. Any of the three will work. You can also try using just plain water and a sponge (unused and brand new) first.
    If it's full, a gravel vac is the way to go. It'll become your favorite aquarium tool in a hurry.

  4. Tropicalfishlover18New MemberMember

    I forgot to add this: I have to clean it full ( I don't have any other tanks to put the fish) any advice on cleaning the decor and the outside of the tank, I've heard using your fingers for cleaning algae for decor is that trick any good?
  5. blusshedWell Known MemberMember

    If I get algae on the rocks in my tanks I run the rocks under ice cold water from the tap and use a dish sponge (new - only for my tanks) and scrub it off. Usually works but takes a little elbow grease :p

    And yep, Adam55 is right, cleaning a tank (as in water change and decor, etc) you need a gravel vac, probably a bucket unless you can run the hose out a window or door, and an unused sponge to wipe the walls down, nothing else needed really...

    Either Tetra AquaSafe Plus, or Prime are good water conditioners to treat your water before re-filling the tank, too. :)

    I also see that your profile isn't filled out.

    Let me ask a few questions just to be sure we can help you AND your fish :)

    What size tank is this? Which type of fish, and how many?
    How long has the tank been up and running? Do you know about the nitrogen cycle?
    If not, I would suggest reading up and then asking any questions you may have.
    Which type of filter do you use?

    Might as well get that out of the way. :p Since you've apparently never did a water change on it, I'd assume it's basically a brand new tank?
  6. Tropicalfishlover18New MemberMember

    Actually it is almost a year old I haven't been on fishlore in a while and I lost my account, so I decided to start from scratch
  7. blusshedWell Known MemberMember

    Okay so when was your last w/c?
    And do you have a test kit? :)
  8. Tropicalfishlover18New MemberMember

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2014
  9. blusshedWell Known MemberMember

    Looks like your tank isn't cycled at all? Unless it's VERY VERY VERY VERY heavily planted?

    While you're out at the pet store I would pick up a bottle of TSS... (Tetra Safe Start) it's beneficial bacteria in a bottle, and will cycle your tank for you, basically... in a 2 week period...

    Once your tank is cycled you basically don't need to change out the filter media... You don't do this right?

    I can't imagine you being on FL and not already knowing this, but just double checking...

    Okay, so I re-read your first post, and see that this is a 36gal bowfront...

    I'm really not sure what you're meaning by "cleaning" then?

    Do you mean like scrubbing algae off the walls/decor only?

    I don't want to keep repeating myself, and end up being of no use at all. LOL

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
  10. Tropicalfishlover18New MemberMember

    I put tetra Ammonia safe and aqua balance is that why? Yes I mean scrubbing algae and clean the tank walls, especially the outside ( fingerprints ) and I only change the filter media when it is full with debris
  11. blusshedWell Known MemberMember

    No, no chemical at all will cause a 0,0,0 reading. (someone correct me if I'm wrong)
    Your tank isn't cycled, unfortunately. :(

    When doing water changes, like I believe I mentioned above, you need a water conditioner, I use Tetra AquaSafe Plus, most use Prime (by Seachem)... And basically unless your fish are sick, you don't need anything else. I also think I mentioned above about TSS (Tetra Safe Start), get a bottle rated for a tank your size as said on the BACK of the bottle. Not the front. I've read multiple threads where the bottle has said for "xx size aquariums" but the back stated differently, and once you do get that, and get the algae off and do your water change, please return here for instructions for use so you don't end up wasting money.

    You shouldn't need to change your filter media unless it's completely falling apart, other than that swishing it around in a bucket of tank water during a water change should help if you feel it's "full", and if there is space for 2 filter pads, add a second one and swich one only 1 at a time. I don't recall you answering about which filter you use.

    tou also didn't answer about what fish you have? That would also be helpful. :)
  12. Tropicalfishlover18New MemberMember

    I use a aqueon 55 gallon power filter

    The fish I have are (I know it is overstocked, thinking of getting another aquarium soon)

    3 Cory cats
    4 upside-down cats
    2-3 neon tetras
    1 zebra diano
    1 blue gourami
    1 olapine gourami

    2 diamond and 3 skirt tetras ( schooling together
    1 crawfish (being nice so far)
    A few snails (only gotten to pea size)
    4 goldfish ( I know, I know)

    That's it

    Make that 3 goldfish, 1 is dying
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2014
  13. blusshedWell Known MemberMember

    Did you shake the liquid test bottles really good and let them sit for 5 minutes for results? I really can't see getting a 0ppm ammonia reading with that many fish, especially the goldfish.

    I'm not going to harp on you for over stocking, just want to make sure that you understand how to cycle your tank.

    please shake the test bottles extremely well and re-test parameters, then post after the 5 minutes is up, taking a picture of the tubes next to the chart(s) helps too :)

    To me, I would immediately re-home the goldfish though... :(
  14. Tropicalfishlover18New MemberMember

    I retested the tank @blusshed

    The Nitrite, Nitrate, and the pH were the same, but Ammonia was between 0 ppm and 25 ppm

    I am going to put some Ammonia safe in the tank just to be on the safe side of things

    The setup is temporarily, try to get a 20 gal by Christmas, put the goldfish in there
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2014
  15. FiscCyningWell Known MemberMember

    Is there any way you can get a bigger tank? A 20gal will still be far too small for 3 goldfish. They would really need a 40-55 gallon tank minimum. If you aren't able to get a very large tank, it might be best for your. Goldfish to just rehome them.
  16. Tropicalfishlover18New MemberMember

    I try to get a tank when petco has their $1 a gallon sale
  17. blusshedWell Known MemberMember

    There was one going on here in Ohio, not sure if it's still in effect.
  18. FiscCyningWell Known MemberMember

    I believe the Petco sale has ended, but petsmart has a $2 per gallon sale that is for the tank and the hood and light (maybe more? Not sure) whereas the Petco sale was just the bare tank. When I was on petsmart last week the sale was still going, but you'd have to check their website to see when it runs til. Otherwise Petco seems to do the $1/gallon sale fairly regularly.
  19. Linda4088Valued MemberMember

    I think you need to shake up your nitrate test solution more. My tank was completely cycled but the nitrates kept coming up zero. I read to bang the bottom of the test bottle on a hard surface a few times to loosen the solution in it. I did that several times and now I have a reading on my nitrates.

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