Toddler Dumped Flake Food In Tank

4077girl

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When we were feeding the fish this morning my daughter took it upon herself to fully open the food container and shake in a big pile of flakes before I could stop her (normally i open the food for the kids and they shake in a couple flakes at a time). It was probably 1 cm high, by 1.5 cm wide, by 4cm long pile of food she got in before I grabbed it, so a lot! I let the food settle to the bottom for a few minutes and did a 50% water change and vacuumed the **** out of the gravel but I can’t imagine I got it all. I rinsed the filter a little bit in the water I took out. The water looks clear and the fish are acting fine but I’m wondering what else I need to do to avoid an ammonia spike! The tank (15gal) has been established since July 2018.

Should i vacuum again tomorrow and change out more water? And:Or just test the water every day for a while? I also have one of those ammonia alert things but not sure how much I trust it. Anything else I should do? I don’t have anywhere else to put the fish. I have black skirt tetras and endlers livebearers.
 

e_watson09

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I would just use a net and scoop out as much as you can. If you see anything on the bottom you can siphon it out. You're probably fine since you caught it so quick!
 
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4077girl

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Yeah I don’t see anymore in there but I’m sure there is lots still hiding!
 

angelcraze

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I think your ok, but maybe do some extra water changes with siphoning for a couple weeks. Remove what you can manually.

Just a suggestion, I don't even have kids, so I feel weird making a suggestion, but could you give the kids a pinch of food instead of handing them the whole container and pouring from the container? And hide the food?
 

ForceTen

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Lesson. Never let kids do anything that involves the tank. When I watch cooking shows, they always say "this is a good one to do with kids". No way.
There are just some things we need to keep kids away from. My aquarium is one of those things.
 

e_watson09

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Yeah see I always pinch food and put it in my palm for the kids to feed then. That way I have control but they can still be involved! Kids in the hobby are great so I wouldn't exclude them completely! Accidents happen! Even I have accidentally put way more food in a tank than I meant to before!
 

Fishwifery

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Sounds fine, you can just not feed again for a couple days so the fish can eat it up. I let mine get a pinch out of the container and they handle that well.
 
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4077girl

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I think your ok, but maybe do some extra water changes with siphoning for a couple weeks. Remove what you can manually.

Just a suggestion, I don't even have kids, so I feel weird making a suggestion, but could you give the kids a pinch of food instead of handing them the whole container and pouring from the container? And hide the food?
I figured their dirty hands contaminating the food/water were more of a hazard to the fish than sprinkling straight from the container haha. I keep the food locked up all the time, and I was literally RIGHT THERE helping them, but obviously that's not good enough so we will have to have a different system.
 
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4077girl

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Thanks everyone for the ideas! I don't plan on keeping the kids from helping because that doesn't seem fair to me because the fish are their pets too and it was just an accident, but I will have to come up with a more accident proof system for them to help in the future! I'm thinking letting them sprinkle a little from my hand is a good route, though I worry if their hands are dirty it could hurt the fish, but I also worry if I wash their hands right before that the soap could get in the water and cause problems. Maybe I will pour a little into a second clean container and let them dump THAT in....it will take 10 minutes to feed the fish but that's life with toddlers haha
 

Mongo75

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Funny thing, the term "quick as lightning" and "in the blink of the eye" are an eternity compared to how fast kids are, especially when it comes to "no-nos"
 

angelcraze

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Warm water, scrubbing and drying is enough, but I like your idea to put a pinch in another container.
 

RuralGuppykeeper

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I suspect your fish will be ok in time between the filter rinse, gravel vacuuming, and water changes; even if it needs more of the same again later. Testing the water sounds like a good idea too. I can advise to keep food (all of the way) out of children's reach and/or locked up securely.

I had a similar experience several years ago during my childhood. I had a 10gallon, open-topped guppy aquarium in my bedroom. I came back from school to find my door ajar, a chair moved in order to reach the fish food on the low shelf, and about half of a large container of fish food dumped into the tank by a little sibling. I remember siphoning out the fish food from the gravel, at least twice. I suspect I also had to switch the disposable filter media (a polyester pouch with carbon inside) for a new one. I did not move or dry the tank out, since I had no spare quarantine tank then. I don't remember any of the guppies dying, but then it was a long time ago. Best of luck on the fish and the kids in the meantime. I'm glad you at least know enough to research and to reach online for help, that's more than I knew to do then.
 

ForceTen

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I meant no disrespect to children. After all I have 4 daughters and 8 grandchildren.
I guess I'm old enough now to be a little grumpy?
 
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