Too much poo!

fishhappy
  • #1
Hi, I am still trying to understand the science of properly cleaning the tank.
Since I have had filter problems and someone over feeding the fish, I have lots of poo and uneaten food in there. My ammonia levels are still high even though I have done many water changes. I have gotten into the gravel pretty good, but there is still lots of in there. Do you think it is necessary to remove almost everything and do a thourough cleaning or will this hurt the fish? Thanks for any help!
 
mrsmuffin
  • #2
It sounds like you just need to do a good gravel vacuum. I have 2 different vacuums, the larger one obviously siphons water faster than the smaller one. In my 30 gallon tank, I usually start with my smaller one, so I have more time to do a good vacuum and then use the larger one when I am ready to finish removing water to the level that I have decided. I would not recommend that you remove everything and clean it, as it will disturb your cycle.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #3
Welcome to Fishlore.

mrsmuffin's advice is good and I think chickadee knows something that can help lower your organic waste.
 
fishhappy
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
too much poo continues

Thanks Mrs. Muffin and CoBetta couple, and who is chickadee? Anyway, I did a good gravel cleaning and the levels of ammonia have lowered slightly, but there is this unbelievable smell coming from the tank. We did use some Amquel to lower the ammonia. Do any of you know if that is good to use?
But the smell is is almost overpowering and the tank is in one of my kid's rooms, so a little concerned! Please help!!!
 
Fishies-for-me
  • #5
Keep changing water...and only feed very sparingly every few days for a week or so. If I am not mistake you can do 2 water changes a day if you need to. About 25% each time.
 
chickadee
  • #6
There is a product called Liquid Gravel Vac that will help to dissolve the organic matter and bring it up through the filter. Ordinarily it will say that you do not need to vacuum the gravel but you do need to vacuum the gravel also. It will also mean that you need to keep changing the filter pads and washing them and replacing them to keep them clean about every other day until this is resolved.

When your tank is bad you start by doing a 40% water change and good gravel vacuuming then put clean filter pad (just wash the old one in the water you have taken from the tank and put it back into the filter so you do not waste a new pad) and clean water to which you have added about a tablespoon total of the Liquid Gravel Vac (Freshwater type) and then you just add another tablespoon in two more days of the Liquid Gravel Vac and do this every other day for a week and do another 40% water change with another tablespoon of the Gravel Vac liquid in it. This time do not keep adding the liquid until a week goes by and then do another 40% water change and add the tablespoon of gravel vac liquid again. Just keep doing this making sure that you check the filter pad about every second or third day and wash it in clean dechlorinated water as needed to keep the dirt down. Your tank will clean itself very well and then I use the liquid about every other week after it gets to the point of being where it is clean.

Here is the stuff you need:



Rose
 
fishhappy
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Thank you so much chickadee! I am ordering some liquid gravel vac right now. Unfortunately, there is no place around where I live to buy it, but hopefully they will ship it fast! Thanks again
 
COBettaCouple
  • #8
Amquel+ is a good product but does have a rather strong smell. I prefer a water conditioner called Prime. It has a bit of a smell too, but I think less than Amquel+ and it's a super product. 1-2 drops of it per gallon.

Thanks Mrs. Muffin and CoBetta couple, and who is chickadee? Anyway, I did a good gravel cleaning and the levels of ammonia have lowered slightly, but there is this unbelievable smell coming from the tank. We did use some Amquel to lower the ammonia. Do any of you know if that is good to use?
But the smell is is almost overpowering and the tank is in one of my kid's rooms, so a little concerned! Please help!!!
 
keithrbrts
  • #9
Scrub tank walls with paper towels

scrub all rock things. Make sure you have much water movement. If you scrub or replace move caves once every two weeks you are good,
 
agsansoo
  • #10
I agree with COBettaCouple on the Prime, plus good bacteria ( Liquid Gravel Vac ). Also feed small amounts a couple of times a day is better than one huge meal.
 
fishhappy
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Yes, I was afraid to take all decor out of the tank and scrub it because I thought it might be stirring things up too much. But probably that is the only answer because when I add more water to the tank, you can still see stuff rising from the bottom. I am still waiting for the liquid gravel vac, but I think the thourough cleaning is probably the answer. Is it ok to take everthing out, even the fish? Or will this be too much of a shock for the fish?
 
mrsmuffin
  • #12
I would NOT take everything out and "scrub" your tank. I would think about doing something like this while you are waiting for the liquid gravel vac:

1) Rinse your filter media in some treated water and place back in filter
2) Do a partial water change and "stir-up" some of your gravel
3) After re-filling your tank, wait for the debris to clear up and rinse yur filter media in treated water again.

Theoretically, this should allow your filter to pick up a lot of the debris that you are seeing. Of course, if you have a gravel vac, I would also vacuum the gravel. You could certainly wipe down the sides of the tank with a clean towel and clean any visible gunk off of any plants or decorations.

Like I said, this is what *I* would do if I were having this problem, it doesn't mean that it is the best solution.
 
fishhappy
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Thanks, mrsmuffin, I will certainly try this and hope it helps. We are starting to feel like the worst fish caring people in the world.
 
Lucy
  • #14
That's what I would do too, mrsmuffin, but I'm wondering how much waste is in there and when the last time the tank was vacuumed.
Surely it couldn't that bad if weekly maintenance was done.
 
Lucy
  • #15
We are starting to feel like the worst fish caring people in the world.

Many of us have felt that way at one time or another.
Don't worry, you'll get it right.
 
mrsmuffin
  • #16
We are starting to feel like the worst fish caring people in the world.

You definitely shouldn't feel like that. You are making a good effort to get it right, which is better than most people!
 
volon287
  • #17
I have been having the same problem with ammonia levels between 4-8. When I vacuum, it stirs up a lot of debrit. It clears again pretty quickly (within an hour or so), but even with partial water changes of 25% 2-3 times per week I can't seem to get the level under control. I too was wondering if I should remove all the fish and remove and wash the gravel.
 
mrsmuffin
  • #18
Volon - are you vacuuming the gravel with every water change? Is it possible that you are overfeeding, or that you are overstocked?
 
fishhappy
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Thanks for all the encouragement! I was reading Lucy's and the tank has only been up for like a month and we have done so many water changes, we vacuumed the gravel a couple of times, we even took out some of the decor and left it out. We are so disappointed every time we get bad readings. But hopefully tomorrow when we get the liquid gravel vac, good things will happen! Wish us Luck!!!
 
chickadee
  • #20
I am going to try to explain something to you and I hope that it does not start a firestorm here. Do not firstly wash all the decorations! They contain a lot of the beneficial bacteria and every time you wash and scrub everything down you are washing away your cycle. Now this is very important. You are NEVER going to have a tank completely free of fish poo. I want you to know this because I think it is beginning to sound like you have expectations of having NO poo at all. Fish do poo and there is always going to be a little bit of it in that tank. You cannot run about with little diapers on them and change them to keep from having a bit of poo. The Liquid Gravel Vac will help and eventually (not totally overnight) it will have your sludge layer gone. But please do not be thinking that the tank is going to be sparkling and gleeming and totally so there are no particles ever. That is totally unrealistic. You will still have to do gravel maintenance no matter what it says on the bottle of the stuff you get. I do it every time I do a water change and still it can get ahead of me if my tank is overstocked. So expect to have a CLEAN tank with a minimal amount of dirt in it after you do a weekly water change and gravel maintenance and use the Liquid Gravel Vac. This does not mean you will not have to wipe down the walls and do your water changes. You will still have to do them no matter what. But it sounds to me like you are expecting too much of your tank. If you have pets they will be messy as they are living beings. They eat and they poo. And since you cannot walk a fish outside to use the bathroom it goes in the tank. So add the Gravel Vac Liquid when you receive it and then give it some time to work but keep watch on your filter media and keep it rinsed in clean dechlorinated water every few days. Change the water every time it needs it. At least one time a week. Do your gravel maintenance and when your filter needs maintenance do it too. The cleaner you keep your filter and filter pad while the process is happening (rinse lightly do not wring out and do not use tap water) the cleaner and faster it will straighten out.

Now I am not trying to be harsh and if it sounded this way please forgive me but I needed to make sure you were not thinking that ZAP the stuff would be sparkling. It will not if it is bad. It will start to be better in few days but it will take time. You may not even notice much for a week or more depending on how bad it is. Change the filter media if it is horribly dirty and watch for the stuff coming up and out the filter and you will see it being sent out the filter.

Rose
 
chickadee
  • #21
I think I see what your problem is. 2 Apple snails. Snails are poo machines. The 29 gallon tank with 3 Angels, 2 pictus cats, and 2 Apple Snails is overloaded with those 2 HEAVY bio-load producers. they are putting out a lot of load on that tank. People think that snails clean a tank and they do help keep the glass cleaner but they poo continuously and all the time forever. And you have 2 of them in that tank. It is adding a monstrous load on that tank. The angels by themselves would fill that tank if I am not mistaken and you have the Cats and the Snails besides. So you do not have too much decor as you have written in your Aquarium info. You have too many living things in there.

What are your readings now for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH? Please do not tell me high or low. I need numbers.
What type of filter are you using on the tank and what size? When did you last take it apart and clean the impeller and impeller housing?
How much of the water do you change each time and how often do you change it?
What and how much of it are you feeding your fish and your snails?

The answers to these questions will help us to really help you.

Rose
 
fishhappy
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
It's ok chickadee, you are not being too harsh. The only way you can learn is to get all the info you possibly can. Anyway, I don't think that we are being poo crazy or anything, it's just that we see a lot of debris come up when we add water back. And I just took the ammonia and it was 4.0. Everything else, the nitrites and nitrates are 0 and the ph is 7.2. We are using 2 filters, one is a Whisper using a bio bag and the other is aquatech which came with the tank. Both filters say they are for tanks up to 40 gallons. The impeller and housing were cleaned about a week ago. We change the water about every other day lately and about 60 % each time because we are trying to get under the gravel. The fish and the snails eat tetramin tropical fish food and we only give about 2 0r 3 flakes per fish or snail. I have worried about the snails being a problem because our 10 gallon tank doesn't smell like the 29 gal. tank does. Thanks for being so much help and anything else you have to add is welcome.
 
mrsmuffin
  • #23
Fishhappy - your tank is definitely not cycled! I know that this isn't the problem you came here for, but it is a problem that you have to address. Until your tank is cycled, you need to be doing 50% water changes every day. If you can get your hands on some Prime, use that as your water conditioner. As far as the debris goes, just keep vacuuming with those water changes.
 
Lucy
  • #24
HI fishhappy, with a toxic ammonia reading of 4.0, you must do a 50% water change now, if you have not done so already today. That'll only cut it down to 2.0, still detrimental to your fish.
Do another change in the morning and test again in the afternoon. As Mrs.muffin said, daily changes are a must.

Please note: I don't know what effect this will have on the Zap, maybe wait for Rose's input on this, but I do know your fish cannot live with that ammonia reading.
 
fishhappy
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
Thank you Mrs. Muffin and Lucy. We did do 50% water changes yesterday and today and we did just recently get some prime so we used that and last night we put in some liquid gravel and maybe tonight we saw a slight change. But we will keep doing water changes every day if we have to. I sure have gotten attached to those little fish and my 11 year old would be so sad if something happened to them. Thanks again.
 
volon287
  • #26
I am vacuuming. That's how I remove the water that I'm exchanging. I think we have been overfeeding, feeding twice per day. We have cut back to once per day and are being more careful about not feeding more than they can quickly eat, but it doesn't seem to be helping the ammonia level.
 

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