Little boy messed up my tank, help

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keely

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Nov 28, 2002
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It's a bit late now, but you don't really have a choice; you have to vacuum until you get all the food out. Change the water 20x if you have to. Make sure you wash all the food out of the filter too, preferably with dechlorinated same-temperature water to save as much of the biofilter as possible.

Don't worry about saving any old water... the fish will not thank you for saving the water that had fish food soaking in it overnight. A spoonful of rotting fishfood will kill more fish than 100 buckets of fresh clean water will. If you do regular water changes, big water changes are nice for fish, not dangerous. In this situation, new vs. old water is the least of your problems.

The tank is likely to be a bit unstable for a while afterwards; it would be a good idea to keep a close eye on ammonia/nitrites for a couple weeks and do more large water changes if necessary.

If you use simple dechlorinated tap water in your tanks, it's very easy. If you use pH adjusters or otherwise make the water different, it's more work, but it needs to be done. Hope everyone survived so far.
 

Rocketman

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Oct 24, 2002
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Most importantly make sure the kid doesn't do it again... Have him vacuum it!
Just kidding...
 

ryan

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Aug 20, 2002
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even if you did multiple 50% water changes you wouldnt have all new water as long as you refilled before taking more out. you will just have a lesser concentration of your original water. I did 4 50% water changes within a day when i ripped out my UGF. the fish where just crammed into a 10 gallon tank all day, then put back at the end of the day. No deaths resulted

ryan
 

keely

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good point ryan, I do 50% water changes on my tanks every week, which sounds like a lot until you think it takes about 6 changes of 50% to remove 99% of the original water.
 

Serrateeth_2002

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Nov 3, 2002
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I usually do 100% water changes,its risky but so far i never had deaths from it before,IMO,100% is the fastest,i get a pail inside with water parameters i dun noe(dun bother),neutral usually,dump all fish inside,dump the water in the tank,refill it,add anti chlorine and beneficial bacteria to speed up processes,wait for four hours,check water parameters,do decor,cloudy water would have cleared up but the bigger the tank the longer,then dump all the fishes in,i got no probs with sensitive fishes like clown loaches before,sometimes you need more experience than logic.Remeber it is risky because if you add the fish in too quickly,they will die.
 

fishbrain

PROUD TO BE AMERICAN
Originally posted by Serrateeth_2002
I usually do 100% water changes,its risky but so far i never had deaths from it before,IMO,100% is the fastest,i get a pail inside with water parameters i dun noe(dun bother),neutral usually,dump all fish inside,dump the water in the tank,refill it,add anti chlorine and beneficial bacteria to speed up processes,wait for four hours,check water parameters,do decor,cloudy water would have cleared up but the bigger the tank the longer,then dump all the fishes in,i got no probs with sensitive fishes like clown loaches before,sometimes you need more experience than logic.Remeber it is risky because if you add the fish in too quickly,they will die.

When doing100% water changes ,wouldn't that cause your tank to go into a mini cycle?
 

Serrateeth_2002

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Nov 3, 2002
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Mini cycle?i just dump all old water out,put new water in,then i dechlorinate the new water and add beneficial bact,photosythesising bacteria,black water essence,i let the filter run after i put the water in,i tot it is a major cycle.
 

Twilight

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Sep 9, 2002
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You maybe could try to sweep it out into another container or the tank it-self but let the water run through some kind of thin net or old panty hose to catch the food, etc. Then you can put back the filtered water.
 
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epro

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Nov 28, 2002
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Doing so so - so far

I did 50% water change yesterday, and vaccumed out all of the food. I ended up letting it settle in the five gallon bucket, then putting the top water of the bucket back in the tank, and then vaccumed again and again. It took 8 5-gal buckets to get the can of food out of the gravel. There was soooo much food in the gravel it was unreal. The water smelled pretty bad, and fish were gasping at the surface. Now, today, I did another 50% water change. The parameters are (just before I did the water change), Nitrite 5.0, Nitrate 150 or off the scale, and ammonia is surprisingly 0, or maybe just a very small hint of yellow, but the test tube is basically clear, and ph is up to 8.2 somehow (comes out 7.6 out of my tap). Before my son dumped the can of food in the tank, about a week ago, Nitrate was less than 5.0, 0 Nitrite and 0 ammonia, and ph was 7.6. I guess the food had a chance to rot overnight and spike all these values. I wish I would of seen it right away rather than the food sitting in the tank all night until the next day. One little neon fish has died so far. Today I bought a big air pump and am ciruculating the hell out of the water, fish are swimming around and seem ok. (7 neons left, 4 cherry barbs, and 4 small corys, and one otto cat, and 2 small glass fish, not those poor colored ones). Thanks for all your help. I guess my tank is cycling again based on these values, huh. I will keep doing 25% water changes everyday for another 4 or 5 days, does that sound ok?
 

Richer

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Aug 7, 2002
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your nitrites are a bit high for comfort, increase that change to 40-50% perday, or as nessessary to keep nitrites as low as possible.

HTH
-Richer
 
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