What am I doing wrong?

(4 Posts)
VagueButlmportant Sun 06-Mar-16 16:38:26

I've had the tank set up almost three years, and I fully cycled it to start with - although I did have a bit of a crash a couple of months in when I bought too many new fish. That all got resolved and no obvious problems since then.

I test the water monthly, and everything looks OK but I have a very bad track record of keeping fish alive. I do have a plec who has been in there since month three and seems happy, a few cherry shrimp that were breeding but I haven't seen any new babies for a few months, and I also have a ghost shrimp that's lasted almost the whole life of the tank, but my fish seem to have a very short life expectancy. I'm now down to just three rummy nose tetras and one of them looks a bit poorly.

I wonder if either there's something wrong with my routine, or there's something else that's affecting the water quality?

It is a 60l tank. I do a water change once a fortnight of approx 30%.

I take out one bucket full, and clean one side of the filter in the tank water. (fluval filter). I then empty out another bucket full. I then fill the bucket with tap water (and a bit of water out of the kettle), and add half a cap of Tap Safe. (I was using Prime until recently), leave it for 10 mins, then add it to the water (checking temperature first). I then repeat with bucket two.

I feed the fish daily but with a very tiny amount of flakes (at the moment only 3 small fish so they don't need much).

The water temp always seems fine. I have a thermometer in there.

I have a piece of wood that I bought from a fish store, and I also have some rocks that came with the tank (Second hand). I wondered if they might be a problem?

There are some plants in there. I did recently pull a load out because I was worried they were taking over.

I bought 2 guppies 3 weeks ago. They have both died. sad

TreeSparrow Wed 09-Mar-16 09:47:46

You have a pleco in a 60 litre tank? Erm...there's your problem in afraid! What species do you have?

I'd say you weren't changing enough water. I'd do 50% weekly.

What size is your filter rated for?

VagueButlmportant Wed 09-Mar-16 17:51:48

I didn't realise the pleco might be an issue. He's very tiny. About 2" long and I did check that he was a breed that wouldn't get huge. I think he's a clown. Is that likely to be the problem?

The filter is a Fluval U2. It says it's for 45-110l.

I could definitely increase the water changes. I will try that for a while and see if things get better.

Is it right to give each bucket 10 mins once I've added the TapSafe? I don't know who told me to do that and I can't find it on the instructions anywhere. I might have dreamed it!

TreeSparrow Thu 10-Mar-16 17:10:11

A clown pleco will need 100 litres as a minimum tank size so your tank is too small. Plecos are real poo machines, they're so messy, so change lots of water frequently to maintain water quality.

Ideally you need to aim for a minimum filtration of 120 litres on a 60 litre tank. Always double up to adequately filter a tank. I used to at least triple mine.

I'm not sure why you'd leave the water for ten minutes. Unless you have a problem with excessive air bubbles in your water? I just run the hot and cold tap to fill the bucket to the right temperature. Add Aquasafe and mix. Then immediately add to the tank. Job done.

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