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how should I give fish tank a good clean?

(12 Posts)
Clure Sat 29-Sep-12 22:34:43

have had 2 goldfish for about 6 months, I've been doing regular water changes every 1-2 weeks, filter clean with tank water, syphoning off between 30-50% water during clean. I always leave the fish in the tank, is this correct? Can't seem to get to giving the stones at the bottom a good clean like this though. this week the fish have been lapping a quite a bit at the top. i've replace half the filter sponge at that needed a change. Please help what else can I do to help my poor fish?
In terms of cleaning do I remove fish from tank to clean bottom of tank or is this not a good idea? thanks

EauRouge Sat 29-Sep-12 23:02:05

How big is the tank? Goldfish are large, messy fish so they need plenty of space and a big filter.

To keep the gravel clean you should be cleaning it with a gravel vac at every water change and this should be once a week. Try youtube for a video that shows you how it's done. You can buy a gravel vac or just make one out of a plastic drink bottle.

And yes, the fish should always stay in the tank. The way you are cleaning the filter sounds fine.

Have you got a water testing kit?

Clure Sun 30-Sep-12 16:58:15

thanks, yes I have those water testing strips which I will do today. i also use the gravel vac. Would it be ok to wipe down the sides of the tank with my spongey tank cleaning cloth whilst the fish are in there? I did a water change Thursday but one of the fish is still lapping at the top today, would it be ok to do another small water change today do you think?

EauRouge Sun 30-Sep-12 19:18:46

Yes, it's fine to wipe down the glass while they're in there and to do another water change. How big is the tank?

Can I butt in and ask why do the fish lap at the top of the tank?? My black one did this before he looked really poorly as obv it fills them with air.......why do they do it though? Is it a sign of stress?? I have to say since we put him in a bigger tanlk he doesnt do it much at all now.

EauRouge Mon 01-Oct-12 10:55:04

It's normally a sign of hypoxia, either due to low oxygen levels in the water or because they are having trouble absorbing oxygen (nitrIte poisoning can do this).

You can increase the aeration in a tank by turning up the filter flow and making sure the outlet ripples the surface, you could add an airstone too if you want.

Also check the tank isn't overstocked and that the water is in good shape. If he's stopped doing it since you've put him in a bigger tank then it's probably a good sign that the previous tank was too small.

I see...thank you!!!

It's a minefield, this goldfish keeping lark but I am getting there slowly!! smile

EauRouge Mon 01-Oct-12 12:17:40

It is, isn't it? There's so much conflicting info out there and some of the people that we should be able to trust (sales staff and manufacturers) give out wrong or out-dated advice. Thank god for the internet, although that is full of crap too confused

I've always found this book good for accurate info.

Clure Mon 01-Oct-12 12:47:13

Eau thanks for advice, I think our tank may be too small then. Did another water change and cleaned sides of tank and it seems better. I tested the water and the nitrite was too high. Do you think I should be doing partial water changes every couple of days to bring the level down? I will also turn up the filter - thanks again for advice, I have to say I thought keeping goldfish would be easy!!

EauRouge Mon 01-Oct-12 12:50:32

It is easy if you have the right equipment and tank but sadly shops won't tell you how much space they need (probably because most people would say 'sod that, I'll get a hamster instead').

Here is a guide to how much space a goldfish needs- make sure you're sitting down!

EauRouge Mon 01-Oct-12 12:56:46

Oh and if the nitrite is high then I'd be doing a partial change every day- nitrite is v poisonous to fish.

Youcanringmybell Wed 03-Oct-12 17:32:58

The nitrIte is high because the tank is too small. Did you cycle your filter first?

You should be doing 80% minimum water changes daily until your ammonia and NitrIte is a t zero. unfortunately the test strips are not very accurate. Next time you need test equipment get the Liquid test kit. They are twenty pounds online but last AGES and are very accurate.

It may be that you will need to rehome the goldfish to a pond and considr a different species for your tank.
Hope everything works out for you thanks

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