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Capa Branned-Alms's avatar

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I have a ten gallon tank.
I use a Tetra Whisper 20-30 gallon tank cleaner
I "vacuum" the tank out every week
I have two albino corys, an apple snail, and a sucker fish
Otherwise, I have four neons, two guppies, and a glow fish--and a newt

Every time I change out the water (10% once a week; 30% once a month), I find dirt and food flying around. I'll spend a half hour sucking out dirt and replacing water. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can keep it cleaner? I've never seen such a filthy fish tank, and I'm certainly not neglecting it
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What is your "sucker fish"? A pleco?
Is your glow fish a zebra danio?

Your tank's bioload is a bit on the heavy side, and unless that pleco is a clown pleco, it shouldn't be in there at all because they grow much too large. Do 30 percent changes each week, not 10 percent. (with your bioload, you may even need to do more than that).

Also, zebra danios do best in schools of 6+ or more and since they're so active, they're best in 20 gallons. I'd return him to the pet store and get another cory.

Anyway! With such a heavy bioload you will be getting lots of fish poop and waste. There's nothing you can do about it except reduce the bioload. Also try feeding a good brand of fish food like Hikari or New Life Spectrum- brands like Tetra and such have a lot of grains and less desirable ingredients that the fish don't digest, which makes their feces larger. Remember to rinse your filter pad too.
Zuska Darling's avatar

Dapper Ladykiller

Whoa buddy, that's a lot in one tank.I also have a ten gallon, but I only keep two guppies and two platies. Even that seems a bit cramped for them!

A good rule of thumb is 1 gallon of water per inch of fish. Each of my guppies, while small fish, are about two inches long, and my platies are about an inch and a half each.
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what kind of newt? if its a firebelly i would move it soon since they prefer cooler temps than tropical fish.

also its normal to have bits of poop, food and just weird stuff after you "clean" the tank, you arent ever going to be able to get all of it unless you take out everything and actually clean it. but you want a healthy tank more than a clean tank
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Moth Feathers
What is your "sucker fish"? A pleco?
Is your glow fish a zebra danio?

Your tank's bioload is a bit on the heavy side, and unless that pleco is a clown pleco, it shouldn't be in there at all because they grow much too large. Do 30 percent changes each week, not 10 percent. (with your bioload, you may even need to do more than that).

Also, zebra danios do best in schools of 6+ or more and since they're so active, they're best in 20 gallons. I'd return him to the pet store and get another cory.

Anyway! With such a heavy bioload you will be getting lots of fish poop and waste. There's nothing you can do about it except reduce the bioload. Also try feeding a good brand of fish food like Hikari or New Life Spectrum- brands like Tetra and such have a lot of grains and less desirable ingredients that the fish don't digest, which makes their feces larger. Remember to rinse your filter pad too.

No one at any pet store told me this stuff.
I do plan on making the tank bigger.

I don't know what kind of sucker fish it is. The most common one at my local pet store. The tag was just "Sucker fish" gonk
No, he's orange. You know, as opposed to purple, or blue, or green.

I can't return any fish, by the way.

But, this is normal? I'm not doing something awfully wrong?

Rinse my filter pad? :< I've just been throwing it out every month. So, I rinse it once a week when I change out 30% of the water?
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Shanna66
what kind of newt? if its a firebelly i would move it soon since they prefer cooler temps than tropical fish.

also its normal to have bits of poop, food and just weird stuff after you "clean" the tank, you arent ever going to be able to get all of it unless you take out everything and actually clean it. but you want a healthy tank more than a clean tank

Paddle tail. I live in Florida, and the tank is under my window. It was recommended to me that I leave the water temperature alone.

My newt's biggest problem seems to be that he's an escape artist. Lat night, he started crawling across my keyboard while I was typing. I have to tape tinfoil around the sides of my filter, or he gets out. Sometimes, he finds a way to get a hole in the foil. (Funny, given how lazy he is). I've also caught him crawling back in his tank. I'm going to have to get wire mesh today

Hi again! whee
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Ego sum Alucinatio
Shanna66
what kind of newt? if its a firebelly i would move it soon since they prefer cooler temps than tropical fish.

also its normal to have bits of poop, food and just weird stuff after you "clean" the tank, you arent ever going to be able to get all of it unless you take out everything and actually clean it. but you want a healthy tank more than a clean tank

Paddle tail. I live in Florida, and the tank is under my window. It was recommended to me that I leave the water temperature alone.

My newt's biggest problem seems to be that he's an escape artist. Lat night, he started crawling across my keyboard while I was typing. I have to tape tinfoil around the sides of my filter, or he gets out. Sometimes, he finds a way to get a hole in the foil. (Funny, given how lazy he is). I've also caught him crawling back in his tank. I'm going to have to get wire mesh today

Hi again! whee



lol hi

i just assumed fire belly since they are the more common ones in the pet trade. they do love to escape. mine old ones got out a couple times
Moth Feathers's avatar

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Ego sum Alucinatio
Moth Feathers
What is your "sucker fish"? A pleco?
Is your glow fish a zebra danio?

Your tank's bioload is a bit on the heavy side, and unless that pleco is a clown pleco, it shouldn't be in there at all because they grow much too large. Do 30 percent changes each week, not 10 percent. (with your bioload, you may even need to do more than that).

Also, zebra danios do best in schools of 6+ or more and since they're so active, they're best in 20 gallons. I'd return him to the pet store and get another cory.

Anyway! With such a heavy bioload you will be getting lots of fish poop and waste. There's nothing you can do about it except reduce the bioload. Also try feeding a good brand of fish food like Hikari or New Life Spectrum- brands like Tetra and such have a lot of grains and less desirable ingredients that the fish don't digest, which makes their feces larger. Remember to rinse your filter pad too.

No one at any pet store told me this stuff.
I do plan on making the tank bigger.

I don't know what kind of sucker fish it is. The most common one at my local pet store. The tag was just "Sucker fish" gonk
No, he's orange. You know, as opposed to purple, or blue, or green.

I can't return any fish, by the way.

But, this is normal? I'm not doing something awfully wrong?

Rinse my filter pad? :< I've just been throwing it out every month. So, I rinse it once a week when I change out 30% of the water?


Pet stores are not a reliable place for information. You need to always do independent research before getting any pet, especially fish, because their entire environment pretty much depends on you.

How much bigger is 'bigger'? Assuming you have a common pleco (the most common kind, and most likely that you have), they need at least a 75+ gallon tank, preferably 100 and more gallons though because they grow over a foot long.

"Glow fish" are genetically modified zebra danio. It doesn't matter what color they are, they are zebra danios. Zebra danios need to be schools of 6+ and are very active, needing more like a 20 gallon long than a 10 gallon.

I won't say you're doing nothing wrong..your bioload is really high for just a 10 gallon and the water changes aren't big enough, so the parameters are probably pretty out of whack
(which although it's common, isn't exactly normal/preferable to have). Once you fix those things you should notice the tank not to be as dirty.

A filter normally comes with a couple parts. One is the carbon cartridge, which is usually something with a piece of plastic with tiny slots (kind of like mesh) in it on one side and blue fluffy material on the other side. If you rattle it, you can hear the carbon inside. Carbon isn't needed for aquariums but if you choose to use it, then it should be replaced monthly (or more often, if the tank has a high bioload) because once it becomes saturated it will start leaking out all the gunk it's collected.

The other is the filter pad, which is usually a square of plastic fibers, like a sponge. It holds your bacteria. You never need to change it, but it will collect coarse particles from your aquarium (dirt and stuff, called mechanical filtration) so it needs to be rinsed occasionally (however often is up to you, just whenever it gets dirty) in tank water (never tap water, the chlorine kills off your bacteria). I try not to rinse it -in- the tank because all the stuff you rinse out of it will just get sucked up by the filter again...rather, when doing your water change, when you have the bucket of water you're throwing away, rinse it in there.

Some people also like to use filter floss, and it's cleaned the same way as the filter pad.
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Zuska Darling
Whoa buddy, that's a lot in one tank.I also have a ten gallon, but I only keep two guppies and two platies. Even that seems a bit cramped for them!

A good rule of thumb is 1 gallon of water per inch of fish.
Each of my guppies, while small fish, are about two inches long, and my platies are about an inch and a half each.


That is a bad rule of thumb.

you have to use the ADULT size of the fish, not just how big they are when you get them, and they have to be SLIM bodied fish. the rule doesn't work with Goldfish, plecos, or catfish, that I can see.

Not oging ot touch on your stocking, it seems poor unless you were planning on actually having your schooling fish in schools.
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Shanna66
what kind of newt? if its a firebelly i would move it soon since they prefer cooler temps than tropical fish.

also its normal to have bits of poop, food and just weird stuff after you "clean" the tank, you arent ever going to be able to get all of it unless you take out everything and actually clean it. but you want a healthy tank more than a clean tank

Paddle tail. I live in Florida, and the tank is under my window. It was recommended to me that I leave the water temperature alone.

My newt's biggest problem seems to be that he's an escape artist. Lat night, he started crawling across my keyboard while I was typing. I have to tape tinfoil around the sides of my filter, or he gets out. Sometimes, he finds a way to get a hole in the foil. (Funny, given how lazy he is). I've also caught him crawling back in his tank. I'm going to have to get wire mesh today

Hi again! whee


Newts need cooler water than the tropical fish that you have.
http://www.caudata.org/cc/species/Pachytriton/Pachytriton.shtml
Mistress of Rain
Zuska Darling
Whoa buddy, that's a lot in one tank.I also have a ten gallon, but I only keep two guppies and two platies. Even that seems a bit cramped for them!

A good rule of thumb is 1 gallon of water per inch of fish.
Each of my guppies, while small fish, are about two inches long, and my platies are about an inch and a half each.


That is a bad rule of thumb.

you have to use the ADULT size of the fish, not just how big they are when you get them, and they have to be SLIM bodied fish. the rule doesn't work with Goldfish, plecos, or catfish, that I can see.

Not oging ot touch on your stocking, it seems poor unless you were planning on actually having your schooling fish in schools.


I wouldn't call their stocking poor, just a bit -under- stocked. =) Guppies and platies, although not technically 'schooling' fish, do seem to do better in a trio. ^^;

You can check out Aqadvisor.com to check your stocking, although I do believe 1 more platy and 1 more guppy certainly couldn't hurt. If guppy I'd go with all males and Platy from my understanding do best in all female groups. You can always check into that.
Zuska Darling's avatar

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Zuska Darling
Whoa buddy, that's a lot in one tank.I also have a ten gallon, but I only keep two guppies and two platies. Even that seems a bit cramped for them!

A good rule of thumb is 1 gallon of water per inch of fish.
Each of my guppies, while small fish, are about two inches long, and my platies are about an inch and a half each.


That is a bad rule of thumb.

you have to use the ADULT size of the fish, not just how big they are when you get them, and they have to be SLIM bodied fish. the rule doesn't work with Goldfish, plecos, or catfish, that I can see.

Not oging ot touch on your stocking, it seems poor unless you were planning on actually having your schooling fish in schools.


I wouldn't call their stocking poor, just a bit -under- stocked. =) Guppies and platies, although not technically 'schooling' fish, do seem to do better in a trio. ^^;

You can check out Aqadvisor.com to check your stocking, although I do believe 1 more platy and 1 more guppy certainly couldn't hurt. If guppy I'd go with all males and Platy from my understanding do best in all female groups. You can always check into that.


Certain breeds of both guppies and platies have different varying preferences for being in schools. Platies such as the mickey mouse variety have a strong tendency to school, but others not so much.
Zuska Darling
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Mistress of Rain
Zuska Darling
Whoa buddy, that's a lot in one tank.I also have a ten gallon, but I only keep two guppies and two platies. Even that seems a bit cramped for them!

A good rule of thumb is 1 gallon of water per inch of fish.
Each of my guppies, while small fish, are about two inches long, and my platies are about an inch and a half each.


That is a bad rule of thumb.

you have to use the ADULT size of the fish, not just how big they are when you get them, and they have to be SLIM bodied fish. the rule doesn't work with Goldfish, plecos, or catfish, that I can see.

Not oging ot touch on your stocking, it seems poor unless you were planning on actually having your schooling fish in schools.


I wouldn't call their stocking poor, just a bit -under- stocked. =) Guppies and platies, although not technically 'schooling' fish, do seem to do better in a trio. ^^;

You can check out Aqadvisor.com to check your stocking, although I do believe 1 more platy and 1 more guppy certainly couldn't hurt. If guppy I'd go with all males and Platy from my understanding do best in all female groups. You can always check into that.


Certain breeds of both guppies and platies have different varying preferences for being in schools. Platies such as the mickey mouse variety have a strong tendency to school, but others not so much.


Meh, a guppy is a guppy is a guppy. A platy is a platy is a platy. xD Gene's that affect color I wouldn't believe would affect schooling/social behavior. Glow fish are genetically modified danios, but they still need large schools. Betta of any color shape and size are still going to be aggressive towards one another. Now, you CAN breed for more social or more aggressive fish/turtles/dogs/blue jays... But, since most gups and plats are bred solely for color, I wouldn' think social behavior would really be affected.

THAT SAID, as a whole platies and guppies aren't so much schooling fish as a whole, they are just social. =) They interact quiet a bit in different ways instead of actually 'schooling'. Although, when frightened they may form a loose school to try to throw off predators.
Capa Branned-Alms's avatar

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Shanna66
Ego sum Alucinatio
Shanna66
what kind of newt? if its a firebelly i would move it soon since they prefer cooler temps than tropical fish.

also its normal to have bits of poop, food and just weird stuff after you "clean" the tank, you arent ever going to be able to get all of it unless you take out everything and actually clean it. but you want a healthy tank more than a clean tank

Paddle tail. I live in Florida, and the tank is under my window. It was recommended to me that I leave the water temperature alone.

My newt's biggest problem seems to be that he's an escape artist. Lat night, he started crawling across my keyboard while I was typing. I have to tape tinfoil around the sides of my filter, or he gets out. Sometimes, he finds a way to get a hole in the foil. (Funny, given how lazy he is). I've also caught him crawling back in his tank. I'm going to have to get wire mesh today

Hi again! whee



lol hi

i just assumed fire belly since they are the more common ones in the pet trade. they do love to escape. mine old ones got out a couple times

Mine got out and died today. So, I went out and got a new one with a broken arm
Ego sum Alucinatio

Mine got out and died today. So, I went out and got a new one with a broken arm

Why would you get a new one, when you know your tank is already overloaded without the newt? Doesn't seem like a very good idea to me, just saying.

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