I have posted before about my fish history, with starting with goldfish, moving to tropical, having a break from it all, eventually going back to tropical, then bravely diving into the salt water side of the hobby in January of last year.
For a while, I was running both the tropical tank I had worked so hard on & the new marine tank. I didn’t have time for both, so the tropical was sacrificed. For those of you interested in the whole story, you can read about it here >>>.
The picture above is the tropical tank, two days before it went to its new home. There were some beautiful fish in there, electric blue rams, Apistogramma, Panda Garrra & many others! The plants were thriving, I was throwing away a carrier bag of cuttings each week.
I sold the tank to a friend of mine, he had promised to take good care of it, and to call if he had any issues, he is only a 5 minute walk away from me & I see him down the pub nearly every weekend. The tank was sold with all the equipment and potions required to keep the tank running nicely, the filter was less than 6 months old & all the bottles were at least 3 parts full.
I asked him how the tank was doing this week, and he sent me a couple of pictures…
To say I was devastated is an understatement! How?! How do you allow a tank to get this bad? What pleasure does this bring anyone? None! You cant even see in it to see how your fish are doing, let alone enjoy them.
I marched over to his house, armed with my marigolds, a scrubber, and more water treatment.
When I got there, I looked at the tank in pure dismay. I didn’t even know where to start with it. The algae was so attached to the glass that even the most heavy duty scrubber would have needed several goes over it.
After an hour and a half (and lots of elbow grease), you could now see inside the tank. The water had gone an off shade of slime green, but the front glass was clear at least.
Time to have a look at the filter…. turns out in the 10 months the tank has been set up, my friend had never once cleaned the filter out. Not only has he not cleared the filter out, but the tank has never had a water change, just the odd top-up. I dread to think what the water parameters in that tank are at the moment.
It was frustrating to see the potions I sent him for the tank (including the water conditioner!!), were still in the bag, right where I left them. Completely unused.
I’ve cleaned the filter as best I can, but he has been told to go and buy some new foams/sponges… his are beyond saving! I’ve also told him to start doing some water changes! I’ve tried to arm him with all the information he needs to bring this tank back to life, I just have to hope he listens to it & doesn’t try to take the easy way out of it.
Looking in the tank as I was cleaning it, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of fish in the tank (not that that is surprising, given the state of it!). All of my beautiful fish reduced to a couple of guppies, a handful of danios, one cory cat & a platty. Only the hardiest of fish have managed to survive this abomination of a fish tank.
The tank was what I considered a low maintenance tank. I used to do a 25% water change every month, never needed ferts once the plants took a hold, fed twice a day, and gave the glass a wipe once week. That was about it. To me, that seems like so little to have to do, especially since having the marine tank, which requires at least half an hour a day & normally a couple of ours over the weekend.
There are two morals to this story really. One, don’t sell your beloved tank to a friend, even if you think they would keep up on maintenance. Two, keep up with your maintenance!
This tank went from a beautiful planted tank to a slime covered mess in just 8 months!
If you haven’t done a water change, or cleaned your filter in a while… please, go do it now! Your fish will thank you for it.
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I cannot point fingers as I have been guilty of this due to lack of time. Another problem is our water. We have well water and this leaves a hard water mark on the tank that I cannot seem to get off. I have let my tank sit empty for over a year now. Can you make any recommendations?
Have you thought about installing an RO/Di unit on your tap? Mostly used on saltwater tanks, but it removes all the nasties from the water, helping to achieve 0 total dissolved solids in your water. I used to use it from my freshwater tank & never has any issues with it. Because it removes the chlorine in the water, you then don’t need to buy the chemicals, just use the water as it is produced. They are not that expensive now, I picked up a 5 stage one for £60. Just have to change the filters once a year.
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That might be worth looking into! Thanks!
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Sounds like you didn’t educate your friend on how to take care of a tropical tank, not all blame can lie with him.