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Old 10-10-2005, 05:51 AM
Bill Stock
 
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Default What's your maintenance schedule?

I've read about people spending half an hour a week (or less) maintaining
their planted tanks. I simply don't frickin believe it! Either they live in
a perfect world or they're doing an awful lot of daily maintenance that's
not being included in the weekly total.

I spend about 45 minutes a week on the GF tank alone, which does not include
the monthly filter cleanings. Just the basic algae scrub, gravel vac and
water change. The planted tank is probably about half an hour, but it should
be a lot more and it's starting to show. If I ever tear it down and build a
real aquascape, I could see spending two hours a week on it.

Today for instance, I did the algae scrub, extended gravel vac (BGA
outbreak), filter clean and larger than normal water change. This probably
took an hour or so. Then I spent another hour disinfecting the floating
plants in Permanganate and doing the same for the large Pagoda (Loach
hideout). This time doesn't include any plant maintenance, other than
scrubbing off the BGA before the gravel vac. Then tonight I'm walking past
the basement door and hear one of the pumps cavitating. Damn, go to check it
out and notice how dirty the glass canopy has gotten. I can't believe I
didn't notice it earlier, so I grab the scrubber and attempt to remove the
white crap. It wouldn't touch it this time. OK, time for the vinegar. Half
an hour later I had the glass pretending to be clean again. But the damn
pump is cavitating again...

So what's your REAL maintenance schedule and tips.

P.S. This post is somewhat tongue in cheek for the humour challenged.




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Old 10-10-2005, 11:34 AM
Dick
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Sun, 9 Oct 2005 23:51:49 -0400, "Bill Stock"
wrote:

I've read about people spending half an hour a week (or less) maintaining
their planted tanks. I simply don't frickin believe it! Either they live in
a perfect world or they're doing an awful lot of daily maintenance that's
not being included in the weekly total.

I spend about 45 minutes a week on the GF tank alone, which does not include
the monthly filter cleanings. Just the basic algae scrub, gravel vac and
water change. The planted tank is probably about half an hour, but it should
be a lot more and it's starting to show. If I ever tear it down and build a
real aquascape, I could see spending two hours a week on it.

Today for instance, I did the algae scrub, extended gravel vac (BGA
outbreak), filter clean and larger than normal water change. This probably
took an hour or so. Then I spent another hour disinfecting the floating
plants in Permanganate and doing the same for the large Pagoda (Loach
hideout). This time doesn't include any plant maintenance, other than
scrubbing off the BGA before the gravel vac. Then tonight I'm walking past
the basement door and hear one of the pumps cavitating. Damn, go to check it
out and notice how dirty the glass canopy has gotten. I can't believe I
didn't notice it earlier, so I grab the scrubber and attempt to remove the
white crap. It wouldn't touch it this time. OK, time for the vinegar. Half
an hour later I had the glass pretending to be clean again. But the damn
pump is cavitating again...

So what's your REAL maintenance schedule and tips.

P.S. This post is somewhat tongue in cheek for the humour challenged.


I think two things will cause maintenance time to vary:

First, what is acceptable varies from person to person.

I like the wild look and let the plants grow as they will. I remove
dead leaves and move plants around no more than every 2 months if
then.

Second, what steps taken to prevent maintenance.

For instance, the mineral buildup is unsightly. I use to battle it,
but then made a choice. I decided to stop putting air in my tank.
The bubbles at the surface are the source of the mineral deposits and
also the cause of another nuisance, a green growth on the bottom of
the top glass above the bubbler. The breaking bubbles were keeping
the bottom of the glass wet and nurturing the growth. No bubbles, no
growth.

Having a variety of scavengers and controlling the hours of light help
to keep algae growth down.

I have a low light ratio and low light plants, no CO2 or fertilizers.

I do change 20% water twice weekly with a python for the 2 large tanks
and a 2 gallon bucket for the three 10 gallon tanks. It takes an hour
and 30 minutes to change the 5 tanks water, so 3 hours a week minimum
for all 5 tanks.
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Old 10-10-2005, 12:04 PM
Tasslehoff
 
Posts: n/a
Default

About 45 minutes for my 4'x18"x18" every two weeks reg 40% WC. Every other
2nd week 60 minutes inc WC, light gravel vac on 2"x18" jungle of val &
cleaning the spay bar from BBA and thinning out plants. Every 4 months 80
minutes inc WC, val vac, spray bar and glass scraping to get rid of spot
algae and finally about 30 minutes every 4(closer to 6 months) for cleaning
the cannister filter or 50 minutes every other 6 months cleaning the
cannister hoses with my trusty McD shake machine cleaning brushes and the
Co2 reactor with high pressure water and shaking.

"Bill Stock" wrote in message
...
I've read about people spending half an hour a week (or less) maintaining
their planted tanks. I simply don't frickin believe it! Either they live
in a perfect world or they're doing an awful lot of daily maintenance
that's not being included in the weekly total.

I spend about 45 minutes a week on the GF tank alone, which does not
include the monthly filter cleanings. Just the basic algae scrub, gravel
vac and water change. The planted tank is probably about half an hour, but
it should be a lot more and it's starting to show. If I ever tear it down
and build a real aquascape, I could see spending two hours a week on it.

Today for instance, I did the algae scrub, extended gravel vac (BGA
outbreak), filter clean and larger than normal water change. This probably
took an hour or so. Then I spent another hour disinfecting the floating
plants in Permanganate and doing the same for the large Pagoda (Loach
hideout). This time doesn't include any plant maintenance, other than
scrubbing off the BGA before the gravel vac. Then tonight I'm walking
past the basement door and hear one of the pumps cavitating. Damn, go to
check it out and notice how dirty the glass canopy has gotten. I can't
believe I didn't notice it earlier, so I grab the scrubber and attempt to
remove the white crap. It wouldn't touch it this time. OK, time for the
vinegar. Half an hour later I had the glass pretending to be clean again.
But the damn pump is cavitating again...

So what's your REAL maintenance schedule and tips.

P.S. This post is somewhat tongue in cheek for the humour challenged.





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Old 10-10-2005, 06:08 PM
Bill Stock
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Dick" wrote in message
...
On Sun, 9 Oct 2005 23:51:49 -0400, "Bill Stock"
wrote:


snip

I think two things will cause maintenance time to vary:

First, what is acceptable varies from person to person.


I think my ambition is getting in the way of my sloth.

I like the wild look and let the plants grow as they will. I remove
dead leaves and move plants around no more than every 2 months if
then.


My original maintenance schedule wasn't too different from yours and all was
well. But then the Sword started dying off big time. This was about the time
the BGA struck. Although this was likely a symptom and not the cause.

Second, what steps taken to prevent maintenance.

For instance, the mineral buildup is unsightly. I use to battle it,
but then made a choice. I decided to stop putting air in my tank.
The bubbles at the surface are the source of the mineral deposits and
also the cause of another nuisance, a green growth on the bottom of
the top glass above the bubbler. The breaking bubbles were keeping
the bottom of the glass wet and nurturing the growth. No bubbles, no
growth.


Strangely I don't have a bubbler in the plant tank, although I do add CO2.
The GF tank does get the green slime you mentioned and it does have a bubble
wall. This stuff washes right off. As for unsightly, the canopy is
completely covered by a hood.


Having a variety of scavengers and controlling the hours of light help
to keep algae growth down.

I have a low light ratio and low light plants, no CO2 or fertilizers.

I do change 20% water twice weekly with a python for the 2 large tanks
and a 2 gallon bucket for the three 10 gallon tanks. It takes an hour
and 30 minutes to change the 5 tanks water, so 3 hours a week minimum
for all 5 tanks.


That sound about right Dick. I'm a little neglectful of water changes on the
planted tank, maybe 15% every two weeks. Clearly not enough, given the BGA.
The GF get a 40% change and gravel vac every week. The poor little Betta
gets a 50% change every two weeks.




  #5   Report Post  
Old 10-10-2005, 06:12 PM
Bill Stock
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Tasslehoff" wrote in message
u...
About 45 minutes for my 4'x18"x18" every two weeks reg 40% WC. Every
other 2nd week 60 minutes inc WC, light gravel vac on 2"x18" jungle of val
& cleaning the spay bar from BBA and thinning out plants. Every 4 months
80 minutes inc WC, val vac, spray bar and glass scraping to get rid of
spot algae and finally about 30 minutes every 4(closer to 6 months) for
cleaning the cannister filter or 50 minutes every other 6 months cleaning
the cannister hoses with my trusty McD shake machine cleaning brushes and
the Co2 reactor with high pressure water and shaking.


It sounds like you're fairly heavily planted based on your good algae
control. What fertilizing regimen do you follow?


"Bill Stock" wrote in message
...
I've read about people spending half an hour a week (or less) maintaining
their planted tanks. I simply don't frickin believe it! Either they live
in a perfect world or they're doing an awful lot of daily maintenance
that's not being included in the weekly total.

I spend about 45 minutes a week on the GF tank alone, which does not
include the monthly filter cleanings. Just the basic algae scrub, gravel
vac and water change. The planted tank is probably about half an hour,
but it should be a lot more and it's starting to show. If I ever tear it
down and build a real aquascape, I could see spending two hours a week on
it.

Today for instance, I did the algae scrub, extended gravel vac (BGA
outbreak), filter clean and larger than normal water change. This
probably took an hour or so. Then I spent another hour disinfecting the
floating plants in Permanganate and doing the same for the large Pagoda
(Loach hideout). This time doesn't include any plant maintenance, other
than scrubbing off the BGA before the gravel vac. Then tonight I'm
walking past the basement door and hear one of the pumps cavitating.
Damn, go to check it out and notice how dirty the glass canopy has
gotten. I can't believe I didn't notice it earlier, so I grab the
scrubber and attempt to remove the white crap. It wouldn't touch it this
time. OK, time for the vinegar. Half an hour later I had the glass
pretending to be clean again. But the damn pump is cavitating again...

So what's your REAL maintenance schedule and tips.

P.S. This post is somewhat tongue in cheek for the humour challenged.









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Old 10-10-2005, 07:48 PM
Gill Passman
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Bill Stock wrote:
I've read about people spending half an hour a week (or less) maintaining
their planted tanks. I simply don't frickin believe it! Either they live in
a perfect world or they're doing an awful lot of daily maintenance that's
not being included in the weekly total.

I spend about 45 minutes a week on the GF tank alone, which does not include
the monthly filter cleanings. Just the basic algae scrub, gravel vac and
water change. The planted tank is probably about half an hour, but it should
be a lot more and it's starting to show. If I ever tear it down and build a
real aquascape, I could see spending two hours a week on it.

Today for instance, I did the algae scrub, extended gravel vac (BGA
outbreak), filter clean and larger than normal water change. This probably
took an hour or so. Then I spent another hour disinfecting the floating
plants in Permanganate and doing the same for the large Pagoda (Loach
hideout). This time doesn't include any plant maintenance, other than
scrubbing off the BGA before the gravel vac. Then tonight I'm walking past
the basement door and hear one of the pumps cavitating. Damn, go to check it
out and notice how dirty the glass canopy has gotten. I can't believe I
didn't notice it earlier, so I grab the scrubber and attempt to remove the
white crap. It wouldn't touch it this time. OK, time for the vinegar. Half
an hour later I had the glass pretending to be clean again. But the damn
pump is cavitating again...

So what's your REAL maintenance schedule and tips.

P.S. This post is somewhat tongue in cheek for the humour challenged.




Depends on the tank....the smaller tanks (2 5gall and 1 7.5 gall) take
around 15 mins a piece including filter clean, gravel vac and plant culling.

The 15 gall takes around 15 mins as well but doesn't have an algae issue
but needs plant maintenance to see the surface of the water each week.

The 4ft Malawi tank takes around 30 mins - does have an algae problem
but quite easy to scrape off but needs to be scraped twice a week - I've
included the double scrape in the overall figure.

The 4ft Community Tank takes around 30 mins to do the water, gravel vac,
filter maintenance (then a further 10 to get the Fluval 404 primed again
- grrr :-( ) The algae scrape can take up to 45 mins to get the green
spot algae off the front of the tank depending on how diligent I've
been. Plant cull adds a further 10 mins including taking any decent
cuttings.

The 30 Gall takes around 30 mins as it is upstairs.

Water changes are all done using a syphon/gravel vac and buckets. I do
15/20% on each tank once a week unless there is a problem that needs
addressing. Generally I spend two half days doing it. Polishing the
outside of the glass only happens when either the watermarks start to
annoy me, I remember, or I'm trying to photograph the fish....

Time spent on NG takes up around another 2 hours a day. Then add in
research or general surfing and that's another 1 hour or so...lol

Gill


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Old 10-10-2005, 11:05 PM
Bill Stock
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Gill Passman" wrote in message
.. .
Bill Stock wrote:

Depends on the tank....the smaller tanks (2 5gall and 1 7.5 gall) take
around 15 mins a piece including filter clean, gravel vac and plant
culling.


My 10 gallon Betta takes about 15 minutes as well and he's fighting a
serious Algae problem. No plants other than a Java rock.


The 15 gall takes around 15 mins as well but doesn't have an algae issue
but needs plant maintenance to see the surface of the water each week.

The 4ft Malawi tank takes around 30 mins - does have an algae problem but
quite easy to scrape off but needs to be scraped twice a week - I've
included the double scrape in the overall figure.

The 4ft Community Tank takes around 30 mins to do the water, gravel vac,
filter maintenance (then a further 10 to get the Fluval 404 primed again -
grrr :-( ) The algae scrape can take up to 45 mins to get the green spot
algae off the front of the tank depending on how diligent I've been. Plant
cull adds a further 10 mins including taking any decent cuttings.


Those are pretty amazing times for the 4 footers.

Speaking of Fluvals. I decided to clean the 75 gallon GF tank today
(Thanksgiving here) and clean the two Fluval 304s. There is always one
that's hard to prime and occaisionaly leaks. Although it's been pretty good
the last few times. But today it started ****ing all over the carpet and
wouldn't stop. I found a piece of coral in the groove after taking the top
off twice. It still leaked though, even after two more disassembies.
Normally I can just press the top on with my hands to force the rubber seal
into place. Not today, so I took my rubber mallet and gave it a few gentle
taps. (Very tempted to give it one BIG tap) Still leaking I took the top off
one more time. I think it had gotten too full of water, preventing the top
from making a good seal. I dumped out a little water, closed the handles,
pressed down of the top and this time it held.

This little problem turned a 90 minute job into a 3 hour job. I may just go
back to a couple of HOT filters, much less work.





The 30 Gall takes around 30 mins as it is upstairs.

Water changes are all done using a syphon/gravel vac and buckets. I do
15/20% on each tank once a week unless there is a problem that needs
addressing. Generally I spend two half days doing it. Polishing the
outside of the glass only happens when either the watermarks start to
annoy me, I remember, or I'm trying to photograph the fish....

Time spent on NG takes up around another 2 hours a day. Then add in
research or general surfing and that's another 1 hour or so...lol

Gill




  #8   Report Post  
Old 11-10-2005, 12:49 AM
Elaine T
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Bill Stock wrote:
I've read about people spending half an hour a week (or less) maintaining
their planted tanks. I simply don't frickin believe it! Either they live in
a perfect world or they're doing an awful lot of daily maintenance that's
not being included in the weekly total.

I spend about 45 minutes a week on the GF tank alone, which does not include
the monthly filter cleanings. Just the basic algae scrub, gravel vac and
water change. The planted tank is probably about half an hour, but it should
be a lot more and it's starting to show. If I ever tear it down and build a
real aquascape, I could see spending two hours a week on it.

Today for instance, I did the algae scrub, extended gravel vac (BGA
outbreak), filter clean and larger than normal water change. This probably
took an hour or so. Then I spent another hour disinfecting the floating
plants in Permanganate and doing the same for the large Pagoda (Loach
hideout). This time doesn't include any plant maintenance, other than
scrubbing off the BGA before the gravel vac. Then tonight I'm walking past
the basement door and hear one of the pumps cavitating. Damn, go to check it
out and notice how dirty the glass canopy has gotten. I can't believe I
didn't notice it earlier, so I grab the scrubber and attempt to remove the
white crap. It wouldn't touch it this time. OK, time for the vinegar. Half
an hour later I had the glass pretending to be clean again. But the damn
pump is cavitating again...

So what's your REAL maintenance schedule and tips.

P.S. This post is somewhat tongue in cheek for the humour challenged.



I timed myself once on the 2.5 hex, 5 gallon quarantine, sort of planted
10, and very aquascaped 15 gal. I started cleaning during halftime of a
Chargers game and wanted to catch at least the fourth quarter so I was
moving fast. Using a python, I did all four water changes, scraped
algae, and cleaned filters in an hour. The water garden and outdoor
tanks take another half hour or so a week of plant pruning/trimming and
water changes.

If I prune/trim the little planted tanks, it's another 15-20 minutes. I
use a LOT of rosette plants that don't require much maintenance, which
is why the trimming is so reasonable. If you don't like messing with
your planted tanks, plant swords, grasses, anubias, and crypts. ;-)

--
Elaine T __
http://eethomp.com/fish.html '__
rec.aquaria.* FAQ http://faq.thekrib.com
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Old 11-10-2005, 01:14 AM
Gail Futoran
 
Posts: n/a
Default

"Bill Stock" wrote in message
...
I've read about people spending half an hour a week (or less) maintaining
their planted tanks. I simply don't frickin believe it! Either they live
in a perfect world or they're doing an awful lot of daily maintenance
that's not being included in the weekly total.

[snip]
5 tanks: 1 30-G long, 2 20-G longs, 2 10-Gs

Vac gravel and replace about 20% water once per month.
Do light pruning at that time. Next to Zero daily/weekly
maintenance. Once in awhile I'll remove a floating leaf or
a yellowed leaf if I happen to notice it. I do get some
floating algae that will clog the filter intakes & about once
a week or so I remove that with my fingers. If you
call that "maintenance", fine.

Except for the brackish 10-G, glass is clear (thanks to
snails & otos). Stocking is average or low (only 2 fish
in the brackish tank). All are heavily planted. No CO2
injection. Power filters on the side (most have no
filter media inside, just the biowheel). Bubble wands
on a schedule on three of the tanks, running at night
when lights are off. 30-G bubble wand runs 24/7.

It's been like this for about a year. Minimal fish loss,
water parameters very good to excellent. New fish
are quarantined in an Eclipse 6 for 3-4 weeks.

I credit the low maintenance needs to:
1) average to low stocking of *small* community
tropical fish (my largest is a 3" YoYo loach)
2) lots and lots of mostly low maintenance plants
(crypts, Java Fern, etc.) (substrate is Schultz
Aquatic Plant Soil, aka Profile, with gravel on top
except the 30-G - I haven't converted that yet so
plants are growing in gravel)
3) Snails helping with cleanup.

Gail


  #10   Report Post  
Old 11-10-2005, 01:33 AM
Gill Passman
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Bill Stock wrote:
"Gill Passman" wrote in message
.. .

Bill Stock wrote:

Depends on the tank....the smaller tanks (2 5gall and 1 7.5 gall) take
around 15 mins a piece including filter clean, gravel vac and plant
culling.



My 10 gallon Betta takes about 15 minutes as well and he's fighting a
serious Algae problem. No plants other than a Java rock.



The 15 gall takes around 15 mins as well but doesn't have an algae issue
but needs plant maintenance to see the surface of the water each week.

The 4ft Malawi tank takes around 30 mins - does have an algae problem but
quite easy to scrape off but needs to be scraped twice a week - I've
included the double scrape in the overall figure.

The 4ft Community Tank takes around 30 mins to do the water, gravel vac,
filter maintenance (then a further 10 to get the Fluval 404 primed again -
grrr :-( ) The algae scrape can take up to 45 mins to get the green spot
algae off the front of the tank depending on how diligent I've been. Plant
cull adds a further 10 mins including taking any decent cuttings.



Those are pretty amazing times for the 4 footers.

Speaking of Fluvals. I decided to clean the 75 gallon GF tank today
(Thanksgiving here) and clean the two Fluval 304s. There is always one
that's hard to prime and occaisionaly leaks. Although it's been pretty good
the last few times. But today it started ****ing all over the carpet and
wouldn't stop. I found a piece of coral in the groove after taking the top
off twice. It still leaked though, even after two more disassembies.
Normally I can just press the top on with my hands to force the rubber seal
into place. Not today, so I took my rubber mallet and gave it a few gentle
taps. (Very tempted to give it one BIG tap) Still leaking I took the top off
one more time. I think it had gotten too full of water, preventing the top
from making a good seal. I dumped out a little water, closed the handles,
pressed down of the top and this time it held.

This little problem turned a 90 minute job into a 3 hour job. I may just go
back to a couple of HOT filters, much less work.






The 30 Gall takes around 30 mins as it is upstairs.

Water changes are all done using a syphon/gravel vac and buckets. I do
15/20% on each tank once a week unless there is a problem that needs
addressing. Generally I spend two half days doing it. Polishing the
outside of the glass only happens when either the watermarks start to
annoy me, I remember, or I'm trying to photograph the fish....

Time spent on NG takes up around another 2 hours a day. Then add in
research or general surfing and that's another 1 hour or so...lol

Gill







I guess the answer is a little bit of rock music on the stereo when you
are doing the algae scrape....gets the pace going great and you don't
notice the time going by.... :-)

Works the same with ironing which doesn't happen any near as much as the
tank maintaince - afterall we all have our priorities - lol. Ironing has
to happen soon as the mountain is about to collapse and it will take a
hell of a lot longer than algae scraping the tanks - the only advantage
being I can set it up with a great view of any of the tanks and just
watch the fish while I do it :-)

Hey, I know what you mean about the Fluvals though...last time I did
maintainence on the Malawi tank a baby Yellow Lab dropped out....worth
checking the chambers before rinsing/chucking the water. We actually use
a door key to break the seal but as yet (fingers crossed) have not had a
problem re-sealing it since the first learning curve - very wet floor
:-( My main bug bear is I worry about not switching it back on after
maintaining it and sometimes do it before filling the tank again - it
coughs for 5 mins and gives up and then once I get the water level back
up again it is the 10 mins hard labour on the primer (still got a
blister from the last time)...

My smaller tanks don't get too much natural light so algae isn't too
much of an issue hence the quick maintainence times...

To be quite honest the main 4 foot community tank is everyone's
nightmare...it lives in a Conservatory with a glass roof as well as
glass surround - although it is against a brick wall and we have
blinds...a combination of hard graft (my 45 mins algae scrape which
would be less if I did it weekly or more often than that), some good
algae eaters (Plec, Ottos, Flying Foxes) help keep it down and a hell of
a lot of plants (I don't have a CO2 unit in the tank but add plant food
every week). I think really it is a matter of creating a natural balance
and accepting that there is some work to do and that I need to leave
some for the algae eaters...Some algae is quite pretty afterall and adds
to the natural balance of the tank - I know have some great purple
blooms on the ocean rock in my Malawi tank but also have some hideous
bright green stuff that needs to go - everyone to their own taste....:-)

Gill


  #11   Report Post  
Old 11-10-2005, 08:35 AM
Daniel Morrow
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Mid posted.


"Gill Passman" wrote in message
.. .
Bill Stock wrote:
"Gill Passman" wrote in message
.. .

Bill Stock wrote:

Depends on the tank....the smaller tanks (2 5gall and 1 7.5 gall) take
around 15 mins a piece including filter clean, gravel vac and plant
culling.



My 10 gallon Betta takes about 15 minutes as well and he's fighting a
serious Algae problem. No plants other than a Java rock.



The 15 gall takes around 15 mins as well but doesn't have an algae issue
but needs plant maintenance to see the surface of the water each week.

The 4ft Malawi tank takes around 30 mins - does have an algae problem

but
quite easy to scrape off but needs to be scraped twice a week - I've
included the double scrape in the overall figure.

The 4ft Community Tank takes around 30 mins to do the water, gravel vac,
filter maintenance (then a further 10 to get the Fluval 404 primed

again -
grrr :-( ) The algae scrape can take up to 45 mins to get the green spot
algae off the front of the tank depending on how diligent I've been.

Plant
cull adds a further 10 mins including taking any decent cuttings.



Those are pretty amazing times for the 4 footers.

Speaking of Fluvals. I decided to clean the 75 gallon GF tank today
(Thanksgiving here) and clean the two Fluval 304s. There is always one
that's hard to prime and occaisionaly leaks. Although it's been pretty

good
the last few times. But today it started ****ing all over the carpet

and
wouldn't stop. I found a piece of coral in the groove after taking the

top
off twice. It still leaked though, even after two more disassembies.
Normally I can just press the top on with my hands to force the rubber

seal
into place. Not today, so I took my rubber mallet and gave it a few

gentle
taps. (Very tempted to give it one BIG tap) Still leaking I took the top

off
one more time. I think it had gotten too full of water, preventing the

top
from making a good seal. I dumped out a little water, closed the

handles,
pressed down of the top and this time it held.

This little problem turned a 90 minute job into a 3 hour job. I may just

go
back to a couple of HOT filters, much less work.






The 30 Gall takes around 30 mins as it is upstairs.

Water changes are all done using a syphon/gravel vac and buckets. I do
15/20% on each tank once a week unless there is a problem that needs
addressing. Generally I spend two half days doing it. Polishing the
outside of the glass only happens when either the watermarks start to
annoy me, I remember, or I'm trying to photograph the fish....

Time spent on NG takes up around another 2 hours a day. Then add in
research or general surfing and that's another 1 hour or so...lol

Gill







I guess the answer is a little bit of rock music on the stereo when you
are doing the algae scrape....gets the pace going great and you don't
notice the time going by.... :-)

Works the same with ironing which doesn't happen any near as much as the
tank maintaince - afterall we all have our priorities - lol. Ironing has
to happen soon as the mountain is about to collapse and it will take a
hell of a lot longer than algae scraping the tanks - the only advantage
being I can set it up with a great view of any of the tanks and just
watch the fish while I do it :-)

Hey, I know what you mean about the Fluvals though...last time I did
maintainence on the Malawi tank a baby Yellow Lab dropped out....worth
checking the chambers before rinsing/chucking the water.


I use those sponge prefilters that I talked about on this newsgroup before,
to prevent any fry from getting into my fluval 104 in my bedroom.

We actually use
a door key to break the seal but as yet (fingers crossed) have not had a
problem re-sealing it since the first learning curve - very wet floor
:-( My main bug bear is I worry about not switching it back on after
maintaining it and sometimes do it before filling the tank again - it
coughs for 5 mins and gives up and then once I get the water level back
up again it is the 10 mins hard labour on the primer (still got a
blister from the last time)...

My smaller tanks don't get too much natural light so algae isn't too
much of an issue hence the quick maintainence times...

To be quite honest the main 4 foot community tank is everyone's
nightmare...it lives in a Conservatory with a glass roof as well as
glass surround - although it is against a brick wall and we have
blinds...a combination of hard graft (my 45 mins algae scrape which
would be less if I did it weekly or more often than that), some good
algae eaters (Plec, Ottos, Flying Foxes) help keep it down and a hell of
a lot of plants (I don't have a CO2 unit in the tank but add plant food
every week). I think really it is a matter of creating a natural balance
and accepting that there is some work to do and that I need to leave
some for the algae eaters...Some algae is quite pretty afterall and adds
to the natural balance of the tank - I know have some great purple
blooms on the ocean rock in my Malawi tank but also have some hideous
bright green stuff that needs to go - everyone to their own taste....:-)

Gill



  #12   Report Post  
Old 12-10-2005, 05:58 PM
Patricia A. Shaffer
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Sun, 9 Oct 2005 23:51:49 -0400, "Bill Stock"
wrote:

I've read about people spending half an hour a week (or less) maintaining
their planted tanks. I simply don't frickin believe it! Either they live in
a perfect world or they're doing an awful lot of daily maintenance that's
not being included in the weekly total.


snipped for brevity

It's hard to say for certain just how much time I spend on tank
maintenance: I do all the routine water tests weekly on Friday
afternoon - I figure about ten minutes per tank (I have a 20 gallon
plants tank, two 30 gallon tanks, and a 55 gallon Barb Community tank
up and running right now. I've also got an old 20 gal. long in the
bath tub right now being cleaned and sanitized for a new set-up, and
two 10-gallon tanks waiting their turn in the tub.) I also do weekly
tests on my tap water (I have a dee-ee-eep well in limestone country).

I do the routine 20% water changes, filter/sponge rinsings, and inside
front-of-tank wipe downs weekly on Saturday mornings: that takes about
2 hours with buckets, not counting time-outs to rest my back ... I
bought a Python recently, and plan to try it out on Saturday. I do any
plant trimmings or plantings just before the water changes. If there
are any problems with the water tests, I do what I have to: more
frequent water changes, change in lighting, etc.

Then, on inspections (twice daily feedings, etc.) if I see anything
out of place (broken leaf, uprooted plant, moss pieces pulled free,
excess algae growth, etc.) I take care of that right away.

Once a month with the water change, I scrub out the filter intake
tubes and filter impellors, clean the undersides of the glass canopies
and hoods with a mild vinegar solution, and wipe a paper towel around
the inside top of the tanks and rims to remove any stray food and
mineral build up. I also wipe down the heaters and thermometers.

Spring and fall, I wash down the walls behind and the shelves above,
and clean the floors beneath the tanks, make sure all the electrical
wires are in good shape and labelled, clean the surge-protector, make
sure the plugs are all tight, etc., but this is part of my Spring/Fall
House-cleaning regime.

sigh I'm also making a test-tube holder for the water tests ...


--
Patricia
Proud Citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia
  #13   Report Post  
Old 15-10-2005, 03:44 AM
Jake
 
Posts: n/a
Default What's your maintenance schedule?

Mine is a 75 gall, low light, very heavily planted low light plants, CO2
injection (automatic), I fert regularly, give an overdose of Seachem Excel
every 3-4 days, water change about 25% every two weeks. I never get BBA and
very little green spot algae on the glass. Filter change about once every 3
months, if that! I have to prune back the plants every water change as they
would take over the tank! Probably takes me about an hour and a half to do
the 2 week thing. I used to do chemical samples constanly when the tank was
new but now do very little. Rarely loose a fish or plants. Tank is now about
12 months old.




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