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Low maintenance setup questions

6 years 5 months ago #34536 by chefjimmy
easy answer.

when i had 1 tank, 15 min a week of cleaning, and feed and watch when you want to.

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6 years 5 months ago #34535 by PhilandLeeAnn
And: in answer to your specific question re bi-weekly water changes. In most cases yes, that will work unless you've got numbers of fish, sensitive fish, are feeding them really well, are trying to breed something difficult, or raising show fish. But I would not use that as an excuse to adopt the practice as your standard. It's a fallback. So change it weekly when you can and they'll better withstand the occasional times when you can't.

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6 years 5 months ago - 6 years 5 months ago #34534 by PhilandLeeAnn
It's a fair question and something we all give some thought to.

Most cichlids are pretty clean compared to wood eating plecos (something to avoid if you're worried about maintenance) or koi and goldfish (something that isn't normally kept with cichlids/tropical fish). Also avoid harder to keep cichlids requiring pristine water conditions like discus, altum angelfish, and quite a few tanganyikans. I also sometimes get quite a bit of waste feeding pellets to predators.

Keep stocking levels low. Get an algae eating pleco or (for smaller and more docile cichlids otocinclus) - lots of bristlenoses to choose from, but if you're not familiar with plecos, ask. Many beautiful plecos don't do glass.

Filtration: The easiest and simplest particle removers are the power filters that hang on the back of the tank with a filter pad that is quickly rinsed out without removal or disassembly of the entire filter. Total ease eliminates canister filters as an option. Supplement with spnge filters that are easily removed and quickly rinsed in a bucket. They do not have to be rinsed until the rinse water is perfectly clear. I find under gravel filters to be dirty and use of reverse flow power heads with sponge pre-filters only reduces the dirt.

Substrate: Generally, it needs to be cleaned. More often if you're sucking dirt into it. I've got the barest covering of silica sand on one tank that I don't generally clean, but I have geophagus substrate sifters that stir up that thin level effectively and a power filter on the back of the tank to collect the stirred up debris.

Don't let your kids or spouse overfeed the fish. Period. If you don't have time to feed for a couple of days, then don't feed for a couple of days.

I love trickle filters with sponge pre-filters and a strong current.

Get a python or Aqueon gravel clearner and water changer. Water changes need to be easy.

I had to take one part of the CPA exam over and conflicted in grad school with grad assistant duties and study requirements. I studied for the re-take on the steering wheel of the car driving from Bloomington Illinois to Champaign to take the test and that worked. The single Jack Dempsey survived nicely.

P.S. Lighting: No full sun. LED lighting seems to be a narrower beam that can be kept off of the sides of the tanks, reducing algae there. Also, plants can help maintain water quality, but generally complicate balances involving lighting and involving ease of substrate maintenance. But if you get it right, a few hardy plants can aid in maintenance.
Last edit: 6 years 5 months ago by PhilandLeeAnn.

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6 years 5 months ago #34532 by Kegger22
answer to this question goes back generations(so do I as a matter of fact)

You only get out what you put in

so in reality your question to yourself should be.....What do you want to get out of your tank?

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6 years 5 months ago #34531 by pmsmith2032
I am planning on setting up a 55 gallon tank but have some concerns on the amount of time I need to dedicate after the initial setup. With a full-time job, two kids, and plans to take the CPA, my time is limited. How much time weekly should I plan on? Are there specific breeds that are easier/cleaner than cichlids in general? Are weekly water changes always necessary or could bi-weekly work? Any other advice/tips are appreciated.

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