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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
... that his tank is disgusting!
My good buddy has a 90 gallon mixed schmozzle of fish. He has a big oscar with 1 eye, 2 convicts, some large peacocks, some catfish, some haps (borleyi), and a few other fish I can't remember right now. He has a small eheim canister filter and a AC70 HOB. The eheim has a single sponge for mechanical filtration and the rest is ceramic rings. The ceramic rings are below the sponge! The HOB has the same. I was able to convince him to get rid of his carbon packs which were God knows how old.
For water changes, all he does is dunk the bucket in the tank and remove a bunch of water. He doesn't vacuum the gravel. When he fills the tank back up with tap water, he doesn't use dechlorinator, ever. Even though his tap water has chlorine and chloromine in it.
There is algae (probably 20 differnet kinds) on everything, and the water is almost brown.
Everytime I go over there he is showing me some new fish he added!
AND NONE OF THEM DIE! Well not too many anyway.

The other day I was over there and I taught him how to take the cannister apart to clean the impeller. Not like that's gonna help much. I also told him to get more filtration, and showed him what he wants in there for media, and how to set it up. Then I told him (again) that he should dechlorinate his water and vaccuum the gravel at each WC. His response... "I've been doing it this way for years and rarely ever lose a fish, so I think it's fine my way".

Then I bet him that his nitrate levels were off the chart. He said "no way I just did a water change the other day", he took the bet. We tested his water. Guess what! The chart stops at 200 and it was past that. NITRATE OVER 200!!! And with his methods it probably NEVER goes lower. He was AMAZED! Duh. I told him I'm surprised all his fish aren't dead.

How do you tell a friend that this ain't the way to keep fish???
And what scares me most, is that he just got a 150 gallon tank (and already has a 55 gallon mbuna tank, which is marginally better). I only hope he will follow a bunch of good advice I'll be giving him on that tank.

What else can I do?

** By the way, Phil, if you read this. I'm sorry man but it's true.
 

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Unfortunately, people like this will look at the fish that are living in their tank and conclude they must be doing something right. Some fish will tolerate very high levels of nitrate, but these fish are not likely to have a long life. Showing him his nitrate level was a good way to demonstrate the poor quality of the water in his tank. If that does not convince him, then I am not sure what will.

The algae in the tank is growing because he is doing a very good job with water quality for algae. All that nitrogen in the water is only going to promote growth. I suspect he also over feeds, which is what the algae likes too.

For the canister, it really doesn't matter much what order you pack things, but it does matter that he likely never empties out the debris that collects in it. One should never scrub a filter clean, but they do need to be rinsed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Dave. I hope he gets it. I would also think he probably overfeeds, but I'm not sure.
I suppose it doesn't matter what order you put the media in if you constantly want to have to rinse the ceramic rings of all the **** that will get clogged in them. But I would argue that having the sponges filter that **** out before it gets to the bio media is far more effective filtration.
 

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I always just flat out tell them, you don't have to be a jerk about but tell them exactly what's happing and why alot tof the time it will help(many times it doesn't :roll: ) Good luck!
I got one buddy now that still refuse to do water changes all his have black on their faces and tails I've done the a nitrate test on his tank and it's off the charts(think blood red) but that's how he always does it and think it's ok. It gets kind of depressing because their all my babies in there and I know what they could look like.
 

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Oh, my...

Why not let this thread run it's course and show it to him?
 

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Some people couldn't care less about the health of their fish. This is evident by the number of people who keep Bettas in tiny bowls with zero filtration, who overstock 20G tanks with goldfish, and who hardly ever test their water levels or vacuum their gravel. To these people, fish aren't really pets, they're decorations that move.

But on the other side of things you have these strict adherence to the rules nazis. People who claim that you shouldn't put Tangs and Malawis together, despite the fact that it can be done if you pick your species carefully and realize that both lakes have similar water conditions and fish can be adapted to those conditions.

I think that a responsible fish keeper should have a few key rules:
1) The water should be maintained.
2) The fish should be fed appropriately.
3) The tank should suit the fish.
 

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I have to agree with gaqua. Everyone will not be an enthusiast when it comes to fish keeping.
 

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Too bad they don't give basic fishkeeping clinics at the lfs - or on the other hand maybe that's a good thing! A friend of mine flat out refused to do water changes on the tank he bought for his young son; claimed it was not reasonable to have to do that, and the guy at the lfs told him he didn't need to... I politely mentioned to him that the water quality does not maintain itself, and that the health of the fish and appearance of the tank would greatly benefit from regular partial water changes. Fast forward a year or two - same friend admits to being behind on his water maintenance. Hooray! never mind that he's not (yet) doing a great job, I am buoyed by the fact he now even admits (implicitly) that the water needs to be maintained. I guess something must have registered at least. Sometimes just planting the seed is all you can do - whether it grows depends on the fertility of the soil :lol:
 

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Afishionado said:
Sometimes just planting the seed is all you can do - whether it grows depends on the fertility of the soil :lol:
And sometimes disaster has to strike...

My daughter had a tank of yellow labs that she totally ignored for almost 3 years. She topped it off, changed the filter cartridge when it plugged up, but a water change was never done unless I walked in and did it. After enough time passed, I was afraid to even touch it for fear of what I might stir up. I hounded her and hounded her, but it was just like when she was a teenager and I'd ask her to get that plate with pizza on it out from under her bed... :lol:

A few months ago, the fish developed hemorrhagic septicemia, and she lost every one of them.

NOW, she does water changes...
 
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