For Real asked in PetsFish · 6 months ago

Fish care Qs - Flakes vs Pellets, Activated Carbon or not, Cleaning Filters..and the tank?

Howdy...

While scrambling about seeking information on treating a sick GloFish Tetra I came across topics which have a ton of information and seem to be greatly debated...enough so that I wonder if I should change how I do things for my fish.

Sadly that fish died. I had him for 3 years. His name was Peaches bc of his color.

Now for my two remaining tetra ...if Im doint something wrong...I want to fix it.

Ive had fish for a while and do know stuff...but never claimed to know it all. Honestly, I never really came across these topic.

First: Flakes vs Pellets - for my smaller fish I have always used flakes. I didnt know that many folks say "Dont Use Them. They're bad for the fish"...both for what happens to the flakes inside the fish..and their potential for causing swim bladder problems bc the fish might gulp air while eating them from the top. To that effect I tried feeding them a couple pellets last night. One of them nipped at it curiously. The other tetra ignored it. Today the pellets were stuck to the side of the filters water intake tube and the other was broken apart at the bottom of the tank. They were medium pellets. I thought of getting the small pellets...but if the fish didnt go after them, they would eventually sink down and get lost in gravel cracks. Yes, I know there are sinking and non sinking pellets. But really...for my tetras - which of these 3 types of food would you use?

- Continued -

Update:

Second: Activated carbon or not - I have always used a filter that used the cartridges that have the activated carbon inside the pouch. I didnt know there was the great debate about whether to use it or not. I did know that the AC has a short term...but you cant replace it without replacing the whole cartridge...which would kill your beneficial bacteria in the white filter media. I know that you have to remove it for a hospital tank, but is it really important for the care of your fish or not?

Update 2:

Third: Cleaning the filters and the tank. Again...I use the filter cartridges. In a short time the AC becomes ineffective...and a eventually the white filter media gets gunky. To replace either means killing off the beneficial bacteria and starting the tank cycle all over. As far as cleaning the whole tank goes....even if you do vacuum the substrate..eventually there's particle build up in the gravel and maybe the rocks themselves need cleaning and the corners of the tank, etc.

Update 3:

Whats the best way to deal with these things for my fish?

4 Answers

Relevance
  • 6 months ago

    Update 2: Third: Cleaning the filters and the tank. Again...I use the filter cartridges. In a short time the AC becomes ineffective...and a eventually the white filter media gets gunky. To replace either means killing off the beneficial bacteria and starting the tank cycle all over. As far as cleaning the whole tank goes....even if you do vacuum the substrate..eventually there's particle build up in the gravel and maybe the rocks themselves need cleaning and the corners of the tank, etc.

    Update 3: Whats the best way to deal with these things for my fish?

    You are feeding too much.

    Add some plants to your tank Install an under gravel water filter. You good bacteria bad bacteria issue.

    No reason you must change out 100% of the white filter stuff every time you clean. Get a second filter and alternate weeks you clean them.

    Fish do not live forever. 3 years is a long time for a tetra.

    beneficial bacteria in the white filter media.????????????

    Beneficial bacteria is in the gravel at the bottom composting for use of a term the waste products from the fish and the leftover food bits.

  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    1. Flakes are fine, pellets are more likely to cause constipation and bloat especially if too large.

    2. Stop overfeeding, fish that don't eat every drop immediately are overfed.

    3. Filters with just a cartridge are crap, but you can cut the old pad open and dump out the carbon. Put the dirty pad back in the filter. Buy a thin sponge filter made for a different filter and use that maybe.

    4. Gravel vacuum gently to get more filth without removing too much water.

    5. Some dirt is fine; you don't want to super clean ever.

    6. Stop overfeeding,,,yes you are, everybody does.

  • 6 months ago

    It is best to have a variety of food, I have used flakes and pellets, and thawed frozen food for more then ten years, im not saying that I have never had a fish die, but I do not think that the flakes caused their death. If you are worried about dried foods expanding in a fishes stomach, the pellets would be just as bad.

    The swim bladder is a seporate organ, it is not effected buy what a fish has in its gills or lungs. Fish are always going to go to the water surface catching bubbles, bugs, floating filter crumbs, They dont just keel over and die from this, its what fish do.

    It will take time for some fish to adjust to eating any new food. It is still important to feed a variety of good quality foods like New life spectra pellets, omega one flakes, frozen brine shrimp and blood worms. No one knows for absolute sure, which fish needs exactly what food. so variety is very important, and also not overfeeding, and offer sinking wafers and things that dirty the tank close to cleaning day.

    Active carbon - some think its bad, I dont. if you need to use medicine, and your filter cartridge is more then one month old, it will not effect the medicine, its no good anymore. If carbon is less then a month old, get som scissors out and start cutting. If your cartridge is older then a month, and you need to remove meds from the tank, you have options, =

    1.stuff an extra new cartridge in the filter.

    2. cut open old filter and new filter, throughout old carbon, dump in new carbon.

    3. The sell cheep generic filters . they use to be called right size filters. the carbon comes in a foil packet and you have to pore it into the polly fill bag. I loved those filters, the are on e-bay somewere. SOO much cheeper!

    Is carbon important? - I dont change my filters unless they are falling apart, so I go months without active carbon. I beleive the only reason to have it is to maintain the fishy smell of an uncycled tank, or for the removal of medicine. So that is pretty much just one reason.

  • 6 months ago

    Continue using the flakes. You've had fish survive for three years, clearly you know what you're doing, stop overthinking it.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.