Shawn asked in PetsFish · 7 months ago

Fish Food BuildUp?

So I have a lot of fish food that has built up on my gravel because I used it for cycling my tank. I have done about 4 gravel vacs and there is still a good amount left. I am also developing biofilm because of the protein released from the food. I have a few questions.

How often should I gravel vac? ( I have been doing it everday)

Is the food going to release any kinds of fungus and disease that will destroy my water?


Also, should I throw a bottom feeder in my new tank so it just gets rid of the food for me?

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    All you have to do is leave the tank alone. Just leave it alone.

    You don't need a bottom feeder, you don't need to remove gravel, you don't need to change all the water. A small gentle gravel vacuuming is the most you should do, otherwise, do nothing.

    Cycling takes about six weeks and will occur just fine if you stop messing with the tank.

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  • 6 months ago

    It might have been better to keep the food in a nylon stocking, or to use grocery store shrimp. That beeing said, You did not Destroy your tank. DO NOT do a 100% water change or change the filter cartidges. You did the right thing fishless cycling the tank, but no rotting food is not good in the tank. It was rotting, and it caused enough bio lode to equal fish poo and create ammonia. now that you are going to add fish that will create the ammonia, you need to get the other stuff out.

    A bottom feeder wont clean the tank, anything it eats comes out the other end.

    If the gravel is that dirty, scoop it out rinse it several times in hot water, put back only enough to cover the bottom and hold down some plants. the leass gravel you have, the easier it is to keep a clean aquarium.

    • Shawn6 months agoReport

      Yeah had I known that the cycle with fish food would be this messy I would have just used pure ammonia or put in a stocking like you said. I'll clean the gravel with hot water but won't that destroy alot of the benefical bacteria? Would I have to recyle my tank?

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  • PR
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    You will find that using extra-fine, white silica sand is preferable to using gravel. Remove the gravel and replace. Unfortunately, even if you had not used fish food for cycling, during daily feedings, food ends up under the gravel. This causes bacteria to form.

    Bottom feeders usually add larger poops, which is going to defeat the point of adding them in this case.

    You might try adding a couple live plants to the tank at this point. Once you are ready to add your fish, do regular water changes of 10% weekly.

    • Shawn6 months agoReport

      Can the live plants be something that I just take from my garden or should I just buy something from the store?

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  • 7 months ago

    As Jack H says, only read the article in the link also get yourself an exterior power filter and change the carbon in it regularly. Under gravel filters often don't work well with novices. You've been feeding way too much and probably the wrong type of food for your fish.

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  • Jack H
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    You need to do a complete water change, gravel change and 're set your filter system, you have now made the whole environment in the tank toxic use a proprietary product carefully to set your beneficial bacteria levels, do not use fish food to do this, it just rots, avoid overfeeding too. Do not rely on bottom feeders to clean up for you. I really feel sorry for any fish you do actually keep, you're going to kill lots of them...

    • Shawn6 months agoReport

      This is my first tank and I just added too much food during cycling, which I know now was really stupid. But I won't put any fish in this tank unless I know that it is 100% safe. I do not want dead fish.

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