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Clean fish tank, minus a tetra

The cleanliness of our tank usually goes through phases, and it’s been a few weeks since I did a major clean. This means that I needed to do a thorough cleanse by doing a 75% water change. There was a lot of debris to clean, algae spots to scrub, and carbon filter to rinse. I got my empty bucket, reserved just for this purpose, and a plastic yogurt container to scoop out the dirty water.

When I begin to scoop out the water, the fish and loaches instinctually swim away and huddle at the corners. But I may have been too quick for them this time. By the time I had refilled the tank with new water and rearranged the leaves and accessories, I called the kids over to check out my clean masterpiece! They marveled at the sparkling glass, but Elliot noticed that we only had three tetras instead of four. I immediately plastered my face to the tank and told him that it was probably hiding inside the rock canyon. No sign.

Our fish tank is immaculate, which is a rare occurrence, but a member has met its demise. Conclusion: either the tetra got scooped into the dirty water container and got dumped down the drain or is buried in the sand (pouring a large volume of water into the tank creates a sandstorm).

If Elliot didn’t point it out, I still wouldn’t know. I may need to pay more attention to the head count next time and clean the tank when I’m not distracted and exhausted. I can’t have the kids clean the tank yet or else we’ll have more fish fatalities or water mess that’ll require a full load of dirty towels. Live and learn!

Clean tank!

Categories: Aquarium & Fishkeeping aquariums learning with kids Mom lIfe Photography

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Welcome to my blog! My name is Esther and I'm so happy you are here. I'm an avid nature photographer and a daydreaming thinker. My posts revolve around photos of nature's beauty, homeschooling adventures with my 2 kids, sporadic reflections on my child's heart condition, Bible reading reflections, gardening feats, and other mish mash things. Hopefully you'll leave encouraged, pensive, or smiling at the simple things of life. Thank you for stopping by and hope you'll find some interesting posts to read!

15 replies

  1. It is quite a labour of love to keep the tank clean! We haven’t had fish in a while (I couldn’t cope with the never-ending fatalities) but I do remember the discipline of regularly decanting from one receptacle to another and wondering how many we would lose transit.

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    1. I agree Ju-Lyn…taking care of fish is a labor of love. I get a couple of days of sparkling clean tank and happiness when I look at it. Before I know it, I start to see floaties and algae growing.
      We used t have the same issue of frequent fish fatalities but that’s been slowing down. For us, it’s been trial and error. But when you clean the tank, you don’t need to move the fish to another receptacle. Moving them causes stress. Well, I shouldn’t offer advice because, as this post explains, I cleaned with the fish in the tank and accidentally scooped it out and dumped it into the drain. lol.

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      1. Years ago when we still lived in Canada, we had a very cool neighbor who was the father of two of my playmates. He was a forensic meteorologist and worked out of his home before that was fashionable. So we got to see all his weather instruments and he had a three-wheeled car (Isetta) that he took us for rides in the ‘hood but the coolest thing was that his office had fish tanks on one wall – they had piranhas and we would go watch him feed them raw hamburger.

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      2. I didn’t realize I told you that – he was very cool and all the kids would watch him feed his piranhas … glad he didn’t feed them critters. They don’t like live food, just dead food, like vultures.


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