How to maintain DPH tank
written by: Rob Charite
date: 19 August 2000
Now is the time to show some secrets
How to maintain such a tank J
Actually it is quite easy but you have to be very persistent in doing your
daily cleaning sessions.
In fact that is all what we do, cleaning and get rid of the fish poop!!
haha, nice job !!
There are two maintenance schedules or actually three:
The first will be every other day
The second will be once a week
And the third will be once every month
Fairly simple, changing water that is. I change 10 % water every
other day, it used to be every day but that was an attack on the plants,
they really suffer from that !! So here is what I do; I siphon the water
into a bucket and keep the hose about 1 cm (3/8 in) from the bottom to
vacuum the detritus out of the tank ,don't forget to do this process
under and between the plants but leave the plants you've just added
alone for a week at least so they can grow a good root system and won't
get pulled out easily. Meanwhile, tear the possible hair algae from the
back or where ever and throw them in the bucket as well ( when they are
to long of course). Now the fresh water can be added to the tank again.
I used to add different items to prepare the water but these are real
trouble makers, f.i aquasafe. Aquasafe is phosphoric based and algae
love that !!! So no water prepares, unless your tap water contains
chlorines and heavy metals and you don't have a R O unit!! You can let
the water rest for about 24 hours in a holding facility to get rid of
the chlorine, but in my case that is to much fuss. I figured that when
you have a tank of 375 liters and you change 10 %( = 30 liters) you also
add 10 % chlorine. In this case the chlorine will be so spread out over
the tank that it is hard to detect, believe me I've tried it, none what
so ever. So I change 10 % tap water every other day straight from the
tap into the tank ! Without any fish, algae, or plant problems !!
Current water parameters are kh=6 mg/l pH =7.2 nitrate = 12.5 mg/l the
only thing I add is iron fertilization that is 1 ml on 10 later every
Once a week is pretty much the same as above: + cleaning the glass
inside and outside, cleaning the tl bulbs, possible reflectors and I
clean the bottom extra with one of those aquarium vacuum cleaners. What
I do is I vacuum the complete bottom and every time I stick the suction
end about one 1cm ( 3/8 in ) in the bottom and rotate it a bit, this
rotating is for stirring the gravel up a bit and to provide a more
healthy bottom environment,( keeps it from cloughing). I also shake the
plants a bit to get rid of the detritus that lays on the leaves, remove
old or rotten leaves, (rotten leaves are easily recognized and the old
leaves are mostly the lower leaves with holes in it or algae growing on
the top side of the leaf), so the plant can use all the energy for
growing new prettier leaves and not maintaining the old. Also, I check
both the filters , other electrical equipment and the tank it self for
possible leaks .
Monthly chores are the same as the 2 above plus cleaning the mechanical
filter and hoses. This is also a good time to trim the plants who have
grown to big and make the tank look like a jungle. Some plants are
removed and only the top 7 cm ( 3 in ) are replanted (cabomba for
Of course I look at the tank all the time and see things that I like to
change or not change. But I always keep myself under control to not do it
immediately. That gives me enough time to think it over completely.
Rob Charite & Walter