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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i am starting to realize i have been overfeeding and have a layer of grayish leftover food on the bottom of my tank. currently I am using eco-complete plant substrate and i do not know how to get rid of these extra leftover fish flakes. any help would be appreciated!
 

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That method does not work with my CPD's.. they won't feed from the top, it has to be in transit to the bottom or they won't touch it. I have to overfeed because there is one bully that must have everything for herself so if I do not overfeed then the runt and the other non-alphas are out of luck while fatty gorges. Not all of us have that option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You could also get some shrimp and/or snails to help out. I am a huge over feeder and my substrate stays pretty clean from my shrimp and snails.
this all happened when i first started to overfeed in order to feed the 7 ghost shrimps i have. then i got a large snail infestation, currently have over 25 pond snails in my tank. still it is not clean. i also picked up 2 khuli loaches. i am feeding my fish less now. but still does not help in getting rid of the excess food that's sitting at the bottom on top of the substrate.
 

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if you have a LAYER of food left and its gray! overfeeding is an understatement!
if you feed your fish in the quantity you do, your tank is a time bomb!
what fish do you have? maybe get a few cory's or a pleco. what size tank do you have?
how often do you do water changes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
if you have a LAYER of food left and its gray! overfeeding is an understatement!
if you feed your fish in the quantity you do, your tank is a time bomb!
what fish do you have? maybe get a few cory's or a pleco. what size tank do you have?
how often do you do water changes?
that's what i was afraid of, all the nitrate building up from the leftover food. i usually do a 20% water change every month but i am injured right now and haven't done so in about 2 months. currently i have a 20g with 3 bettas, 5 tetras, 1 danio, 1 oto, 2 kuhli loaches, 3 ghost shrimps and a ton of snail. now that i think of it the leftover food are detrimental to my plants as my plants are not doing so well lately.
 

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that's what i was afraid of, all the nitrate building up from the leftover food. i usually do a 20% water change every month but i am injured right now and haven't done so in about 2 months. currently i have a 20g with 3 bettas, 5 tetras, 1 danio, 1 oto, 2 kuhli loaches, 3 ghost shrimps and a ton of snail. now that i think of it the leftover food are detrimental to my plants as my plants are not doing so well lately.
The leftover food should be great nutrient for your plants once it breaks down. I would get some more shrimp, and some pygmy cories. They will go around your tank and clean up all your trash, including uneaten food that falls to the bottom.
 

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I have 6 BNP and at least 30 cories in my 90g so I have to target feed with sinking pellets. The stuff doesn't last long on the bottom though. Even mid and top water feeders have changed their evolutionary habits and eat off the substrate. lol
 

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if you have a LAYER of food left and its gray! overfeeding is an understatement!
if you feed your fish in the quantity you do, your tank is a time bomb!
what fish do you have? maybe get a few cory's or a pleco. what size tank do you have?
how often do you do water changes?
Plecos aren't a good choice for any tank less than 70 gallons unless it's a pygmy. They get over 2 feet long and will eventually stop eating algae and switch to meats, even your other fish if you're not careful, as they grow older and mature. Plus, you have to have wood, real untreated wood in there as they will always chew on it. Do your research on any fish you want to add to your tank. Corys would be a good choice, small catfish work well for leftover foods as well as there being species that stay fairly small as well. Loaches would suck up the leftover foods but may feast on your shrimp and snails, too. Be mindful of the snails you add if you decide to get some other than the pond snails that mainly snack on algae as your plants will have more to worry about than just water quality. I understand that you may have an injury, but your tank should be getting at least 2 water changes of 20% a month due to your tank being planted and the stocking in a tank of your size. I was recently sick and wasn't able to get my water changes done and one of my frogs developed an illness and I had to quarantine him. Unfortunately, he didn't make it. It could have been prevented if I was able to get those water changes.

Good luck with your tank!!
 

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I'm not sure a clean up crew is the right solution. Perhaps down the line when you are able to be on top of water changes again, but whilst they might eat the food, they'll still turn it into waste. So I agree, as you are already doing, feeding less is the best option.

To clean it up, you can syphon, you don't have to do a full water change, just enough to get out the waste. You can just use airline if you want, although you might need to go a little wider tube depending on the waste/gravel. You need a piece long enough to reach the bottom of your tank, go up out and then hang down to a bucket below. Submerge the whole airline until it's filled with water, put you thumb over one end and lift that end out and put in the bucket (making sure the other end stays under). That will start a syphon, hold the end it the tank over the mess and it will suck it up along with the water.

Ideally you'd then top up the tank with fresh water, but if you are physically unable to do that you can wait for your bucket to settle and take the water off the top.
 
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